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The Fourth Fisherman: How Three Mexican Fishermen Who Came Back from the Dead Changed My Life and Saved My Marriage By Joe Kissack Book Review

In The Fourth Fisherman, Joe Kissack has written about the journey of five fishermen who vanished on an expedition on the western Mexico coast. Senor Juan, Salvador Ordonez, Lucio Rendon, Jesus Vidana, and Farsero left the coast on board a boat called a panga. When they were out at to sea, a storm began to come and they lost their cimbra, which is a fishing line that costs more than three thousand dollars. Senor Juan emphasized that they must keep searching for the cimbra and they ultimately ran out of gas and the engine sputtered and died. They were alone and lost at sea for about nine months before they were rescued. Salvador had one Bible on the boat that they all read and mediated on while they were lost. The book gets very graphic on all that they had to do in order to survive and find food. Two of the fisherman unfortunately didn’t make it and died. The book covered two stories that was intertwined together to display God’s divine power, the fisherman story and Joe Kissack personal story.


Joe Kissack had to endure through a difficult childhood and deal with a hard to please father. His father was an alcoholic and he loved to drink. His father would also use a paddle to punish him when he acted up and misbehaved. He was told as a child to bend over and hold his ankles while he was being hit by a paddle. This messaged conveyed to him to never mess up and to always perform perfectly. Joe tried to be strong enough and he was very competitive in sports to succeed. He strived to be a linebacker in order to make his father happy. He had a lot of angry and he wanted to hit someone back for the pain he felt inside his soul. He got the position of a quarterback on the football team and his dad reminded him that he wasn’t any good at football. As he became older, Joe became his dad’s drinking buddy and he used alcohol to escape the pain of his childhood. He realized that he felt better temporary because of the effects of alcohol. Joe Kissack became driven to succeed and he took a job in licensing the rights of television programs to broadcast stations. He kept climbing the ladder and he became rich and he purchased anything that his heart desired. Eventually the price of money and success came crashing down when he entered a deep depression and he began to take medicine and drink alcohol to relief the torment he felt inside. His wife, Carmen and his two beautiful girls were affected in ways he hasn’t perceived. He also revealed how he came to know Christ and how his life has dramatically changed.


Another favorite piece of the book was the story about how his wife told him that they were expecting their first child. He arrived at the hotel and he saw a teddy bear with a ribbon attached to two balloons one pink and one blue. Then he read the card and it said, “We are in the pink…or… the blue. Love, Carmen.” (Page 38). I thought this was a really neat way to tell your spouse that they are doing to be a dad! Future wife, wherever you are at, please take note, I would truly love a kind genuine big reveal surprise.


I would recommend this glorious book on the fishermen to anyone who loves inspirational stories that contains a message of hope in a God that protects and guides his chosen people. I enjoyed reading about the fishermen lost at sea and they encouraged me in my faith in God to always hold to the expectation that God will deliver me in whatever battles that I may be facing. I believed that Joe Kissack did an incredible job at combining both of the individual stories into a much greater concept of how God increased their faith. I immensely loved the transparency that Joe Kissack shared in his own life and how he thought that being successful would cause his father to declare and say to him that he was proud of him. Joe’s story taught me that many men struggle with working hard to achieve greatness and to accomplish work in order to feel better about themselves. Most of us men long to hear from our dad that he is proud of them. This pointed out to me that whenever I became a father that I must step up my game and proclaim to them that I’m proud of them. Joe also imparted in me the importance of spending quality time with my children and not be so concerned about climbing the ladder of fame. This book had a number of tangible reminders that God was present in the fishermen lives as well as, Joe Kissask. If you’re looking for a book that has the potential to encourage you in your walk in God and one that will at the same time instigate you into a deeper relationship with Christ, then this is the book you need to read!


“I received this copy of The Fourth Fisherman for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”.



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