I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 27, 2009
los angeles
17 Boston Whaler

I woke up last Saturday morning, hopped in a cab, and headed to the airport.
I boarded a flight for Puerto Vallarta, and when I arrived,
I took a cab to the Paradise Village resort, where
I jumped on board the Constitution, that was tied to the dock.

Myself, twelve other guys, and one lovely lady,
were heading out on a three and a half day adventure,
in pursuit of the giant yellowfin tuna,
that swim in the blue green waters surrounding the Tres Marias islands.

As each of us arrived, the owner/operator of the boat, Keith Denette, welcomed us aboard, and introduced us to his crew.
My fellow passengers enjoyed a libation, and chit chatted amongst themselves while waiting for the next angler to arrive.
About seven p.m. Captain Keith fired up his twin diesel engines, and we motored slowly out of the harbor under a beautiful evening sky.
The lights of the coastline, and the stars in the sky both brightened up as we put water under the hull.

We gathered up in the galley,
where Chef Alberto, aka Beto,
was tossing out tamales,
while the Skipper ran down the program on the boat's operation,
and his plan for the next couple of days.
He told us he'd been off of the water for a couple of days due to a cancelled charter,
and we were going to have to do some hunting,
in order to locate our prey.

After dinner, and a nightcap,
everyone hit their sack early.


I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 27, 2009
los angeles
17 Boston Whaler

We got to the "start searching" grounds around three a.m.,
where the Skipper cut the engines off.
For a couple of hours,
we were able to drift in silence,
while the motion of the ocean,
rocked you to sleep.

About five a.m.,
we slowly rose,
and started jigging some PL-68 fishing lures,
up and down in the water column.
As the sun rose,
and our visibility increased,
we put out some live bait rigs,
and a helium balloon rig downwind.

Number One angler on the manifest,
a cool dude, and snappy dresser,
by the name of Tim,
who looked just like the "old" Drew Carey,
from "The Drew Carey Show",
and did a marvelous impression of the "old" Drew Carey,
got the party started.

The helium balloon rig got bit,
and Tim wound in the first tuna fish of the trip.
Not a monster, but a start.
I high-fived Tim, and said, "Come on down!"

Around nine a.m.,
we got tired of waiting for something else to happen,
and went on the prowl.
I went in the galley for a cup of joe,
and a slice of the Rosca de Reyes I'd spied earlier.

The hunt continued,
the sun kept rising,
taking the temperature with it.
About the time a cool drink was in order,
Beto brought out a big jug of something he called Hamaica.

It was a deep red color,
made from the flower of the hibiscus plant I think,
and tasted a little bit like cranberry juice.
It was something different, and quite refreshing,
especially with a shot of tequila or vodka in it.

Around lunchtime,
while Beto was tossing out tortas just as fast as his little hands would let him,
That Guy,
yes, there's always one "that guy" on every trip,
was standing in the stern,
holding the helium balloon rig,
when a tuna jumped on his bait,
and hooked itself.

That Guy wound in the first real big tuna of the trip.
The crew tape measured it,
did some calculations,
and said it weighed about a buck and a half.
That Guy was overjoyed.

At four thirty, I looked at my watch, and made a note, that there was nothing noteworthy to report.

At six, we got some action.
Wee Ho Dave hooked up.
Then our lone female angler, the darling Darla, got put on a fish, when Captain Keith hooked one.
That Guy, of course, pinned a bait on his hook, and headed to the bow, where he dropped it in the water on the downwind side.
He took a small party balloon out of his pocket, inflated it, and tied it onto his fishing line about twenty feet above his caballito baitfish.
It wasn't really the time, or the place, to employ this technique,
but that's what being "that guy" is all about.
Minutes passed, and the Skipper had Darla up in the bow, coaching her, as she fought her tuna fish.
The Skipper, as they often do, was scanning the horizon, when he spotted a jumping tuna about seventy yards off of the bow,
and then told "that guy" he was bit.
"That Guy", who was busy watching the Darla Show,
woke up, put his reel in gear,
and wound in his second fish of the day.

Except for "That Guy", it had been a pretty tough day.
We paused for dinner,
Fajitas ala Beto,
and then motored over to a spot where we harvested some squids to used as baits tomorrow.


I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 27, 2009
los angeles
17 Boston Whaler

Si, se puede...

We got up at five,
and jigged some more with the PL-68 lures.
We put some of the live squids we caught last night,
on hook rigs, and staggered them at various depths,
using lead weights of various sizes.
The crew put some squids under the helium balloon rigs,
and around seven thirty a.m.,
the balloons started popping.

El Chivo del Constitution,
our charter master/host,
was up first.
I've known El Chivo since he was just a cabrito,
and I've watched him mature into a fine specimen of a macho cabrio,
but sometimes,
watching him,
I remember,
and I miss,
that little Kid goat,
I encountered so many years ago.

El Macho fought his battle valiantly, but at the end,
they lost his vaca grande right at the gancha.

The next angler up, Sick Steve, crawled out of his deathbed,
and landed himself a new personal best record tuna fish.
Yeah, Steve!

Jay Pee, aka John Paul, followed suit,
and dealt himself a winning hand.
His giant taped out at two forty,
and John Paul,
right before his own eyes,
saw his dream come true.

I just happened to be in the bow,
where I got a bird's eye view of most of the fight,
between Jon E. from Washington state,
and his adversary.
Turn of the handle, after turn of the handle,
I watched Jon slowly wind in a two hundred and ninety one pounder.
He just missed achieving "super" status,
but it was still a new personal record,
for the fine gentleman from the northwest.

Then, No Cal Kyle joined the new personal best parade with another two hundred pounder thru the gate.

Darla, the delightful lady angler,
a scenery enhancement if ever there was one,
wasn't about to let the boys have all of the fun,
and she promptly reeled in another two hundred pounder!

It was eight o'clock,
it had been an outstanding morning bite,
and we still had three hanging,
while I tried to make a note of who had done what so far.

Then, Jay Pee's buddy, Arthur, angles a hundred and sixty four pounder over the rail.
Although not "cow" sized, still another personal best for another combatant.

Nine a.m. and I stop to make note.
The crew just sank the gaffs into Wee Ho Dave's two hundred and forty pounder.
Another cow on the boat, but this one is Dave's first.
Another personal best for another angler.
Another angler's long held dream comes true.
Afterwards, Wee Ho, being an emotional guy, needed some time alone to compose himself.
Having been there, and done that, I know the feeling of joy that overwhelms even the saltiest dog among us.
Good job Dave!

Sick Steve, not content with his new personal best,
drops in another bait, and hooks Godzilla.
More like the Shinkansen to Tokyo, it never slowed down.
The Skipper ran to Steve's side, and pushed the drag lever forward in an attempt to stop the beast.
The Monster never slowed,
and sadly for Steve,
it wasn't meant to be,
and the line parted.

Ten a.m.
What a frigging morning.
Almost everyone who wants one,
has one.
The rest keep trying.
The biting fish finally quit, and we went on the hunt,
all the while wondering how large Steve's phantom must have been.
I'm afraid poor Sick Steve will be haunted by that phantasma for a long, long time.

Eleven thirty a.m., and El Chivo is on again.
He loses another potential trophy when his line rubs against the body of a shark that another angler has hooked near the boat.
I've never seen Chivo on a run of bad luck like this before.

High noon, and we go on the move again.

After lunch,
Darla's man, Josh,
who's been trying hard for a day and a half,
is finally rewarded by the tuna gods,
with his own new personal best,
taped out at a hundred and sixty pounds.

It's three thirty in the afternoon and Huntington Beach Mark in on a good one.
Someone in the bow yells, "That she blows", and all eyes turn towards the horizon.

There is a pod of whales breeching in the distance.
It's only when they get closer to us,
that we can see they are Orcas.
Killer whales.
And they are coming this way.

The Skipper tells Mark it's time to play "Beat the Whale".
Mark, who was working hard already, pushes the drag lever forward a skosh,
shifts himself to a lower gear,
and works even harder to land his trophy before those huge jaws can devour his prize.

At the end, Mark, and the Skipper prevailed, but seeing those Orcas around the boat was an unforgettable experience.

This whole day has been an unforgettable experience.

In a good way for the bulk of us.
Tough for a couple of others.
After the whale show, crewman Alvino tells us that having those Orcas in the neighborhood,
will cause the tuna to scatter.
The tunafish want nothing to do with the jaws of those monsters.

At seven p.m we called it a day, and began the celebration in earnest.
The crew processed, and vacuum bagged the day's catch,
while we sat down to dinner.
Both tasks completed, we motored over to our squid spot.

The squids had been the "hot ticket" today,
so we were enthusiastic in our attempts to harvest some more tonight.
Last edited:


I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 27, 2009
los angeles
17 Boston Whaler

Ten thirty a.m.
The Orca effect is in effect.

Nothing has worked today, and we still have three anglers aboard who have yet to "catch" a fish.

After yesterday's glory, many of the victorious are content to sit on the sideline, chit chatting, and nursing the wounds inflicted upon them by their respective adversary.

The Skipper stopped the boat,
and asked the crew to deploy a helium balloon rig in the stern.
They did as asked,
and it was pounced upon immediately.
Once again, they put El Chivo on the rod.
Fifteen minutes later,
they put El Chivo's name up on the scoreboard.

While munching some tacos for lunch,
the Skipper came down and suggested that since the tuna fishing is so slow now,
that maybe we might consider slowly heading back towards Puerto Vallarta,
continue hunting the tuna,
but stop on a high spot he knows about.
The high spot is about four hours away.
We all said, "Why not?", and off we went.

Ninety percent of the passengers went down for a much needed siesta.
The rest of us continued to enjoy the whale watching cruise.

At five p.m. we stopped to drift the high spot.
Washington Jon hooks something huge, but he can't get it to budge off of the bottom before the hook pulls out.

At six, we set up to drift the high spot again for nothing, and called it a trip.

We commenced to get the party started, and headed back to the beach.
Another unforgettable trip for the books
Another unforgettable adventure for each of us.

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2454 big mike

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 31, 2015
Party crasher
Man I’ve been already pumped for my trip in mid February on the Apollo.
This read got me even more pumped.
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I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 8, 2006
Ed Hayden
Pro-line 22 Walk
Great report! Thanks for the fun read.



I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 4, 2011
Tahoe City, Ca
michael willson
Sea Ray 18" & Grady White 28 Marlin
What a great report! Excellent writing, probably the best ever.
Its worth going on to Facebook and checking out the pics. Awesome!
Great job to the crew and what a great trip for the anglers!
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I've posted enough I should edit this section
Nov 27, 2006
Steve Brunton
The Big Ones
Excellent report Joe! You are a great writer! I will be down there next month and hope to catch my PB as well. Thanks again!


I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 20, 2015
Inyotuckee CA
21' Cole superhawk "Beep Beep", 20' bayrunner open
Making me wish these next three weeks will hurry up!! I'll be there in feb! Will report back


I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 3, 2013
“At four thirty, I looked at my watch, and made a note, that there was nothing noteworthy to report.”
That made me chuckle!
Great report and trip!!
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I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 17, 2007
Awesome report. My buddy is on the boat right now and I hope he gets one.
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