Written by: Stan Gabruk owner of Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle
Recently we’ve witnessed many oddities in our world famous fishing grounds. For weeks now we’ve witnessed cold swirling water mixed with warmer water temperatures that frankly are perfect for this time of the season. What this means is the warm water species are moving out, cold water species are moving in and they’re all mixed up in this fish bowl we call the Bay of Banderas. Targeting Marlin and Tuna at this time of the year is a diminishing prospect with chances of boating these treasured game fish dropping by the day. Having said that we still have some Dorado in the area and Sailfish. As the currents continue to swirl we’re also seeing species like Jack Crevalls move in with strong numbers and decent sizes. Needle fish are not exactly abundant, but increasing. Bonito are saving the day in the bay and even with all this “Swirling” going on there are still “some” Striped Marlin to be had. If you’re feeling lucky try an eight hour trip to Punta Mita. If you want more of a sure thing when it comes to action, a nice six hour bay trip will be fun, but you won’t be targeting Moby Dick!
Those heading out to Corbetena and El Banco have come back mostly disappointed this week. There is still abundant bait in the area, but that in itself is a problem. It’s a fish smorgasbord out there with so many different kinds of baits it’s tough to get them to turn their head in the direction of your “presentation” aka bait! Having said that we’ve seen the return of Spinner Dolphin which run with Football tuna (at 40 lbs) as they are now. Cuberra Snappers are not exactly “in” but there have been some boated. Regarding Sailfish and Striped Marlin, you’ve got a 50/50 chance, same goes for Dorado in the 25 lb range as well. Those with private boats are having fun and will catch these species but it’s not automatic and if you’re there for a few days you’ll have a great time. The guy that heads out for the day trip can find his time and fuel dollar better spent closer in.
The area from El Morro and the Marietta Islands to Punta Mita will find conditions a little better. Striped Marlin to 250 lbs have been boated four to six miles off the point, Dorado are in the 25 lb range with Sailfish locally for the lucky. I mean all these species are a 50/50 shot. Out of ten boats, two will have come back with fish. So check your internal fishing meter as to what level of risk you want to take. Remember it’s fishing, a risk based sport at best…. Jack Crevalls and Bonito anywhere from 35 to 50 lbs are around the area and a super outside chance of a Sailfish on the Corbetena side of the island(s).
Inside the bay is still “Action City” with the same old players, even if they’re not where they’re “supposed” to be. Sailfish are still being boated occasionally around Los Arcos / La Cruz area as are Dorado from 20 to 30 lbs. Bonito are a stable species for the area and these are what we see in the local Tuna Cans. Running anywhere from 20 lbs to 45 lbs now you’ll have a great arm burning action day. Six hours is a great fishing day and a good value for your fishing dollar. Needle fish are still small but picking up in numbers. Striped Marlin is not impossible in the bay, but mostly not probable. Sierra Mackerels at 15 lbs, Snappers for the guy wanting table fare are in the 3 to 5 lb range. There is some nice action in the bay as long as you’re looking for fun and not Moby Dick!
The bite is still in the mid-morning time frame. It seems as the tide comes up is when the fish are striking, so follow the rising tide and that would be a good indication as to when to head out. Sleep in a little, it won’t hurt a thing. Water temperatures are still at 79, a constant for the last three weeks. Bait conditions are still excessive. Krill Squids and Shrimps, Three inch Squids, Flying fish, Sardines, it’s just crazy. No wonder the fish that are here are being picky. Then again, that’s why the Whales are here in big numbers this year, they’re just swimming around with an open mouth.
There have been several articles of late how we have a 75% chance of La Nina, the opposite of El Nino. We see the swirling currents coming up from the south which to the locals is the first indication. This may mean some last cold water situations for fishing. You can read more about La Nina here:
Luck of the Draw Fishing Continues, Marlin Spread Out
Written by: Stan Gabruk owner of Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle
As we come to the end of another High Season for World Class fishing in Puerto Vallarta we’re still seeing scattered species in all the different locations. For those looking for Black Marlin, Blue Marlin and Striped Marlin and your fantasy then now would be a good time to hit it. The overabundance of bait is still a bit of an issue, but we have fish and that’s a good thing. Fishing is never without it’s challenges. There is no such thing as perfect fishing conditions, but we’re not too far from it amigos!
As we enter the New Year we find Corbetena is still the place to be if looking for larger species like Blue and Black Marlin running anywhere from 250 to 500 lbs. Warm / Cool currents are still swirling so we also find some cooler water species moving is as well as should be expected in January. Sailfish are picking up in strikes if not in numbers for some reason and are taking baits, we won’t complain. Yellowfin Tuna Footballs are in the 40 lb range but they’re moving around following the bait so it may take some extra effort to find them but worth it. Wahoo are still in the area but are a non-schooling species so you can target them easily, troll about 8 miles an hour and you could get lucky. Remember if targeting Wahoo wire leader is suggested as these fish have a mouth like a razor knife. Dorado are also possible but not automatic at 25 to 30 lbs as well. Skippies around the “Rock” have been in the 20 lb range and this is huge for Skip Jack Tuna. Everything you catch is just full of three inch pink Squids. When we see Squids show up we know we’re looking at the seasonal current changes just around the corner. So if you’re looking for summer species you’d better get out there or you’ll be waiting another season for your “finned fantasy”. El Banco is alive as well, but for the most part the fishing has been consistently better at Corbetena and with it being closer-in the prospect of saving fuel money can be a determining factor.
It’s been very interesting the “Island situation” these last few weeks. For the area around the Marietta Islands and El Morro to Punta Mita, just a few miles out you’ll find Black and Blue Marlin. We’ve seen several Striped Marlin but they’re not taking baits, it could be their breeding season, but no hook-ups I’m aware of this past week. Sailfish in the 100 lb range are roaming the area and are taking baits better this week thankfully. Bonito are picking up in numbers and are in the 20 to 30 lb range, remember this is what they put in “Tuna” cans so they’re worth your time and efforts. In fact the entire area off the islands are producing very well with a 70% chance of boating a Billfish for sure. Nothing ventured, nothing gained amigos.
Inside the bay is a real mixed bag. We have Whales, Manta Rays, Sailfish around La Cruz and Los Arcos area in the channels. Dorado to 25 lbs, a Possibility of a Marlin in the bay which is still a strange occurrence even though it seems to be happening on a regular basis. Jack Crevalls are huge at 50 lbs in the bay, Snappers are thinning out for now but should pick up in numbers shortly. With Needle Fish to 30 lbs and there are Sailfish in the bay still. It’s surprising that many times you’ll find the fishing better in the bay than at the deep water locations. One issue in the bay, if you can call it that, is that the bait is moving, no surprise. That means that the fish are moving around as well. Where they were yesterday is not where they’ll be tomorrow. Be prepared to spend six hours, not four if fishing inside the bay, you’ll be glad you did.
The bite is still late morning just around 10 and it’s been like that for a few weeks now so heading out too early, especially in the bay is not helping your cause any. Sleep in a bit, head out about 8 and you’ll be on time, hopefully you’ll be in the right area! Water temperature is still in the 79 degree range which is very acceptable for this time of the year. Bait is another thing, Sardines, Squid of 3 inches, Flying fish of 4 inches, Goggle Eyes and the list goes on. Be sure to bring lures of Pink and black to mimic the Squids and this could be a help. Dead baits have been attracting Sails and Marlin as well so don’t be afraid to switch up your trolling presentations (lures and baits) often.
All and all we have fish, it’s more about finding them in the mood to eat. But even with full stomachs they’re hitting baits and lures so it’s “fishing” in the classic sense. You’ll have a great time on the water but remember, where Whales are, fishing is normally bad. How’d you like to be a small fish waiting to be eaten by a whale? Now you know why fishing and Whales don’t mix well, but hey, they’re fun and beautiful to watch and be around. Just keep that in mind!
Written by: Stan Gabruk owner of Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle
As we inch our way closer and closer to the winter season the holidays are upon us. Many holiday travelers hope to catch a bucket list fish during this time of the year. Most of the time we can provide this list item, but this year is different. We’re seeing cold currents continue, but they’re coming up from the south, not north. We’re also seeing these cold currents in a swirling pattern that means we have warm water species and cold water species all sharing the same neighborhood. With all the “crowding” there is still plenty of bait in the bay. Now this is normally a positive, but when there is so much bait that they don’t give your bait a look, this can be a bit of a problem. The up side, we have lots of fish to choose from! Those with a little luck will be going home with memories of a lifetime!
Amazingly water temperatures are still in the 80 degree range, dipping just a tad lower at times. What this means we have perfect conditions for warm water species like Sailfish, Marlin, Dorado and others. We also have enough bait in the area to keep the “locals” interested as we move into the last stretch of high season for fishing. Corbetena has been improving with Sailfish, Blue Marlin in the 250 to 350 lb range, Yellowfin
Football Tuna are in the 40 lb range as well. Now they’re looking at all sorts of bait, so they may look at your presentation, then move on. This will drive you crazy. But they’ll take baits as well, so it just depends on what your target species comes across first. Dorado are still in the area, but they’re moving around. Where they were yesterday is not going to be where they are today. Fish move, they’re funny that way. Make sure you give yourself the time and a boat that will use fuel, which means not bargain boats. Many times bargain boats will not tell you there are fish off a bit in the distance as it would cost them money, impacting their bottom line. You on the other hand “thought” you paid to go fishing and you did. So make sure you ask the correct question along with “how much”! Some boats come in with fish, some don’t, it can all come down to fuel usage. With blue water, plenty of bait, you’re about a 70% shot at coming in with a Bucket list fish. El Banco is seeing fish as well, but with Corbetena running hot not many are using the extra fuel just to find no improvement on conditions. If targeting Marlin this is the best place to try as the numbers are greater in this area for the moment.
The eight hour trips taking you to El Morro / The Marietta Islands / Punta Mita point has been producing nicely. Dorado in the 30 lb range, Sailfish in the 90 lb range, Wahoo are in the area and taking baits, but catching them is not easy and they’re not a schooling species so they taste great and you’ll be lucky for sure. Striped Marlin to 250 lbs. With Blue Marlin over 300 lbs in the area you can essentially catch the same species at Corbetena, save money and if all fails, come back into the bay and hit the “freaks” hanging around La Cruz marina. With Sardines in the bay you’d have a Rooster fish expectation, but you’ll be disappointed. We had some larger Roosters last week, this week they’re much smaller. Throw in Jack Crevalls at 25 lbs, Bonito to 35 lbs and maybe even some 30 lb Snappers and you’ll have a fun day for sure.
Inside the bay is still and always will be great. Inside the bay we normally see smaller fish. Recently, well for some time now actually, we’ve seen Sailfish around La Cruz, Dorado around Los Arcos to 25 lbs, Needle fish to 30 lbs, Sierra Mackerels running 15 lbs and tasty. Snappers are around the bait balls and in between the Bottle Nose Dolphin feeding on the abundant Krill squids and Shrimps. Maybe even some Yellowfin Footballs around Yelapa. Four hours will do the “trick”, but six hours give you some time to find them.
For three weeks now the bite has remained after 10 a.m. so getting up and hitting it too early may work against your cause, especially if you’re heading out for four hours. You could be back before the bite happens! Water temperatures remain surprisingly high at 78 to 80 degrees we move closer to winter with the swirling currents.
INSIDE INFORMATION YOU CAN USE: Since you’re here on the web page, getting your information fresh and unfiltered I have to say things fishing wise are up and down. The “Fish Soup” title is just that, you don’t know what you’re going to get. For now we’re seeing Krill Shrimp and Squids that everything in the by just loves to eat. You can get lucky and find some fish that haven’t stuffed themselves. Then again, you could find fish that are so full they won’t take a bait, but they may take a couple of looks, then move on. Now that will drive you crazy! We’ve seen many Dorado and Sailfish from the Marietta Islands to Punta Mita. Some days this is the only place to be. The problem is fish move, so where they are today is not where they’ll be tomorrow, not surprising. The question is “Where are they today”? If my crystal ball would get back “online” i’d be able to tell you. But until then it’s a search to enjoy mission. With many boats in the bay, they have radios and know that people catching fish is good for the overall health of the Sportfishing industry. Now if you’re on a “bargain basement boat” with no radio, not only is this dangerous and illegal, they can’t hear the updates of where the fish are. Another thing to think about is the boat you reserved, did you get a great price just to discover the boat you’re on is trolling baits at ten miles an hour. Twice the real trolling speed, which means you’re not fishing as they create the perception that you are. It helps keep you from getting mad about the boat speed as other boats are passing you left and right. You may at this point get the idea that you’re getting exactly what you paid for. Nobody in your party ask how fast you head to the fishing grounds? Now you know. Your fishing time in the water reality is that at ten miles an hour it will take you two hours to get to the Marietta islands or Punta Mita. That’s two extra hours of fishing you don’t get! On top of that, you have no shot at catching a fish, none! It is meant to make you think you’re “fishing” yet they know you’re not. Two hours to the Marietta Islands or Punta Mita point, and then they do the same “slow boat, fast troll” back to the Marina. On an eight hour trip, you got screwed out of at least two hours of real fishing. If you compare the time fishing vs the money you paid per hour of “real fishing” then you’ll understand your real cost. This is very common. With fuel prices jumping twenty percent in the last year and there have been more announcements of continued fuel increases of another twenty percent. That’s forty percent fuel increase in an already expensive market. Mexico has so many social programs connected to energy that with people using less fuel, the revenues are down as you’d expect. So they kicked up the cost even more to make up for the shortcomings. With fuel cost a constant factor in an already expensive activity those looking to save money should question what they’re getting for their money. Another inside fact about these boats is the captain more than 80% of them do not own their boats, that’s a fact. When they quote a price, they are cutting it to their quick. If for example the crew hears there are fish striking near by, the captain of the boat would need to kick it in gear and zip over to where the fish are and you’d expect they would. They won’t. The won’t go because if they use too much fuel the boat owner will take it from their pay. Or worse, take their pay and then fire the poor guy. Not all are like this, but a significant amount of them operate in this manner. So, if you’re looking at price exclusively, ask if the boat heads out at 20 plus miles per hour. Ask how much bait comes with the price of the charter. Many charge fishing licenses, walk away from any idiot that says that. Ask if the boat has a radio, i know that sounds strange but many don’t as they pay the port authority a mordida or bribe to operate an illegal boat! Do they have insurance, Illegal boats of course don’t. The Navy has just taken the daily operations of Marina Vallarta over in an effort to stop these boats from operating, but that’s only with licenses to operate legally. The slow boat “syndrome” is still legal so it’s a buyer beware scenario so asking the right questions are the most important part of the negotiations. But there is little you can do if they lie to you. If the price of the boat is the only question you’re asking, think about what i just put in writing here amigo.
SHARED FISHING CHARTERS: We’re still running our hugely popular shared fishing charters 8 hr trips for $275 usd for half a beautiful Super Panga, good for two people, you’ll target Sailfish, Dorado, Rooster fish and Marlin. Just send us an email and let me know the dates you’ll be in PV and we will do our best to “Hook You Up” with others. We will do our best to match you up with others before you arrive in PV. Or if you arrive you’ll find our shop in the Marina Vallarta or on the Boardwalk to make your reservation.
TOURS: For years I’ve pretty much ignored the “tours” and left that for others. I now realize I can save clients some time and money by helping them with tour reservations so you can book fishing charters and tours all at the same time! Call Benjamin for details … from the states: 011 52 322 222 6086 at our downtown boardwalk store… or locally: (322) 222 60 86
OUR NEW LOCATION: We have vacated the other downtown location heading out to Mismaloya for our new digs on the Malicon. We’re still in Marina Vallarta as well with our new location on the Boardwalk or Malicon in spanish. You will find our great products, fishing charters and tours in both locations. My downtown store map is below and we’re open until 9 p.m. evenings.
Until next week, Don´t forget to kiss Your Fish!
Christmas is here and so are our shits online: Just click on the picture and it will take you to the Ebay site where we’re selling this one design!
Massive Bait, Cooler Water, Marlin & Dorado in Bay
Written by: Stan Gabruk owner of Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle
As we begin to wind down from the summer season into fall we’re seeing cold water currents moving into the area as we normally do. To me it seems a little early this year and indeed when you see cold currents coming up from the south, not north as normal you have recognize that there are some unusual conditions springing up. Because of this we’re seeing warm water species mixed in with winter or cold water species which doubles your fishing options. Those looking for Monster Marlin may be disappointed. The fishing is great, but just like a box of chocolates, you never know what exactly you’re going to get.
This week Corbetena and El Banco about equal when it comes to fishing. Black Marlin and Blue Marlin are still in the 350 to 500 plus lb range. The issue here is getting them to seriously consider your bait. We have massive amounts of Krill Squid and Shrimps that are just too tasty to ignore for all species. Flying fish, Goggle eyes, Sardines in massive amounts and the list goes on. There are no issues for bait, if you’re a fish that is. If you’re a sportsman then you may have a slight problem with fish giving your “presentation” or bait a good hard look, then turning away. We can put you on fish, we can’t make them bite! Having said that, there are Marlin boated daily, you’ll be trolling the day away and there is not likely to be too many strikes, but there should be some if you’re patient. Dorado are still thin in numbers, the good news is they’re in the 30 lb range finally! Sailfish are participating nicely, when they’re hungry. We’ve also seen some Wahoo turn up in sparse numbers as they’re a non-schooling species. With mouths like a Gansu knife, if you’re not running wire leader and you catch one, that my friend is pure luck. Targeting Wahoo will mostly eliminate other species as you have to troll faster for them to pay attention to your bait, but they will. The only question is how long are you willing to give it all a try or quit?
The area around the Marietta Islands and El Morro Rocks are seeing Sailfish and Striped Marlin a few miles off in the direction of Corbetena. This is a strange time of the year, as mentioned many fish are not taking baits, partly because there are so many species right now in breeding season, they just don’t eat! Bonito to 30 lbs, Jack Crevalls to 25 lbs, Needle fish possible to 25 lbs, Snappers are in the area from 10 to 30 lbs but they move in then out so it’s a moving target. All and all for an eight hour trip you’d be better off around the Sayulita Area from the point of Punta Mita where a few miles off the shore there are 30 lb Dorado, Sailfish and even some 250 lb Striped Marlin for the lucky!
Inside the bay, we’re still seeing this “Crazy Fishing” where you can see just about any species you can think of. Snappers are moving in taking advantage of the Krill Squids and Shrimp like all the other players. Sometimes they find your bait before they find the massive bait balls which is your ideal situation, cross your fingers. Still, Dorado at 20 to 35 lbs anywhere around the Los Arcos area. Sailfish are still hanging in this area and around La Cruz. Rooster fish are much, much smaller this week which doesn’t make sense with the massive amounts of Sardines, but there you are. Jack Crevalls around 25 lbs, Sierra mackerel’s to 20 lbs, Bonito under 30 lbs, Skippies are breeding and not eating. Remember the bay fishing is always great, but when Whales are in the area, no matter how cool they are to us, fish think they want to eat them! So fishing around Whales can always be better. At that point you have to decide to watch the Whales or continue fishing. Normally you can’t do both, it just doesn’t work that way, keep this in mind. Six hours in the bay is perfect, time to find fish and still not keep the “little woman” waiting in the spa too long! Mid-day length trips are perfect for the vacation or occasional angler. Hard core types, you’ll have fun, but a Striped Marlin or larger in the bay is still a freak occurrence, which seems to be daily now. Stay tuned!
Bite with the full tide has been later around 10 or later. With no “Super” moon to light up bait fish we’ll most likely see some help fishing from a darker night sky. Water temperature are still at 79 at the deep water location, but 80 in the bay. As far as bait goes, I suggest live bait, dead bait for Marlin and lures (gucamayos, Petroleros) are best for the moment. Remember to tip your captains and bring cold beer in the morning as you can’t purchase beer before 9am amigos. As a reminder, the holidays are coming soon and we’ll be out of boats to book early. If thinking of going on a boat for any reason, reserve early so you can guarantee you the boat you want during the coming few weeks, important so keep this in mind.
If you haven’t been in the shop in a while, we’ve got a new location and we’re getting new products all the time… New this week, some super cool coffee mugs, Shot glasses, Lighters with fish and our logo, Koozies are on the way again and we have some new carry bags for groceries that fit over your shoulder. Today i ordered Calendars for the coming new year, Fish porn calendars… too fun!
Written by: Stan Gabruk owner of Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle
Just when you think you have things figured out, all tied up with a nice fish bow, everything changes. You’ll find Marlin at the deep water locations here in our world class fishing grounds. Then again, you could find a freak Marlin around Los Arcos. With Massive amounts of bait moving into the area as is normal for this time of the year, freaky fishing is possible. Now you may say “What does that mean”? Well when you see a 600 lb Blue Marlin boated in the bay, that’s “freaky”.
As the opening paragraph indicates the fishing is erratic and unpredictable these days. The main reason for this is the massive amounts of Krill Squids of half an inch in length. But there are still incredible amounts of Flying fish, Sardines, Goggle Eyes and the list goes on. Because of this you could possibly find larger species in the bay than at Corbetena hitting a freak Marlin! Now you can’t plan on any of that so if you’re looking for Marlin you’re still better off taking a ten hour trip to Corbetena. In reality anywhere between Corbetena and El Banco can produce tournament winning sized fish, it just depends on how lucky you are. Many people seem to lock themselves into this idea that it’s either El Banco or we’ll go to Corbetena looking for world class species. The local secret is that anywhere in between these two locations are fertile fishing grounds. Ten miles off the rock heading north you’ll find a deep canyon that has produced many a tournament winner. This area right now could be better than El Banco or Corbetena on any given day. For now this entire area, including El Banco (which is nice to finally talk about) is alive with Black Marlin to 400 lbs and Blue Marin in the same size range. Sailfish are roaming everywhere and you’ll also find Dorado from 15 to 30 lbs here as well. My prediction is a Ten hour fishing trip will most likely put you on a Blue or Black Marlin, then again my crystal ball is a little murky.
The area from El Morro to the point of Punta Mita is alive again with Sailfish and Dorado to 25 lbs. The area off Punta Mita has shown signs of Rooster fish in the 40 lb range, but again nothing is predictable and the surf line will always have Roosters. If you hit one it will most likely be smaller if at all. Then again, anything is possible with the Sardines moving in. Some Striped Marlin have shown up lately right on time running in the 250 lb range. With eight hours you can most assuredly find some arm burning action.
Inside the bay is where we are finding surprises daily. Sailfish of 100 lbs have been caught here in the last week. One freak Marlin this week was at 600 lbs which was caught over the channel at Los Arcos Rocks! Highly unusual, but again with massive amounts of bait it’s not that surprising. Needle fish are now in the bay anywhere from 20 lbs to 35 lbs. Strong fighters, they’re a little weird looking with a small bill like a Sailfish would have. Jack Crevalls are around the rivers and moving into the middle of the bay chasing bait. Sierra Mackerels are delicious but normally not much larger than 20 lbs, don’t pass them up as they’re great eating. The area around La Cruz marina has been very active and some days it’s been on fire! For now anything is possible in the bay and short day trips can produce memories for a lifetime.
Water temps have been up and down. Last week we had 87 degree temperatures at Corbetena, this week it’s 84, a significant drop which is more comfortable for the local fish population. Inside the bay it’s a brisk 82 degrees as the whales like it. When it comes to bait in the bay, when we see the Whales we know we’ll have what I call feeder baits. Krill squids and shrimps of half an inch in length are like clouds in the water. Sardines are moving in with bait balls the size of a Mack truck drawing attention. Flying fish are near the Point drawing in every hungry fish around. The bite has been a moving target as late, so be where you want to be by 8:00 a.m to be safe!
Please remember to subscribe to this weekly article so it comes to you directly. We also sell Tours for all the local activities. For those interested we’ll “Smoke” your fish, give us a few days and you’ll be returned half of what we’re given, the other half is payment to the guys smoking the fish… As a reminder we have two locations now, one on the Boardwalk and the other is still in the heart of Marina Vallarta.
The trade name Master Baiter’s ® Sportfishing and Tackle is protected under trade mark law and is the sole property of Stan Gabruk.
Fishing is Great, But Maybe Not Exactly “Where” You Are
Written by: Stan Gabruk owner of Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle
You know the thing about fishing is, it’s never what you expect it to be and it’s as predictable as the weather. We do what we can to forecast the future, but that all depends on the quality of your crystal ball. What happened yesterday or last week is no indication of what will happen tomorrow. Lately we’ve experienced some great, absolutely wonderful days which build expectations for the following days. Many times things work out, then there are the days when it seems like the “lights are on, but nobody’s home”. Such is the case lately. We always, always have great fishing, but there are times when expectations are not met due to the forces of nature and the fickle mind of a fish. We do our best to make sure that doesn’t happen, that’s the main reason for this weekly report. If you’re flexible and can understand this fact of nature, then we always, always have great fishing. The only question is: What do you want? Big “iffy” fish where you roll the dice? Or lots of arm burning action with smaller species?
After what was weeks of huge Marlin and Sailfish on tap, things changed. There could be several reasons for this, many of which we as fishermen will never know. But there are still Marlin, Sailfish and Dorado in our world famous fishing grounds. If you don’t mind rolling the dice, head out to Corbetena. With an early bite to later in the morning can see Sailfish and Marlin looking your baits up and down, with the possibility of “snake eyes”. On the other hand if you’re of a positive mind, which I believe helps, anything is possible. Let’s face it, catching fish is the goal, fun is the result. Sailfish are running anywhere from 50 lbs to 90 lbs at Corbetena. There are also fields of smaller Yellowfin Tuna around the rock at 40 lbs jumping everywhere. I have had some reports of decent sized 80 lb Yellowfin Tuna, but lately nothing. Ready to roll the dice? El Morro which is a closer in location of course will see a possibility of Striped Marlin and Sailfish. Dorado are in and out in this area, but they’re just one species you have a shot at so don’t stress.
The “Golden Triangle” as I call it, the triangular area from El Morro, to Corbetena, up to El Banco and back again is the area you should be focusing on if looking for Sails and Marlin. We’ve seen some Striped Marlin as we’ve seen swirling currents with swirling water temperatures as well. Cooler water has Sierra Mackerels and Jack Crevalls in the mix as well. Ten miles or so north of Corbetena the “Canyons” have a step drop off and many a tournament winner has been boated in this area. You may want an eight hour trip to get you around the islands, then fall back to inside the bay if snake eyes come up. More likely than not you’ll find Sailfish and Dorado, but I’ve been wrong before. Just ask my ex-wives!
Conservative types that don’t want a full day, yet want a memorable day will find just that in a six hour day inside the bay. You may also see Whales as it’s that time of the year again. Now don’t be too surprised if you find whales and no fish in the area. Funny how they bug out when they think they’re “lunch”. Dorado are still hanging around the Los Arcos area as are some stray Sailfish. A better option of late is the La Cruz area where many smaller Sailfish have been boated. Small Rooster fish have been chasing the small Sardines that are finally moving into the area around the surf line. With the cooler currents you will also find Jack Crevalls and Sierra Mackerels which are delicious, don’t pass them up for the dinner table. Huge Skip jack Tuna in the 12 lb range are everywhere, tasty too. There is one issue though, there are tons of Krill shrimp, small Squids, Small Sardines and there are 12 inch Flying fish at the opening of the bay. This is huge for this species and they’re drawing in larger fish like Striped marlin. Again in the fishing world what you don’t expect will normally happen. You won’t go wrong in six hours amigos so go have some fun on the less expensive side. The bite is 8–11 a.m. and again at 3 in the afternoon. Well that’s all for now folks, I just ran out of space!
Written by: Stan Gabruk owner of Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle
With warm days and brisk mornings Puerto Vallarta is once again seeing the return of tourism, especially as the snow begins to fall in the northern regions of the USA and Canada. We’re in the perfect season for fishing. Name a Species, we have it. But like we’ve come to expect the Long Liners, Illegal I might add, have lined up at the fishing grounds which is impeding our ability as Sportfishing charter companies to “do our job”.
Yes folks, we have fish everywhere, but things have changed since last week. We’ve seen the Skippies aka Skip Jack Tuna thin out, which in itself is not too bad. We’ve also seen the water temperatures drop to just under 86 degrees, which is pretty close to “perfect”. Blue water is not an issue and the Seas are smooth. Conditions are actually hard to beat. The time to get on the water is now as the clock is ticking and soon the perfect conditions will transition into winter fishing. Which is great fishing, just smaller fish than we’re seeing now.
Corbetena this week has continued to see Marlin and Sailfish all around the area. Dorado are a little smaller this week averaging 20 lbs. Black Marlin are anywhere from 250 lbs to over 500 lbs, it just depends on how lucky you are. Your best chances will be north of the rock from two miles off the rock outwards. Yellowfin Tuna are still in the 40 to 60 lb range but can be larger, again how lucky do you feel. For now Corbetena is the hot spot in our world famous fishing grounds if you’re up for a ten hour day.
Just outside of El Morro we’ve seen some nice sized Sailfish taking dead baits and lures. Dorado are also in the area but are more spread out than last week so it’s not automatic by any stretch. Punta Mita is pretty much the same but there are some Rooster fish in the shore line and around the Anclote reef just inside the bay. You will also come across Skip Jack Tuna aka Skippies. With plenty of flying fish and bait in the water the fishing is great. We have seen a drop in Skippies in all areas, a favorite bait. Still, there is plenty of bait to choose from in the area so no worries, just get out there before things change. Remember any clump of debris or a stump for instance is a Dorado Paradise, don’t pass it up. The Marietta Islands are still in neutral, this should change soon, cross your fingers and stay tuned.
Inside the bay is still a great value as we’re still seeing some strange occurrences’ of larger Sailfish and even some smaller Blue Marlin chasing baits in front of Los Arcos and points south towards Yelapa. Near La Cruz they’re still boating the freak Sailfish. Jack Crevalls are moving in for some reason in this area as well. And of course around the shoreline you’ll still have a slight chance at Rooster fish. I get questions about Rooster fish all the time, there are always Rooster fish in the area, but they’re so small we don’t mention this as we need the babies to grow into adults, if you know what I mean. Heading out for a four hour trip is producing nicely, six hours give you time to find where they went from yesterday. So six hours is “better” and many times will do better than longer duration trips, keep this to yourself and it will be our little secret.
Ok, the important details are as follows, Water temperatures have dropped a bit to 85.5 degrees, nothing to get excited about. The Bite is happening around 10 am so sleep in a bit, it doesn’t do your cause any good getting to the fishing grounds too early. Late bite is after 2 p.m. Baits to use are simple, Live bait is king, dead bait works with Sails and possible Marlin, Lures of Blue and white, Petroleros as normal of green, brown and purple work well. Cedar plugs are ancient but effective for tuna of all sizes. And of course Iguanas of green, yellow and black flecks will be a good place to start as outrigger baits.
Don’t forget to visit our new store down town on the Malicon at the open end of the Malecon near the arches. We’ve closed the Basillio Badillo site for a better location on the Malecon next to Sr. Frogs! Looking forward to a new and exciting season at our new location.
Update Nov 8th: Yes folks the fishing is great, you know this because Illegal Long Liners are everywhere and they’re screwing up the fishing! They’re all over the place and they’re supposed to be illegal! With the amount of lines out there you’d think this was legal! We’ve complained to the Port Authority, The Navy and they start with the questions. Where’s your fishing license? What is your home address? Phone number? Car license plate number… All designed to intimidate and eliminate any questions of authorities supreme power. Yes folks with two tournaments coming up in one week the secret to winning the tournament is to cruise the line, pull the biggest fish you can find and then go “win” a car! But in between the long lines, the fish that aren’t snagged as yet, well they’re the fish we’re talking about. You won’t find this in my weekly magazine articles, but if you’re fishing in PV and reading this, you’ve got the information you need to know before heading out….
Shared Boats: We are still hooking clients interested in fishing for an eight hour trip. two people max, half the boat: $275 usd… That’s one of the best fishing deals in Puerto Vallarta and you won’t find it anywhere else.
My two locations: Many people have been coming into my Marina Shop asking “where I went”? The answer is I moved our operation once again to a new and better location on the Boardwalk, Malecon in spanish. Just next to Sr.Frogs where the Light House is. Or just check out the map below! Come in, We’re open from 10 a.m to 10 p.m. .. Or is you prefer we’re on Morelos side walk side of the street on short block before the old City Hall!
No need for words when the fishing is this good…. I’ll be posting these in my fish porn section once I figure out how…. just revamped my web page, I’m a “babe in the woods” when it comes to this stuff… but i do know how to post a pic or three…
Enjoy and Remember, at Master Baiter’s, We Won’t Jerk You Around!
Ok, that’s enough for now… To get these experiences contact Stan … Here’s the new location map below as well as the Main Store in Marina Vallarta…..
Don’t forget Christmas is coming, we have lots of shirts online for you to give as gifts…..
Link here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/COOL-SPORTFISHING-T-SHIRT-MASTER-BAITER-/322560705052?var=&hash=item4b1a1dc21c
Take care and as always, thanks for your support….. and Don’t forget to kiss your fish!
I know, I got a little creative in the title, but that’s about the whole story in a nut shell right now. Our world famous fishing grounds here in Puerto Vallarta are all pretty much firing on all cylinders right now. . . .
Corbetena, Dorado to 30 lbs or larger. Some in the 50 lb range.. Black and Blue Marlin anywhere from 300 lbs upwards and over 500 lbs! Tuna are a little small, but they’re abundant from 20 to 60 lbs, there have been some boated over 120 lbs. Sailfish are almost automatic all over, presently most are about ten feet long, tournament winners for sure! Calm, blue water, it’s a fishing paradise at Corbetena right now.
Closer in the Marietta Islands continue to be a bit disappointing and not the best place to be dropping baits at the Moment. The point of Punta Mita is another story. Dorado are anywhere there’s a clump of trash, or log, anything that cast a shadow and you’ll find Dorado. Sailfish are sprinkled throughout the area and they have been taking dead baits, now this is changing becasue there are so many Skippies aka Skip Jack Tuna as bait it’s hard to say no to, fish wise that is. Eight hours trips are coming in with nice Sailfish, Dorado in the 20 lb range. If you head out a little farther you’ll have a shot at Marlin, say ten miles off the point on a heading of say 300. Be ready, an explosion of screaming reels is not unusual at all.
Inside the bay, it’s a short day fishermans dream. Off Los Arcos there have naturally be nice Dorado, mostly in the 20 lb range, but there are smaller one which should be returned for another day! Sailfish are also being boated in this area as there is so much bait, it just draws them into the area. Not to be out done, smaller Blue Marlin in the 200 lb range have been chasing skippies as well and not many, but a few have been caught and released. Remember a 200 lb fish is big, but in Marlin terms they’re just “bables”. Have fun, then “throw” it back for the future health of the industry and future anglers who will most likely keep it when it’s older and bigger.
Bait conditions are plentiful with all kinds of flying fish at three to four inches in length. Lots of “bullet Skippies” or baby skipjack tuna which just happen to be a favorite bait option! Sailfish are also hanging around La Cruz Marina so pick either end of the bay and cross your fingers.
The all important bite is around mid morning now, after 10 a.m., then again just after 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon. Heading to the fishing grounds too early could make it a sketchy morning leaving back for the marina as the bite happens? Don’t do that! leave a little later in the morning, 8 is plenty early and squeeze as much action in as possible..
It’s tournament season now, we have one coming up on the 10th of November. No expensive for a two day tournament at $2,000 pesos, or just a smidge over a hundred dollars. Fun, in expensive and the prize money is nothing that will make you rich, but there is a nice trophy with a few pesos! Something to think about.
Also on the 15th of November we have the Puerto Vallarta annual Marlin and Sailfish Fishing Tournament and it’s a real “happening”. Entry fees are reasonable and we have boats at the ready.
Watch for my full on report in a few days, but for now this should get your heart beating a bit faster!
Think Puerto Vallarta, Big Black Marlin, Sailfish & Dorado
Wriitten by: Stan Gabruk owner of Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle
You know I wait all year long to write my best articles about Puerto Vallarta’s World Class Fishing so this report is a real treat for me. We are seeing some of the best fishing of the year with no signs of things changing as we’re smack in the middle of tournament season! Superior Conditions, with moderating air temperatures as we move deeper into fall makes for comfortable days with fish the size of your car. These are the “Bucket List” days. Come join us for the time of your life!
El Banco aka The Bank has shown some signs of life, some smaller Tuna and one big one was boated the other day. Some Black and Blue Marlin but the problem is not too many bait fish in the form of Skippies (aka Skip Jack Tuna). Blue Water, Smooth seas, conditions are favorable. Corbetena has seen more action and is more reliable, but it’s time El Banco got a pulse again. Stay tuned, they’re always bigger at The Bank, if they’re there!
Corbetena continues to be the place to be. Big Black and Blue Marlin running on average at 500 plus lbs are picking up in numbers and they’re here to party! The good news about Marlin is they’re all spread out so anything, anywhere is possible. They seem to be more abundant at the Rock, but anywhere from El Morro / Marietta Islands out are fertile territory amigos. One secret, run dead baits for Marlin. Skip Jack Tuna are the bait of choice right now for most species, lures are working as well, but if you come across schools of Skippies go ahead and fill the Tuna Tubes. This will almost guarantee a “screaming reel Marlin Party”! Dorado running 20 to over 60 lbs are more abundant by the day, which is saying something from last week! Sailfish are getting thicker also and they’re anywhere from 7 to 9 feet long! Yellowfin Tuna are a little disappointing this week running mostly in the 40 to 80 lb range (I’ve seen picture of some at 200 lbs as luck is a factor). But they’re taking baits and ready to take your presentation! So you have the idea, this is where you want to be and the sooner the better. Days like this you can’t go wrong. There have been two inch flying fish everywhere as bait. Krill shrimp are tasty for Dorado, Sails and Tuna so be prepared with Hoochies and related rigs.
The Marietta Islands are still in “neutral” and I have no explanation. If you’re a touch north of here the Point at Punta Mita have seen Sailfish and 30 lb Dorado spread through the area. Find a clump of debris and you’re hit the Dorado Jackpot. Just 7 miles or so off the point on a 310 heading you will find Sailfish and yes, more Black and Blue Marlin! Eight hours and longer are producing at least three strikes a day. We’ll put you on fish, it’s up to you to boat it! Around El Morro there are Skippies, so this area is drawing in larger fish. Black and Blue Marlin are roaming the area so a shorter day could produce nicely if you’ve got any luck at all. The trick here is to ride the current. That means the fish will surf this current, being pushed and this is where the bait is. So get in the current, not crossing it and you’ll see the difference. Locals worth their “salt” know this, experience pays.
Inside the bay it’s reliable, affordable and fun! There are 10 to 20 lb Football Tuna around Yelapa and can be larger. Dorado in front of the Los Arcos Rocks in the 20 lb range. Sailfish are chasing Skippies in the bay as are some freak smaller Marlin around 300 lbs. Bonito are a stable and in the 30 lb range and great tasting. More Needle fish seem to be in the area, but not really catching many for now. For now even a super cheap four hour trip will pay off in sore arms and face hurting grins. You can’t go wrong fishing anywhere in PV these days.
The bite has been inching it’s way earlier and earlier so be ready to go early and be at your chosen fishing grounds by eight-ish in the morning. Water temperatures jumped five whole degrees to 88, not causing any issues though. Blue water and clear skies as we exit the rainy season. Live bait is working for some species, but Marlin are preferring dead baits as some Sails will take lure and dead bait before live bait, go figure. Lures of blue and white, purple Petroleros, iguanas that mimic Dorado are also working well. Flying fish are only two inches long, but they’re out there in the Billions! Some days can be more difficult than others, these fish have plenty to eat and they’re not shy about it. The fish are there, the challenge it to find the correct bait for the day, so bring your bag of tricks and good luck.
Remember to visit our new location on the Malecon or boardwalk on Morelos right at El Faro or the light house (next to Sr.Frogs). And don’t forget about our Marina Vallarta Store as well! Benjamin can fix you up with Tours if you’re looking to do something other than fishing as well.
The Marina Store Location is still at the end of Marina Vallarta between Docks A & B. It is being said by my competition that Master Baiters, the guy who owns it is Dead. I am happy to say I am still alive and kicking, but obviously my so called “competition” is scared to death you’ll talk with me and then they’ll be a forgotten thought. We’ve been fishing here in PV for 17 years and counting. We’re the oldest fishing company in Puerto Vallarta so don’t believe them. If asking where we are, mention you want top purchase a t-shirt, they seem to let that go…. it’s a mexican joke I live with daily!
Until next week, Don´t forget to kiss Your Fish!
Fire me an email and get on my mailing list so we can send you these reports directly fresh and useful! Or visit the web page and subscribe, it all works the same!