We have been catching a lot of fish in 2016, but nothing BIG. We were both free on Saturday, January 30. The week leading up to our outing we excitedly spent every extra minute checking our Hobie Mirage® Tandem Island, rod holders, fish finder, live bait well, rods, reels, and got all our big fish leaders set up and ready to go. Friday night was like Christmas Eve. It was difficult to sleep.

We both got up at 0-dark-30, but were a bit sluggish from lack of sleep, so we took more time than usual packing the truck and getting ready to go. We finally got everything loaded, hitched the trailer to the truck, and were on our way. Thanks to the versatility of the Hobie TI we always have the option of running live bait, trolling lures, cut bait, or jigging.

Light winds were forecast, so trolling lures while sailing wasn’t an option. Our game plan (as it usually always is) was to get bait early, hunt, hook, battle, and land something BIG.

We arrived at one of the only spots launchable when there is monster surf hitting the north and west shores of Oahu and got going. The conditions were beautiful and bait, while hard to locate, was eager to jump on our Campania Lures Opelu grubs. Live bait, nice water, nice conditions… No bites for three hours.

We were ready to send the rest of our day catching mackerel to eat when our friend Jason Kornegay rolled up on his fishing Jet Ski. Jason tells us he heard that striped marlin have been coming up at the buoys three, four miles off the coast. We’ve always wanted to battle a striped marlin, so that seals it for us. We pulled up our bait rigs and headed out to sea. Luckily for us the trade winds picked up a little bit, and a little wind is all you need with the Hobie TI’s 90-square-foot sail.

We had been sailing out for 15 minutes when our Shimano Stella started SCREAMING! Gareth turned around and saw a marlin tail walking across the water behind our TI. I (Kevin) grabbed the rod and set the hook while Gar quickly jumped onto our trampoline and strapped on his fighting belt.

I passed the rod to Gar when he’s ready and the battle is ON! The marlin tail-walked, dived, then jumped again two or three minutes into the battle. Afterward it was an up and down battle, man against marlin. Luckily for us we have experience battling big fish, so Gareth fought while I drove the TI. We finally landed the marlin and headed home.

Packing up took a while because people surrounded us on the beach. Once we got home I checked on Facebook and what do I see? January 30 is the seventh anniversary of the first marlin we ever caught from a kayak. Happy anniversary to us!

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