Travis Castillon speared a 155.8-pound ulua off Lanai on Wednesday, a catch that would set an International Underwater Spearfishing Association record if verified by the organization.
"We were lifting it up on the scale, and the head was still on the ground and it was almost 130. I was like, 'No way,' " said the 26-year-old Waikapu resident. "Once it settled down, we were just ecstatic. We couldn't believe it. The Lanai ferry was there, lots of people taking pictures. It was kind of overwhelming."
The IUSA record for an ulua, or trevally, is 144.2 pounds, by another Mauian, Travis Kashiwa in 2003.
Travis Castillon of Waikapu poses with a 155.8-pound ulua he speared Wednesday off Lanai.
KAHEA UESHIRO photo
Castillon was fishing with regular diving partner Olie Shipp, as well as Dennis Taugauasi and Jason Blue.
"I was thinking, 'I finally shot a hundred-pounder,' " Castillon said. "I've shot 90s, 93s. This guy was well above that. When I grabbed it, this thing was as tall as me. I was guessing 125, 130 - 130, I would have been super happy with that."
Castillon said he was about to shoot an omilu when he saw the giant ulua.
"I thought, 'If I pull the trigger, I had better stone it or he's going to take all my gear,' " Castillon said. "I followed it in the hole. It was swimming the other way, toward my friends, and then it just turned toward me. I shot it behind the eye, it twitched up a little, then it turned sideways."