Mr. Madruga: a Legend

Growing up in the tuna fleet there were always people to meet and places to see but there were a group of people that were above the rest, and one of those was Joe Madruga. He was a power in the tuna industry. Fortunately I got to know him very well when my cousin married one of his sons Matt. Mr. Madruga owned a total of 14 boats and as many as 6 at one time. The Madrugador, Conquest, Frontier, Montana to name a few. The Thing about Mr.Madruga was that he deserved respect but you were just at awe of him. I personally never called him by his first name, he was just Mr.Madruga to me. When he would walk in the door with his cigar and cowboy hat I just found myself like a kid in a candy store. If you got lucky and he was talking about fishing that was even better and I would always try and sit and listen to his stories. You see we only have our elders for a short time before there gone and we need to be a sponge and get everything we can learn from them. Life’s short and unfortunately Mr. Madruga has now moved on but he’s in a special place in heaven. I am very lucky to have known Mr. Madruga who was a legend in the tuna fleet and to be lucky to have listened to him tell his stories. The tuna fleet was stronger because of men like Mr. Madruga, God rest his soul.

The attached picture is just one of many boats owned by Mr. Madruga.

5 Replies to “Mr. Madruga: a Legend”

  1. I have also heard many wonderful stories of Joe Madruga. My good friend Richard Chikami worked for Joe for many years. He has some great stories of when they were building the boat along with the fishing trips they had. Later on Richard's family purchased the boat and renamed her the Western Pacific. She is still fishing out of Samoa today.

  2. Mr. Madruga bought had Avondale build him a steel tuna clipper in 1946 named "Paramount." Do you know of its disposition, or how I may learn more about it?


  3. Hi Danny,

    I will forward your message to Joe he is my brother in law. @Jimmy I read your blog to mother in law she was very touched


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