Folsom angler reels in marlin

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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Salil Kharat took his family to Hawaii over spring break and got a lot more than just a vacation.

Kharat had booked a fishing trip and was hoping to catch a tuna. Instead, Kharat hooked a blue marlin March 25 and about three hours later when he got the fish on the boat, he learned it weighed 1,058 pounds and was 131 inches long. The blue marlin grander, considered a grander because it weighed more than 1,000 pounds, is one of only 71 caught off the coast of Kona.

Kharat had booked the four-hour fishing trip a few weeks before his vacation. About halfway into the excursion, seven miles off the coast, Kharat hooked the marlin.

“It was very interesting,” Kharat said. “We saw her from about 250 yards and the first mate said that’s the biggest fish he’d ever caught. The whole fight was amazing. It was very powerful. I had to strap myself in a chair anchored to the boat. I was in a state of panic because it was a struggle to reel it in. I could see smoke from the reel because it was pulling it out so fast. I had to be careful because I didn’t want to snap the line or the rod.”

Kharat didn’t do either, but about 90 minutes into the catch, the marlin stop fighting and instead of being on top of the water started to sink.

“I would have loved to release the marlin, but we think it had cardiac arrest and died,” Kharat said. “It sunk in the water and it was tough pulling it to the surface.”

All in all, it was an experience of a lifetime for Kharat, one that he hopes to have again.

“It was a thrilling, terrifying and great experience all in one,” Kharat said. “I plan to make a documentary about it.”

Kharat’s wife, Sharmila, who was on the boat along with the couple’s two children, filmed the catch. As for the marlin, Kharat said he’d like to make a trophy out of it, but said it might not fit in his house.