Sport Fishing in Puerto Vallarta is considered World Class among those in the ¨Know¨. Hello my name is Stan Gabruk, owner of the world famous Master Baiter´s Sportfishing and Tackle™ here in PV! That´s right, I said Master Baiters™ and were well known for our Yellowfin Tuna over 200 lbs and Black Marlin bigger than a car! I came to Puerto Vallarta seven years ago in 2002 for a nice vacation and never left. So this is the story of a middle aged man that came to Puerto Vallarta for a short vacation and would up staying. After 26 yrs of working in the Aircraft industry, Douglas and Boeing in Seattle, I retired at 47 and now I fold T-shirts and take pictures of Dead fish for a living in paradise! Being in Puerto Vallarta for as long as I have people think I am a fixture in Marina Vallarta and I guess I am a little. One thing is for sure, Puerto Vallarta (PV) is a small town, no matter how many people come here, it still feels like a small town with some seriously big money outside influences! You see PV has become the Palm Beach of Mexico with the Ocean life, Culture, food and of course world class Sportfishing in the Bay of Bandaras. Being located on the boardwalk I see and hear just about anything that isn´t involved in toxic gossip, don´t have any time for that. I know all the Captains, 1st mates, and support cast surrounding the fishing charter industry in Puerto Vallarta. Many are friends, more aren´t. But everyone is competition and more than willing to cut you off at the financial knees so they can make ten dollars! The Sport or Charter Fishing industry has never been easy or very profitable. I see at least three new companies come and go out of business every year. The following year, there are more and the cycle goes on. Master Baiter´s™ is the oldest Sportfishing company in Vallarta, established in 2000, we´ve seen it all! This year we´ve seen many strange circumstances come together and align in perfect unison to form tourism Perfect Storm. The convergence of the Crashing economy in the States, drug wars on the boarder and finally the Swine flu ¨Pandemic¨! I just want to say for the record, CNN, Fox News, and the rest of them should be prosecuted for irresponsible journalism! They together assassinated the entire tourist industry in the whole country in a matter of days. It was amazing. If I was in the states, I would have been scared out of my mind. In late April when things were well underway with the pandemic scare, everything and I mean everything came to a screeching halt. No people, no business, no cash flow, people losing their hotel jobs, restaurants losing waiters. Even the Mariners on the charter fishing boats were getting laid off and half salaries or worse. I have never seen this in all the time I´ve been in PV. I would also like to say this all happened without one, single, incident of swine or H1N1 flu in any tourist resort area throughout Mexico. Cancun, the main culprit in the beginning and blamed for infecting those kids in New York, not one case of swine flu at that time. Mexico stepped up to the plate and made the hard choices. They closed down all public venues like Soccer Games, Bars, Schools, Churches, Movie houses, anywhere people can gather in groups and spread the disease. It nipped the perceived problem in the bud, yet the News Services in the U.S.A. played that one up as an example of how bad things were in Mexico. I´ll tell you, they did the responsible thing for the whole world and they got beat up for it. The clients that didn´t cancel on their fishing charter came in the shop telling me stories about how family members would leave them at the gate crying thinking they would never see them again. Can you imagine that? I had an old girl friend come down to PV with her new guy who owned a small oil company in Calgary, who was told by his CEO that the office wanted him to stay out of the office for at least ten days upon return to Canada. But that wasn´t really the issue, Canada stopped all commercial flights to Mexico, period! The truth of the matter about swine flu or H1N1, or what-ever they are calling it now, it´s worse in the United States now than it ever was on the worst day in Mexico. Why? Well, one reason could be because they didn´t close down the country like Mexico had to stop things in their tracks. But, that is all behind us for the most part now. There are many, many shops that after four months could not survive on no income, so of course they closed. Hotels are once again employing the locals and transient workers, but the number of guest are still way down. People are coming back little by little due to the bargain basement prices on hotels / airfare packages. I had a friend and his wife come down to PV and stayed in the Westin Hotel. A very nice place, one that would run you near four hundred dollars a night in April during normal conditions. They got the whole package for $1,499.00 usd and it was a Saturday check in! I figure they got the room for like seventy dollars a night. Less money than I paid for a Motel 6 at the airport last time I was in L.A. and stuck with a cancelled flight. So the prices are unbelievable right now! As far as the Drug wars go, I´ll leave that one for the next blog or is it an article?? I know this is supposed to be about fishing, so here´s some inside information for those who want to know…. El Nino has raised it´s ugly head again and what would be considered a normal season has turned into something with several heads. A medusa so to speak, you don´t know what you´ll get from day to day. Water temperatures every three to five years get this condition when the water mass at the Equator does funny stuff and then the currents for the entire west coast all the way from South America to Canada will be affected. This year we´re seeing this in the form of cold water at the fishing ground of El Banco and Corbeteña. Normally water temperatures at this time of the year will be in the mid to upper eighties. But now if they´re in the low eighties it would be surprising. When it comes to Yellowfin Tuna and Black marlin, they like warm water and they won´t hang around in ice water! But the water temperatures in the bay have been very warm, drawing in bait fish and larger fish as expected looking for a meal… I had clients go fishing for four hours in the bay, and they came in with a 100 inch Sailfish! The lady Sharon said it was the first fish she ever caught. So they mounted it and soon they´ll have a nice trophy that SHE can brag about! Funny thing about Sharon, she wanted her husband Tony to be in it with her, but he said it was her fish and her picture. You gotta respect that. We´ve been seeing lots of folks from Texas lately. Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, you name it, they have taken over Puerto Vallarta. Now of course this is a welcome joke as people again, are returning for the deals. Once here they can´t believe how calm and normal the whole place is. No dying people in the streets from drug wars. No dead people from the flu…. And certainly no problems with the Mexican Economy, which North Americans don´t get….. Of course in an economy that is based on cash, credit is not an issue in the third world. Maybe they know something we don´t?? Anyway, I got a little carried away with this and I´ll try to keep things a little shorter. If anyone has any questions on Mexico, Puerto Vallarta or fishing in Puerto Vallarta, feel free to contact me at and I´d be happy any way I can… Next time we´ll talk a little about the drug wars and what that really means. And a little more about fishing…. If you´re interested in my weekly fishing reports, I post them by Tuesday, most weeks, for your real time reading pleasure. Or you can just fire me an email on any subject regarding PV and I´d be most happy to answer it to the best of my ability. I also have tons of contacts, so if you need any assistance, let me know …. Until next time, don´t forget to kiss your Fish…. Stan Master Baiter´s Sportfishing and Tackle www.F under the name MasterBaiters

5 Responses

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