Puerto Vallarta on the Marla IV, January 10-14, 2022


Senior Member
this is the second of four trips that were scheduled for winter with the osuna family.  the first was december, the next two are february and march.  when i find an operation that i like, i stick with them, and i really like these guys.  it's one of easiest trips that i take.  there is no fishing tackle to bring!  it's clothes, shaving kit, cell phone, wallet and passport.  to transport fish, i bring a pair of "48-can" norchill bags and a 200 count pack of 8x12 vacuum seal bags.  seriously, that's it.  no rods, no reels, no tackle at all.  the flights in january are cheap, $230 round trip.  the boat ride is $2275 and includes everything once you step on board.  well, everything except tequila!!!!

january 10, 2022 - it's an easy flight!


when you arrive at the airport in puerto vallarta, you go through customs, grab your bags, go through baggage inspection (or not), and walk out of the building.  down the sidewalk to the left is a convenience store called "oxxo."  grab a seat outside, have one guy watch the gear and send another in for cerveza.  someone from the family will be along shortly to drive you north to the landing.  we stopped at the "mega" supermarket.  for a trip like this, i would recommend two bottles of tequila per person.  you don't want to run out!!!!  then it's a short run to the boat.  


meet pete mateo from fremont, ca and michael grosman from memphis, tn.


then me and ron huddleston from scottsdale, az.


once underway, you realize how small a 36 foot blackfin really is.  it was really bumpy the entire way.  no one slept at all.  we were headed northwest towards the tres marias islands, straight into the wind and waves.  

january 11, 2022 - the entire morning, we got nothing except a lonely, lost dorado.  they don't freeze well but they make great fresh tacos.


in the afternoon, scotty found a pod of spinner dolphin with lots of birds working on top and lots of 20-30 pound yellowfin underneath.  we dashed ahead of them, dropped our lines in and hooked up.  we did this six times for six fish.  finally they scattered and we were done for the evening.




lots of fun, but these were not the fish we were looking for.  


january 12, 2022 - ok, time to stop goofing off!


we settled in and slowly we started hooking up.  the guys landed 5 fish in a 120 to 150 pound range. i got lucky this time and picked up one on the balloon when it was my turn up.  i landed it in just under 20 minutes and it taped out at 243.  


this rail stuff allows you to land a fish quickly.  it helps that the osuna's have the right rods and reels and that the drags are set up properly.  pete and mike figured things out pretty quickly.  once you get your rhythm down, you can make quick work of these fish.  





on the other hand, ron was having a little trouble.  he couldn't quite find his groove.  it's a simple thing, really.  lay the rod on the rail, use the boat, add enough drag so that the fish comes up when the boat comes up, reel down when the boat comes down.  pete and mike figured this out quick.  ron didn't.  if you watch him carefully, you will see a good example of what not to do.  he landed the fish, but it was painful.  he had one this day and will land another tomorrow.  both fish took over 30 minutes because of poor technique.  don't get me wrong.  ron is a great guy, but he just couldn't find his groove.  




January 13, 2022 - last day of fishing!  today was easy.  we basically had enough fish for all of us with yesterday's take.  figure maybe one more just to make sure and we're done.  with these larger fish and the care that the antonio takes, i think it's close to a 35-40% yield.  we already had 1000 pounds of whole fish.  that gives us 400 pounds of filet.  it was all vacuum packed and is now on ice.  add the salt and it freezes quick.  ok, maybe one more tuna and we'll call it done!!!!


ron and i both had one fish each from the previous day.  he was up next and landed this 150 pounder.  ok, we're done!!!!


we made the call to head south to find bottom fish.  it was weird.  we could see them on the meter but they didn't want to bite!  mike got one and that was really it.


january 14, 2022 - we got back to the harbor at about 2am and finally got some decent sleep.  there really is nothing prettier than the la cruz harbor early in the morning.  


we had a quick breakfast at the la cruz inn, then a quick run to the clinic for our covid tests, back to the boat to sort out fish, an easy shuttle ride to the airport, breezed through check in and security, then straight to bubba gumps inside the airport for lunch!


all in all, a great trip!