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Old 01-08-2018, 08:46 PM   #1
alantani
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Default the tsutaoka charter on the marla IV, january 2018

the tsutaoka charter on the marla IV, january 2018


this is trip number two out of three that were scheduled for this short stretch. got a little carried away here, but somehow i managed to schedule three trips with the osuna's in a 4 month period of time. a rough summer with zero fishing was part of the reason. hey, no one lies on their death bed and says "i wish i would have spent more time at the office....".

most of you have read the reports over the last couple of years. some things were the same. we teamed up with scotty, roberto, scotty jr., and antonio again on the marla IV out of puerto vallarta. this was ben's trip, so it was me, ben and james again. same 3.5 day format, same baits, same makaira boat reels, same seeker boat rods, still brought my own personal maks and uc rods, and same success.

there were a few things different this time. joe ponas out of oregon was the new guy. ben brought some new gear, a pair of penn vsx's, a united composites rod and a seeker rod. we used gamakatsu hooks this time. oh, and i caught a yellowfin that taped out at 273 pounds, but more on that later......

from anywhere on the west coast, you can book with alaska airlines and get a companion fare for cheap if you have an alaska airlines visa card. it will save you allot of money! virgin airlines now partners with alaska, so we flew with them this time.


january 2nd, 2018

caught the early flight out of san francisco with virgin. when we arrived in puerto vallarta, i found this just sitting all by itself in the middle of the floor. yup, it was my reel bag, all shredded.



it must have gotten caught in the conveyor belts. there was no one in the baggage pick up area to talk to and we had a boat to catch, so we left. i didn't find this until later. it's my penn 50 vsx. still functional, but the frame and both side plates ware shredded. screw it. it will works and there are fish to catch. i'll deal with this later.



scotty picked us up at the "oxxo" and drove us south to the old district of town for some cubans, then north to the mega for some don julio blanco, and then continued north to the boat. dinner was at oso's.



these guys don't drink as hard as the last group, so it was only two rounds of don julio's!



dinner was tasty as ever!



back to the boat.



ben, james and i each brought a pair of rods. i had a 5-pack of these 7/0 gamakatsu ringed circle hooks, so i loaded up five of the rods with these. nothing is more simple than a single san diego. for ben's last rod, i just grabbed a generic non-ringed circle hook that i found in a tackle box. remember this. it will come back to bite us in the ass later.




january 3rd, 2018

you know, i'll never get tired of this!



actually, i should introduce everyone. ben is out chartermaster!



james is an old college drinking buddy of ben's.



new guy is joe ponas from oregon.



our skipper is scotty osuna.



deckhand and chef is roberto osuna.



second deckhand is antonio.



and our dishwasher and designated bait assasin is scotty osuna, jr.!



one shark hit the balloon rig and chewed through the line early the first morning. that was it for action all day. a long day with nothing to show for it. we had a couple of hours between sunset and moonrise where there was total darkness. we used that time to make bait. we put 25 squid in the tank and bagged and froze another 25.




january 4th, 2018

joe was first up and hooked into a slug with ben's rod. it was flat calm and maybe 5am. that fish literally spun the boat around 3 times. at deep color, an hour into the fight, the line pulled from the hook. remember the rod that did NOT get a brand new gamakatsu ringed circle hook? yeah, that one. the eye had to have literally opened up and the line pulled out. the line did not break and the knot was totally intact. yeah, the eye had to have opened up!



james was next and landed his fish, about 120 to 125. it was with a jon vadney custom united composites viper and a makaira 20 with 100 pound braid, a 100 pound fluoro topshot, 35 pounds of drag at strike, and a hook that worked.

https://youtu.be/6bp9GsqusE0

ben was next and landed his, about the same weight. he had an old seeker troller and my penn 50 vsx with all the road rash.



finally, joe picked up a nice dorado.

https://youtu.be/cxraPdIUGFc

it made great tacos, but that was it for the rest of the day.



more squid! 25 more in the tank and maybe 50 bagged and frozen.

https://youtu.be/-woxB-EwsXc


january 5th, 2018

back at it, last day of fishing, so far only two in the box. i wanted to make sure that joe got a fish, so i told him to go next. first thing in the morning, joe sticks a small one. then it's my turn. mine was a dink. hell, antonio reeled in half way just trying to make sure the hook was set! at least we have one each.

https://youtu.be/BbTkHNz6v9k

our afternoon snack was better than the fishing had been, so far.



nearly bored to death, ben gets the idea to start chunking with squid. and i'll be damed if it didn't work. we got a double, and on autopsy, both fish had squid chunks in their bellies!

https://youtu.be/ulGfAGvbCGw

joe got his second fish right away and suddenly our trip is turning around.



we still have alot of work to do. the fish have to be cut up, stuffed into bags, then vacuum sealed and dunked in slush ice.





but there's one last fish, and it grabs the boat's kite rig with the old seeker trolling rod and the makaira 50 with the busted clicker that you can't turn off.

https://youtu.be/rezbaY92GaU

it taped out at 273 pounds and took 25 minutes. i've got a long way to go before i can beat mike pate!



we still have work to do!

https://youtu.be/Bw2oFHLhZgQ

time to break down our gear and settle in for a 10 hour run back to port!




january 6th, 2018

back at the dock!

https://youtu.be/wiRnw0Nq2p4

all packed up and ready to go! 125 pounds of filet, each!



james got rooms for us at the westin. a nice way to decompress!




january 7th, 2018

hard to believe, but we actually did run into brian and his crew! they were on a really tough two and a half day trip on the "success."



we had an easy flight home. got another one of these scheduled in march. i'm bring down some quarter inch marine grade rope to wrap parts of the bow rails so the rods don't slip. scotty is interested in the united composite rods, so will see about that. and finally they were very interested in the gamakatsu hooks, so i'll see if i can contact the gamakatsu guy. hope you enjoyed the report!

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Old 01-08-2018, 09:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: the tsutaoka charter on the marla IV, january 2018

It's not nice to post these awesome fish right before bedtime, now I won't sleep for awhile

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Old 01-09-2018, 07:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: the tsutaoka charter on the marla IV, january 2018

Alan, you have some nice trips! Must be nice to fish with 3 or 4 other anglers on the boat instead of 23 or 24 anglers!
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Old 01-09-2018, 08:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: the tsutaoka charter on the marla IV, january 2018

it's really a bucket list type of trip. something you've gotta try at least once!
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Old 01-09-2018, 09:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: the tsutaoka charter on the marla IV, january 2018

Great write up again. I look forward to these.


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Old 01-10-2018, 08:47 AM   #6
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Default Re: the tsutaoka charter on the marla IV, january 2018

Quote:
Originally Posted by FINSEEKER View Post
Hi Allen,
Congrats on the big fish. I'm doing a 2.5 day on the Constitution out of PV first week of Feb. LMK if you have any words of wisdom for me.
here's what i've learned in the short time i've been doing this.

bait - you can't beat the big squid. live is best, but even dead they are the best bait. to make bait, the small 3 inch glow squid jigs work great. they should be weighted with 10-12 ounces. we went with a 10 second drop and then waited. if there was no action after a minute, then drop another 10 seconds. we went down as far as 5 of the 10 second drops. i've also never caught squid during the daytime. only at night.

you will likely have cabillitos for bait. that's the spanish word for "pony," so it's not really the proper name for the fish, but they are very tough. you can hook them in the back with a 7/0 circle hook, drag them around all day, then reel them in, toss them back into the bait tank and fish with them the next day. we've caught many tuna with them, but squid (dead or alive) is still best.

for hooks, a good quality 7/0 ringed circle hook is fine. either gamakatsu or owner. i use a single san diego knot. never failed.

line - i like the pink seaguar, but any good quality fluoro will do. the braid to fluoro connection i use is a cross between a tony pena and a slim beauty. it's a four turn uni knot on the fluoro side and then "eight up and ten down" on the braid side. again, never failed. for line weights, it's ok to go 100 pound braid to 100 pound fluoro, and 130 pound braid to 130 pound fluoro.

friends don't let friends fish with 80.

reels - the 100 pound reel i like would be an okuma makaira 20 or a penn international 30 vsx. these will hold 700 yards of braid and deliver 35 pounds of drag at strike an 45 to 55 pounds of drag at full. remember that you could be looking at a 200 yard soak and a 200 yard run before the fish settles down.

likewise with your 130 pound reel, a makaira 50 or penn 50 vsx. 700 yards of 130 pound hollow core braid with a 130 pound fluoro topsho, 45 pound of drag at strike and 55 to 65 pounds at full.

if you decide to go with another reel, make sure you have the line capacity, make sure your strike setting is high enough without having to advance the lever with a sledge hammer, and see what your "full" setting is. if these older reels do not make the grade, you will pay dearly at the rail.

rods - don't forget, the rods are 50% of the equation. the absolute best sticks are the united composites viper for 100 pound and the uc invictus for 130 pound. the seeker equivalents would be the 2x4 for 100 pound and the osp4x for 130 pound. go with a 10 year old 5'6" troller with roller guides and it will hurt. these newer rods make a huge difference.

fighting belts - i don't use them. when the fish is way out, i sit on the rod, with the rod butt well starboard of my nuts. (careful here. if you crush the nerves behind your nuts, you will have problems for life.) when the fish crosses 45 to 50 degrees down, i shove the rod butt under my right arm pit.

end game - don't lift with your arms until the very end. use the motion of the boat to lift, then reel down quickly when the boat comes down. if you want to kill him more quickly (always recommended), then use your body weight to leverage the rod up, then reel down quickly. keep pressure on the rod tip. it should always be bent over to the max. anytime that rod tip comes up, you need to take that opportunity to quickly gain line.

if all your knots are good and the fish is properly hooked in the corner of the jaw, you own him unless you are sawed off. go ahead, pull as hard as you want! at color, you physically cannot break 100 or 130 pound test line with a properly set up rod and reel.

good luck!
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Last edited by alantani; 01-10-2018 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:38 AM   #7
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Default Re: the tsutaoka charter on the marla IV, january 2018

Quote:
Originally Posted by alantani View Post
bait - you can't beat the big squid. live is best, but even dead they are the best bait. to make bait, the small 3 inch glow squid jigs work great. they should be weighted with 10-12 ounces. we went with a 10 second drop and then waited. if there was no action after a minute, then drop another 10 seconds. we went down as far as 5 of the 10 second drops. i've also never caught squid during the daytime. only at night.

you will likely have cabillitos for bait. that's the spanish word for "pony," so it's not really the proper name for the fish, but they are very tough. you can hook them in the back with a 7/0 circle hook, drag them around all day, then reel them in, toss them back into the bait tank and fish with them the next day. we've caught many tuna with them, but squid (dead or alive) is still best.

for hooks, a good quality 7/0 ringed circle hook is fine. either gamakatsu or owner. i use a single san diego knot. never failed.

line - i like the pink seaguar, but any good quality fluoro will do. the braid to fluoro connection i use is a cross between a tony pena and a slim beauty. it's a four turn uni knot on the fluoro side and then "eight up and ten down" on the braid side. again, never failed. for line weights, it's ok to go 100 pound braid to 100 pound fluoro, and 130 pound braid to 130 pound fluoro.

friends don't let friends fish with 80.

reels - the 100 pound reel i like would be an okuma makaira 20 or a penn international 30 vsx. these will hold 700 yards of braid and deliver 35 pounds of drag at strike an 45 to 55 pounds of drag at full. remember that you could be looking at a 200 yard soak and a 200 yard run before the fish settles down.

likewise with your 130 pound reel, a makaira 50 or penn 50 vsx. 700 yards of 130 pound hollow core braid with a 130 pound fluoro topsho, 45 pound of drag at strike and 55 to 65 pounds at full.

if you decide to go with another reel, make sure you have the line capacity, make sure your strike setting is high enough without having to advance the lever with a sledge hammer, and see what your "full" setting is. if these older reels do not make the grade, you will pay dearly at the rail.

rods - don't forget, the rods are 50% of the equation. the absolute best sticks are the united composites viper for 100 pound and the uc invictus for 130 pound. the seeker equivalents would be the 2x4 for 100 pound and the osp4x for 130 pound. go with a 10 year old 5'6" troller with roller guides and it will hurt. these newer rods make a huge difference.

fighting belts - i don't use them. when the fish is way out, i sit on the rod, with the rod butt well starboard of my nuts. (careful here. if you crush the nerves behind your nuts, you will have problems for life.) when the fish crosses 45 to 50 degrees down, i shove the rod butt under my right arm pit.

end game - don't lift with your arms until the very end. use the motion of the boat to lift, then reel down quickly when the boat comes down. if you want to kill him more quickly (always recommended), then use your body weight to leverage the rod up, then reel down quickly. keep pressure on the rod tip. it should always be bent over to the max. anytime that rod tip comes up, you need to take that opportunity to quickly gain line.

if all your knots are good and the fish is properly hooked in the corner of the jaw, you own him unless you are sawed off. go ahead, pull as hard as you want! at color, you physically cannot break 100 or 130 pound test line with a properly set up rod and reel.

good luck!
Hey Alan,

Thank you for all the info! It helps out the guys that have not been on one of these types of trips, but want to be sent up and ready to roll! This type of trip is on my list of things to do this year or next!

Any advice on what a good "1st time" trip would be? Out of SD? 2,3,5,7,10+ days? Times of year, etc...

How much gear do you "really" need to bring? 2 rod/reels enough? I have heard that some/most boats have terminal tackle available for sale in case you did not bring the correct stuff?

Hope to see you at the SS Show!

Brandon
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Old 01-11-2018, 12:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: the tsutaoka charter on the marla IV, january 2018

It has been 23 years since my last "long range" fishing excursion. Retirement does have many virtues.

In early December I reached out to Alan just to check in and shoot the .... . Also, to see if he was planning any trips w/ the Osuna Bros. in 2018. The timing turned out to be perfect. Alan called me back a few days later to ask if I would be interested in filling spot that recently opened up on Ben's Jan 02 charter. I jumped at a chance to fish with this experienced and knowledgeable group of anglers and the legendary Osuna Bros. in a 4 pack setting.

The huge "wolf" super moon glowed bright red on ride out. Even with that moon... the peak nite of the Quadrantids put on a great show in the wee hours 01/03 around Orion's Belt. And Alan... being the kind and commensurate optimist, reminded me... more then once... "These fish still have to eat".

All I can say is WOW... WHAT A GREAT TRIP....!!!! The hospitality and camaraderie exhibited by Scotty and crew coupled with their expert, local knowledge proved to be the win. This served as a catalyst to keep us "UP" and consistently in the area where the fish were. AND... we were all ready when the foamers that were routinely popped up all around us finally did decide to go on a tear...

Maximum Respect and Many Thanks to Ben, Alan, James for getting the "new guy", from Washington up to speed and dialed in. Oh... and Don Julio, Blanco to the rescue.

I will post up some other pics and "newbie" take aways from this trip soon. I have not stopped smiling and replaying the trip in my mind... yet.

I am already looking at putting together an additional charter with the Osuna Bros for 2018.
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Old 01-11-2018, 12:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: the tsutaoka charter on the marla IV, january 2018

joe, it was great to have you on board. see you in portland next month!

brandon, skip san diego for now. give pv a shot. there is a reason that i go back to the osuna's again and again. first, i really do believe that they give you the best shot at a big fish. and second, i think these operations out of pv are the last place in the world where you can walk out your front door on a wednesday morning, catch a flight, then chase fish in a 100 to 300 pound class on thursday, friday and saturday, then fly home on sunday morning and walk back through the front door of your home on sunday night. i need to budget $3k for a trip like this. the airfare from SFO to PV and back is $400, the boat ride and tip are $2500, and allow $100 for incidentals. you don't need to bring any fishing gear at all. it's all included. other operations are cheaper, but i like these guys the best.

you know, i was diagnosed with cancer last april and beat it. i return to puerto vallarta in march. do this once in your life. you will never regret it.
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Old 01-13-2018, 06:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: the tsutaoka charter on the marla IV, january 2018

Alan,
Stuck here in Oregon reading your post! Still want to get down to P.V. and fish with the brothers, but life is getting in the way. Can't find another guy to do the trip, so waiting patiently.

Nice job on everything especially that COW!! Good Grief that is a nice grade of fish! Keep it up!
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Old 01-13-2018, 06:48 PM   #11
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Default Re: the tsutaoka charter on the marla IV, january 2018

contact the osuna brothers and let them know that you could be available to fill an empty slot. it happens all to often that someone drops out at the last minute. you might be able to get a slight discount on the trip to cover the extra cost of a last minute flight. you never know!!!!!!
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Old 01-17-2018, 11:47 PM   #12
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Default Re: the tsutaoka charter on the marla IV, january 2018

ttt
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Old 01-18-2018, 04:47 PM   #13
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Default Re: the tsutaoka charter on the marla IV, january 2018

Great recap as usual Alan!

I have fished with Brian, one cool, tall dude
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