Sal Campanile

My clients told me they only want to target big tuna and marlin. After a 20 minute run on glass calm seas, the sun is rising behind us. "Corbetena Rock" is straight ahead lit up by the early morning light, the pinnacle of an ocean mount that rises from the bottom of the sea. "Cow size" yellowfin tuna and big black marlin really like this spot and the bite has been red hot for the past three weeks. Several "smoke clouds" of tuna birds are already at it. The water below them is boiling- confused skipjacks jumping and swimming for their lives. We keep our distance, 2 feather and squid rigs go out behind small planers- we fill the tuna tubes with half dozen live baits, small skipjacks - Tuna candy.

We slide quietly up current of the melee'- 2 bridled baits go out. We slow troll to within 30 yards of the now frantic birds. As I check on the condition of the remaining 4 baits kickin in the tubes, the unmistakable neon blue-green colors of a big bull dolphin catch my eye right behind the transom. He's "buzzin our tower" and looks like he's 5 feet long, head moving side-to-side, completely lit up. The female right behind him looks just as big – probably 40-50 lbs. They're checking us out. We're after a big tuna, but how do we past this up?

Before I can get the words out, my clients say yes and out goes a live goggle-eye. Instantly he disappears into the massive head of the bull. I suggest we get him in as quick as possible- put the heat on him. Fifteen minutes feel like an hour but we get him in, shut the lid, and he's pounding the fishbox. Real nice fish- definitely all of 45 lbs. After some high-fivin, hootin & hollerin, we settle back down to the original game plan. Out here, adrenalin works better than coffee, my two anglers are now fully awake.

I make a slow turn back towards the birds and we close the distance to the frenzy. At 20 yards, I begin to turn away (never get too close), our skipjack baits get frisky- the clickers on the 50 wides let us know they're real nervous. The line coming off the left rigger swings sharply out to the starboard side. As I go for the rod, the left rigger clip "pops" and the 50 wide starts playing our favorite song. I give it a good 8 count, slide the drag level to strike (45 lbs.), and the 12/0 owner hook finds a home. The tuna stick doubles over and our first angler is in the fighting station. Our second 50 wide starts growling- our second fish is on as the rod bows to form a tight arc in the rod holder. We strap our second angler in, button up the drag and prepare for an "offshore tug-o-war"!

It's Tunatime! It's why we're here.

Tunatime Sportfishing Charters

Fish Species: Tuna, Wahoo, Dolphin
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Sal Campanile

About The Author: Captain Sal Campanile

Company: Tunatime Sportfishing

Area Reporting: Punta De Mita (Nayarit) Mexico

Bio: Captain Sal Campanile , owner/operator of Tunatime Sportfishing, is a U. S. Coast Guard licensed captain / International Game fish Association licensed captain, and member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. He established and owned an offshore fishing school and charter business in south Florida and the Bahamas for 8 years, providing a professional "hands on" fishing school for anglers from all over the world. Tournament wins include the Pompano Beach Saltwater Slam- Big Fish Division/Heaviest Tuna and Pompano Rodeo Big Fish Division - Winner.

Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Sal Campanile