Cooling Water, Massive Amounts of Bait, Challenging Fishing at Best
Written by: Stan Gabruk owner of Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle
Once we get past the second week of January we normally see water temperatures drop. This is when the warm water species begin bugging out if they haven’t left already. Sailfish are widely spread out and thinning in numbers. Dorado can still be had, but again this is a summer species that’s hanging around for the bait. Jack Crevalls, which normally move in when the winter season starts are here and growing in numbers. All and all the summer fishing season is over, expectations now for Billfish is not realistic any longer. Fishing is still great, but from this point forward its great winter fishing amigos. Don’t be disappointed, be happy there is arm burning action for the family!
Corbetena has been “hanging” on when it comes to Striped Marlin to 250 lbs and Sailfish of nice size. Dorado are mostly closer in or in the bay. You can still get some Football Tuna in the 20 to 40 lb range if you find the Spinner Dolphin which are running between Corbetena and El Banco. I see pictures of other companies with Sailfish and Marlin in this area, but frankly I haven’t seen any Billfish come out of this area for a few days now. For those looking to take a chance, then go for it. If you’re a little short on patience, then I’d suggest a shorter day with a more certain result. These days it’s difficult to give a decent report on El Banco aka The Bank. Most people that “stop” there are either on their way to the Tres Maria Islands fishery or on their way back. For now Corbetena is going to be slow at best until June.
For those looking for more reliable action the area from El Morro to Punta Mita is still showing signs of summer species life. Dorado are being boated daily, but not by everyone. Sailfish are thin at best, by that I mean they’re widely spread out. No concentrations and frankly “iffy” is an optimistic term in this case. Having said that some nice sized Dorado larger than 20 lbs have been around the buoy and any floating debris. Six miles off the beach of the Four Seasons Hotel Striped Marlin up to 250 lbs seem to be more abundant. Sailfish also are running closer to shore as well and will take a dead Goggle eye if you run one in front of them. One issue is with so much bait in the water you may have fish in the area you don’t know about there and won’t strike as they’re stuffed. For now I suggest an eight hour day, give the Stripers, Sailfish and Dorado a shot. If nothing happens, and there’s a good chance you can blank, then target the Jack Crevalls at 40 to 50 lbs, Bonito at 30 lbs, Maybe find the Spinner Dolphin with 30 lb Yellowfin Tuna Footballs running with them. It’s worth a shot!
Those looking for shorter days and more reliable “action” would be best suited for a four or six hour fishing day in the bay. Many times in the last few weeks the bay fishing has been better than the more expensive deep water locations. With the super abundant bait of Krill Squids and Shrimps the “locals” are just swimming with their mouth open. We are still seeing the freak 25 lb Dorado around the Los Arcos area with an occasional Sailfish. Jack Crevalls are kinda funny. Sometimes they don’t come up for bait or the bite. Other days they’re cruising the surface and are easy pickings, so they’re not automatic by any stretch of the imagination. Bonito from 10 to 35 lbs have been running with Spinners, but they are free swimming as well in the bay. Snappers at 10 lbs are coming in around the structure areas, small but great for eating. Sierra Mackerels are also great tasting at 15 lbs they should not be ignored. For now until things change bay fishing is your best option. Four hours gets us to where the fish were yesterday, six hours lets us find where they are today. With bait moving all over the bay rapidly, six hours is just a little insurance amigos.
We’ve seen the water temps drop three to four degrees this last few days which is drastic. Jacks and Bonito love it, so do Sierra Mackerels, but we’re moving into winter fishing as is normal at this time of the year. The bite for the fifth week straight is still after 10:00 in the morning so plan your departure accordingly. Bait is a bit of an issue. With Sardines moving in rapidly in large numbers the bait balls are impressive. Flying fish, Goggle eyes, Squids, you name it. It’s hard to turn a fishes head when they’re not interested in your presentation. What’s really weird is many times dead bait works best. One thing for sure the fishing is not easy and the baits that work are changing by the hour. Make sure you have a full range of lures, dead bait and live bait at your disposal. You’ll most likely go through all your bag of tricks to find something that works.
Ok, I’m starting a tip of the week thing to help you negotiate fishing charters when looking for a boat. It seems these days there are web sites all over the place promising the best fishing experience in PV. But they have no reviews anywhere on the net to review who they are and review professional opinions of their performance. TripAdvisor comes to mind. First go to TripAdvisor and review the comments. This is not a perfect way to find a fishing company, but it’s a good place to start. Make sure they have a physical location where you can walk in and talk with the agents or Captains etc. Many internet companies are legit, but without some ability to review them professionally you’re just another person rolling the fishing dice. Now those TripAdvisor review are very easily corrupted. that means anyone can get friends, family or even services to put positive comments up on T.A. making you believe they have a long history and superior service. Lots of comments mean really nothing. My TripAdvisor has a few negative comments, mostly from people trying to TA Blackmail us, but nobody is perfect. Look at the reviews, look for detail, not just a one liner. When you feel good about the list of pic’s, then call them directly. You’ll get a feel for what the company is by the person on the phone. When they ask for a deposit you want to hold the boat, but half down on a company you don’t know is a little risky at times. A hundred dollars is all i want for a Down Payment or Deposit. You should expect some sort of confirmation letter with the transaction details, Meeting instructions, name of the boat and a persons name who you are going to meet. A picture of that person is always appreciated so you know who to look for in the morning.
If you have local friends that can personally refer you to a reliable company that would be the best place to start amigos! Nothing beats local knowledge. But never give a large deposit to a person walking independently. You have no legal recourse if your deposit is ripped off and there is no boat or person to meet in the morning. I hate to say it but i see this all the time. They will have “iffy” slips with no company name and no address. You may have a phone number, but mostly they are either bogus, don’t work or frankly the guy you gave the deposit to isn’t answering the sucker they are ripping off! But your biggest protection is the Sectur Licenses required the last couple of years to be a legit fishing or tour company. It’s a federal license, not a local license. They are now finally enforcing this new license requirement but many still don’t have it. Ask them for this, it may be in work, but if they don’t know what you’re talking about, walk away. Never tell any person or promoter when you are leaving, you are basically telling them when they can return to that area and he can find his next victim. So start with TripAdvisor, make a phone call and get a feel for the company from the agent. Send small deposits, just enough to hold the boat. After all you’re looking to hold the boat in your name so $100 usd is more than enough. That way if you do have an issue, you didn’t lose a significant amount. Next week we’ll discuss the initial basic questions you should ask long before you ask for the price.
Please share these articles and all my post with your friends and family. Even if they are local freshwater fisherman, everyone loves to hear about PV. It helps promote the local area and as the only comprehensive fishing report about PV and not my fishing company, it’s your best source for fishing information about the fishing here in Puerto Vallarta. You can also subscribe to these weekly articles that are real time. One reason i like to write these articles is so when you’re home, you can read what’s happening here in PV and use that information as a tool to week out shady promoters or worse. As always thanks for your continued support!
Until next week, Don´t forget to kiss Your Fish!
Web page: www.MasterBaiters.com.mx , Local Phone at: (044) 322 779 75 71 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 and Carlos Soberon.