Tropical Weather and Big Fish, Fishing in PV
Written by: Stan Gabruk owner of Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle
Well it looks like the seasonal current change, marked by the arrival of dirty, coffee colored water, is finally upon us. Right now, we were seeing the currents change in an aggressive fashion. The Dirty water we normally see as the winter season changes to summer, where the currents stir up all that adobe muck from the ocean floor bottom, has turned up months late. For those dealing with this dirty water, well it´s not fun. Fish can´t see baits, they don´t like the dirty water flowing through their gills and ultimately they will search for clean water. This was what happened this past week, but it´s moving out and clearing up now. This may seem like a bad thing, but in reality those of us in PV that understand these yearly conditions know that this is actually a good thing. With the strong summer currents come the world class fish we´ve become world famous for. We´re finally seeing the indicators of the beginning of big fish season.
There have been clusters of smaller Hurricanes anywhere from four hundred miles out to over a thousand miles out that have really changed the weather patterns here lately. One good thing is we´re seeing rain, yes rain. Strange I should say that because it´s normally rain city here at this time of the year. But with the El Nino conditions of warmer than normal water and fluctuating currents, the trash line in the bay has been less than predictable. The Trash Line is important because it brings smaller fish into the bay to feed on the organic trail mix that washes down the local hills and spills into the Bay of Banderas. These smaller fish attract larger fish, you get the point. There were also a few days where the swells in the Bay of Banderas were large. Nothing to worry about on the boats in the bay, but the beaches saw some hefty waves. Update: Hurricane Marie has worked its way north now and is close to the border of California. Not causing any rain or weather problems in PV any longer. But the swells are expected to arrive at the deep water fishing grounds at the end of the week. Should be fairly large swells, but with long intervalls making the seas Rolling, not good for sea sick types, but could push some large Tuna and Marlin into the area, Stay tuned!
The dirty water pretty much reached out to past the Marietta Islands which pretty much screwed up the fishing this week everywhere. Those that were getting fish, well they were lucky enough to troll baits in front of fish that could see their baits. So for the most part trolling was a waste of time unless you got lucky. So you may ask, what do you do, when the water is dirty and I´m heading out fishing? The obvious answer is to find clean or clear water. Those inside the bay at the south end could find clean green water where Yellowfin Tuna (Skip Jacks) were plentiful in the 20 to 35 lb range. Bonito, Needle Fish and smaller Dorado at the Trash Line. Inside the bay north, if you find clean water there are Jack Crevalls, Sierra Mackerals, and Snook to 25 lbs at the river mouths, there are seven in the bay so choose the closest one to you.
Corbeteña this week has been less than exciting, but that is changing now for the better. Dirty water reached to the rock this week, but only lasted a few days. Those looking, I should say ¨hoping¨ to find Yellowfin Tuna this week came in disappointed. Now Marlin and Sailfish are still plentiful, but it´s not going to be easy amigos. They´re looking at baits, chasing baits, but many times they´re not taking baits. In times like these, you need to wait a bit longer before setting the hook because they´re mostly looking and you want to make sure you get a good Hook-Up. Of course the danger on that is the fish will swallow the bait, get gut hooked and most likely die. Circle Hooks keep this from happening, but you don’t set a Cricle Hook, you just kinda tug on the bait (or pole) and wait for the circle part of the hook to hook the lip. Either way you go, there is a larger element of luck to catching gamefish than normal right now. If you’re targeting Marlin / Sailfish, these are your best option.
No reports from El Banco this week, but I believe the water to be clean and clear since this location is more than fifty miles out, the currents slipped past this area. There are large Black Marlin, Blue Marlin and Sailfish here in the 400 plus range. Rainbow runners to 45lbs, Amber Jacks to 55 lbs and the basic bait balls full of chorras and bullet baits.
Once you get around the point of Punta Mita, the water is clear and the fishing is great as long as you’re targeting Sailfish. There may be some Dorado in the area, but not enough to plan on. Still, if you find a log or stump, maybe a dead horse of something strange like that, you’ll find Dorado. This area is and has been one of the most consistent fishing grounds for months now. So if you’re heading out, this area should be considered.
The Marietta Islands and El Morro are awash in dirty water. It could be a few days more before this all clears up. Not good for the snorkeling crowd and not good for the fishing crowd. Best thing to do is hang tight, have another beer and wait for a few days, things will change for the better quickly, be a little patient.
The conditions are part of the problem for the moment. With warm water temperatures, especially at the deep water locations of El Banco and Corbetena it’s absolutely necessary to have electronics with sounders that show where the temperature breaks are (and fish). Yellowfin will tolerate warm temp water, but will hang in the depths that suit their body temperature and then come to the surface to feed. These are some strange fish with sensitive bodies that like water temps between 82 and 86 degrees. Once you get out temperature wise from that range these YF Tuna will either move from the area or hang out at the depths that suit them comfortably. No electronics, then it´s impossible to know how deep to set down riggers. Remember you’ll be setting your down rigger from 85 feet to most likely 140 feet down or deeper. No light at these depths, so again, the bait will have to be in the area where they can sense or see these baits. With so few Tuna Sightings, this is one explanation for the lack of Tuna sightings. Could be a wrong explanation, but if you’re at the rock, give it a shot and you may be happily surprised.
So as you already read, warm water temperatures are here for a while and I predicted these conditions in March as they were boating Tuna at Corbeteña in the middle of winter. Again, the good news is the dirty water is moving out and the bait and the trash line are a perfect combination in the bay. The Hurricanes could push fish into the area and frankly we wait for a closer hurricane to do things like this. If you’re thinking of running lures, Petrelaros are working great if they’re seen. But live bait at the moment is king so getting too creative right now won’t help much.
On the positive side, we’re seeing the green, dirty water thinning out. We have fresh hurricanes and currents pushing fish into the area. Marlin and Sailfish are abundant and while fickle are taking baits, no cake walks for the moment. Yellowfin Tuna should be moving in any day now along with Dorado of size. Bait is still abundant in the area, with tons of Skippies or Bullet Bonito in the Yelapa area of the bay. Everything from my vantage is pointing to superior fishing once we get the next few days behind us. So don’t be discouraged, fishing has never been a sure thing. We do what we can to put the odds in our favor, then take the challenge. There are always fish to be had in Puerto Vallarta (PV) if you’re not too picky. For now my best recommendation is a short day in the bay or shoot for eight hours and hit the point of Punta Mita. No matter what, you will come in with some fish and that ain’t bad amigo. Keep an eye on my Facebook page for updates and situational reports affecting locals in the PV area.
I could have fluffed things up a bit, but then that’s not a report, that’s a smoke job. And remember there are a couple of resources for fun and activities to check out prior to coming to PV (or locals alike), so check out Banderas News (banderasnews.com) or The PV Mirror (www.pvmcitypaper.com) online. You´ll be glad you did.
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: 011 52 1 322 779 75 71 cell phone direct Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Master-Baiters-Sportfishing-Tackle/88817121325 The trade name Master Baiter’s ® Sportfishing and Tackle is protected under trade mark law and is the sole property of Stan Gabruk.