fishing with danny osuna, puerto vallarta - 12/9-13/2015 a big thanks to ben. *most of the photos are his. *i screwed up with my camera. * most of you have seen my co-worker, ben, in some of my reports - perhaps local fishing with him and his kids, or on our spirit of adventure trip this last summer. *he's got the fishing bug pretty bad. *so he's cruising around bdoutdoors.com last month and comes across a post from kil song. *kil is that east coast jigging guy and he posted up about an available trip with danny osuna out of puerto vallarta that just freed up. *apparently these four guys from korea totally bagged on danny and left him with nothing but a deposit. *ben checked our schedules at work and saw that both he and i had that entire stretch of time of, except for a night shift for him and a night shift for me. *i'm thinking that there is no way we could put this together in three weeks, but why not try? * so ben sets off with the task of getting our shifts covered. *night shifts here at the poison control hotline are tough to trade away, but he pulled it off!!!!! *then i started posting around to see if we could get two more guys. *well, dave from san jose popped up and said yes, and then so did mike from arizona. *we had no idea who mike was, but he fishes so he's gotta be alright! *so we have four guys, i confirmed with danny, send down a deposit, got the plane tickets, packed up a 100 quart ice chest as my "checked luggage," filled it with a soft sided 50 quart cooler, 600 half gallon vacuum bags, some leader material that danny needed, throw away clothes, a throw away shaving kit, and no fishing tackle at all. * wednesday - 12/9/2015 - had yesterday off and finished all the bills, all the paperwork and most of the emails. *got maybe 3 hours of sleep. *dave and his son pick me up at 6am and we head up to san mateo to pick up ben. *we load up his gear and go straight to san francisco international airport and check in at the alaska airlines international terminal. *after a quick breakfast, and a few more hours of sitting, we board the plane for a 3 hour flight to puerto vallarta. going through customs at PV was quick and easy. *just flash a quick smile at the customs lady, she smiles back, tell her that you are going fishing, she pushes the "green go" button and you are through! *ben and dave got held up a little for some reason, but we all get through. *exiting the building, arizona mike and danny osuna are already waiting for us at the "oxxo" store across the street and just outside the exit. now 5pm local time, danny loaded us up in his truck and took us to the boat. * part of the deal was that we wanted to vacuum back our fish. *that's why i brought 600 pre-cut vacuum pack bags. *he said his vacuum packer took a dump on him, so he would spend the next 4 hours trying to find one. *he dropped us off at his boat and he went out to find a vacuum packer. * we headed up to the top of the dock to a cantina and restaurant called oso (the bear) for dinner, beer and tequila. *finally at 9pm, danny returns with a vacuum packer. *what you see in the background of this photo is not a picture, it's the actual harbor. *this is gonna be tough to beat. * danny had some live baits delivered. *these are the ultra tough cabellito. you can hook these up with a giant circle hook straight through the back, let them swim for an hour, drag them back, throw them back into bait tank, rehook them the next day and they are fine. *they also cost danny $1 each. *he's loading us up with 200! being only mildly drunk, i thought i was going to sleep well, but that would not be the case. *the boat is a 37 foot blackfin. *i took a look around at the cabin situation and told arizona mike to take the main cabin on the bow. *it had a double bed in it and looked great. *there was also a small cabin mid beam and to port with two small bunks, so that's where ben and dave went. *i decided to "rough it" and took the couch in the galley. *once underway, it was 10 hours of northwest pounding, straight into the wind and waves. *poor mike didn't get a minute of sleep. *i got maybe a few hours because i had the best bunk in the house! * thursday - 12/10/2015 - roberto had breakfast going, and the coffee was actually pretty good. scotty had two marauders out and close to the northernmost island, we had a hit. *this would be the first of three personal bests for mr. david hall. *he harnessed up but had no idea how to fight this thing. *at the end of the fight, his legs gave out, he fell and couldn't get up, and spend the rest of the day trying to recuperate. *i'd never seen a guy's facial color go from normal, to beet red, to dusky during a fight like that. * once we got to the island, we set up a drift, ran the helium balloon rigs and started fly lining some baits. *if you fish with danny sometime in the future and want to bring some balloons, this is the size you need. mike caught a nice one on the balloon. this is how you want them hooked! ben got a nice one on the balloon as well. after a couple of hours, we had one fish that grabbed my bait and mike's, but mike basically brought that one in. late in the day, i got my first balloon fish. *it was a dinky little 80 pounder. *got him to the gaff in 5 minutes. *i felt kinda bad. *the poor little guy never had a chance. *all of these fish were bled out, then quartered, bagged, vacuum sealed and tossed into the freezer. today's take would be four tuna, 80 to 150 pounds, and one dorado to 20 pounds. * the last fish of the day was a beautiful dorado. it's amazing to see the same fish change colors. *he went from blue to green to silver over a minutes time. * for dinner, roberto made some sushi with a nice chunk of yellowfin for a late afternoon snack. *for dinner, he pulled out the grill and made burgers for everyone, but i had filled up on sushi and rum, passed out on the couch and missed dinner. *we spend the night on a sea anchor but still got bounced around. *i think maybe i got three hours of sleep. friday - 12/11/2015 - still fishing the north island. *it's pretty clear that they are hitting the balloon rig and not the fly lined baits. *got my first amberjack, just goofing off with live bait, hooked onto a jig, down at 200 feet. *it was great fun! *i think this is the day that we would get five tuna, four came in at 200 pounds or better. *dave got a slug. over 200 pounds. * here is ben's fish. dave has a video of me railing the big fish in 20 minutes. * the last one was a 120 pound dink and we gave to one of the pangas, but the big ones, wow, what an experience! roberto made chorizo and eggs for breakfast, then for lunch these great fish tacos from that dorado that mike caught the day before. *dinner was grilled grouper with rice and steamed vegetables. *i think roberto had planned for a bunch of korean guys for this trip, so we had lots of rice! saturday - 12/12/2015 - pretty much the same as yesterday, but we had some weather. *a monsoon came through, must have dumped 4 inches of rain in 20 minutes. *we had four more nice yellowfin, gave them all to the pangas, and in the late afternoon started heading home. * mike was first for the day! dave was up next! i was third. * and ben got the last fish of the day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48FqsoC6z8I https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGMgxleDGpY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5hhuNbhh9s he had a little trouble hanging on for the photo because it was still trying to swim! sunday - 12/13/2015 - back to port at la cruz de huanacaxtle at 6am. * danny took the fish to a local processor to get the latest catch fully frozen, then came back and took us out to breakfast. *there was a local street fair that is set up every sunday, lots of tourists and lots of stuff made in china. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-C0aBDO1PQ we took a cab ride back to the airport, checked the ice chests and soft sided coolers, had lunch and boarded the plane for the flight home. customs at the US end was more of a hassle than mexico. *i breezed through, but the guy that checked ben decided that he did not look like the photo in his passport. *we eventually got through, got everyone home, got fish to a few people, showered and crashed. *pretty incredible trip! * from left to right, it's mike, ben, dave and me. many thanks to scott, danny and roberto osuna. *had a great time, definitely going back next year, maybe even sooner!