Yellowfin Tuna, Sailfish, Dorado, Spread Out and Challenging!

  Written by: Stan Gabruk owner of Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle

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For now we’re seeing excellent conditions, blue water, great water temperatures, plenty of bait and fairly good weather and sea conditions. We’ve seen several Hurricanes and Tropical storms this year closer to the shoreline which takes its toll. As we come to the end of low season we’ll soon see more tourist interested in fishing as is normal come the beginning of October. For now your best fishing is outside the bay. But the fish are spread out, spread paper thin. There are all the favorite players to be had species wise, but nothing is easy or automatic. It’s quite possible you’ll come back in empty handed.

Those that take the challenge of the possibility of not catching fish understand it’s not an exact science. This week the deep water locations of Corbetena and El Banco have changed a little, not that you’d notice! Corbetena is back to seeing Yellowfin Tuna anywhere from 40 to 75 lbs and they’re taking bait! Sailfish are a little thing as are Marlin in the 500 lb range, both blue and black. Dorado are in the 20 to 40 lb range, but they’ve been taking green runners, keep that in your back pocket when heading out. El Banco, forget about it. If heading out to more distant fishing grounds it would be worth a pit stop and see what’s happening. With so few fishing boats heading out this way these days let me know if you catch anything! Finally it’s worth a trip to Corbetena amigos! Buenos Suerte or Good Luck and be patient.

Why? Well there is a long list of “Why’s”, feel free to create your own excuse. But the fact remains it difficult at times to understand the fishing conditions in these world famous fishing grounds. Today I am going to blame the “spring back” from El Nino, yes El Nino. Things don’t just spring back to normal after a super strong El Nino. Fish have a tendency to stay where it’s comfortable which seems to be San Diego right now. It takes two whole seasons to get back into a normal flow of sea currents, which by the way is next year.

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The most visited area these days are in the area of Punta Mita / El Morro / Marietta Islands. Sailfish are sprinkled though out the area and can be found anywhere from four miles off shore to twenty miles, but you’ll be in the “ball park” which is the best I can do. Dorado from 15 to 30 lbs are roaming the area. Find a log or floating debris and you’ll most likely find Dorado. Skippies are sprinkled through the area as well. Some Rooster fish were reported at Punta Mita running 40 lbs, but only a few reports so stay tuned. The water is blue once you pass the point but remember there is a lot of crap in the water so don’t push your captain to leave too early or go too fast. It can be tricky with dark skies and hidden water obstacles, it can ruin your day and the boat as well.

Inside the bay it’s been challenging at best. Four to six hour trips are hard to recommend with the brown, dirty water. With all the rain we normally have it washes the mud and debris into the bay in the form of brown and dirty river water. Now it’s fresh water and it can be shallow, but you don’t know this until you’re in it. If a fish can see your bait, then you have a shot, if not then it’s best to avoid this overwhelming obstacle. Find clean water and you’ll catch fish. In dirty water, if you do hit anything it’s luck since fish don’t see baits well. Right place, right time, and a little luck is the way things are going now in the bay. Having said that we still have the cold water species of jack Crevalls at 30 lbs around the river mouths, they like the fresh water. Sailfish and Small Dorado are around the Los Arcos area, had some boated this week when the fish see the bait. 20 lb Football Tunas have been around Yelapa, close to the mountain and for some reason the water can be cleaner or even clean in this area. It’s a gamble for sure. Bonito is a constant at 30 lbs with varied other fish to choose from, again if they see your baits. For now I’d look closer at eight hour trips and if budget constrained do a shared charter with us. Or we have some fairly priced boats if you’re a single and not looking to “share”.

With the cloudy skies and rain fish are confused, no sun as a reference. It seems the bite is happening around 8 a.m. which is not a bad time. But when considering the amount of debris in the bay, you may be able to talk your captain into leaving a bit earlier, but you’ll go super slow so figure that into your duration as the clock starts as you leave Marina Vallarta. With the afternoon bite is around 2 p.m. it may be better to leave a little later and head out faster, it’s a judgment call amigos, flip a coin on that one. When it comes to water temperatures they’ve been a steady and constant 88 degrees for the last three weeks or so now. Perfect for Marlin and Sailfish, Dorado and Tuna can easily tolerate this especially if there is plenty of bait in the area. Speaking of bait we’ve seen 5 inch flying fish around the point of Punta Mita and farther out. Green runners are thick and of course we always have Goggle Eyes and Mullets. So bait issues, unless you factor in that one issue may be too much bait, I’ll let you be the judge of that.

We’re experiencing the old trick the time share promoters use saying Master Baiter’s is “Dead” or out of business. It still amazes me that people come in the shop and tell me “they said you were dead” or “They said there’s a guy there but it’s not Stan, he died” or “Hacienda, the Mexican tax man, Arrested Stan and they’re out of business”! Funny, I don’t feel dead or out of business! This is nothing new, my Mexican Competition at its best, trying to make sure you don’t talk to me for any reason trying steal my business. As a reminder we are located at the South End of Marina Vallarta, between Docks A and B on the boardwalk or on the Malecon behind the black and white striped light house, next to Sr.Frogs, so don’t be confused or lied to. Master Baiter’s is alive and well. Tours, Fishing, T-shirts, hats, Polo shirts, ladies shirts and our world famous Koozies and more. So come in, Say hello and let’s go fishing!

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After many years writing fishing articles and the likes I have to tell you that nobody knows why fish do what they do. We can “predict” what they’ll do from what we’ve seen in the past years, but that is nothing more than a guess. We can tell you what happened yesterday, but in reality that doesn’t mean it will be the same tomorrow since fish move and so does the bait. Sometimes what seems so simple is anything but simple. For years I’ve taken what I’ve seen, experienced and have done my best to predict and report the best I can. Having said that it’s difficult these days to figure out what is happening, let alone what will happen. We’ve seen outstanding seasonal conditions. Blue water, no issues there unless in the bay. Bait is super abundant and varied! Water temperatures are in the normal range and very comfortable for warm water species. So you have to ask what’s the deal with El Banco? No fish? Or really is it that nobody is heading out this way as the clientele is looking for shorter and cheaper fishing charters? Who knows, could be part or all of it. For now it’s difficult to get you any word on El Banco as nobody, but nobody is heading out this far unless they’re on the “way” or returning from an overnight trip for example. They’re passing the area, might as well give it a try. But even then we’ve seen little action at The Bank so it’s hard to discuss what the deal is there. Well we know what the deal is, fuel expenses are the deal frankly. It determines how fast the boat you chartered is and where they’ll go. Again all depending on fuel usage. So El Banco being 50 miles one way with a slim shot at fish is what the deal is with El Banco for now. I could be wrong, just ask my ex-wife.To continue, Boats that use fuel and go fast are more expensive, can’t get around physics and the minimum wage. Factor in “real full time” captains like feeding their families on a regular basis charge more. Good Captains cost, cheap captains don’t, I’m sure you can figure that one out. Slow and un-maintained boats with faulty equipment will be cheaper, but not cheap. With us seeing lower end clientele these days in PV product quality for many companies (internet mostly with no location) has dropped. When you’re the slowest boat heading out it becomes obvious why they’re “cheap”. Another trick of the low end companies and it’s common is to drop baits at the buoys leaving the marina, you’re getting the short end of the fishing stick amigos. They troll too fast, they’re not fishing, they’re in route believe it or not at half speed. They’re just making you think you’re fishing. Your travel time to the fishing grounds is double what the more expensive boats are which means you miss on hours of fishing in slow boats! At that point how cheap are they? Slow boats equal less fishing time with your line in the water, simple physics. You’ll also find the captain (working for day “pay”) of a cheap boat will not leave the “area” or stretch your “duration mileage” even if there are fish just a little farther out.  We could do the same, but the quality and service is what our clients are looking for. We’re held to a higher standard and all things in fishing are not created equal. Remember this is Mexico. What you think you’re paying for is not what you get and if you don’t ask the correct questions, other than price that is, then what you don’t know just “gaffed” you in the back side. For people that have never gone fishing or are inexperienced this all seems quite acceptable. For those that know better, well you know better. If you want a slow boat, bad captain, tell me, they’re easy to find and you have to agree to not put a bad comment on Tripadvisor. But either way talk to us by phone or come in and discuss what’s happening and ask all the questions you want. You’ll see the difference and understand what the real deal is before heading out. Not some Timeshare promoter(s) telling you Moby Dick is in the bay, dirty water and all…. There are other contributing factors as well, but they’re too numerous to go into. Now fishing companies like Master Baiter’s live and die by our reputation. If you’re not catching fish, then the specific company was too expensive no matter what the cost was. If you catch fish, the cost of the charter is never remembered. If you’re looking for guarantees in the fishing world, good luck. We used to guarantee you’d catch fish, but even then it was hit and miss at times and those days were different.

Until next week, Don´t forget to kiss Your Fish!

Our New Location On the Boardwalk in Down Town at the light house, come in and say hello to Carmen or Benjamen….

Remember to visit our new location on the Malicon or boardwalk on Morelos right at El Faro or the light house. Also look at our web page, we have some new boats, removed older boats and have some different options. We are showing some less expensive boats for the budget hunters. Then we have the nice boats that are priced accordingly. Then we have a few new yachts for fishing or cruising. We’ll be adding Sailboats shortly for the Sailors out there. We also have some different products in the Boardwalk store I don’t have in the marina store as yet. So go in say hello to Ben or Carmen and check out my newest location!

Master Baiter´s is located in Marina Vallarta between docks A and B on the boardwalk

 Web page: , Local Phone at: (044) 322 779 75 71 Facebook:

The trade name Master Baiter’s ® Sportfishing and Tackle is protected under trade mark law and is the sole property of Stan Gabruk.

Dirty Water Moves in, Fish Move Out, Wait Three Days!

Dirty Water Moves in, Fish Move Out, Wait Three Days!

Written by: Stan Gabruk owner of Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle


08 29 2015 Dunn and Lindsay Marlin MBTEXTI´ve been talking about how we haven’t seen the seasonal rains that are so normal for this time of the year. About a month late they´ve finally arrived. We´ve seen rain inland, Guadalajara has been seeing regular rains for weeks now. For the last few days we´ve seen some heavy rains and this of course translates to muddy, dirty water washing down the hills and into the rivers. This of course means the rivers dump into the ocean at some point. Here in Marina Vallarta we have at least three rivers that spill into the Bay of Banderas creating a Trash Line. But it also brings dirty, coffee colored adobe mud water to the whole area. This is a good thing until it becomes too much. Too much means there are heavy rains locally and the amount of water filling the bay is magnified to the point of undesirable conditions. In a nutshell, the bay has dirty water, so the fishing isn´t exactly easy at the moment.

Ok, so we know the bay is full of dirty water, but how far does this dirty water go you may ask?? The dirty water has found its way to Corbeteña, but not El Banco. The Marietta Islands / El Morro area is the same. In front of the ¨trash line¨ the water is almost always clean and clear. The smaller Dorado, Skip jack Tuna, Bonita, Snappers and a host of other fish will chow down on the organic roots, berries, leaves, seeds, you name it. It´s a organic trail mix fish love and it´s a good thing. Again, smaller fish feed on this ´fast food¨ and of course this draws other fish in looking for a quick ¨bite¨.  So if you´re fishing in the bay, for now this is your best chance for catching fish. If you´re in front of the river mouths the fresh water mixes with the salt water that energizes the fish, frenzied they’ll hit anything shinny. Robalo to 30 lbs, Snappers from small to larger at 30 lbs. Jack Crevalls can still be had around the Nuevo Vallarta area, the dirty water doesn´t seem to affect this species like others. If Jacks can see your bait, they´ll take it. As far as Skip jack tuna, it´s hard to get their attention and they´re small in the 6 to 10 lb range. Even getting Skip Jacks (Skippies) to pay attention to your bait has been challenging at best. For the next few days, the bay may not be your best fishing option so check to see if there is any clean water in the bay before heading out. Now fishing from shore around the river mouth(s) is a different thing amigo…. Targeting smaller fish from shore is probably better than getting on the water for the moment. But as always, this can change before you get this message, so check with me or a local before heading out.

07 27 2015 Striped Marlin 650 Pxls MBTEXTThe Marietta islands and El Morro are also dealing with this muddy coffee colored water. So Sailfish and Marlin are moving out towards the deep water locations for the moment. Still there are Needle fish in the 35 lb range. Baby, I mean baby Dorado in the 10 lb range, so throw them back. Bonito to 30 lbs, some very small Rooster fish 20 lbs and a host of other reef and assorted small fish. All and all this is going to be the first area to clean up, so keep an eye open.

Normally around Punta Mita, just north of the point the water is normally cleaner than other areas when conditions like this exist. Anclote Reef is clean for the moment so fishing north of Punta Mita in Clean water, if you can find it, will produce Sailfish of nice size. Maybe some Dorado, but they´re babies in this area as well. If fishing out of Sayulita or Punta Mita I have a couple of boats now in La Cruz Marina so we can accommodate North Bay fishing trip clients staying in Sayulita, Punta Mita, and areas near La Cruz Marina, so now you know.

07 27 2015 Kennys Pargo RedPix 500 pxls mBTEXTCorbetena has been affected by this dirty water as well. For now there are few strong currents moving this water out so even the Rock is slow and all the entails. Sailfish are hard to find, but they´re in the area because you can see them on the surface, but they´re not taking Bait. I can say the same for Black and Blue Marlin to 650 lbs. Some big-boys for sure, but they´re only chasing baits, not taking baits. Some of these Marlin are trophy sized. So this will make you pull your hair out, have a beautiful Marlin chase and give your bait a hard look just to be snubbed. For the moment, I´d wait to hear about clean water before running off to boat Moby Dick amigo. Even the Cubera Snappers that take jigged baits aren´t! When that happens it´s just best to be patient for a few days. We know these conditions are normal and at times they can work against us. This will all change in a few days so stay tuned.

El Banco has some clean water, one place, but you´ll be heading out fifty miles to find a Marlin or Sailfish. I expect this dirty water to find its way to El Banco as well, if not there already. If you find yourself at the high spots and the water is clear then you´ve got a shot at Sailfish to 90 lbs, Marlin to 650 lbs and who knows what else. Yellowfin Tuna are nowhere to be found right now, they have moved out and are avoiding the dirty water, who could blame them?

Water temperatures are still perfect. Bait is still abundant, but moving out as well. Flying Fish are still around Punta Mita and the Marietta Island area. Goggle Eyes, Skippies that are perfect bait size, Bullet Bonito and the list goes on. The bite is in the mid-morning from around 9:00 a.m to 11:00 a.m. and then in the afternoon after 2:00 p.m. time frame. Another issue we´ve been dealing with is a full moon. We´re seeing cloudy evenings which make the clouds in the area like giant light bulbs reflecting the moon rays. Then with cloudy and overcast days, these fish are a little mixed up and this could possibly account for Marlin chasing baits but not taking. It looks that for now it´s best to be patient, save that fuel dollar, in a few days we´ll see the bay clean up, the Rock turn back to blue water and who knows, maybe even some Yellowfin Tuna. Cross your fingers for larger Dorado to show up as well.

Last word: Normally I try to put a positive spin on the conditions, but this week it´s best you understand that fishing is fishing and not every day is a good day in fish city. The up side to this is things can change in a heartbeat and by the time you get around to reading this article things could already have improved. It can happen just that fast. So if you´re in Puerto Vallarta and read this article, call me before making a decision and get the updated report. At Master Baiter´s We Won’t Jerk You around! One way we don’t jerk you around is by telling you the straight up truth. We´ll turn your business away if the fishing is bad because reputations like ours don´t get built on lies and unhappy customers.

10 14 2013 Travis Cusimano, Shannon friend 03Until next time, don´t forget to ¨Kiss Your Fish¨

Master Baiter´s has changed locations in Marina Vallarta between docks A and B on the boardwalk. Email your Questions to me at:  Web page: , Local Phone at: (044) 322 779 75 71 or if roaming: 011 52 1 322 779 75 71 cell phone direct Facebook: The trade name Master Baiter’s ® Sportfishing and Tackle is protected under trade mark law and is the sole property of Stan Gabruk.

50 lb Dorado & Marlin Return to Corbeteña!

50 lb Dorado & Marlin Return to Corbeteña!

Written by: Stan Gabruk owner of Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle

Every year when the season’s change, the returning of the whales is the main indicator that winter is here. We see the fishing in the bay take a steep drop in action due to the Whales. We Love the Whales, but the fish, now that´s another thing. In the bay, the bait has taken a powder, split, vanished, left the building. Seems they think they´re going to be lunch. Same goes for the Marietta Islands which for the last couple of weeks has been less than spectacular. Of course what would you expect with no bait to speak of this past week? That´s not to say there is not great fishing still to be had amigos. Corbeteña, the machine is alive and producing well for those seriously interested in catching world class fish in some of the best fishing grounds in the world. If you´re on the cheap, the bay still has smaller fish. So we have you covered amigos.Jpeg

As I mentioned Moby Dick and his family have returned to the bay of Banderas for some good times, a little whoopee and a lot of new arrivals as baby Whales are being born all over the bay! And as I mentioned earlier, the bait believes it´s in their best interest to vacate the area before they get eaten. So needless to say you´re fishing ¨luck¨ will be less than spectacular in the middle of the bay. If you´re dead set on fishing in the bay Yelapa is still sporting Yellowfin Footballs in the 35 lb range, tasty for smaller Tuna. Bonito in the same size range along with Jack Crevalls in the 35 lb range as well are hovering at the south end of the bay. We are seeing Jack Crevalls increase in numbers and we always know the water temperatures are heading south when they arrive. But for now we´re very happy to have fish and the Whales in our watery back yard. Sailfish can still be found up near La Cruz Marina, but less abundant in the area for some reason.

The point at Punta Mita is still alive and well, but the action has slowed down a bit with some Sails to be had and Dorado still around the buoys. This will change soon, so get out there if you´re looking to stock some Dorado in your fridge. Blue and Black Marlin in the 400 to 600 lb range are still about fifteen miles off the point, not far from El Banco. So if you´re in the area, you may want to head a few miles farther out and see what´s happening around the high spots at El Banco! Marlin, Smaller Yellowfin in the 80 lb range are ¨in and out¨ as well.

The only real reliable fishing ground this week is once more Corbeteña. Thirty five miles out it will take about an hour and half to get there at a fair clip, but the journey is worth every minute once you hook into your first Marlin or Sailfish. Dorado has increased in size as well and are now running in the 40 to 60 lb size range. Blue and Black Marlin in the smaller ranges of 400 to 600 lbs are around the area now that there is Bait and more favorable water temperatures in the 81 degree range with blue water and smooth seas. I mean the conditions are so good, we forget how good we have it now until late March has us looking forward to summer once more! Cubera Snappers in the 50 lb range, Wahoo are still in the area. As a no schooling fish, Wahoo can be tricky to catch, you have to troll a little faster for them. The sharp razor like teeth make wire leaders a must. So you have to be ready to catch one if you´re targeting Wahoo. Now there are those who get lucky and just hook the fish in the corner of the mouth. These are the luck fish, the fish you should have never caught, but did! Those taste the best! Yellowfin Tuna in the 80 to 175 lb range, good luck in your search, it´s not going to be easy. Still, a few miles off the rock can produce some great results if you´re adventurous.

A little local news, after years of corrupt port authorities allowing illegal boats to ¨operate¨ under the radar has finally decided to crack down on illegal fishing and tour boats in all the marinas here in the Puerto Vallarta area. For years these illegal boats who had no requirements for safety equipment, insurance, licenses or even the common sense to have a radio have operated and mostly put every legit fishing company out of business in Marina Vallarta. JpegThere we nearly fifty boats seized and ticketed throughout the area in the last few days. Finally!!!! For a couple hundred bucks a month illegal boats could operate a ¨business¨ and not worry about being put under a microscope. Those of us that went to the powers that be got deaf ears and excuses about how they deserve to make a living also, so it was never a even playing field. Now that these boats are being weeded out, the legal boats are seeing an upsurge in business as is Master Baiter´s. These enforced regulations will make it safer for the general public who will sacrifice safety for a better price. Of course safety is something you don´t think about until you need it. It´s like insurance, you don´t want to pay for it, until it´s needed and then you´re glad you had it. Same goes for a sinking boat, there is little chance you´ll have an issue even on an uninsured boat, but what do you do if the boat is sinking and your captain only has a cell phone and no radio. I guess you´d have to either swim in and hope they have a life jacket or hope the person he calls can tell who ever they reach to come find you and the boat in the great big bay before you get soaked and worse. Think about it, remember there are no liability laws in Mexico, be safe, be sure and be smart.

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 and are now near Victors Café Te Cuba. Look for me at the least traveled end of Marina Vallarta and I will be there in my new place. Email your Questions to me at:  Web page: , Local Phone at: (044) 322 779 75 71 or if roaming: 011 52 1 322 779 75 71 (this is my cell phone directly until the shop phone is workingFacebook: trade name Master Baiter’s ® Sportfishing and Tackle is protected under trade mark law and is the sole property of Stan Gabruk.