Retiree Guy Kitaoka was hoping to catch a 100- to 300-pound marlin to put into a smoker for his granddaughter’s birthday party.
He got more than he could put on his 20-foot boat — a marlin weighing 1,368 pounds.
“It’s a fisherman’s dream … the fish of a lifetime,” said Kitaoka, who retired as a courts administrator about a year ago.
Kitaoka said he and his fishing friend Darrell Omori, who owns the boat, were about 5 miles off Keauhou in west Hawaii, when the fish struck at about 1 p.m. Tuesday.
He took about an hour and a half to reel it in and he didn’t realize how big it was until it leapt out of the water near the boat.
Kitaoka said that, luckily, the marlin gave up fighting when he hooked it with a gaff to tie the bill to the boat.
His friend Capt. Bomboy Llanes was nearby on his charter boat Lanakila and offered to load the fish onto his larger vessel through a rear door transom.
“It took eight people to bring the marlin aboard,” Kitaoka said.
The fish was brought to Honokohau Harbor, where it was weighed.
Kitaoka said the marlin was too much fish for either Omori or himself — marlin exceeding 1,000 pounds tend to be tough in texture — and he gave it to a friend who plans to make smoked sausage with it.
Kitaoka said that Wednesday was his 57th birthday, and he and his friends were having an extended celebration.
“We found another excuse to continue to party on,” he said.