It seems at times that all I do is rewrite what I said the week before and I guess that is normal when your primary subjects, fish in this case, don´t change habits drastically in the winter. Normally for February the sailfish are still here and we´ll see Dorado in diminishing numbers and smaller as time passes. In March we see the water temperatures normally warm up a bit. After a La Nina year I have no clue what to expect. But remember this La Nina Year came after an El Nino year which is hot water temps. Now that we are hopefully moving into a normal current pattern we are seeing warm water species move back in to the area. The fish I am talking about here are primarily Needle Fish. Just as we see the Sierra Mackerals and Jack Crevalls indicate that water temperatures have cooled down come the end of winter in to fall. So it looks like we will see an early spring this year is this is any indication.
One of the places I don´t write much about is El Morro. Located about ten (10) miles south of the Marietta Islands, El Morro is one of those locations that can be dead for extended periods of time and then just explode with action. One reason is the bottom of the bay in that area works to produce upwelling’s that contain all sorts of organic materials that have settled on the bottom from the summer months. This is a little known area that a new comer would not know of unless a local told him about it.
Two weeks ago I turned away more people than I care to think about with the truth about what the actual conditions were in the bay. Four hour trips, unless you like checking out sea life and whales, was pretty much a waste of your time and money. Same for Six hour trips and even the eight hour days were coming in at times with empty fish boxes. But as the warmer water is working its way back into the area we have seen the normal players like Jack Crevalls return in a big way. Tons of smaller Red Snappers, Pompano and several larger Rooster Fish and the list goes on. One thing for sure, there is no reason now to hold back. Even the four hour trips are averaging 10 to 15 fish or all types.
Feb. 15, 2011 We are seeing the water temperatures hover in the low 70’s and while that is still cold water for us here in Puerto Vallarta, it is still much better for fishing than the low 60’s we were dealing with last week. There were some mornings where my Mexican side wanted a parka […]
The unpredictable season continues with more fish moving into the area. With the fish moving in and out it is difficult to say what you´ll find on any given day, but anything is possible, including coming in empty handed. With tourism being down, fewer than normal boats are heading out in the mornings which keeps incoming information on where to head out to a guess, making it all a crap shoot. This is the time of the year where some captains will consistently come in with fish, while others promise that they are the best, but can´t walk the talk. Experience pays off in times like these and it doesn´t hurt to have a well stocked tackle box and a little luck in your back pocket.
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!
Everyone lately has been heading out to the Marietta Islands and chasing Roosterfish along with Snappers, some Cuberas there as well in the 50 to 60 lb range, Pompano, Skip Jack Tuna, Sierra Mackerals, the occasional Dorado, Bonito, and the list goes on. Some strange stuff has happened as well, like Yellowtail, not Yellowfin tuna, but Yellowtail which is a cooler water species that we used to see in California and even in Cabo. But in Puerto Vallarta, this never happens. We have also seen Sea Bass, another cold water fish we never see, yet they have been boated at the Marietta Islands in freak instances. This is just another sign of cold water bringing in cold water winter species we almost never see. If this trend continues I will be much happier with the colder water temps! Stay tuned….
Normally at this time of the year we see the Puerto Vallarta Fishing grounds full of Yellowfin Tuna, Black Marlin, Sailfish, Dorado and more. We still have Yellowfin Tuna at the Tres Maria Islands, commonly known as the Prison Islands. We also still have Striped Marlin and Sailfish north of San Pancho, which is about the same distance as heading to El Banco. But for those looking for close, trophy Game Fishing action things have changed. Water Temperatures continue to drop and hover in the winter ranges of the low 70’s. So what does that mean for the Holiday Angler looking for big fish? Well it means for the most part you can still find what you are looking for, but you´ll have to be flexible of wallet and time. As we move officially into winter, the fishing is fine, but you´ll need to hunt them down amigos!
As we all know weather patterns follow water temps and while the weather is perfect, the ocean conditions turning cooler means that it won’t be long before the trophy game fish of Marlin and Yellowfin Tuna head for warmer waters to the south. The main reason we still have large trophy fish at the moment is because of the massive abundance of bait in the bay and at the fishing grounds. If you are looking to boat a Black Marlin or a monster Yellowfin Tuna, then you better get your butt in gear and get out there or it will be another year before you can cross this off your bucket list!
Trying to keep up with rapidly changing conditions around here is enough to make your head spin. We’ve seen the introduction of Striped Marlin back in our world famous fishing grounds and this is an early indication that our summer fishing season is coming to an early end this year. Whales are in the area in huge numbers as we enter December. Rooster Fish have reappeared at the Marietta Islands and Sailfish are plentiful, if you’re willing to go the distance. All and all the fishing is great right now in Puerto Vallarta!