Discussion in 'Mainland Mexico Fishing Reports and Discussion' started by picasso, Nov 17, 2018.

  1. picasso

    picasso Well-Known "Member"

    los angeles
    17 Boston Whaler
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    "We the people..."

    It was last June,
    and I was flipping the pages of the weekly fish rag,
    when I spied an advertisement for the sportboat, Constitution.

    In the ad, they had posted their schedule for this Winter's season,
    when the boat would be running trips out of Puerto Vallarta again.

    Last year, around this same November time frame, I did a trip to Guadalupe Island.
    The 30 hour boat ride from San Diego, going & coming, was a bit of a turn-off.
    When I got back from that trip, I told myself we would have been better off
    taking a three hour plane ride,
    and chasing larger tuna in a warmer climate.

    is the only operation I know of who runs "open party" trips.
    You or me, as a lone angler, or part of a small group,
    can choose to jump aboard,
    selecting from a choice of trips,
    when the boat is not privately chartered.

    I chose the trip being sponsored by the Melton Tackle Shop.
    Melton's is a big time boat outfitter in Orange County, California.
    I contacted Nicole in the boat's office, and sent in a deposit.

    Tick-tock, tick-tock.
    Start the countdown clock.

    Fast forward to the week before the trip.
    It appeared that I would be leaving fish,
    to look for fish.
    Just sixty miles from San Diego,
    at San Clemente Island,
    the blue fin tuna had been putting on a show all summer,
    saving their best performances for the periods around the New and Full moons.

    Comparing the two trips is like comparing apples with oranges.
    but my buddies couldn't help but question my choice.
    Totally different experiences, I explained to them,
    even if the end result,
    a captured tuna,
    is the same.

    Friday night I arrived without a suitcase.
    Just a small backpack with some clothes, and a toothbrush.
    And a cooler.

    had everything else I needed,
    waiting for me on the boat.

    The airport was deserted,
    as were the streets around town.
    No lines at the half-filled restaurants.
    Looked like early November is a good time to enjoy the weather,
    and avoid the crowds.

    Taxi dropped me off at the Paradise Village Yacht Club.
    A young man came running from the boat to let me in thru the marina gate.
    I assumed he was part of the crew and handed him my cooler to carry.
    We got to the boat, and I asked him where to stow it.
    He said he didn't know, he didn't work here.
    I apologized and asked him his name.
    "Jason", he says.

    Turns out he's the Melton representative,
    and he wants to welcome me aboard.
    That's cool.

    Stashed my gear, and started introducing myself around.
    First gent I run into is a handsome devil.
    Tells me he is Marco, from Monterrey.
    Not the one near Pebble Beach.
    The one in Mexico.

    Marco introduces me to his cousin, Monica.
    Monica introduces me to her cousin, Gabriel.
    Gabriel introduces me to his cousin, Armando.
    Mi primos.

    The latter three flew in from Texas to be here.

    There is another gang of four in the stern.
    Mike is their leader.
    He bears a striking resemblance to the actor Patrick Stewart,
    who played Capt. Jean Luc Picard of the star ship, Enterprise.
    I kept waiting for Mike to utter the classic line, "Make it so Number One",
    but he never did.

    Mike introduces me his posse.
    He's got Jay, and Paul, joining him from his home state of Colorado.
    He's imported a buddy from Illinois.
    I called him Chicago Steve.
    All cool dudes.

    Last man left standing is Will.
    Somebody told me he was a dentist from Los Angeles.
    I just called him "Doc".

    The Captain is Keith Denette.
    He comes down from the wheelhouse to say hello and welcome me aboard.
    Asks me if I'm ready.
    "Vamanos!!", I reply.

    We got underway, and the second ticket came down to introduce himself,
    and give us a seminar covering the various safety and procedural systems that we'll be operating under the next three days.

    His name is Chase Pymm.
    He's a young man, but as I would observe, a young man wise beyond his years.
    I don't know where Keith dug him out of the ground, but Chase is a rock solid golden nugget.
    At the conclusion of the seminar,
    Chase introduces us to the rest of his crew.

    The head pirate, and jefe of the crew is Capt. Luis Lazo Cruz.
    He's a bit of a tough...
    nut to crack,
    but he's a gold mine in his own way,
    and at the end of the three days,
    I felt like I had made a new friend.

    Young Chef Pepe is in the galley.
    Always smiling,
    I enjoyed his enthusiasm,
    and his passion.
    He did a fine job for us.

    Crewmen Martin' and Temo' are rigging up rods & reels on the back deck,
    and put in long hours of strong, hard work on our behalf the entire journey,
    from start to finish.

    An aperitif.
    A dinner.
    A nightcap.
    5-20, jboore19, vegasandre and 5 others like this.
  2. picasso

    picasso Well-Known "Member"

    los angeles
    17 Boston Whaler
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    Woke up, and was in no hurry.
    We wouldn't be reaching the fishing grounds for a while.
    I went to see Pepe, and get some breakfast.

    When we reached the area northwest of San Juanito Island,
    Keith pulled back the throttles, and set up the boat for it's first drift.
    I asked him to tune up the satellite radio,
    and turn on some rock.

    Their previous trip out here had been tough.
    Only two tuna fish boated for three days of trying.
    Worse, just not much sign of life around.

    In our first hour of fishing, we got lucky.
    Doc was the first man up on the helium balloon rig,
    and when the crew hooked one,
    Doc fought it to the boat.
    A new personal record it was for him.
    225 pounds!!
    Doc was happy.

    We caught another fish on a bait rig.
    Jean Luc, aka Mike, was the lucky angler this time.
    Mike has caught a few tuna fish in his career,
    but he had his hands full with this one.
    Not quite as large as Doc's, but still a respectable 180 pounder.
    It fought harder than it looked.
    Often times, those teenage tuna are more work than the really big ones.

    It was only eight thirty in the morning,
    we fired up the engines to re-position for the second drift.

    They got another balloon rig up in the air, for not very long,
    as another flying, leaping tuna pounced on their offering,
    and Armando was on the rod for this go-around.

    The cousin did a nice job of angling,
    and when the battle was over,
    the crew hoisted his catch aboard the boat.
    They tape measured the fish,
    and calculated it's weight at about 150 lbs.
    Another teenage monster putting the hurt on one of ours.
    In spite of that, Armando estaba feliz!!

    The bites stopped coming, but we kept soaking bait.

    Doc had been number one on the kite list,
    and Armando number two.
    Yours truly was in the number three slot,
    and standing by to grab one of the two helium balloon rigs we were flying in the stern and bow.

    Not enough breeze to fly the kite yet.

    Eleven a.m. and the Skipper thought he saw something off in the distance,
    so we went for a ride.
    We didn't find what he was looking for,
    so we came back to the original area,
    and set up for another drift.

    I went in for lunch.
    I could watch my two balloons thru the window while I munched.
    There wasn't anything to see though.

    The breeze had died.
    The current had died.
    The bite died with them.

    We kept at it thru the afternoon.
    Them soaking baits, and me watching the balloons.
    The music, and the mini-cocktails, made it tolerable.

    One of the other anglers came by,
    and asked me if I was planning to soak a bait today.
    For the record, I had soaked ONE this morning for a short period.

    I told the angler I was working twice as hard as he was,
    seeing as how I was soaking two baits to his one.
    Truth be told, the outfits were being tended to by the crewmen.
    I told him I would be happy to go over and put my hand on one of the two reels,
    if it would make him feel better.

    Confused, the angler left me without commenting,
    and went back to soaking his sardine.

    I had told my boss before the trip,
    that I would be surprised if I soaked even one bait.
    He asked me what I meant,
    and I told him I was going on a mini vacation.
    A sabbatical.
    A retreat.
    The fishing would be a bonus.

    I've reached a point now, where I can't deny I'm an old man.
    I was using this trip, to pause, look back at what's behind me,
    take a position check on where I am now,
    and plot a course for the future.

    Kind of a "stop and smell the roses" kind of trip.
    None of us know how many of these trips we get to take,
    so I really wanted to savor the moments this time.

    And here I was.
    Doing what I do best.
    Trying to position myself for success.

    Drift, and re-position.
    Drift, and re-position.
    Around five o-clock, cousin Gabriel was in the right position, and got picked up.
    He was on it for a long time.

    Forty minutes later,
    Keith came running down the rail, telling the rest of us to wind in.
    He was going to have to chase after Gabe's tuna.
    I'd never seen this before.
    As the boat slowly motored forward, Gabe, stationed in the bow, would wind line back onto his reel.

    Forty minutes later,
    they were finally able to put a gaff in the head of Gabe's adversary.
    They tape measured it and told Gabe it weighed 180 lbs.
    Another teenager tuna had put a beat down on another angler,
    but Gabe was very happy.
    Sore, but happy.
    I think it was a new personal record for him.

    The day was done now, but we still had plenty of work to do.
    Pepe served dinner while we motored offshore.
    The crew started filleting, bagging, vacuum packing, and chilling our catch.

    After dinner was done, we headed back outside to try and catch some of the squids swimming around the boat's lights.

    It had been a long day for me already.
    Waiting for that balloon rig to get bit.

    I was having the same success with the squids.
    Some did better than others with the squid jig,
    but after a while,
    I gave up and went to bed.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
  3. nefarious235

    nefarious235 I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Proudly American
    canoe & plastic flotsam
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    For some reason I wanted to read this to the beat of " Twas the Night Before Christmas". Nice write up.
    carterantebi likes this.
  4. picasso

    picasso Well-Known "Member"

    los angeles
    17 Boston Whaler
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    The whole gang was up bright and early,
    anxious to use those squids for bait this morning.

    I rose with the sun, knowing that the crew would be putting the balloon rigs out once they could see them.
    I looked at my watch.
    It was seven a.m.

    Chicago Steve had just put the finishing touches on his masterpiece.
    Steve had pinned on a squid to the end of his line this morning,
    attached a heavy sinker,
    and lowered his offering carefully to the desired depth.
    Steve was stoked.
    Easily over a hundred pounds, it was his new personal record.

    He went into the galley for recovery.
    I followed him in.
    I ordered a breakfast plate from Pepe.
    I told him I might have to leave in a hurry,
    if the dinner bell rang out on the deck.
    Pepe knew I had been in balloon jail all day yesterday.

    I took a window seat where I could keep watch on my balloons.

    Chicago was at another table,
    licking his wounds from the battle,
    and relishing his victory.

    I sipped my coffee, and pretended I was interested in his retelling the tale.

    Temo' brought me my juevos, and I dug in.

    Halfway thru the plate,
    something outside the window caught my eye.
    I heard a noise from the back deck,
    and I knew the game was afoot.
    I apologized to Pepe on my way out the door.
    "No problema."

    Martin' had been tending the rod when it got bit.
    He had wound down tight on the fish,
    and handed the rod to Capt. Luis.

    Martin' went to go rig up another balloon rig for angler number four.
    Capt. Luis was looking around for angler number three.
    I was standing in front of him.
    Gabriel was on my left.
    Gabe said, "Get in there!"
    I turned at looked at Gabe, and said,
    "Plenty of time for me brother."
    I gave Gabe a wink.

    Keith was in the stern corner now too.
    Luis asked "a donde"?
    Keith nodded his head towards me.
    Luis looked me up and down,
    and handed me the rod.

    "Habla Espanol?", he asks me.
    "Un poquito", I respond.
    "Come se lllama?" he asks.
    "Jose!", I reply.
    "Me llamo?" he asks.
    "Luis!", I reply.
    "That's all you need to know," he says to me, quietly, in perfect English.

    I got my groove on early.
    I looked like I knew what I was doing.
    I stayed off of my knees.
    I stayed on my feet.
    I kept the pressure on.
    I kept the rod bent.
    I followed instructions.

    Today, for one day, Joe Joe WAS the Man.

    And Man, did it feel good.
    En Cima del Mundo.
    On Top of the World.

    It was another one of those teenager size fish.
    I guesstimated it's weight at about 180 pounds.
    Maybe I got lucky and hooked one that got cut from the junior varsity.

    I'll take it.
    All day long.

    Well, that was it for me in the spotlight.
    I got what I came for.

    I went back into the galley,
    got a fist bump from Pepe,
    and contemplated finishing those eggs,
    but then thought better of it.

    I think it was time for a liquid refreshment.
    With a little kick in it.

    Colorado Jay joined Steve and I in the Winner's Circle a few minutes later.
    He's landed himself a nice tuna about 100 pounds.
    Jay is one of those guys who doesn't care what he's fishing for.
    He just loves being "out there".
    Put a rod in his hands and he's happy.
    He's real happy this morning.

    I hear the boat's engines fire up and I look at my watch.
    It's 8:40 a.m.
    What a morning!!

    We repositioned the boat, and set up for another drift.
    Keith turned up the radio and the music had a little country/western twang today.

    We found the mid day doldrums again.
    No breeze.
    No current.
    No fish.

    Anglerette number four, cousin Monica, has been in the catbird seat since this morning.
    She's hoping it's not going to take the rest of the day, and another morning,
    to get another tuna to bite a balloon bait.

    Cousin Monica possesses that rare combination of beauty, and brains.
    When she finally hooked her tuna, and showed me her fighting skills,
    I kind of fell in love, a little bit.

    Monica's 100 pounder brought down the curtain on the day.
    We did the dinner/fish cleaning thing again.

    The other passengers went back to scratching up some squids.
    I went to the bow, listened to the music being played,
    and watched a lighting show from a storm blowing up on the horizon.
    jboore19, vegasandre, jer dog and 4 others like this.
  5. picasso

    picasso Well-Known "Member"

    los angeles
    17 Boston Whaler
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    Up early again.

    The weather has taken a turn.
    It's breezy now.
    Whitecaps on the surface of the ocean all around us.

    I order breakfast from Pepe while my shipmates soak baits.

    Jean Luc asks me if I'm planning to fish today and I tell him no.
    I explain to him, that since I didn't try for the squids last night,
    I wouldn't feel right using them.

    He laughs, and says he caught a bunch, I can use one of his.
    I thank him, but stick to my plan.

    Yesterday was my day.

    Today belongs to Colorado Paul.
    Paul is one of the few left who hasn't had a chance to pull on a big one yet.
    He's sort of new to this style of angling,
    and lacks confidence.
    I told him not to worry, the crew does all of the heavy lifting for us.

    Around 8:30 a.m. Paul hooks something on his bait rig.
    He brings up a nice amber jack to our surprise.
    Not really the target species, but it's nice to catch a fish.

    Paul needed some reward for the hours he's spent at the rail, trying for them.
    Paul gets kidded by his buddies for a little bit,
    then pins on another bait,
    and goes back to work.

    At 9:00 a.m., he gets bit again.
    Making up for lost time now, unfortunately again, it's the wrong species.

    This time, it's a roosterfish.
    It was a nice one too.

    We give Paul some more of the business,
    and Keith fires up the engines to set the boat up for another drift.

    I notice that Keith has forgotten to turn on the radio.
    Maybe that's why the tuna never found us this morning.
    Just sayin'.

    At 10:30, the Skipper gets tired of not catching and we go on the hunt.
    The crew puts out some trolling jigs behind the boat.

    Only a couple of guys on the deck when one of the trolling rigs gets bit.
    Someone yells out "Hook Up",
    and Keith throws the boat out of gear,
    and as we slide to a stop,
    we see a good sized blue marlin grey hounding itself right up our stern.

    He came into the port corner, took a leap, smiled, and threw the cedar plug right back at us.
    That was cool.

    We're trolling south, we're west of the islands.
    No action means there's time for chit chat.

    Paul remarks to me how well behaved everyone has been,
    in spite of the "poor" catching.
    He says he's glad "that guy" missed the boat.

    I give Paul a look thru my sunglasses,
    and tell him, "Oh, he's here."
    "You just haven't recognized him yet."

    Paul looks down at his beer.
    I can see the little wheels in his brain working,
    as he mentally goes down the list of passengers.

    He looks up from his beer,
    and turns to me.
    I nod my head.
    We clink cans, and finish our beers together.

    Two thirty p.m.
    The boat takes a slight turn to the south east.

    Four p.m.
    Pepe puts out platters of sashimi.
    I'm out on the back deck when Doc comes running up to me.
    "Joe", he says, "They've got no wasabi."
    "Can't be", I replied.
    I go into the galley and Pepe's back is turned to me.
    "Hey", I say.
    He turns around and cringes.
    "What's this I hear about no wasabi?"
    Pepe apologizes profusely.
    "I'm sorry Joe."
    He goes on,
    "We've been eating fresh fish for days here.
    We've used up more than I thought we would on the trip down from San Diego, and then from Cabo."
    I'm not satisfied.
    "Don't they sell that in Pee Vee?", I ask.
    "Yes, they do", he says.
    "Well Man, that little error is going to cost you some money.
    I'm gonna have to take something off of your tip money, OK?"
    He's looking at me, the smile is gone from his face.
    He opens the door to the cupboard just above his head.
    He reaches up and in, moves a couple of things, and then pulls out a fresh tube of wasabi.
    I gave the tube to Doc.
    Crisis averted.

    4:45 p.m.
    We stop to drift a high spot.

    5:15 p.m.
    Cousin Monica gets bit on bait.
    She sets the hook and hands the rod to her cousin Marco,
    who has yet to pull on a big one.

    If I wasn't in love with her before this,
    that move sealed the deal.
    Unfortunately for Marco, his tuna turned into a shark.
    He got to pull on something big though.

    That kind of put a wrap on the whole day, and the trip.
    We started heading back to Pee Vee quietly,
    and enjoyed a wonderful surf & turf dinner from Pepe.
  6. picasso

    picasso Well-Known "Member"

    los angeles
    17 Boston Whaler
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    I was up at five a.m.
    We were already tied up, back at the dock near Paradise Village.

    A couple of hours later, we were getting off the boat.

    The Colorado gang went shopping for more coolers.
    The Texans had an early flight and headed off to the airport.
    Jason was hanging in town for a day or two, and went off to his hotel.
    Doc and I went to breakfast.

    A couple of hours later, I said good-bye to Doc,
    when he and the Coloradans left for the airport.

    Late in the afternoon, I moseyed on over to the airport by myself.
    A flight delay left me with plenty of time to think,
    and mull over the happenings of the past couple of days.

    One thought kept going thru my head, over and over.
    I'm a lucky guy.

    El Fin
    Russ Scholl, karlk1125, 5-20 and 11 others like this.
  7. pura vida

    pura vida Pura Vida II

    Gene Miller
    Pura Vida II, 500 mile range
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    Great Read

    I miss PV
  8. lee337

    lee337 ahuntnfisherman

    larry lee
    bass boat
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    The best trip report writer I've ever read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  9. wils

    wils lazy-ass well known "member"

    not a spoiled bitch from san diego
    I hate boats
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    no pictures?
    caballo del mar likes this.
  10. snaphappy

    snaphappy Member

    NE FL
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    Kinda disappointed in no pics of cousin Monica. Great report though!
    terryc. likes this.
  11. Auggie

    Auggie Well-Known "Member"

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    Great read Joe.

    Thanks for posting
  12. 2454 big mike

    2454 big mike Well-Known "Member"

    Party crasher
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    Thanks for another enjoyable story Joe. You know that I always look forward to them.
    You maybe that guy but a great one to fish with.
  13. la vida

    la vida Now I love our Prezzz!!!

    El Cazonn
    Frank F
    Boat-less (Sad)
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    Yes you are as lucky man.
    So if us just reach that point in life where we just enjoy life. I have had the pleasure of being down in PV and the calaber if fish can be just over the top.
    But what I most enjoy is spending time on the water with some great people.
    vegasandre likes this.
  14. vegasandre

    vegasandre I've posted enough I should edit this section

    San Diego
    Any Boat that I can go on
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    Thank you again Joe.
    Your current adventure prose has helped me reflect on my fishing life and maybe even life in general.
    The things that we think are important aren't actually too important and the things that we often overlook are what we should cherish...
  15. daveb

    daveb Newbie

    PacVoy,Royal Star
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    Another Great Story Joe! Thank you.
    I have to agree with above and you. With age and wisdom comes reflection on now lucky we are. January is coming soon, let's make another great story.
  16. PenetratorCharters

    PenetratorCharters Newbie

    San Diego/PuertoVallarta
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    Great report. Fishing in PV is a unique experience and one that provides great memories. We are offering Open Party trips aboard PENETRATOR this season December - March. Dates are flexible at this point and limited to 6 anglers for 2.5 day trips, and 4 anglers for 3.5 day trips. Check out our website at for more info.
  17. obfishslayer

    obfishslayer Newbie

    san diego
    85 17' invader cc
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    Picasso, you set the bar high for trip reports. I have enjoyed every one. Thank you for contributing.

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