PLENTY OF TUNA CAUGHT IN UP-AND-DOWN SPORTFISHING ACTION
Feb. 25, 2005, Josh Temple, Prime Time Adventures, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Fishing Report:
The last 2 weeks of fishing at Puerto Vallarta have been dead, fair-to-moderate, and epic...and I mean EPIC. One week we were pounding tunas from dawn until dusk, nice ones, up to 175 pounds, and the next day we're getting our asses handed to us, catching only 2 or 3 fish all day. But that's just how spoiled we are; 2 or 3 over 100 pounds is a SLOW day of Puerto Vallarta sportfishing.
Trev is seriously behind in the Caballito Cup, our new tournament series designed to keep bait supplying missions fun after a 12 hour day on the water, and I am currently in the lead with 3 wins to none, and Trev is starting to panic. A few nights ago as I pulled away nearing the finish line Trev lost it and in his rush to dehook a double header he impaled himself on his index finger deep...past the barb.
Trev's a pretty tough guy but he was reduced to near tears and I nearly choked on my own vomit I was laughing so hard at his predicament. Of course I kept fishing and after landing another 7 to secure the win I went for the camera before I could even think about helping him out. The uncontrollable laughing added some degree of difficulty.
We've been fishing Puerto Vallarta's outer banks mostly, except for yesterday, and the fishing has been very good on fish from 60 to 175 pounds. One day we've got 25 fish and then three days later we're scrambling to get 3. I'm not sure why. Puerto Vallarta fishing conditions have been overcast and slightly rippled, perfect tuna weather.
Water temperatures in our fishing areas have warmed again and now we're pushing 82 degrees with absolutely purple water all the way in the bay, pretty incredible, and as each day passes the fishing just gets better.
We started out this last week's fishing with a couple from Napa who enjoyed some great action on big tunas at the Puerto Vallarta outer banks including releases on fish over 150 pounds, plus some great fishing action on dorado (mahi-mahi) closer to shore at the end of the day.
Kevin Desantis and his family joined us again midweek and on day one we had Kevin and his son Chris out early. Running out from Puerto Vallarta, we found a huge school of porpoise and sent the baits out. Small tunas were boiling everywhere but we couldn't get them to go, so before we left I decided we might as well switch to lures and as soon as they hit the water ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ and Chris was on his first yellowfin. He did a great job and enjoyed whacking the fish over the head as much as catching it, which is always nice to see.
Chris caught a couple of fish and then we decided we should go and try for some bigger models so out to the banks we went. There wasn't much action but we did get one nice one and lost a real nice one thanks to a knot pulling...AHEM, Trev...we'll let him get away with one or two of those a season.
The wind was coming up a little so we headed closer in toward Puerto Vallarta and started looking for dorados and Chris was behind the wheel putting us on a nice zig-zag trolling pattern but he was having a blast and that's the most important thing.
We decide to move closer in for roosterfish and sierras and first pass around the reef we get slammed by a double header of roosters. Kevin jumps the left rigger and feeds the fish perfectly, sets up and a 40 plus pound rooster launches twice and shakes the circle hook! Trev sets up and misses so before we can get too excited the fish are gone but we get a nice show and after a few more passes we get some nice sierras and jacks that Chris has a blast pulling on.
On day 2 we try for roosters a bit in the morning and Kevin's youngest daughter Jenny, who calls me Captain Sauce (she's 4), get's a nice skipjack and Sara (11) gets a nice sierra which we keep for ceviche. It was pretty awesome having the young ones on the boat. Kevin and his family were very gracious in offering to have our family come along but unfortunately Soleille, my daughter, had the stomach flu so Cath and her stayed home. Kalum, my son, however, appreciated the day and although he didn't want to reel in any fish (WHAT"S UP WITH THAT?) had a great time.
After a short bout of fishing we headed off to see the whales and scored some epic close encounters which left us covered in spray and begging for more. Gina, Kevin's wife, got to see her coveted bluefooted booby and loved the whale show. Next it was snorkeling and ceviche at the islands and before you know it the cocktails come out and it's just getting better by the minute.
Day 3 dawns and it's Kevin's day from the beginning. With two days of serious family time and fun behind us it's time to get serious and get Kevin into some fish.
We head to the only place fit for such an endeavour...COW TOWN HERE WE COME.
It's awesome rolling up to cow town when I've been fishing the outer banks for a few weeks. It's like coming home after a long road trip, and the sight of hundreds of birds and crashing tuna makes it all the better, almost like cow town was saying HEY BOYS....REMEMBER ME?
I go on a hunch and put the wahoo lines out before we get serious on the tuna and not 5 seconds later a nice dorado whallops the right rigger. Kevin jumps the rod and on comes the fish for tonight's coconut dorado farewell dinner. I notice a few kinks in the leader but Trev says it's okay so back out the single strand wire goes and a few minutes later a big wahoo smashes the same lure and Trev realizes real quick he should have changed the leader as snap goes the kink and away goes the big 'hoo. Kevin takes it well. I don't.
Next we put the baits out, trying to conserve the few we have as Caldo and I spent a fruitless 7 hours the night before catching 11 cabbies and 1 mackerel, so we set out the balloon and one flat with the mackerel.
Immediately ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ on the mackerel but it drops the bait....ZZZZZZZZZZZZ again on the barely kicking mackerel and the fish drops the bait again....AHHHHHH!
Then ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ on the balloon and we miss it....then ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ and Kevin sets up on a nice one...landing a respectable 75 pounder.
As we're working Kevin's fish, just off the starboard bow explodes as a 400 plus pound blue marlin starts greyhounding. I look around the boat and all I see is acres and acres of bait boiling and tunas and now apparently marlin crashing through them.
Bait rigs go out and 3 big baits come in, 2 in the riggers and one flat and on the first run a billfish grabs the flat and although Trev feeds him for an eternity it spits the bait. It was a heavy fish, although we never saw it.
Make the turn and a big tuna absolutely detonates on the right rigger snapping the roller release and tearing line. Once again Trev locks up and Patooey.
I'm trying real hard to control my temper at this point because one, I have now realized I've wasted valuable time fishing the outer banks when there's been big fish crashing baits closer in, and two, we just missed our first two shots at the one's we're looking for.
Bait sticks go back out with one bait remaining in the left rigger and on our next pass through the bait the left rigger twitches once and then explodes...and I mean EXPLODES.
Trev tosses the bait stick in the air and makes a dive for the rod. Just as he reaches it the water parts behind the left corner and a massive fish erupts. It's not the 400 pound class blue but another giant black marlin pushing 800 pounds. GAME ON!
Kevin straps in and Trev and Caldo scramble to clear the bait sticks as I spin the boat full speed and chase the fish which is now tearing away from us at Mach 1.
To see another behemoth like this not one month after the last one is unbelievable. We are amped and the fish is going ballistic. HOW DOES IT DO THAT!
Kevin is trying desperately to catch up to the fish and his arm is a blur as he scrambles to gain desperately needed line. The fish won't quit and it continues to launch from right to left and back again....WOW...WOW...WOW...
For one hour and 16 minutes the behemoth kicked our asses...poor Kevin. He did it stand up with sunset drag of over 40 pounds and when that fish came close it was all business, glowing neon purple and blue and man the electricity in that beast's eyes was staggering...what a handful.
I looked at Trev and after a season of handling fish on the wire up to 600 pounds he was ready. He was shaking as he put the gloves on and for good reason. This fish wasn't finished.
The first time Trev touched the wire the fish wanted nothing to do with it and catapulted higher than the hard top and thank God it turned away from the boat or we wouldn't be here writing about it. Poor Kevin got slammed to the gunnel and how he held on I don't know. It must have been heart breaking for him watching all that hard earned line flying the other way again.
Back on the wire, take two, and Trev barely holds on this time and just barely manages to turn the fish. It must have had an idea it was getting turned loose because thank god it behaved itself and we got a spectacularly clean release with the circle hook firmly imbedded in the corner of the jaw. The fish was lit up like a light saber and kicked hard to freedom as Trev turned her bill loose to fight another day.
The mood on the boat went nuts as beers exploded in a shower of celebration to the fish and the angler and the fact that nobody got hurt. What a feeling....congratulations Kevin on putting the cherry on a well deserved day, trip.
Riding home the mood on the boat was very quiet. Taking part in something like that creates an emotional void where anything but basic grunts and sounds gets lost in the afterbuzz. It's a time for reflection and appreciation.
(See "Mexico Fishing News" online for current fishing reports, photos, weather, and water temperatures from Puerto Vallarta and other major Mexican sportfishing areas. Vacation travel articles, fishing maps and seasonal calendars, and fishing related information for Puerto Vallarta may be found at Mexfish.com's main Puerto Vallarta page.