Kayak Fisherman Lands 158-Pound Marlin in Unbelievable Story

Lots of crazy fishing stories have crossed the desk here at LiveOutdoors this year from hooking giant gators to catching huge fish from kayaks, but few stories are as incredible as the one a Hawaiian kayak fisherman told fishing columnist Jim Rizzuto recently. 

In his weekly fishing report from the big island of Hawaii, the columnist conveyed the story by Jared Willeford on how he caught a 158-pound marlin from a kayak recently out of Keauhou Bay in the Kona district. 

It wasn’t the size of the fish that makes this story incredible. Not even for a kayak fisherman does the billfish beat any records. The largest marlin taken from a kayak in Hawaii measured 225 pounds. 

What makes Willeford’s tale extraordinary is the fight it took to get it. Consider first that two weeks prior he hooked what was likely a similar fish and struggled with it on the line for 11 hours. The powerful fish had pulled the kayak many miles down the coastline before he was forced to let it go and paddle home in the dark. 

Now here comes another bite out of the same bay a few weeks later. This time he fished with a hand line rather than rod and reel, which afforded a much heavier test. He was drifting through a school of bait fish when he got an enormous strike on the line that pulled the kayak backwards.

When the marlin realized it was in danger the fish turned its attack toward the fisherman. Earlier this year a marlin killed a spear fisherman in Hawaii, so the danger of these animals is clear.

Next, the fish took off straight out to sea. Now Willeford was being pulled away from the coast rather than along side it as before, which heightened his anxiety. Hooked at about 9 am, the fish tired by 1:30 pm. But this was just the start of the battle. 

The fisherman then lashed the marlin to the kayak and began paddling the heavy load home. And would you believe it starts attracting a curious shark? Luckily, the shark was only able to bite off part of the tail and eventually the brave fisherman got his proud take back to the dock with a glorious fishing story for the record breaks. 

Photo credit: Jim Rizzuto Report/LureMakingKonaStyle.com