Catching a blue marlin is great, but one that weighs over 1,000 pounds? That’s pretty much priceless.
When Tim Lemman watched his dad, Dean, land a 1,266-pound blue marlin fishing aboard the ‘Luna’ out of Kona, Hawaii, it was, in his words, “the best day of our lives, no doubt!” May 27, 2015 will be burned in his memory, as well as the rest of the anglers aboard to see the latest entry in the list of Granders, the nickname given to blue marlin over 1,000 pounds.
Lemman talked about the reaction that has yet to fade away, as well as more details about the gigantic fish.
“Everyone was shocked!” he said about the fish. “But there was a big difference in reaction between a fisherman and a non-fisherman. There is a certain mystique about a Grander that every fisherman wishes to experience. Every fisherman there was studying the fish for hours, wondering how they could get a similar fish on the line.”
Tim and Dean were fishing with Adam Garside and Josh Little, and the foursome goes by the name #TeamDinero (after Dean’s nickname). The entire day was teeming with good vibes and positive attitude, but we had to ask Lemman what he felt the best part was.
“I think the best part about the experience was watching our captain and deckhand celebrate,” Lemman said. “These guys dedicate their lives (40+ years) to catching these sort of fish. It was captain Chip Van Mols fourth grander, and his biggest. [It was] our deckhand Shawn Bebeau’s second Grander in his career, and his biggest as well. It was like they won the Superbowl of fishing. And that was something I will never forget.”
“We were there to have fun, and have noticed that the fish come along with the fun,” Lemman continued. “We are always laughing about how lucky we are, but this situation was ridiculous…”
He said that the specific lure used to catch the Grander was a “Smash Bait” lure made by local lure-maker Erik Rusnak. Placement was critical, as was captain Chip van Mols’ experience and knowledge when it comes to finding big fish. The fourth Grander of van Mols’ career (and the biggest), this massive marlin was a catch to remember. Shawn Bebeau, deckhand for the ‘Luna,’ notched his second Grander of his career.
The fight took more than two hours, and Lemman continued to reflect on the experience.
“The fishing is mostly out of your control,” said Lemman, “and you have to respect that you are in their kingdom. We would have released her if she hadn’t had a heart attack in the last five minutes, she just simply fought herself to sleep. And after fighting for two hours, theres just no way you are going to cut that line.”
The marlin measured 6 feet around its body and was 16 feet long. There was nothing in its stomach, which led the anglers to believe it could have been even bigger had it eaten a stout breakfast. It was estimated that the fish was around 25 years old.
When asked about what contributed to the memorable day, Lemman said it was “100% right place right time.”
“We are lucky, and we know that,” he said. “Obviously we could have lost the fish, so we were lucky that my dad has had a grander on the line before…it was nice to have the most experienced guy fighting her. We were also lucky to have such an experienced captain and deckhand. They love what they do, and they are the best at what they do. For Chip and Shawn, it was the outcome of preparation, skill and hard work…and of course a little bit of luck, all coming together at once.”