Welcome to the Banderas Bay Mixed Salad of Transitional Fishing or in real terms, WTF is going on out there? Written by Stan Gabruk of Master Baiter ´s Sportfishing and Tackle
Well HERE WE ARE AGAIN, me in front of my computer in Marina Vallarta looking out over the Yachts and Sportfishers trying to figure out how to explain what is happening out there, it comes down to two words: Mother Nature. Yes, she is in control as we see the La Nina effects bring winter fishing early to our World Famous Fishing Grounds of Puerto Vallarta. With fields of bait balls of Krill sized Squids, Shrimps and Tiny Sardines, basically Whale food, (the main reason they come to our bay to breed and play) fish are still hanging out in this abundant environment. The bite is a moving target with plenty of Yellowfin Tuna Footballs near Yelapa to be found, getting them to pay attention to your baits is another thing. Marlin, Tuna, Dorado, Sailfish in the deep water locations, we have it all. So hang tight, this is useful information coming at you.
Ok, the action at El Banco is less than spectacular. My friend Ray took friends and family out to El Banco and boated a few 40 lb YF Footballs, no Marlin sighting and water temperatures were downright cold at 72 in some of the colder currents. And this is my only input from El Banco?!
Corbeteña is still alive with one again, off again action. It is iffy and if you are at the rock you have a decent shot at a smaller Black Marlin in the 250 lb range. Cubera Snapper are there as well around the 50lb range. Dorado running 45 lbs, Sailfish in the 100 inch size, Yellowfin Tuna can be anywhere from 60 to 150 lbs. The water is blue, but cool and the only reason any of these warm water species are still hanging in the area is the abundance of bait in the waiter. If you are thinking of hitting the rock looking for Billfish you better get out there while you still have a shot at these finned fantasies.
The Tres Maria Islands are alive with 250lb Yellowfin Monsters, but the islands have gotten tight with their regulations. The Tres Marias are prison Islands where they have been put ting these captured cartel guys. I head a few prisoners had jumped the island and were floating out to sea. Now a fishing boat can easily be an escape boat in their eyes quite easily. So if you are heading out this way, keep your Sh-t straight and stay the 15 miles off the island, even if t here are boils closer in. You wouldn´t want to be stuck and thrown in with the general population amigos. Ask Capt. Steven Torres (Anna Maria) who was quiet about being thrown in with these prisoners (with clients on board) as he pushed the envelope too many times. They shaved his head and held him for close to a week…. Many of those Bloody Decks type who think they are going to push the envelope learned that day to keep their envelope pushing somewhere else! Just like the Maximus the Bloody Decks boys push, same situation, no insurance, no fishing licenses, the permits they had to fish the islands were bogus and after the third time being warned, they finally got the idea. Or did they, they are pushing it again. So they´ve been warned…..
The islands are the place to be. El Morro to the Marietta Islands are alive with action of the Rooster Fish variety, right now! Running anywhere from 20 to 50 lbs, these arm breakers will not disappoint those looking for some light tackle action. Any shinny bait, poppers, Google eyes, these all are working well and will guarantee many hook-ups. All you need is eight hours and a fast Super Panga for this day on the water amigos! The Marietta Islands come with a little more action in the form of Sailfish, Snappers, Bonito, Dorado, Jack Crevalls, Sierra Mackerals, and the list goes on. For your fishing buck this area is your best bet .
Punta Mita is still producing Dorado, but much smaller and less abundant. Sailfish are still about ten miles off the point and a little north of the Sayulita. If you are fishing out of La Cruz this may be worth your time and effort.
The bay is still producing fish or all sorts, Sierra Mackerals have taken over the bay and are everywhere you will be. So you don´t really have to hunt for these speckled beauties that are normally in the 10 to 20 lb range. They taste great and are wonderful for younger anglers. If you are looking for the Football Yellowfin Tuna, then you need to be patient amigo. With the full moon we saw the bite erratic in the mornings and stronger in the afternoon. Remember there is no reason you can`t take a Super Panga out in the afternoon and catch the late bite amigos, especially now when it is the best time to fish! For the ladies our Super Panga comes with a head for privacy, so no excuses! The Footballs are there, no trouble finding them, but with all the whale food in the bay they are chowing down on this Krill and if you are running smaller squid baits, then you have a shot. My suggestion, if you want some morning action, be out of the Marina before 6 a.m.. You may find the bite has ended before 11 a.m. For short times on the water you want to keep up with what the bite is like or you may just find yourself missing it completely.
Now that we have seen some very cold currents moving into the area we have officially moved into winter fishing and all that entails. The Yellowfin will only be around for a few more weeks at most. The Black Marlin are barely there as it is. We should be seeing more Striped Marlin, but then again who knows. They like cooler water, so the conditions are rite for them. With water temperatures at 72 degrees we seldom see cooler temperatures than that here. So it will be interesting to watch and see if they dip any further, which is very possible. So keep an eye on the bite, the water temperatures and what is coming in on the docks. The fishing is great if you know the facts amigo….
While you are in town don`t forget to visit Marina Vallarta with the ¨other Malicon¨ in Puerto Vallarta! It`s the second most popular tourist attraction in Puerto Vallarta with Restaurant row and 150 shops of all kinds… I´ll keep an eye out for you!
Until next time, don´t forget to kiss your fish!
Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle is located in Marina Vallarta on the Boardwalk between the light house and Porto Bellos restaurant. Come by and say hello! Remember, at Master Baiter´s Sportfishing and Tackle, We Won´t Jerk You Around! If you have any questions on any subject regarding fishing or Puerto Vallarta, feel free to ask at my email: CatchFish@MasterBaiters.com.mx
The trade name Master Baiter’s ® Sportfishing and Tackle is protected under trade mark law and is the sole property of Stan Gabruk.