People ask me all the time when the fishing is best in Puerto Vallarta. That is always a moving target because everyone wants a little something different. My standard answer is Mid July to the second week of January. But for some reason people seem to take that as if the fishing is bad any other time. This of course is not the case, but we do know up front that January, February, March and early April are not Billfish months. But we´re in March now, the water is warming up daily, we have seen Sailfish fifty miles out at The Bank or El Banco in Spanish. There is still plenty of bait in the bay, the water is clearer and bluer every day. Spring is right on time this year with the weather conditions coming in line with expectations and water temperatures moving into the range summer fish prefer! Yes Amigos if you are into fishing, then this is the time of year when things will change for the better. Larger, more abundant gamefish are already here, time to think about your summer fishing trips!
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 […]
When this time of the year comes around we never really know what to expect when it comes to fishing. For the last few weeks we weren´t expecting much to be straight up. Water temps were cold, the water dirty, red or worse. Bait was hard to make and many a fishing boat came in daily without fish. Quality of your captain, the level of equipment on hand and the crews experience all came into play. That was last week, this week things have improved and your chances of coming in with a trophy game fish are much better!
Here in Puerto Vallarta you may hear fishing is slow. Now that is a term that can mean several things, it can mean fish are not biting, it can mean the fish are smaller or it can mean that there are not very many boats heading out. It can mean also mean that there are fish in the Bay, but they won´t be 100 lbs like so many of the return fish snobs will say. Me, I downplay the winter fishing conditions because if you truly want huge fish, they are here.
Normally at this time of the year all my fishing reports begin to sound like the same thing with all the same players. Normally we’re in a situation where the water is no lower than 70 degrees on a colder water year. But this year we are seeing water temperatures in the mid sixties if we´re lucky to low seventies at the deeper water locations. So to say these tropical fish feel like they are swimming in Ice water is an understatement. Having said that, there are lots of Yellowfin Tuna at the Tres Maria Islands and the water is no warmer there than it is closer in. There are tons of bait around the swirling waters of the Tres Maria Islands. So where are the fish, well they all seem to be here, seventy five miles out to your destination.
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!