Pat McDonell's Blog

Click here for Pat McDonell's Bio

Tuesday, February 07, 2017
What is 'normal' this season?
Friday, February 17, 2017
Updated story on huge PV tuna

413 pounder, a monster yellowfin
Aboard the Constitution, more details on the catch coming in

KEVIN BOYLE of West Hills CA caught this 413-pound yellowfin on a 3 1/2-day trip out of Puerto Vallarta on Wednesday. He and his longtime girlfriend Sophia Huynh landed at LAX Friday night and gave me some details on the catch and the trip. Many thanks to Kevin and Sophia.

The big news the past few days is a 413-pound yellowfin caught Wednesday 15 miles off Tres Marias Islands on the Constitution on a 3 1/2-day trip out of Puerta Vallarta. The fish was caught Feb. 7 (Wednesday) by Kevin Boyle of West Hills who is an an avid tuna fisherman.  Boyle had never  caught a 200-pound "cow" yellowfin after many years of trying, and what do you know, he catches this double-cow monster, which is the biggest ever caught on a boat skippered by Capt. Keith Denette. The previous big yellowfin for Capt. Denette, based on a feature I did on the Maximus a few years ago, was reportedly a taped 404 pounder.

It should be said that Boyle, a 6-4, 240-pound landscape designer who is often a chartermaster on charter trips, has caught a bigger tuna, a bluefin of  over 900 pounds at Prince Edward Island, but as he says, "this is a whole different fish, a whole different ballgame." To catch a yellowfin that is twice as large as anything he has ever caught before, he told WON it was a thrilling experience.

Boyle, 45, has fished with Captain Keith Denette many times over the years with the Maximus, and now on the Constitution that Denette recently purchased from Frank Ursitti of H&M Landing. The new sport fisher is getting rave reviews, providing a whole new level of comfort, crew, and food. And now these huge fish, which Denette says have been in the area for a while now. The 400 pounder is the benchmark, though. But you can be assured, that there are bigger fish out there. A longliner last week turned in a yellowfin over 500 pounds to the PV fish market.

I have a lot of info on the catch and trip from Boyle that came late Friday night on their return to t he U.S. and more details are coming for a story in Western Outdoor News this next issue. A few things I know for sure after talking with Boyle tonight after he got off the plane at LAX.  It was caught on a Super Seeker 6463 4x, Okuma Makaira 50, Tuff-Line 130-pound braid, Izorline 135-pound leader and a Mustad Sea Demon R39943NP-BN 9/0 hook. This beast ate a double cabbie on a balloon rig on February 7 at 10 a.m. Fish taped out at 86" long x 62" for 413.23 pounds.  Like the others, it was caught  an area of huge breaking fish 15 miles off the islands.

There were other boats in the general area, including the Apollo and Journeyman and several yachts, but they did not get into the 300 huge fish that time period, although the internet has been chugged with pics of big fish in the 200-pound class by various operations, and tales of heartbreak.   

Boyle's 413-pound fish was one of several "cow" yellowfin caught on the trip. There were two other fish over 300 pounds, one of them by Keith Denette's wife, Nicole Denette, and 3 tuna other tuna over 200 pounds. That's 6 tuna over 200 pounds, 3 over 300, 1 over 400. Crazy. Boyle also had a 186 pounder and one under 100 pounds as well. Boyle was on a charter, and was fishing with his longtime girlfriend and fishing partner Sophia Huynh, a pro staffer with Blackwater and Seeker. She has caught more big tuna than Boyle, who previous best on a yellowfin was 180 plus pounds despite years of fishing for a cow over 200.   Her biggest was a 125, but she shared in the thrill of all the big fish. When I contacted them, they were just just getting off the Alaska flight from Puerto Vallarta at LAX and were exhausted, but euphoric.

NICOLE DENETTE'S 302-pound "Super Cow".

"Unbelievable, just unreal," said Boyle. "It was the best crew, the best charter group, just a great trip. Everything just came together. I fished on the Maximus for years and on the Constitution when it was owned by Frank Ursitti, and now Keith has it it, and I'm just super stoked about that, and now it's just an amazing operation out of there."

As I said, and this was confirmed by Nicole Denette,   a PV fish market r recently weighed a 500-pound-plus yellowfin caught by a longliner, so there are bigger yellowfin out there. The world record is a 427 pounder by the Suertudo, a yacht that caught the fish 150 miles out of Cabo.


Here are the top catches on the trip from a list provided last night by Seeker/Blackwater pro staffer Sophia Huynh of the L.A .Rod and Reel Club, who was one of three very accomplished lady anglers on the trip.

All fish were taped unless otherwise noted.



-Ray Ikeda - around 115lb ( didn't tape it)

-Kyle Spaulding - around 125lb ( didn't tape it)

-Sophia Huynh - around 125lb ( didn't tape it)

-Kyung Lee - 115 and then a pb 136lb

-Mike Skinner - around 170lb ( didn't tape it)

-Steve Triplett - new pb 207lb

-Earl McVicar - first cow 228lb

-Pauline Lam - first cow 280lb

-Nicole Denette - pb 185lb then first super cow 302lb

-Barry Cohn - 308lb

-Kevin Boyle - 80lb, 136lb, and 413lb

THE LADIES  with Nicole's big fish are, left to right, Pauline Lam, Nicole Denette, and Sophia Huynh.

BARRY COHN's 308 pounder.

Reader Comments
Be the first to comment!
Leave a Comment
* Name:
* Email:
Website (optional):
* Comment:

The Longfin Tackle Shop
The Longfin Tackle Shop