Fishing with Tyler McLaughlin from "Wicked Tuna" or "Wicked Tyle
Capt. Yustas Fortuna
May 24, 2018
Punta Cana - Saltwater Fishing Report
My report about an amazing fishing trip with Tyler McLaughlin from the
"Wicked Tuna" National Geographic project.
Greeting to all my dear friends fishermen!
As always I am writing to you from sunny Dominican Republic, Punta Cana.
Today is the 19th of December. It's an early morning. Today's fishing
unfortunately got cancelled because of big waves, so it is a good time
to write a report about our fishing with the Captain of motor yacht
PinWheel - Tyler McLaughlin from the project "Wicket Tuna", which is a
popular TV show for already 5 years on National Geographic channel. I
think you might have heard of it. Or this is the first time you do.
this project exists and it is pretty exciting. The show is about 6 motor
yachts which are specially equipped for Tuna fishing. They go out into
the deep sea and hunt Bluefin Tuna. The team which caught most - wins.
Afterwards Tuna is sold by weight so accordingly that team makes
additional money as well.
Our getting to know Tyler started with his girlfriend Savanna writing to
our Facebook page "Big Marlin Charters" that she wanted to make a
surprise present for her boyfriend. She told us that he is a legendary
Captain Tyler McLaughlin from Pinwheel fishing boat. She said that she
liked our website www.bigmarlinpuntacana.com and picked the boat
Fortuna. Savanna suggested fishing date as well. We exchanged a few
messages and the fishing trip was confirmed. It is a very easy process.
I have been familiar with the show for a while, when you are a
you are interested in everything what is going on in your area of business
or hobby as well (our case). Fishing in North Atlantic is very different from
fishing as close to Equator as we are. National Geographic show is about Tuna hunting
when we aim mainly for Marlin, but there are tons of common traits.
Tyler is in the project for already 3 years, catching tuna in the North Atlantic. At
the same time he is working on the TV, and he is very lively, fun and
young! It was our honor to have a chance to meet such an interesting
person onboard of our charter. After I confirmed Savanna's reservation I
called my right hand guy Alex, who is the first mate on our boat
Fortuna. Alex also had a very good idea about Wicked Tuna project and had been following it,
All show followers love Captain Tyler for being lots of fun!
So we were very excited about going fishing with him. Our crew was about to meet one of the
most interesting customers ever - a legendary
Captain of Pinwheel fishing boat, who started catching tuna at 7 y.o.!!! (as I
found out during our charter together)
On December 12th morning, 2017 we picked up Tyler and his girlfriend
Savanna from the Bibijagua beach (Punta Cana) at 7:30 am with our small
motor boat and swiftly took them to Fortuna fishing yacht. After we
greeted each other I gave a small instruction speech about the boat,
snacks, drinks and cold beer onboard. Right after that we started out
for our deep sea fishing trip. The weather was perfect, the waves were
maximum 3 feet high. While crossing the reef we were small chatting
about how Tyler got into the National Geographic TV project, what kind
of boat he is navigating, which engines it has, what kind of tackle and
so on. Usual fisherman's conversation. Tyler's girlfriend was feeling
comfortable relaxing on the fly-bridge, she didn't participate in our
We arrived to our trolling spot in about 40 minutes with help of Garmin
navigator, and slowed down approximately across from the Macao beach. We
opened our outriggers and started fishing. In about 5 minutes we
first Mahi, regular size. Savanna, who was near us at that time pulled
that fish aboard. In another 15 minutes she pulled her second fish
Barracuda, which was a very good size! 12 pounds! Fishing continued.
Tyler found cold beer in the fridge and didn't want to pull any fish.
But I do understand him. After he was catching Tuna 1200 pounds!!! and
fishing every day sometimes you just want to have a beer and relax. But
sun got hotter and fishing excitement got stronger so soon we had two
Mahi hooked. I pulled one and Tyler the other. Our first mate Alex was
doing a great job, he was everywhere at the same time, right in time to
give a hand. We have two cameras, one in the back with deck view and
another with front view of the fisherman. And it is also Alex who works
with our videos as well. I do pictures. We are very coordinated fast and
precise. Everything is on time. Bait is always in the water, and we keep
checking them. The deck is always cleaned from fish blood.
Tyler's girlfriend stayed either in the shade under bimini or on the
flybridge observing the action.
As time went by Savanna came down to us from the flybridge to see our
fussing around with fishing, exactly at that time we hooked a Wahoo.
Savanna got in the fighting chair and began to work with the reel. We
were cheering her up and in about 15 minutes the fish was already
aboard. Quite a Wahoo it was! About 26 pounds. We all were very happy
and in a great mood! Tyler was helping us so much by working with reels
and cleaning cons from the seaweed. It actually felt like he was not a
guest but a second mate! As a result of such productive team work after
4 hours we had 7 fish aboard and we were ready to turn back to the
shore. On the way home Tyler had his 7th bottle of beer and told us a
bit about how sponsorship works for him just great. All the reels,
equipment, outfits for fishing and all other fishing gear he is given by
his sponsors. And overall he said that he loves what he does. And why
wouldn't he! When you perform your favorite activity and your sponsors
take care of your tackle. You don't need to look for reels or parts for
them on Ebay. If the reel is broken Tyler just changes it to a new one
in 5 minutes and he's again off catching tuna!
In about 30 minutes we came into Marina. We became friends during our
fishing trip and decided to participate in the White Marlin tournament
in May. Tyler said he will pay all the fees and fuel. Of course me and
Alex are all for that! Everybody was very happy with the day we spent!
Tyler, his girlfriend and us. Fishing in Punta Cana was a success!
We made some pictures for our good memories, gave each other tight hugs
and took our guests ashore on the small motor boat.
In the evening we met in a small restaurant on the beach, but that is
Always with you in my thoughts.
Cap Yustas Fortuna
Mahi Mahi, Baracuda, Wahoo
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