KONA, HAWAII… Captain Chip Van Mols is a world-class professional big game fishing captain. He’s been one of the top performing captain in Kona for over 20 years – skippering top charter boats like the Jun Ken Po (42′ Bertram), Monkey Biz II (38′ Bertram), and currently the Luna (40′ Gamefisherman). And when it comes to catching granders, marlin weighing over 1,000 pounds, Chip has 4 to his credit. He caught his very first grander (a 1,165 Pacific Blue Marlin) in 1994 along with his co-captain, Jerome Judd, aboard the Jun Ken Po.
On May 26th, the Jun Ken Po made Big Game history when Captains Jay Rifkin and Chris Cole landed angler Michael Michaelis’s 1,058 lb. blue marlin near Manele Bay off the island of Lanai. Very few granders are caught in the waters near Maui or Lanai – and Chip Van Mols took note of his old boat’s triumph. But only one day later, on May 27th, Captain Van Mols was at the wheel when Kona’s 2nd grander of 2015 devoured one of Erik Rusnak’s Smash Bait by Aloha Lures. Co-incidentally, this is the second time this particular lure attracted a grander in Kona for Chip Mols.
Anglers Dean Lemman, Tim Lemman, Adam Garside and Josh Little flew to Kona in May of 2015 to do a little fishing. They selected the charter boat Luna because of its record for catching big fish, and huge marlin in particular. A few days earlier the group of Oregon anglers released a 700+ marlin and had a jolly time doing it, too. They were hoping this day would be just as much fun.
On Tuesday morning, May 27th, Capt. Chip Van Mols and his deck hand, Shawn Bebeau, were trolling the 1,000 fathom line outside Kealakekua Bay where Captain James Cook met his death at the hands of angry Hawaiians back in 1779. Mate Bebeau set their lucky Smash Bait lure in the pattern and stood back watching the action. It wasn’t long before a giant 1,226 pound Pacific Blue Marlin swallowed the lure and the fun began. Knowing it was a big fish, the most experienced angler of the group, Dean Lamman (CEO of Jones Sport Co of Portland, OR), took the rod and was strapped into the fighting chair.
The fish came to the boat quickly, but once close, she bolted for the blue and began jumping. After two hours and 20 minutes of fighting and expert seamanship by angler, captain and crew, the marlin gave up her fight and died. The fish measured over 16ft in length and more than 6ft around almost guaranteeing it a grander. That fact was confirmed at the scales and the rest is history.