Angler Jada Holt of Kona just made history while fishing at Ascension Island in the South Atlantic.
And her catch is about to put her in the International Gamefish Association (IGFA) record books!
Last week’s biggest Kona fishing story happened half a world away. While fishing at Ascension Island in the South Atlantic, Kona gal Jada Holt boated a 1,305-pound Atlantic blue marlin. Jada’s giant has been submitted to the International Gamefish Association (IGFA) for approval as the ladies’ world record for the species using 130-pound class tackle.
Even though Jada was about as far away as you could get from here and still fish for blue marlin, she was fishing with a captain and crew that was almost-all Kona. Capt. Bryan “BT” Toney, who normally skippers the Kona boat Marlin Magic, was at the helm. Capt. Chip Van Mols, Jada’s dad, was among the gaffing crew along with her husband Dan Holt. Chip runs the Kona boat Luna when he’s home in Kona. Capt. Olaf Grimkowski the only non-Kona veteran, handled the leader.
Jada caught her first world record in 2002 at the age of 10 and she put her last 13 years of experience to work immediately after the fish hit a trolling lure. With BT’s expert boat handling skills, they got the huge marlin to the boat in a quick 15 minutes to secure the potential record.
The unusual brevity of the fight may also have been aided by the placement of the hook. Anchored in the tip of the lower jaw, it provided a pulling point which helped turn the fish and lead it to the boat.
BT had been searching for a grander since he left Kona a few months ago for the start of the Ascension Island season. In a disappointing season there, he’d had one shot at a grander back on November 3rd but it pulled free of the hook after a short run. On seeing Jada’s 15-foot long fish in the water, they knew immediately that it would top the 1,000-pound mark, but the marlin’s dimensions were perplexing.
After they pulled it through the transom door on their boat Hammaton, the tale of the tape was both encouraging and confusing.
The 154-inch “short length” (from the tip of the lower jaw to the fork of the tail) was 154-inches with a 78-inch girth (82 inches at the anal fin), was more than enough for them to guess big. But the 19.5-inch girth in front of the tail correlated with a 950-pounder.
A similar situation had happened here in Kona in August when the Northern Lights boated a 154-inch blue marlin with a 19.5-inch tail stump. Despite the unusually narrow “caudal peduncle,” that fish weighed 1,309 pounds. (Something to file away in your memory bank for the next time you catch a 1,300-pounder.)
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