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Puerto Vallarta Fishing Stagnates Slightly as Summer Slowly Rolls in

Written by Stan Gabruk, owner Master Baiter’s Sportfishing and Tackle

I have been a little reluctant to write this fishing report since what was working well has suddenly come to a screeching halt. This is not exactly unexpected, but it still isn´t something we can be happy about. Water temperatures are hovering in the 78 degree range with changing currents. As a result the water has turned a mercy-clear brown at the Marietta Islands and will probably be spreading to El Banco and Corbeteña. May is a transition month and the winter fish are moving out as the summer fish are rolling in slowly. With tourism down, I guess that if this is going to happen, it is a good thing it is happening now. Now this is not to say there are no fish to be had…. Stay tuned!

For the last several months the Marietta Islands have been the place to be. As we all know nothing stays the same forever and the fishing has fallen off a little lately. The last few days an eight hour trip to the Marietta‘s has still been productive, but not like a few weeks ago. One change in the area is that Bonito are moving in, the first sign that summer is creeping up on us. Jack Crevalls are becoming less abundant and what we were seeing in the bay is thinning out. Nothing strange here, again, the seasons are changing.

There are still Dorado north of Punta Mita, but you may find them smaller than you would hope for at 15 to 25 lbs. May is right on time for these fish, but when they move in like they seem to be, then larger Dorado can spring up on you in a heartbeat. So be positive, be equipped and give it a chance. If you don´t see any Dorado, then head to Anclote to see if there are still any Rooster Fish in the area. With a little luck you´ll find some light tackle action. Use Google Eyes for live bait or Diamond Jigs before you jump into color, lures that is.

Sailfish At Corbeteña
Sailfish At Corbeteña

Inside the bay the Skip Jack Tuna have returned around the Yelapa to the point of Cabo Corrientes. Sierra Mackerals are a thing of the past these days as water temperatures increase. Jack Crevalls are dropping in numbers quickly as we see Needle fish begin to take their place. Yes folks, it´s May, the transition month. Bonito are moving in with the Skippies as well. To have these 20lb game fish in the area is a big draw for Billfish. Inside the bay, these are great fish for those looking for some arm burning act ion on light tackle. Fishing on the fly is perfect around the rocks near Los Arcos. The shallows and  rock reefs in Nuevo Vallarta is a place where Skippies will hang out on occasion, so if on a short day, this may be an area to remember as everyone heads south!

El Banco has been quiet. With tourism down once again we are having a hard time getting a feel for what is happening there. Normally what happens at Corbeteña will happen sooner or later at El Banco.

Now Corbeteña on the other hand is opening it’s sleepy eyes as Skip Jack Tuna of 20 to 30 lbs reappear in their summer playground. Naturally the Sailfish and Striped Marlin there are happy to see them as well. Google Eyes for live bait have been working well, but lures are doing well also. Petrileros are on top of the list with purple combinations being a good second choice. Don´t be afraid to mix colors up when trolling. They are fickle creatures and you may find something different will catch their eyes, so be creative amigos. The Sailfish are small in the 50 to 70 lb range and the Striped Marlin are only in the 125 to 175 lb range. So have fun and remember to release these ¨Babies¨ to live and play another day!

People are always asking me why some boats are price one way and others are priced another way. When looking for a fishing boat, remember it all comes down to what you want to pay, and what you expect for the money. If you are one of those guys who thinks a fishing boat is a fishing boat, then you’re right. If you are one of those types who want a great and experienced captain, first mate and excellent working boat, then you are right as well… Here in Puerto Vallarta there are times when you can catch fish on your car keys. In those times you don’t need anything special, even electronics are a waste if you are surface trolling and hitting bait balls with diving birds. A cheap boat can catch fish just as well as an expensive boat in those cases. The difference is when the fishing is not like fishing in a barrel, then is when you might expect to pay for a better level of professionalism. Many times it can come down to the color of the lure you are running. Other times you can run a silver diamond jig and come back in looking like a king. But when it comes to deep water fishing, you might want to know where the ridges and valleys are. Without Electronics, you have no clue where they are exactly. If you are at El Banco, many a time I have only caught fish directly over the high spot! Twenty feet off the spots and forget it, no fish. Or what do you do when the fish, Yellow Tuna in particular,     when they go deep how do you know what depth to set your down rigger? Fast boats are also going to cost more than a slower boat. Now if you are heading into the bay, a slow boat to China will be to your liking. But fast boats, boats that actually use fuel as it goes up in price, well you´ll have to pay a little more for those. Remember, you are paying for time with your line in the water, not heading out and back from the fishing grounds. If you are looking at a cheap boat that needs to find a different captain every time it heads out, then they will be an economy boat that may catch fish and you´ll hopefully have fun. But there are those who want an experienced Captain who has a track record of catching fish when POSERS are telling how good they are, yet are ill-equipped to the challenge, lacking  in skill and knowledge , with a low level of equipment and tackle. But then again, this will cost you more money. So how do you find a boat that is a happy balance between price and quality?  Well when you figure that one out, let me know. Boats don´t have to be pretty, but appearance is always a sign of maintenance. Your captain doesn’t have to speak English, but communication is a good thing. You don´t have to get a boat that provides bait, but you´ll have to pay for it anyway on the way out. You don’t have to head out on an insured boat and there are many that are not, but what if something happens? It all comes down to price vs. expectations. Me, I want fish, I know nothing is free and I also know that if everyone is in one price range, the cheapest guy wins almost all the time for those looking to go fishing on a slim budget. More expensive boats with better captains and clients who are willing to pay for this level of world class fishing, will find the extra expense is always worth it if the difference means not catching fish. So how do you pick a boat?

Well that is about it for now, until next time, don´t forget to kiss your fish……

As the oldest fishing company in Puerto Vallarta and the only company with any World Recognized Fishing Championships like the WBS Billfishing Series Grand Champions (2000 and 2001) under our belt. Nobody, but nobody in Puerto Vallarta can come close to us in quality or price when it comes to world class fishing boats. We work for your business which explains why seventy percent of my business at Master Baiter´s is return business! You work hard for your precious vacation, money is hard enough to come by, you don´t need to worry about the companies you are dealing with! Remember, at Master Baiter´s Sportfishing and Tackle, We Won´t Jerk You Around! If you have any questions on any subject regarding fishing or Puerto Vallarta, feel free to ask!

For questions or suggestions you can reach me at: CatchFish@MasterBaiters.com.mx

The trade name Master Baiter’s ® Sportfishing and Tackle is protected under trade mark law and is the sole property to Stan Gabruk.  Always ask to speak with Stan to insure product quality and to insure you are working with the true Master Baiter´s ® and not an imposter