Yellowfin Tuna / Striped Marlin at the Bank with with Smaller Game Fish to 50lbs!
January 12, 2011
To tell you all the straight up truth right now, I have no clue what will happen when you head out on our boats in the morning. We know what they caught yesterday and what they caught them on, but we don´t know where they will be today and they will probably be in the mood for something new on the fish food menu! Winter fishing is always a challenge, this is why an experienced captain with some tricks up his sleeve can be worth more than the price you paid for the boat! It´s not like fishing in a barrel right now like in the summer when any idiot with a shinny lure can boat a Monster Yellowfin Tuna. Right now you will need a salty captain who knows his stuff along with a well equipped boat. This is where the price of the boat is directly relative to the salary paid to the captain and crew, not to mention having the tools required to do the job at hand! No day Captains coming with his own bag of lures please!
One of the things Puerto Vallarta has going for it at the fishing grounds is believe it or not, the warm water that streams down from the Sea of Cortez in Baja California. That area is mostly shallow and the water does not circulate well in the summer, so it gets downright hot. But now in the winter when the sun shines on this shallow body of water, it warms up nicely and will stream down past Mazatlan towards El Banco and the Tres Maria Islands. So naturally this will help keep warm water fish like Marlin and Sailfish in the area. This explains why we have sailfish in the San Pancho area on most years. This year is a little different because there is so much frigid water, colder than cold flowing down the west coast. It is so cold that even the warmer currents that stream from the Sea of Cortez cannot influence the temperatures. So there are warm spots that can produce. This is where the built in electronics can be your savior of the day. When you know the water is cold, too cold, you know not to fish there. Terrafin online can be a help looking for warm water, but buy the time you get the print out and to the warm spots on the satellites, it all can change. So much for satellites and Terrafin… So the electronics make the difference. Now if you have some boat captain or owner telling you he has electronics, ask him if he means a hand held GPS and a Cell Phone is what he calls electronics, you may get a yes answer with an excuse or explanation of how all that doesn’t matter as he charges top price for his low rent boat. It happens all the time and there are very, very few pangas with this essential tool. I mean how do you know to troll an area if there are no boils or birds diving if you can´t see what is under the boat?? So look for the warm water spots, you´ll more than likely find fish! One example this week is the reappearance of Striped Marlin off Corbeteña and El Banco. With very few boats heading out to these fishing grounds, it´s hard to see a trend. But those heading out this direction have been coming in with Striped Marlin. Amber Jacks, Cubera Snappers are there for the bottom fisher. No Wahoo or much else for that reason. Right now hitting The Tres Maria Islands where there are still 200lb Yellowfin is your best bet for coming in with a trophy fish. On the way back, try El Banco for the Striped Marlin that is if you´re not already tired from your long day fishing. Flash Update: As I am writing this article a Captain friend of mine came in letting me know he boated four Yellowfin Tuna five miles out from El Banco, where the Striped Marlin are so there is hope out there right now…. This is some strange stuff to have Yellowfin Tuna out there now, but we won´t complain and the Customers were happy!! YeHa! Could Corbeteña be next?
With the fluctuation in water temperatures everywhere, even the Marietta Islands are hard to predict. Some days there are plenty of fish. Other days everyone there will come back empty handed. Now that doesn´t mean there are no fish, it just means they don´t feel like taking whatever bait you are presenting them. You can´t target a specific time of day for the bite, because that too is moving all over the place. Right now I suggest a later in the morning depart, about 8:00 a.m. to catch what seems to be a stronger afternoon bite, but again, this is not always the case. Good luck, your guess is as good as mine right now. But if you are in the area, there are still diminishing numbers of Rooster Fish, Sierra Mackerals, Jack C revalls to 50lbs, Snappers anywhere from 30 to 60lbs, even a Sailfish is possible, but not likely. Grouper and Sea Bass have been around and it´s a total surprise to hook into one of these, but they taste great so we won’t complain… If you find yourself at the Marietta islands you will catch fish, no joke there, but which fish, now that’s another thing.
The areas north of Punta Mita have been a complete blank. With no boats heading up this way, I know I have not sent any up that direction, it is hard to get word to those interested. But we know that when we get those warmer streams from the Sea of Cortez, this area benefits greatly with the low water circulation closer to the shore. So things may just change in the short term. Keep an eye on the reports for more later. Rooster Fish love Sayulita, so if in that direction, give me call and let me know what happened….
Inside the bay, the action again is on the smaller side, but there are always fish to be had no matter how cold the water gets. Mostly smaller boats heading out for up to eight hours and they´re all coming in with fish and happy. A few weeks ago I would tell you to forget the four hour trips, but now things have changed with Skip Jack Tuna in the Yelapa area, Sierra Mackerals and Jack Crevalls everywhere, Snapper near the structure and of course Snook at the river mouths just outside the surf line. If you target Snapper, don´t be surprised if you find small Groupers taking your bait. Now they´re small, but man do they taste great! Don´t let your captain tell you they don´t, he just lied to you as he puts it in the fix box!
Another issue is the fact there is just so much darn bait in the water that fish have a virtual smorgasbord available to them and that can make your bait uninteresting to say the least. Experienced captains can work around that issue running smaller lures. But live bait is still king and if you catch some of these small Skip Jack Bullets, sew one up and see what happens, you may get lucky.
That is the latest and greatest for now, more to come later this week. I would like to say thanks for reading my articles and my blog, I never really know who is out there or not… But I have had some positive responses and if you would like to get on my mailing list, fire me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will set you up on the direct mailing list. So thanks again for your support and tell or email your friends that may be interested… Oh, and thanks for not pointing out my mistakes, it´s appreciated!
Until next time, don´t forget to kiss your fish!
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