The Truth Behind the Headlines, Bloody Decks and the Tres Maria Islands Monster Yellowfin Tuna(s) in the News
Written by Stan Gabruk
There has been a lot of talk recently about Puerto Vallarta and the Monster Yellowfin Tuna that have been boated off the Tres Maria Islands. In the Big Game Fishing industry you hear about a heavily promoted Bloody Decks ¨Boat¨ called the Maximus. You hear how this ¨Cattle Car¨ boat loads up with ten people or so, they head out to the Tres Maria islands and then they come back in with their fill of Yellowfin Tuna well over 150 lbs to as much as a recent Monster at about 430 lbs. Now we all get excited when we hear this, we weigh the cost against the ¨Opportunity¨ at a Bucket List Game fish if there ever was one. But all is not as it would seem, there is plenty of reason for caution when heading out to the Tres Maria Islands on a YF Tuna Safari….
Now this all sounds good and exciting, but in reality this is bad news stuff. Yes, this is a bad thing that is being promoted by big winded blow hards who are telling the world how cool they are and how you too should be fishing with them and YOU TOO can boat these Monsters. All sounds exciting and it will get you to the core if you´re a fanatic fisherman looking for Yellowfin Tuna in February. Well that is until you realize they are fishing in A GAME RESERVE!
Since I have no love for the site Bloody Decks, it is well known I have been banned from the site because they don`t like Master Baiter´s, but this is not a sour grapes article. This is an article meant to inform the general public on how BLOODY DECKS the site is posting these forum articles (they post these stories yet have plausible deniability since it isn´t them posting, so they take no responsibility for what is on their site, nice cop out so they don´t get sued by unhappy READERS DRINKING THE Bloody JUICE). What you are not hearing is the down side, the illegal side, and the clients who are taking a risk they don´t know they`re taking. So lets discuss what you are not hearing,… from a ¨local¨ that has been a in PV longer than anyone from the Bloody Decks gang.
To fill you in on some background, the Tres Maria islands have been there for millions of years. They have always been there and I fished the area several times myself outside the 15 mile limit. So this is nothing new, the Yellowfin will be there long after we´re gone. So it surprises me that anyone would make such a big deal about this location (Mexican Game Reserve). This is not news unless you are trying to look like some kind of ground breaker discovering the new territory like those who claim to have found ¨El Banco¨ as an example. I guess if you don´t know any better, you may believe this crap.
The Tres Maria Islands are sprinkled anywhere from 80 to 120 miles out from Puerto Vallarta as the Sea Gull flies. These islands are also known as the Prison Islands because there is an active prison on one of the islands similar to the one in the Movie Papillion with Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman many years ago. The worst of the worst criminals from Mexico are placed here for a reason, you can´t walk away from there for sure. Because of these hardened criminals, many are high profile Cartel types, so there is a 12 to 15 mile ¨limit¨ or Boundary around the islands for obvious reasons. Again, nothing new about this. The Mexican Navy has made it quite clear that any boat inside these boundaries is subject to confiscation. Now this is pretty clear and straight forward, no gray areas here. A few months back there were even some criminals (trying to escape) from the island floating out to sea on homemade floating devices. Who knows they may have been waiting for a boat to pick them up, or they were hoping to ride a current to safety. The last guys who lost a motor on a boat here floated to Japan before they were found! So if you think about it, this 12 mile boundary is no joke.
Now on Bloody Decks there is a lot of talk how these certain boats are getting permits to fish these islands. Maximus not too long ago presented a ¨permit¨ to fish the Islands to Navy just to discover it was bogus and carried no weight with the Navy (common knowledge). It was a bogus permit that whoever paid a bunch of money for. So for the record, any person who is not heavily connected to the government will NEVER get a permit to fish the islands. I don´t care what they say, who they think they got this permit from or what the twisted situation is on how they ¨got¨ their permit, it is not legal and they are not only risking their boat, but your fishing trip and maybe worse, much, much worse.
Ok, so you now know the Tres Maria Islands is a prison complex / Game Reserve with a 12 to15 mile boundary, so you now know that whoever is telling you they have a permit to fish this area is a liar or idiot (possibly both). But what else is there, what is it t hey are not telling you as they push their charters to Monster City? Well one thing they aren`t telling you is many of these guys have been warned, then warned again, then warned even again and taken in where they have been finger printed, picture posted on their wall and names taken. Once you´ve been taken in you get finger printed, and put in with the general population, sometimes for only a while if lucky. Bad enough, but wait, there´s more! Along with your charter expense and bogus permit you too can be grabbed by the Mexican Navy and find yourself STUCK on the prison island for who knows how long. Yep, that´s right folks, once you have basically been grabbed, you will be taken to the naval complex on the island and you will not be going anywhere for a while amigos. You see the navy changes the crew on the islands from time to time as you would expect. I hear that the crews change every three months. Now that could be a little off, but the point is you will be stuck on that prison island until there is a crew change. There are no special arrangements made for tourist who have been suckered into this type of fishing trip with the inherent risk you have not been told about. Nobody will be allowed to come get you and when the crew change does happen you are not heading back to the Puerto Vallarta Area, you´re heading to Barra where the Navy will then let you go home or where ever you need to go.
So what am I telling you here in a nut shell, the people charging interested clients in Winter time, who are seeking Monster Yellowfin Tuna are taking you to illegal places where you / they have a strong possibility of having your boat confiscated and stuck on that ¨island¨ for who knows how long. So concern for their own safety and general well being is being blinded by greed while your safety and well being has been put at risk. The Client(s) will be stuck on this prison island with THE CRIMINALS as you have to fend for yourself. Sounds like a dream vacation to me?? I was in the airport here in Puerto Vallarta and told a guy who had been on the Maximus about this, he sent a text message to a friend still going out on the boat in a package of three days and he was upset to say the least.
You might tell yourself the guy you are talking with is a good guy, he tells you what you want to hear and you ultimately trust the company you´re fishing with, sponsored by bloody decks (Ali has some connection to Maximas and is connected to Bloody Decks as well) since they heavily push a few select boats under their umbrella. When money is your only agenda, greed is a close ally. It´s easy to say nothing is going to happen, but you know it already has.
No matter what you have read, it is common knowledge the Yellowfin Tuna written about in their bulletin board have all been boated well within the twelve to fifteen mile limit as they tell you otherwise! Now there are more people every day heading out to this area. The Mexicans are funny, they will ignore this until they get a burr under their saddle, then they go for it and enforce the law with the numbers of fisherman increasing!? The Navy is different and they are not on the take, several of these Captains have learned this first hand. I could post names of people who have been abusing their clients. But the location enough is all the warning you need to start asking questions after reading this article.
Ok, you now know what you are risking personally if you´re a private boat and you head to the Tres Maria Islands. If you are booking a cattle boat named Maximus beware. If some company tells you it is ok and they have a permit to fish the Tres Maria Islands, they don´t. So if they show you a permit, they well may have been scammed to the price of five thousand dollars for this permit, but you now know better. Don´t let their ignorance cost you….
Let me leave you with this example: As I mentioned earlier, this ¨Ali¨ guy has a vested interest in this cattle boat (there is only one doing this so no name is necessary). This heavily promoted Cattle Boat a few weeks back was boarded by the Mexican Navy with a boat full of clients (a real eye opener if there ever was one). Upon the inspection the Mexican Navy discovered the boat was not insured (legally required in Mexico), did not have a valid ¨permit¨ as they told those interested in small details like this. They also did not have enough fishing licenses for everyone onboard. And on top of that they were/are fishing in protected waters as they say differently.
This article is not going to make me any more popular with Bloody Decks types who are pouring the bloody juice of dreams for client consumption. My goal is to inform you the general fishing public of what not to do to protect yourself and your loved ones.
For the record, if people were having fun in a safe and reasonable way I would promote this company myself and make a commission. To even consider going into a game reserve and then promote it on their bulletin boards is criminal in my opinion. Fishing companies have a fiduciary responsibility to provide full disclosure to clients who are paying for a safe and fun adventure that is risk free and will not affect their well being or their vacation in any way other than being a positive experience. Be informed, Be Safe, what you don´t know will hurt you!
So keep your ears on, these guys will not stop going into this reserve as they blow their horns as loud as possible. One thing for sure, it´s just a matter of time now before these boats are confiscated and the clients are put through an unexpected extended vacation in hell. Stay tuned, there is bound to be more to come in the near future
Now you know the real story behind the headlines……