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Marina Vallarta Las Palmas I Local 3

Yellowfin Tuna are still running with Spinner Dolphin in the El Banco Area. Now sometimes they’re farther north and sometimes they’re farther south. But the fact remains you have 60 to 80 lb. Yellowfin Tuna at your disposal if you have the time and the mindset.

Puerto Vallarta’s extended fishing season continues as we are still boating 60 to 80 lb. Yellowfin Tuna all over the El Banco area. That’s great news for sure, but the simple fact is Puerto Vallarta fishing goes through the seasons just like all the other fish locations around the world. We’ve been very lucky this year with the El Nino conditions. But it looks like the Dorado have finally gotten tired of the cold water and have moved on. Sailfish and Striped Marlin are still running around the neighborhood, but the odds of you boating one is less every day. Now this all may sound like ‘doom and gloom’, but in reality it’s happening very late in the fishing season. But you can’t get around spring and when we come to this time of the year, the seasons are beginning to change both in the climate and in the fishing season. Now what’s strange, we never really came out of the summer fishing conditions with all the summer species hanging around even with the dropping water temperatures. What can you look forward to? Well in about 12 weeks, we’ll be gliding back into the summer fishing conditions once again.

For years and years I’ve been talking about Corbetena and the world class fishing at the ‘rock’. But for the last month of so the fishing in this area has been on the weak side. Yes there are always fish at Corbetena, but the reality of the last three months is the area has been unusually quiet. Why is any body’s guess, but bait is the primary culprit. With Massive amounts of bait in the water and slightly warmer water El Banco has been the place to be. With Spinner Dolphin we’ve had 60 to 80 lb Yellowfin Tuna running hard. What I’ve been calling ‘Mid-point”, the area half way between Corbetena and El Banco is more commonly known as “Buoys”. You see this are used to be one of the hottest fishing location here in Puerto Vallarta’s world class fishing grounds. From this area to El Banco has been the most active fishing grounds we have in PV. Sometimes north of El Banco has even better action, but this all comes down to how much fuel you want to burn. This is pretty much what’s happening and not a whole lot else! Yes you’ve got a 30% shot at a Sailfish or Striped Marlin. So the lucky are still boating billfish, but with diminished demand for fishing, which is normal before Easter, there’s no telling how long the Spinner Tuna will be hanging around. So the primary species outside of the bay is Yellowfin Tuna. This means a 12 hr. trip is probably your best bang for your fishing dollar. There could be some Dorado out there, but that’s a low margin species right now. Feeling lucky?  

Those looking for an eight hour trip still have a shot at Sailfish, but to be honest not much of a shot. Striped Marlin are still running the area for some reason, but are also very thin in numbers. There are plenty of Jack Crevalles, Bonito, and assorted fish. On occasion you can find Rooster fish north of Sayulita. Now for The people who like to bottom fish, there are Cubera Snapper and Amber Jacks to be had. Not much else to say about this whole area for now, stay tuned.

Inside the bay we’re looking at our normal winter fishing conditions. Jack Crevalles, our bread and butter winter species, is everywhere and they’re in between 25 and 50 lbs. Now many people turn their nose up at Jack Crevalles, but they’re strong fighters and they’re abundant. Bonito, part of the Tuna family, are pretty much everywhere in the bay, but are more focused south of the Los Muertos Pier. Normally on a six hour trip we will drop bait there and troll to the rocks at Los Arcos. You’ll find action and that’s what it’s all about now isn’t it! I would say for family day fishing, this is a short enough day as to keep the family interested and short enough to make sure it’s enjoyable for the family. But I’d also like to point out we can do fishing, snorkeling and then take your fish to Yelapa and have it cooked on the beach. So when we talk about what’s happening in the bay, there are some great options available that can be ‘attached’ to a fishing excursion where you can essentially get a few tours for the price of one. If you’re lucky enough to be here from November to the first of March, you can include Whale watching on that list. To be honest, the Whales don’t leave on exactly March first. But the tours stop because the Whales start leaving. The Whales left either had late babies or there were some other issue and they’re hanging around a bit. Usually for the babies to gain some weight on the rich diet of krill.

What to expect in the coming weeks in the world of Fishing in Puerto Vallarta is a slight down turn in fishing. As we get into late April, breeding season is in full swing. But I would like to add that the Yellowfin Tuna are full of eggs right now. So are the Bonito and Jack Crevalles. Some days they take baits, others not. We’ve had a very strong and bright full moon the last few days and this will affect the bite as well. So with plenty of moon light, the fish see the bait and when they don’t take bait in the mid-morning, it’s probably because they fed all night! And of course there is so much bait around the bay, it’s a fish smorgasbord, free for the taking. Another thing I’d like to remind people of is the fact we have two ‘bites’ every day. The morning bite is the one most people use, but that doesn’t mean you can’t catch fish in the afternoon as well. So don’t think you have to go out fishing in the morning, especially if you have younglings who can be hard to get rolling at 05:30! Many times the afternoon bite is better than the morning bite so keep this in mind when looking to boat a fishing trip. Now, you need to let the captain know what time you want to head out so he can arrange to purchase bait in the morning. Like the morning bite, the afternoon bite can vary, so it’s good to know you have an article like this to rely on.

After having said all that, the morning bite is still about 08:30, so be at your chosen fishing grounds about this time. The afternoon bite has been happening about 14:30 or 2:30 p.m. and may well be better than the morning bite. Again, the full moon can do this, fish will get hungry by the afternoon and is a perfect game plan for the ‘lazy’ morning bite! Water temperatures are still a bit warmer outside of the bay at 76 degrees, but in the bay the water is 74 degrees. At El Banco I believe it’s even warmer than that. When it comes to bait, with all the natural bait, lures that mimic Dorado are doing ok. But live bait is king.

Until next week, don’t forget to kiss your fish!

Written by Stan Gabruk

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