Puerto Vallarta Fishing, You Want Monster Yellowfin Tuna in Late January, We Got Em!

Yellowfin Tuna in Late January, You Betcha!
Yellowfin Tuna in Late January, You Betcha!

Puerto Vallarta Fishing, You Want Monster Yellowfin Tuna in Late January, We Got Em!

January 27, 2011

Ok, so you want Yellowfin Tuna in late January and you want them to be large and plentiful, well amigo, be careful for what you ask for. Because you just go it, but no complaining when you have to head out an extra hour north of El Banco to get them! To be seeing 200lb or larger YF Tuna at this time of the year is a fantasy come true. But the game remains the same and you’ll be heading out between El Banco and the Tres Maria Islands amigo. Yellowfin are never close in and even though they´re a little farther out than they normally are in the summer, they are still there! So this is either good news or bad news depending on your situation. With the ever present excuse of it being a long way out there falling on deaf ears when you say that to me. Coming out of California it is nothing to head out 80 miles or much farther to get Albacore Tuna less than half that size is expected! So 80 miles is about three and a half to four hours depending on sea conditions.  Still, we´re happy to have them this handy! Now we´re not talking a few Monster YF Tuna, we´re talking about areas with birds diving in the water the size of a soccer stadium! Striped Marlin are also all over the place as well. So you have unexpected options at your disposal.

Now if you´re heading out for these Monsters, be prepared. They are taking their fill of smaller Sardines of three inches and small Squids (their favorite food) about the same size. You may have some luck using Goggle Eyes on the kite, but squid and small sardines are the bait of choice right now since there is so much of it in the water. It would pay to have some fresh squid from the fish market on hand to insure success. Using a chum of squid would not hurt either amigos, but keep this secret to yourself! Another thing to keep in mind is these fish are stuffing themselves and they may not be interested in what you have to offer, such is the dilemma of a lot of bait in the water, this is why you want squid onboard, they can´t resist it. Kinda like my ex wife and that new pair of shoes, she has fifty pairs, but she has to have ¨just one more pair¨…. If you get a fish like that, look out !

There are also herds of Spinner Dolphin all over the place out there, which means the smaller Yellowfin are more than likely with them. Such is the case right now where we´re seeing smaller Yellowfin Tuna from 40 to 60lbs running with them. So there is plenty of fish and the conditions are favorable anywhere between El Banco and the Tres Maria Islands. With your chances of finding a herd easier as you get closer to the Tres Maria Islands! The bite is happening around 9:30 am and about 3:30 pm. A little late and a little early in the day for a long haul like this, but there you are, no complaining!

Rooster Fish are getting thicker by the day at the Marietta Islands. We are also seeing some Yellowtail taking bait around the reefs, not to be confused with Yellowfin Tuna amigos. This is a completely different fish and we very, very seldom see them this far south. But with the water temperatures in the mid 60’s everywhere from inside the bay to the Tres Maria Islands.  So the water is cold and the conditions would be considered less than ideal, but we have lots of bait which seems to be enough to keep these fish in the area for now.

With most of the Rooter fish at the Reef near the Marietta Islands, it is important to have good electronics and I know I say this a lot.  But if you don´t know where the edge of the reef is, and you troll a bait a little too far from the edge or right over the reef, your chances of catching that finned fantasy is greatly diminished! If you can´t tell where you are or what is under you then you are taking a shot in the dark at best. Something to keep in mind when choosing a charter company anywhere! The guy who tells you he has electronics on his boat may just be referring to his hand held GPS and his cell phone.

Since I mentioned Electronics again, and I know my subject matter is jumping around all over the place, but good electronics will give you an edge and make the difference in catching fish or catching bait! With good quality electronics you can tell if there is bait under the boat, if there are fish around the structure. Where the temperature breaks are under you so you know how deep to run your down riggers. You can also see birds on the radar, an indication of where the surface bait balls are. All useful things to know. When you are in cold water days, these electronics can tell you when you are in warmer water that fish prefer. Tools like this can make a so—so captain look like a good captain! Now back to the article…

Corbeteña, lots of Jacks, Striped Marlin have moved out and the window of opportunity last week has closed. But this being Corbeteña things will change again soon… stay tuned. For the moment lots of Jack Crevalls and Cubera Snappers. The Rock will most likely be in a holding pattern until spring time unless something strange happens and of course strange things are possible at any given moment so keep up with the reports!

For the most part all the fishing in the bay is for Sierra Mackerals, Jack Crevalls or Torros as the nationals call them, Grouper around structure and Snappers. You may also come across Bonito, Skip Jack Tuna and a few others.  But four hours in the bay these days can be difficult to find fish. Six hours is a better option with eight hours right now being the best bang for your fishing buck.

Way up north of Punta Mita they are seeing Striped Marlin anywhere from 8 to 15 miles off the shore near the San Pancho or San Francisco (in English) area. But if you are going to make that run, you might as well head the rest of the way to the Tres Marias and take a shot at Yellowfin Tuna….

Here is an interesting development in the Marina regarding loading fishing boats in the morning now. The Port Authority has determined that fishing boats cannot load their clients on their docks in the Marina any longer. You now have to pay to enter Opequimar boat yard and pay to have access to their docks now since there is no public docks. So even if you can come to the light house where most of the charter boats leave from on the morning, you will not be allowed to go up and down the docks to load boats. You won´t be allowed to check out the boats on the docks either. In his infinite wisdom the Port Authority is making us all do this for the moment and of course this is stupid. My guess is it will only last a few weeks then they´ll realize they have to cover the entire marina, each gate and each dock for this to work.  So my prediction is this will not last long, but you will have to pay from ten to thirty pesos per person to enter the privately held area. Sounds like a big fat kick back to me, but then this is Mexico and they can do stupid stuff like this…   You´ve been warned….. Stay tuned for details as they arise!

That right now is the latest and greatest, until next time, don´t forget to kiss your fish!

About the author: stan

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