Monster Blue Marlin Tagged and Released Before Hawaii Tournament

Angler Buzz Colton wins Duke Kahanamoku Memorial Award for Rod Bender team

marlin jumps out the water
Beautiful blue marlin around around 200 to 300 pounds were plentiful during the Hawaii International Billfish Tournament.John Ashley

Angler Buzz Colton from the United States Malibu Marlin Club originally was to be an observer during the 58th Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament for the Rod Bender team.

In the end, he was the angler who fought and caught the only weighed blue marlin during the Kona tournament, held in early August.

*Miss Behavin* fishing team
The Miss Behavin team celebrates winning the release category for the tournament.Courtesy Charla Photographe

The team fishing from Rod Bender caught a 486.6-pound blue and claimed the Duke Kahanamoku Memorial Award. Colton, after a recent heart surgery, was in the cockpit clearing tackle when a blue marlin approached the lure he was retrieving. Due to strict tournament rules, Colton's decision to get in the fighting chair resulted in him withstanding a four-hour fight. The Rod Bender team, fishing from a 35-foot Cabo, decided to bring the fish to the boat since no other marlin at that stage had been weighed. No others topped it during the tournament, but one the day before was around twice as big.

A day before the tournament, the famous Marlin Magic and Capt. Marlin Parker tagged and released a 900-pound blue marlin after a two-hour fight by lady angler Trish Simpson.

Miss Behavin won the award for most billfish tagged and released.

Hawaii International Billfish Tournament 2017
Even Miss Billfish, Kelina Wolfe, got into the action on the Press Boat during the tournament.John Ashley
blue marlin fishing
The crew aboard the Kila Kila watches as an angler fights a 200-pound blue marlin on 50-pound tackle.John Ashley
blue marlin tag and release
Tim McBride successfully attaches the sat tag from the Kila Kila and the blue is released.John Ashley