Great Yellowfin Tuna Fishing Just Got Better, Corbeteña / El Banco It All BEGINS NOW!
Written by Stan Gabruk
I have been cautious not to shout out that Yellowfin Tuna Season has begun because we´ve all seen it pull back before with these strange years we´ve had. But this year is mild, the rains are heavy at times this is true. Puerto Vallarta if used to anything is used to rain. This is bringing in small fish to feast off the trash line. Some people call it a current line, call it what you will the small Dorado, Bonito, Skip Jack Tuna (Skippies) feed on the organic roots, seeds, leaves, bugs, you name it on the clear side where they eat. When predators come along, they dive into the dirty water side and have instant sanctuary. So larger fish come into the bay and that is what we are seeing now. Larger fish moving in closer in. Yelapa is seeing 20lb Skippies and bonito. Cabo Corrientes is seeing 70lb Yellowfin Tuna (YF Tuna). Corbeteña and El Banco the YF Tuna even larger. Marlin are picking up in numbers, Dorado are small, Bottom fishing is good at the Marietta Islands and Sailfish are taking over as they usually do come this time of the year. If you are not here fishing, you are missing out on world class conditions, World Class Fish, And a World Class Once in a Lifetime Experience.
Everything is coming together nicely and I want to preface everything after these words; Right Now, there are no people heading to the fishing grounds. What that means business wise is obvious. But… If you can imagine winding the clock back thirty years to the ¨good old days¨ then putting modern day world class equipment in your hands, you could experience what Hemmingway must have experience in the day now. Paradise on a high speed half shell!
Ok, first lets talk about the bay. With all the rain we´ve been getting there is plenty of sediment in and around the bay coming down the rivers and streams into Banderas Bay. The trash line brings them in to eat, the fresh water on the surface, commonly referred to in Spanish as Agua Dulcé or Sweet Water. It brings the fish to the surface and the trash line keeps bait sized fish in the area. Obviously we all know bait is just that and there will be bigger fish chasing them down. At Yelapa in the southern part of Banderas Bay Bonito 20lbs, Skip Jack Tuna 20lbs, Needle Fish and a ton of tiny Dorado around five pounds, remember those go back, especially if female. With dirty water near the shore the best opportunities are targeting Roballo or Snook in English at the river mouths. For those looking for a nice secret, if you head up river in Nuevo Vallarta here in PV you will very large Roballo where the dirty fresh water meets salt water in a big hole just under the bridge… Keep this to yourself.
If you head the other way, Punta Mita is still alive with action, but it´s all about Sailfish and Dorado, with a side of Black Marlin farther out off the point as usual. Rooster fish have like Elvis left the building for some reason, they come and go. I´ve seen them return in August with a bad attitude and they will at times take over the Marietta Islands in force, in March! No saying what will happen up north of Punta Mita (lookout point in Spanish) towards Guyavitos. Fuel prices are limiting peoples willingness to explore. Such is the world these days.
The Marietta islands have been better. The bottom fishing for Trigger fish is very good, but most people don´t understand that Trigger fish taste great and have white meat. But if you do head out there is always the standard Bonito, Skippies, Needle fish now, Small Dorado and fair sized Sailfish. If you are targeting Sailfish I would suggest just off El Morro right now, the upwelling’s around this island are drawing in small fish and small Dorado, Sailfish´s favorite food! You still have a shot at Red Snappers, Pompano and Amber Jacks, I know they´re out there, but finding them is another thing.
Come July we all hope and pray for an early Tuna Season. After three years running of El Nino´s and La Nina´s Tuna Season was always a moving target. But this year finally we have clean, clear, Blue water with plenty of bait for the time being at both Corbeteña and El Banco. These two locations are considered among the top ten Monster Yellowfin Tuna Locations of all of Mexico minus the fisheries of the Tres Maria Islands and the Socorro islands. Although there are always the possibilities of boating World Record Sized fish in these two areas at any given time. But remember, if you are fishing in a restricted area, you are a poacher, plain and simple. You are no better than those in Africa cutting hands and feet off Gorillas.
Now around Corbeteña it has been mostly Yellowfin Tuna from 90 lbs to 180 lbs with the opportunity to boat a Cow over 200 lbs, Sailfish are good sized and Cubera Snappers at 50 lbs are aggressive right now. Black Marlin are picking up in numbers slightly, but still nothing near abundant, still they´re in the neighborhood amigos. Water temperatures are still in the 84 degree range, maybe a little cool still, but in the range of perfect none the less. Corbeteña also has Wahoo in the area, so use your sounder to find the finger of rocks that jut off under water here at the rock. Remember Wahoo caught on Mono is pure luck. Wire leaders and wire or cable rigged lures will improve your chances greatly. So officially there are great conditions, plenty of bait, Blue water and big Yellowfin Tuna at Corbeteña.
El Banco, about twenty five miles due north of Corbeteña is alive and doing very well. Sailfish are thick, aggressive and hungry. Four and six packs swimming together like horses pullng a chariot everywhere. Black Marlin in the 500 lb range or larger are striking baits and lures. Several hook-up reported this week, not may boatings. Yellowfin Tuna, ditto Corbeteña. The high spots are on fire and the surrounding area as well. Cubera Snappers are here as well about 50 lbs as well. But my prediction is we´ll start seeing 200+ pound YF Tuna shortly. For those who don´t want to waste fuel money on bad fishing, then now is the time to break that piggy bank amigo. Get the wife’s credit card, or borrow against your house. The fish are here and now..If you are coming down, or if you live in PV and you have the time and bucks, we´ll put you on Yellowfin Tuna so big you´ll be amazed at just how strong and powerful these world class sized fish truly are.
Puerto Vallarta is seeing a market adjustment happening. Tourism is down, fishing is a joke of a business right now, and businesses of all types that rely on tourism are finding the Mexican Nationals as saviors of sorts. The Nationals are not known for spending a lot of money on their vacations. That is not to say they don´t have any money. In Marina Vallarta there are several options available to you the client. The Mexican Nationals are looking for a lesser price and gladly accept lower levels of quality, but are demanding on service and do not tip. These clients most often put toooo many people on a boat to save money with no care about safety. They are just happy to find themselves on the water in our beautiful bay. These are cheap in price and they are sold to all levels of clients. If price is your only consideration there are times when they are the correct choice, especially if only looking for a few hours to tour the bay or get the kids some fish…. To be honest these are mostly illegal operations which operate under the umbrella of the port authority who takes ¨payments¨ from these mostly uninspected and possibly unsafe boats to operate as you the unsuspecting client is told the boat is safe. Chances are you will not have an incident, but what if you do? Would you drive comfortably in an uninsured car where you can at least walk away from the incident? Probably not, but you may push the envelope. Heading out on unsafe if uninsured boats is worse since PV has no coastguard and these boats many times rely on cell phones to communictate. Hand held radios on these boats are considered luxury. Cell phones with Captains will always receive calls, but when they run out of credit, they are always out of credit, they can not call.Your safety could come down to a part time uninsured and unlicensed captain unable to call in if something serious happens. I have seen this happen. But you saved yourself money. So know the correct questions, get the answers you should expect and I will write another article comparing Mexico requirements to American Requirements for your information, keep an eye open for it on my blog….
Something to Remember and think about in PV: Now remember we are in Puerto Vallarta. It´s considered a tropical area and many come unprepared for the conditions. So let me share with you the two most common “injuries” on a fishing charter that often go unmentioned or overlooked and are easy to prevent: dehydration and sun burn.
Fishing is a physical activity and in Puerto Vallarta the heat and humidity cause you to perspire quicker than you may be used to. Make sure you drink plenty of water before, during, or after your trip. If you are drinking soda and alcohol, be sure to mix in water as well, as both of these are diuretics and will cause you to dehydrate more quickly.
Even on cloudy days, the ultraviolet rays from an Equator sun can cause sunburn. Regardless of weather conditions and time of year, apply sunscreen liberally multiple times throughout the trip. Since there’s a good chance you’ll be sweating, be sure to use a waterproof sunscreen that will stay on even when you perspire, I like the Banana Boat products. But overapplying is bad also, so read the directions.
We all have been hearing the news make comments about how Dangerous Mexico is, but it seems that the news is falling on 22 million deaf ears as Mexico has a record year for tourism even with the news. So cooler heads are once again showing that if you stay out of the equivalent of Detroit in Mexico, and who wouldn´t, you are safe on any level. Enjoy your time in Mexico and in particular Puerto Vallarta. The Dollar is strong which means you get great exchange rates. Hotels are empty and the fishing grounds are full of fish. The price is right if you have the time and inclination. In the mean time give a view to the following video and hopefully we´ll see you here soon with a finned fantasy on the end of your line…http://theintelhub.com/2012/06/29/tourism-booms-in-mexico- as-crime-rises/
Until next time, don´t forget to kiss your fish….
Master Baiter´s has changed its location to a larger shop located directly in front of Dock D in the shops behind the grassy area in the Puesta Del Sol complex half way between the Oxxo and Las Palomas Restaurant. Map of location in Marina Vallarta: http://masterbaiters.com.mx/location/ Come in and get your PV Mirror there and say hello to Stan. Please tell your friends where they can find the Mirror and of course Master Baiter´s.
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Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle is located in Marina Vallarta on the Boardwalk in front of Dock D. Facing the water turn to your right and we´re down four doors or so from Las Palomas the 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 Web page: www.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.