Travel & Trips

Royal Star Visits Mazatlan

by Dave Dolan


On January 25, a group of anglers boarded the San Diego sport boat Royal Star in Mazatlan, Mexico.. All I can say is, the group of us had the “dream” trip.

The logistics for this trip are easy. I used the CBX border crossing in to Mexico. This crossing is basically a quick walk thru. Volaris airline was currently offering $200 round trips to Mazatlan from Tijuana. I had a room booked thru Cass Tours for my stay at the El Cid Marina resort. Cass even had my hotel transfers waiting for me. The Royal Star, which left San Diego earlier in the week, pulls into the El Cid and is right at the door step. See, really easy.


After a smooth overnight run heading south, we were in the zone the first morning. With this being the first trip for the Royal Star to this territory there would be some scouting around. Captains Brian Simms and Tim Ekstrom had already plotted out the ridges and temperature charts. That afternoon, they spotted out a huge school of jumping dolphins. We worked that area for the next few hours. The results were 73 yellowfin tuna, most all in the 30 to 40 pound range.  This was the kind of warm up that you want for a trip. We all seemed to have 6 to 8 tuna each. This would have been a nice catch for many trips, but we left the area in search of bigger and better. At least this stop assured we would all go home with some nice fish.

The next day we went to the area of the Tres Marias Islands. These islands are about mid way between Mazatlan and Puerta Vallarta. This area is known for legendary big tuna. We spent the entire day looking. But our only results were numerous catches of skipjack. Captains Tim and Brian said there was something very “fishy” about the area. So we would spend the night along these ridges and hope for the trophy tuna.

The third, and last fishing day started with a bang. Before breakfast, angler Pete Spencer landed a 211 pound tuna. Knowing the big boys were around, we stayed in the area. However, for the next several hours we were marking tuna that did not want to play. Then finally at around 3:00, with only a few hours of fishing left for the trip, we hit the mother lode. I was the first one hit. My tuna came in at a personal best 246 lbs. Others were to follow. A

t one time we had four cows hooked up and going. The largest catch came in at 253 lbs. There were two “small” ones landed at 170 and 193 lbs. The others were all in the 200 to 225 range. The lesson learned, don’t give up late in the ball game.


I want to hand it to the crew of the Royal Star. These guys are real pros. When I was hooked up on my cow, Captain Brian was beside me every step of the way. The personal coaching he gave me while hooked up was the best fishing tutorial I ever had. He pulled me thru the tight spots. The crew was right there to make sure we got the fish on the deck. And using the Shimano Talica 50 reel with 130 pound Power Pro Hollow Ace line and Shimano Terez rail rod worked flawless. When fishing these cows, you want everything going in your favor. And this crew and the equipment made sure of that.

After the trip, I stayed 2 additional nights in Mazatlan. I would certainly recommend doing this. The Old Mazatlan, historic district was very enjoyable. The Malecon, restaurants, the statues and off shore islands are all worth taking in. The buildings in the historic area reminded me of the French Quarter in New Orleans. This was all worth the extra nights and a good cap off to the fishing trip.

With the results on this first Royal Star trip, I look forward to next year. I suspect the 18 spots will go fast. You can book on the Royal Star website, Or you can call the office at 619-224-4764 and Tracy can take care of you. This is a bucket list trip.