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To say the bill fish are here would be an understatement. The bite this season has been as good as I can remember it being in the last 10 years.

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It’s that time of the year again! The sailfish are arriving in the Riviera Maya in good numbers. Most boats are reporting daily catch and releases, many in multiple numbers. It’s great to see these beautiful fish in large numbers each year as they migrate through the area, chasing the food source around the globe.

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Based on what we are seeing on the news here, most of North America has been having a brutal winter. Snow, record cold, and ice are wreaking havoc to our northern neighbors that share our continent. The exact opposite is true for the very southern part of the continent where we are, Mexico!

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Here's to Great Fishing This Spring - June 2013

Jul 31, 2013

We get so crazy busy this time of year that we don’t get around to updating the Captain’s Report very often so here goes. April and May were great month for fishing.  In two months we got 52 blue marlin, 73 white marlin and too many sailfish to count.  The mahi-mahi also came in great numbers.  Not to mention all the tuna in April.  During April we again hosted the Dave Harris Memorial Billfish Tournament.  There were 25 great guys here who come to fish, drink and raise money for charity.  The tournament is 10 years old and has been held continuously here in Puerto Aventuras for the last 9 years.  The Big Fish won this year’s bragging rights.

May began tournament month.    Rambo from the Reel Screamer was on the winning boat for the Cozumel tournament landing a great big blue marlin. We also participated in the Playa del Carmen tournament but didn’t do so good.   However, the seven boats that did not participate in the tournament were busy at home getting blue marlin.   The Sakitumi even got a grand slam including a 350 lb blue.  The Top Gun had a grand slam earlier in the month. June started out rainy but that hasn’t stopped the fish .    The catch and release flags were flying in the rain.  Looks like this will be a great month for fishing.

On a sad note, we lost Captain Javier from the Perla last week.  Anyone who ever met him will remember his laugh.  If you got to fish with him you might remember  his “Oh Baby” shouted over the radio as a big fish came on board.   Adios Captain Javier,  Vivo con dios

October 2012

Glenna and I have been living in the Riviera Maya and running Captain Ricks for almost 10 years now.   Never before have we seen such an unusually high Dorado (aka mahi-mahi or dolphin fish) catch as we have had during September and the first half of October this year.  In September the boats were coming back after 4 hours with 6 or more nice size dorados.  One day, Captain Beto on the Sea Phantom caught so many that they started to release them.  All told, he caught 31 dorados in an 8 hour trip. That’s more than all boats caught the entire month of September last year.  (He released 10 of them). 

Also, a group from Texas who charters with us annually went out for 6 hours in the afternoon on the Big Fish with Captain Pasqual.  They returned with 6 dorados plus they released a sailfish (first one for the female angler that was charged with fighting it).  Needless to say, they were in a great mood when they returned so instead of boarding their van back to the resort right away, they sent a few filets over to Latitude 20, a local restaurant near the marina, and had a great dinner featuring their catch of the day.  What a fun group.  We look forward to seeing them again next year.

Finally, we want to congratulate Carlos and his crew on the Marlin Magic.  They took first place in the Puerto Aventuras fishing tournament Sat. Oct 13th.  The Marlin Magic has had a great run this year.  They won the annual TNT Barracuda tournament Christmas Eve 2011, the Harris Tournament May 2012 and now this one.  Way to go guys!

Until next time, keep your lines tight

Bob & Glenna

Last week we had a scare with Rina. That hurricane went from a category 3 to a tropical storm in six hours. Good for practice with hurricane preparedness. But we did get lucky. We were only without electric for about twelve hours and no real damage.

This has been a good fall season. Check out the pictures of the brown groupers caught on the Reel Screamer. We catch groupers when drift/bottom fishing. They like to hide in holes in the reef.

November 2011 - I think we are done with hurricane season for this year.

Last week we had a scare with Rina. That hurricane went from a category 3 to a tropical storm in six hours. Good for practice with hurricane preparedness. But we did get lucky. We were only without electric for about twelve hours and no real damage.

This has been a good fall season. Check out the pictures of the brown groupers caught on the Reel Screamer. We catch groupers when drift/bottom fishing. They like to hide in holes in the reef.

Wahoo have also been around in big numbers and the Manetto has been the leader of the pack in getting them.

And once again, we are hitting some unusually high off-season sailfish numbers. I was out the middle of October fishing with some friends and we released 3 sailfish in 4 hours and it would have been more but I am a bit rusty and missed setting the hook properly on one.

April 2011 - The Bite is on here in Puerto Aventuras

We are experiencing one of the best fishing seasons we have had here in years.  We are releasing record (for here) numbers of sailfish and white marlins and as of last week, even with a very bright full moon, we started pulling in a good number of mahi-mahi.
A little over a week ago we had the earliest grand slam we have ever had.  Saturday, April 9, Captain Miquello Nunez on the 46.6 foot Bertram Finatik released 3 sailfish, a white marlin and a blue marlin to win the title of first slam of the year.  Icing on the cake was that he also picked up a few mahi-mahi so we had something to eat with our celebration.
Also this year, we hosted our first all Finland tournament.  A large group of serious anglers from Finland decided to give the Riviera Maya region of Mexico a try for their annual fishing event.  Things could not have gone better.  Not only did the weather cooperate with 5 terrific days for fishing, the fishing was perfect , which made for a very hot competition.  Eventually, the crew of the 31’ Bertram Puffin came out on top having released the largest fish of the week as well as the most fish.  Congratulations to Captain Roque Koo and his band of anglers. 
Coming up next are two charity tournaments run by two outstanding individuals whose hard work toward the events not only insure a good time for participants, but also raise money for  great causes.  Let’s hope the bite stays as hot for them.  According to some fishing experts, this “superbite“ is caused by the migration of one of the largest swarms of sardines ever seen which is providing a concentrated food source to a great variety of fish.  

Keep your tips up and lines tight!


What can we expect to catch today?

I am asked this question all the time while preparing our charter customers and our crews for the day’s activities. And, while I can certainly understand why people want to know what to expect…I’ve probably asked that question in the past myself…there is no good way to answer this question. I know what is possible to see, I know what we are equipped to catch and what we are trolling for, but I have no idea what the day will bring. So I usually answer this by telling that person to let me know once they come back from their trip and we will both wait to be surprised.

And it is often a surprise at this time of the year. It is truly amazing the variety of species that we find here, especially as we are not yet being covered up by bill fish or by mahi-mahi. This is the time of the year when we pull out all of our tools and toys and experiment to see what we can come up with.

An example of this “surprise” , a few weeks ago I was out with some people who just wanted to do some “deep drops” to get either a big snapper or grouper. We had a good morning and came back with more than enough fish to eat well for the next few days. As we tied off and I jumped off the boat, I noticed a crowd checking out the water right behind the Sea Phantom run by Captain Beto. As I was in a hurry to get back to my shop in order to get things ready for the afternoon charters, I didn’t take time to see what it was that people were looking at as I assumed they had spotted one of the rays or barracudas that often visit the marina. However, as I returned to the marina with our afternoon charters, my curiosity got to me and I took a look over the side. Holy smokes! There it was, a big bull shark…must have been over 250 lbs…tethered off the back of the boat. NICE! What a thrill for the clients and what a spectacle it made later that day as the fish was later processed and handed out to the local families.

Another example of the daily “surprise” came a few days later. The wahoo bite suddenly turned on and some of the boats reported in with multiple hookups…one of them, Wild Bill with Captain Caballo, hooking up with 4 at once. While not all got landed, there was a nice showing on the dock at the end of the day, including a beautiful 47 pounder. So, now it’s time to wrap this up and head over to the dock to see what’s up for today’s surprise. Enjoy the pictures of the surprises -

Until the next time, keep your lines tight!
We are!! Captain Rick’s

November 2009

As the Holidays approach, the sails are a bit early this year

No, this is not a typo. I’m not talking about bargains at your favorite store. I’m talking about the sailfish bite that usually seems to come in December, just in time for Christmas. But this year, they’ve made their way back already.

Sunday, I went out fishing on the Marlin Magic with a few friends that own a marina up in Maryland. It was a beautiful day and we went out a little late with the idea to just drag a few lines and enjoy the stellar weather that we have been having (low humidity, daytime highs in the mid 80’s F). About 45 minutes out, something suddenly takes the right long line. Tacho, the second mate, who was standing right next to the rod, reaches out and works to set the hook. The fish jumps and we realize we have a nice sailfish on. Seconds later, a second sailfish takes the shotgun on the bridge. Captain Pol takes it and quickly, we have two fish on. Mary, one of our friends from Maryland, is already in the chair working the first fish…or rather…it is working her as it is taking line out as she watches and waits for her turn to start bringing it in. Brian, Mary’s son, is working the second fish with a fighting belt from the gunnel. The rest of us start clearing lines when…wham…a third sail takes a hook. The hook is set, a third fight begins but breaks off shortly when the line is allowed to get slack momentarily as we work to keep all three lines from crossing.

A short time later, we release two nice sailfish. Not bad, 2 for 3 sails within just over an hour…in November! But wait, there’s more. Before the morning was over we also had a kingfish for dinner.

The next day, I went out with a friend who has just brought a beautiful 32 foot Blackfin down from Florida. He has been working on this boat in the states for close to three years and was anxious to finally get to fish this labor of love in the beautiful waters off the coast of the Riviera Maya. Our 31’ Tiera the Reel Loco was being serviced that day so I borrowed that crew to run the boat for us. After I took care of our guests and got the charters out in the morning we started about 10:30 a.m. Richard, the owner of the boat, was like a kid with a new toy…beaming ear to ear as we leave the marina. Lines go into the water just after we clear the jetty, and we start trolling to the south. The thought was, since this was the first time this boat was fished since getting to Mexico, we would just test our rigging, check the outriggers set up, and maybe get a few snappers for lunch. However, just 15 minutes after tossing lines…fish on! Another sail! We clear lines and 10 minutes later, a spritely sailfish is released. We later release a wahoo and a few barracudas and back home in time for me to attend to our afternoon charters.

Hope to see you soon and if not, we wish all of you and your families a happy and healthy Holiday Season from our family here at Captain Rick’s.

Until the next time, keep your lines tight!
We are!! Captain Rick’s

October 2009

Well it’s officially the fall season here in the Riviera Maya

Weather and seas are typically good barring any tropical storm activity and fishing is adventurous. (I’ll explain that in a minute). It’s also the time for the annual visit from my Primos (cousins) from the states, including Loco Primo and Gerber. This means I’ll be spending the next 10 days fishing sunup to sundown with one of the most diverse groups of anglers you can imagine.  Some will want to troll for billfish, all will want to look for wahoo or mahi-mahi, and some will want to bottom fish for grouper.  All will want to do it on the same boat.  My job…keep it moving so everyone gets what they want.

But, this is the time of the year that this works. That’s where we come back to the “…fishing is adventurous …” this time of the year comment. As the bill fish migration season moves on, we get a curious mix of sailfish which just show up from time to time like a college kid with laundry, mahi-mahi which almost always seem to show up when the wind blows from the south east (last Sunday, one of the boats got 8 of them), wahoo if you go a little way out,  and some excellent species of bottom fish, especially  big snapper.  The adventure part, you may start out the day thinking that you are going to focus on one species, and indeed do so, only to have conditions change and suddenly you have to change everything out and head for another species which has suddenly arrived.  Such is fishing.

Also keep in mind, this is a great time to come to Mexico if you are looking for bargains.  Just go to your favorite travel site and see for yourself. There are thousands of cheap rooms available, great bargains to be had, and NO CROWDS!!!  Also, if you are still being misinformed as to the safety of the area, let me disabuse you of this.  People are not suffering in the streets from H1N1 virus, in fact I still don’t know a single person who has had it and there have been no issues with violence from organized crime anywhere near here.  My wife or I walk the dog at night without any fear.   So if you are fortunate enough to be able to take a bit of time off and head out of town, take a close look at this area.

Until the next time, keep your lines tight!
We are!!  Captain Rick’s

June 2009

"Little Angler, Big Fish"

The end of May is here, and with that comes our prime fishing season. May, June, and July are excellent months for white marlin, blue marlin, sailfish, dorado, wahoo, barracuda, and tuna. If you’ve never been here you are missing one of the great fishing destinations in the world. We fish less than a half mile from shore where the water depth plunges from 80’ to 1800’ within a few hundred yards. This wall forces nutrient rich water from deep down to the surface providing the perfect environment for big game fish.

We found this abundance of fish quite evident at during the Tightlines Cup 2009 (a tournament Captain Rick’s coordinates for anglers from Holland) which was held last week.

There were 12 teams on twelve boats and the bite was hot!

During the week the anglers caught 14 blue marlin, 76 sailfish, 46 white marlin, 274 dorado, 25 tuna, and 31 wahoo.

Not a bad week at all. Although the fishing is great now, you no doubt have heard the horrific accounts on the news about the swine flu and how Mexico should be avoided at all costs. In reality we never saw one case on the Yucatan Peninsula and in the whole of Mexico less than a hundred people out of a population of 130 million were stricken with this bug. I was thinking about this last week and came to the conclusion that I have a better chance of winning the Power Ball lottery than getting swine flu. And with that you have also probably heard that the entire country is under siege from armed drug cartels shooting at anyone who moves. Again this is no where near the case. Sure, I guess there may be a few border areas where there are people being shot in this drug war, and certainly a tourist should not go there, but lets be reasonable, there are places in Los Angeles, New York and other metropolitan areas that I wouldn’t go to for fear of being robbed or shot. It’s a matter of common sense. The tourists areas are as safe as they ever were.

If you are thinking about vacationing in Mexico I say ‘come on down’. There are many good deals to be had on hotels and the fishing is as good as it gets.

I recently read an article I found especially accurate in way Mexico really is. I have personally experienced many of the examples that Linda Ellerbee talks about in her article:

Mexico, One Journalist’s View By Linda Ellerbee

Sometimes I’ve been called a maverick because I don’t always agree with my colleagues, but then, only dead fish swim with the stream all the time. The stream here is Mexico .

You would have to be living on another planet to avoid hearing how dangerous Mexico has become, and, yes, it’s true drug wars have escalated violence in Mexico , causing collateral damage, a phrase I hate. Collateral damage is a cheap way of saying that innocent people, some of them tourists, have been robbed, hurt or killed.

But that’s not the whole story. Neither is this. This is my story.

I’m a journalist who lives in New York City, but has spent considerable time in Mexico , specifically Puerto Vallarta, for the last four years. I’m in Vallarta now. And despite what I’m getting from the U.S. media, the 24-hour news networks in particular, I feel as safe here as I do at home in New York, possibly safer.

I walk the streets of my neighborhood alone day or night. And I don’t live in a gated community, or any other All-Gringo neighborhood. I live in Mexico . Among Mexicans. I go where I want (which does not happen to include bars where prostitution and drugs are the basic products), and take no more precautions than I would at home in New York; which is to say I don’t wave money around, I don’t act the Ugly American, I do keep my eyes open, I’m aware of my surroundings, and I try not to behave like a fool.

I’ve not always been successful at that last one. One evening a friend left the house I was renting in Vallarta at that time, and, unbeknownst to me, did not slam the automatically-locking door on her way out. Sure enough, less than an hour later a stranger did come into my house. A burglar? Robber? Kidnapper? Killer? Drug lord?

No, it was a local police officer, the "beat cop" for our neighborhood, who, on seeing my unlatched door, entered to make sure everything (including me) was okay. He insisted on walking with me around the house, opening closets, looking behind doors and, yes, even under beds, to be certain no one else had wandered in, and that nothing was missing. He was polite, smart and kind, but before he left, he lectured me on having not checked to see that my friend had locked the door behind her. In other words, he told me to use my common sense.

Do bad things happen here? Of course they do. Bad things happen everywhere, but the murder rate here is much lower than, say, New Orleans, and if there are bars on many of the ground floor windows of houses here, well, the same is true where I live, in Greenwich Village, which is considered a swell neighborhood — house prices start at about $4 million (including the bars on the ground floor windows.)

There are good reasons thousands of people from the United States are moving to Mexico every month, and it’s not just the lower cost of living, a hefty tax break and less snow to shovel. Mexico is a beautiful country, a special place.

The climate varies, but is plentifully mild, the culture is ancient and revered, the young are loved unconditionally, the old are respected, and I have yet to hear anyone mention Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, or Madonna’s attempt to adopt a second African child, even though, with such a late start, she cannot possibly begin to keep up with Angelina Jolie.

And then there are the people. Generalization is risky, but— in general — Mexicans are warm, friendly, generous and welcoming. If you smile at them, they smile back. If you greet a passing stranger on the street, they greet you back. If you try to speak even a little Spanish, they tend to treat you as though you were fluent. Or at least not an idiot.

I have had taxi drivers track me down after leaving my wallet or cell phone in their cab. I have had someone run out of a store to catch me because I have overpaid by twenty cents. I have been introduced to and come to love a people who celebrate a day dedicated to the dead as a recognition of the cycles of birth and death and birth — and the 15th birthday of a girl, an important rite in becoming a woman — with the same joy.

Too much of the noise you’re hearing about how dangerous it is to come to Mexico is just that — noise. But the media love noise, and too many journalists currently making it don’t live here. Some have never even been here. They just like to be photographed at night, standing near a spotlighted border crossing, pointing across the line to some imaginary country from hell. It looks good on TV.

Another thing. The U.S. media tend to lump all of Mexico into one big bad bowl. Talking about drug violence in Mexico without naming a state or city where this is taking place is rather like looking at the horror of Katrina and saying, "Damn. Did you know the U.S. is under water?" or reporting on the shootings at Columbine or the bombing of the Federal building in Oklahoma City by saying that kids all over the U.S. are shooting their classmates and all the grownups are blowing up buildings. The recent rise in violence in Mexico has mostly occurred in a few states, and especially along the border. It is real, but it does not describe an entire country.

It would be nice if we could put what’s going on in Mexico in perspective, geographically and emotionally. It would be nice if we could remember that, as has been noted more than once, these drug wars wouldn’t be going on if people in the United States didn’t want the drugs, or if other people in the United States weren’t selling Mexican drug lords the guns.

Most of all, it would be nice if more people in the United States actually came to this part of America (Mexico is also America, you will recall) to see for themselves what a fine place Mexico really is, and how good a vacation (or a life) here can be.

So come on down and get to know your southern neighbors. I think you’ll like it here. Especially the people.


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