Some of our first reports of solid action on Makaira reels came from PV. And one year later, testimony to Makaira performance continues to pour in.
Captain Manny Orcaranza owns and operates El Matador Sportfishing. As a Captain, Manny’s star is on a fast rise as one of the top “young guns” in the business. El Matador Sportfishing focuses on the big fish opportunities offered by locations El Banco and Corbetania. With solid availability of large yellowfin tuna, along with blue and black marlin, El Matador’s fishing grounds also make exceptional proving grounds for equipment of all kinds, and for the last six months Captain Manny has been putting Makaira MK-15IIs, MK-20II’s and more recently MK-30II SE’s (gunmetal gray, open top 30 wides) through their paces, knocking back quantities of tuna from 50- to over 200-pounds along with plenty of billfish.
Catching up with Captain Manny, here’s the quick rundown of his applications for each size Makaira he uses. Makaira Mk-15II’s are the everyday reels of the fishery. Very few lures are ever trolled on El Matador. The preferred method is drifting live bait (goggle eyes) amongst the porpoise schools. For yellowfin from 50- to 200-pounds the MK-15II is the preferred model for its’ combination of fantastic drag, light weight and necessary line capacity.
The MK-20II comes into play when the tuna are obviously on the larger end of the scale, 150- to 200+-pounds, and as the everyday reel for baiting blue and black marlin. In Captain Manny’s own words, “I’ve never had a reel that is as smooth. Such a smooth reel… the drag… fighting fish. Two hour fights on tuna and it remains smooth.”
The MK-30II SE’s are relatively new additions to El Matadors arsenal. “I’ll use them for trolling live skipjack for 200- to 300-pound tuna and marlin.” The 30-wides are also the reel of choice for kite presentations.
“I personally think they are the greatest reels I’ve used,” finished Captain Manny.
The fishery in Puerto Vallarta continues to be one of the most convenient and accessible land-based opportunities for yellowfin of exceptional size. Interested? Look up Captain Manny Orcaranza and El Matador Sportfishing’s custom, air conditioned 35’ Cabo at: www.elmatadorsportfishing.com