Blue Marlin Chasing Skip Jacks, Trash Line, Fish Heaven
Written by: Stan Gabruk owner of Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle
Just imagine you´re a game fish. All you do is chase baits, follow currents and every once in a while seek female companionship. When water temperatures coincide with perfect bait conditions combined with the beginnings of the Seasonal Rains with agua dulce (sweet water) at the river mouths, you´re pretty much in fish heaven. Although early in the year, we are seeing the beginnings of the seasonal rains, which means of course the return of the Trash Line. Now I will be talking about the Trash Line a lot for the next four months or so, so get used to it. But theTrash Line is an annual smorgasbord for every hungry passerby in the bay. This draws bigger fish, and in turn the cycle begins. Those lucky enough to be here in Puerto Vallarta, right now, have some seriously fun days just ahead. This is what a ¨Reel Time¨ Fishing Report is all about! Information you can use right now!
Inside the Bay of Banderas: Lots of seasonal changes this week. It’s amazing how slow, yet fast things can be when it comes to world class fishing here in Puerto Vallarta. The rains change everything. The rains wash into the bay small seeds, leaves, nuts, roots, a fish smorgasbord, all you can eat. It forms a line where on the ocean side is blue, clean, clear water. The land side, the direction from which the river dumps into the bay, the water is Coffee colored murky, full of sediment from the local hills. The dividing line or the ¨Trash Line¨ is what forms between these two waters like a curtain. The Trash Line can run shallow or it can run deep, this depends on the currents and how they´re flowing in the bay. Most of the time this will only be about two to six feet deep or thick. This means you´ll need planers to pull your baits under this sediment, your sounders will show you how deep this sediment is and will put your skills and equipment to the test. If your captain is well equipped, you´ll catch fish. The front side of the trash line is a fertile area for larger fish feeding off smaller fish. An example of this is there are Flying Fish all over the Trash Line feeding on this ¨fast food¨. Now of course we´re seeing Sailfish move into the bay on a limited basis, but the bait is just too plentiful. Bonito, Dorado (24 lbs max.), Skip Jack Tuna, anything with an appetite. This of course is all happening in the bay. This is great news since you can find a Trash Line in our back yard, so short day trips will pay off in simi-constant action. Secret: cast a Rapalla or silver diamond jig out and follow the trash line running bait about six feet or two meters off and be at the ready. I recommend six hours in the bay for those looking for shorter days. Even a cheap boat off the beach should be able to handle these conditions.
Marietta Islands and Punta Mita Point: For the last few weeks we´ve seen Sailfish and Smaller Dorado in the area. Mostly off the point of Punta Mita north to San Pancho. This is still the same, but we´re seeing Sailfish move into the Marietta Islands and El Morro areas. Smaller Sails are wandering into the bay, but the larger ones are here hitting the abundant Skippies. Add to the mix abundant Bonito in the 20 to 30 lb range ,they´re perfect bait and fit nicely in your Tuna Tubes. Rooster fish are still in the area, Sardines are moving out and I predict so will the Roosters. Snappers in the smaller sizes of 20 lbs or less. Dorado are finally here, but small in the 25 lb range. Remember to throw the females back, whatever size. If you´re lucky you´ll find a Black Marlin like Bella Del Mar did six miles off the point this week, 400 lbs, spit the hook. Seasonally very early and in close for a Black Marlin, again, it´s the abundant bait!
I expect that by next week we´ll see the fish weights increase. If we get any weather at all to push fish into the area, we could have early summer fishing with species you´d expect in August, not June, Black Marlin to be specific! Now with the rains, there are several rivers dumping into the bay, along with the rain and the
With the Trash Line comes logs which are entangled with all sorts of loose debris which are a favorite hangout for Dorado. Find a Stump, Tree, Dead Horse, or a clump of debris / crap that makes shade and you´ll have found the perfect place to limit out! All you need are Poppers, Rapallas or a free swimming live Goggle Eye, you´ll be eating well that evening!
El Banco / Corbeteña: It´s a tossup, perfect water temperatures of 82 to 85 degrees, Skippie Heaven in Schools measured by the block, not yard! Flying fish are a Billfishes favorite bait, especially Sailfish. Baby Dorado are a delicacy to Black Marlin. Bonito and Skip Jack Tuna boils are called ¨chorras¨ they´re irresistible Marlin and YF Tuna.
Yellowfin Tuna are running in the 60 lb to 75 lb range, perfect size if you ask me. Shorter periods in the fighting chair can be a blessing in this humidity which most people aren´t accustomed to. If Looking for Sizeable Yellowfin Tuna, I suggest you get out there and strike while the irons hot. That´s the purpose of these reports, so use this information in Reel Time with confidence.
Caution: Now the Trash line comes with its upside and it´s down side. The up side we just talked about. The down side is mostly about obstructions in the water. You could never imagine what washes down these rivers and swollen streams. I´ve seen refrigerators, horse carcasses, couches, stumps, full on trees, anything is possible. Now imagine you own a boat and you have to worry about your shaft, prop, support, rudder, bow and bottom as you know there are submerged stumps and the like just under the water surface, invisible. Now imagine it´s pitch black out front of the boat, I guarantee you won´t be going twenty five miles an hour. This is a major concern since we like getting there and back with no mechanical problems, it just screws up your day and if you´re the boat owner, it screws up your next ten days, not to mention lost revenue. For that reason come summer, leaving before sunrise means one of two things. Either you leave early and go dead slow to avoid these submerged obstacles. This eats your fishing day quickly. Or you leave after or at sunrise and head out quicker, sometimes the bite demands early departures. It all depends on how you look at it. Me, I´m a daylight guy, I´ve hit too many of these things and it´s not fun.
Rain: Remember, it rains this time of the year. You will encounter rain on days fishing, pansies afraid of getting wet should not get on a boat here in PV in the summer. For those who feel refreshed in the rain like myself, you will find the rains are your friend. It puts Yellowfin and Dorado into a feeding frenzy. Come across a school of just about any species during the rain, throw in a bait, something will take it.
Moon Phase: From the 8th to the 16th if targeting Yellowfin Tuna the bite is early at or around sunrise. Other species will bite along these same timelines, but the morning bite may be a little later for Sailfish, etc. And again for YF Tuna the late bite will be after 2 p.m. so plan your days accordingly. Mid day may be a little tough on the bite this week, remember this is part of the game. Check out the June Moon Phase here: http://www.calendar-365.com/moon/moon-calendar.html
Lures / Baits: Plenty of Chorras, Skip Jack Tuna (Skippies), Goggle Eyes not to mention the trash line, no worries when it comes to bait in the water. Even flying fish, so check the local area for what baits they´re taking. It´s a great argument for having a casting net.
Equipment: When conditions change, captains need to be able to adjust, adapt and have the experience to know how to react. Water temperatures this year will be higher than normal. I don´t want to have to get back up materials for what I´m going to say, but this is the beginning of El Nino. Early Season high water temperatures now are giving us some great fishing. My past experience tells me we will experience water temperatures in the low 90´s or even a little higher before August. When this is the case, downriggers are essential. Having electronics, even the cheapest on the market will show you were the temperature breaks are, which is where the fish are. You need this most basic of information to know where or how deep to set your downriggers. If you get on a boat that has no radio, yes they exist… ask for your money back.
Fuel Cost: FYI, here in Mexico fuel prices are jumping daily by half a peso a liter per day Everyday until further notice. Fuel Cost are getting out of hand and it´s more difficult to operate a boats at a profit when trying to keep cost down and expenses are on a rocket sled to the stars. We´re still in the process of putting together affordable options where you can ¨Lay away¨ fishing trips with regular deposits towards your day on the water. I am also putting together a way to ¨Hook-Up¨ with other people looking to share a boat, sharing the expense, not sure how to do that quite yet. And of course as Tuna Season draws closer we´ll do fishing parties of six people to the deep water locations for what would be very affordable for solo fisherman. We´re working options to make sure we can all keep fishing at affordable rates… Stay tuned….
Ideas: If you have any ideas of what you´d like to hear or see, feel free to ask, I´ll consider it. I am putting together fishing report videos and soon I´ll be posting video links on the web site to show you our boats and meet the crews in these video biographies, soon to come. Who knows, maybe even do some instructional videos on everything under the sun, rigging, Knots, lures and processes, tell me what you´d like to see, we´ll give it a look….
If you like these weekly fishing reports that focus on Puerto Vallarta and now how my boats are doing, then send me an email to MasterBaitersPV@gmail.com and you´ll get this sent to you, your club, your friends, travel agents, anyone who wants it fresh, useful or entertaining. No cost, just fun information… Just ask and it´s in your inbox…..
Until next time don’t forget to kiss your fish and remember at Master Baiter’s Sportfishing & Tackle “ We Won’t Jerk You Around”!
Master Baiter´s has changed locations in Marina Vallarta between docks A and B on the boardwalk. Email your Questions to me at: CatchFish@MasterBaiters.com.mx Web page: www.MasterBaiters.com.mx , Local Phone at: (044) 322 779 75 71 or if roaming: