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Mazatlan, Mexico



Aug. 28, 2006, Tadeo Hernandez, Flota Bibi Fleet, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico:

The sportfishing business at Mazatlan is reaching its slowest season of the year and only a few charter boats are going out each day.

I fished aboard the Mahi Dreamer with Captain Tony Valdés and Perla Lopez. It was a very nice morning with no rough seas and no winds. We could speed our way out of the Mazatlan harbor at 25 m.p.h. with no trouble. We stopped at 3 or 4 buoys to see if there was any Dorado, but couldn't get any. Then we were chasing some birds and a few porpoises that were passing by, to see if there was any Tuna. Nothing.

When we reached 21 miles offshore from the Mazatlan lighthouse on a 210-degree heading we thought about slowing down and start trolling the lures to find some billfish. We had a hunch and decided to go further out.

Maybe 5 or 10 minutes after that moment, we saw a huge school of Spinner Dolphins, Delfines Tornillos, a mile or so away from us and decided to give it a try. We weren't wrong. As soon as we started trolling we had yellowfin tuna bite after bite and we stayed there for about 4 hours of nonstop fishing.

We had around 20 tuna bites and managed to catch 12 yellowfin tuna. Of those we lost, there were two of them that we estimate 50 to 100 pounds. They bit so hard they took 300 to 400 yards of line off of the reel. I could barely hold the rod as I was standing with my fishing belt on and trying not to lose all the line.

We ran the Super Panga in the direction where the fish were in order to make the line loose so I could reel it in. It was a rush. We were moving the boat all over and trying to chase the fish as I was reeling in all the line. When I had got around 80 percent of the line and the fish was much closer to the boat it did a sudden run towards the engine and wrapped the line around the propeller and then made another sudden run in the opposite direction.

Tony turned off the outboard, ran to it and tried to lift it to release the line. He couldn't do it before it broke. It was all so fast and so exciting. I had even put half of the rod underwater in order to point it in the fish's direction and loosen the line. It was useless. We couldn't see the fish, but that was our estimate, 50 to 100 pounds. I was using a Penn Senator 6/0 with 60 pound line test and we were fishing exactly 25 miles offshore from the Bibi Fleet.

About an hour later, we had another one bite with about the same strength, but this one got away even sooner.

We could have used a 9/0 Senator with 85 pound line test like the ones we use for Sailfish and Marlin, and probably get these tuna onboard, but then when you catch the little ones is not very fun with heavy tackle.

Perla caught her first ever fish that day, four total, all of them yellowfin tuna, the heaviest one exactly 10 kilos. We were using "Palitos" and plastic calamari. We had a bunch of ballyhoo and mullet ready for the Dorados, but we were busy catching the Tuna.

(See "Mexico Fishing News" online for current fishing reports, photos, weather, and water temperatures from Mazatlan and other major Mexican sportfishing areas. Vacation travel articles, fishing maps and seasonal calendars, and fishing related information for Mazatlan may be found at's main Mazatlan page.