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Marina Vallarta Las Palmas I Local 3

Changing Conditions, Mystery Fishing, El Nino Frustrates!

Written by: Stan Gabruk owner of Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle


Marlin Numbers are thinning out, but we still have Marlin in the area.
Marlin Numbers are thinning out, but we still have Marlin in the area.

I know, I know, you must be saying what kind of title is that? With what is happening it´s appropriate. Water temperatures have dropped drastically and all the lingering summer species are on the sparse side for the moment. But it´s bait city out there, with Bullet Bonito and Skippies everywhere, bait is not an issue. No folk’s, it´s the water temperature that is ¨chilling¨ things these last few days.

Getting straight into it, the fishing was . . and could be a lot better. We were looking at Sailfish, Yellowfin Tuna, Marlin, Wahoo and more. Now we´re wondering what happened. It´s ¨Mystery Fishing¨, which really means where the fish went is a mystery! Sailfish are barely coming back, Marlin that were out there, not abundant but out there are MIA or Missing in Action. We had warm swirling currents which has now changed to cold water. You may ask how cold is it? Well the same areas where the water was 79 / 80 degrees, is now 73 degrees, that´s down seven degrees in days! Talk about a water chill curtain! Will it stay like this? Well this would be in the normal range for April, even though it´s disappointing for those looking for out of season species like we´ve been having. On the other more positive side we have massive amounts of bait in the water, so we´ll see fish return to the area, but will they be winter species or summer species. It´s not all doom and gloom, but it´s important to remember when you read these fishing articles everything can change in a heartbeat. If you´re reading this and getting ready to head out make sure you have checked the pulse of the bay before heading out. I can help, fire me an email and I´ll let you know the last minute stuff.


Big Jack Crevall at The Marietta Islands
Big Jack Crevall at The Marietta Islands

El Banco and Corbeteña, after the production fishing ships, ¨Seiners¨ came through and destroyed the fishing at both these locations was great! Before the area could recover from this illegal pillaging the cold water currents moved in and now there are still Black Marlin at 400 to 600 lbs in the area, but not many. Sailfish are returning as well, but they´re at the early part of the season so they´re sparse and small in size. Amber Jacks at 40 lbs plus. Jack Crevalls are everywhere, Cubera Snappers for the jiggers to 55 lbs. Until things change for the better or the water warms up, these are not the location to visit

Marietta Islands / El Morro / Punta Mita areas: With the winter current conditions this area is actually alive with Bonito 35 lbs, Jack Crevalls between 30 and 50 lbs, Skip jack Tuna, Possible Sailfish, Rooster fish are here and there, with bullet Bonito baits they should be moving in big time, stay tuned. Dorado that was here moved out, but they could come back, who knows. For now I´d take an eight hour trip to catch whatever moves back in, if nothing is working fall back to inside the bay and hit the Jack Crevalls and Sierra Mackerals, Bonito, etc in the bay.

Inside the bay is a freak show, we don´t know what to expect. Last week there were Sailfish boated off La Cruz and Blue Marlin in youngling sizes off Los Arcos. Today we see Jack Crevalls in the area, moving around and not exactly plentiful. The up side is the Jack Crevalls in the bay are ranging from 20 to over 50 lbs. fierce fighters, they are anything but ¨trash fish¨.  With cooler water Jack Crevalls will become more prevalent in the coming days.

04 01 2016 Dan Zelenka, GuanaTuna, Capt. Torri, 8 hrs at M Islands, 500 pxls MBTextThe bite has been happening a little later in the morning, after 9:00 a.m. to mid afternoon. There is plenty of bait in the water and even the bait fish are not taking small baits! Several clients were on fish, they ignored the presentation. So even being in the right place at the right time is of little comfort. You will have to depend on all your fishing knowledge and experience if heading out. If using a rented captain, be sure he has a full bag of lures and assorted tackle to make sure they have something that will turn a fickle fishes head. Lures: Petrelaros, the green with brown and purple, they´re your best option right now. The only variance would be the head, the color is correct, try jet heads, bullet heads, any head you have … hahahaha.  Water Temperatures, we already covered that but for the moment in the deep blue water locations the water is a chilly 73 degrees which is still warm for what normal should be. Shallow areas could be around 75 degrees but don´t expect much more than that.

Normally as we start to move into low season there is a transition period from winter to spring fishing. This year we never experienced the ¨winter¨ fishing with the help of El Nino. Maybe El Niño is beginning to get back into a normal pattern and we could see colder water temps. This would actually be a positive thing with the end result being normal water temperatures of 82 to 86 degrees at all the fishing grounds come September. If not we could see 90 to 92 degree water temps which YF Tuna dislike. They sound or go deep to the 150 ft range, they can´t see your bait and it all turns into a much more difficult process. So cold water now could actually be a good thing if it helps the pendulum swing a little closer to ¨normal¨ conditions.

Family Fishing inside the bay!
Family Fishing inside the bay!

Unless you´re local the mixed up fishing conditions probably won´t much affect you. For those trying to make a living at Sportfishing it´s going to be frustrating for a few days. With the summer season coming on, it doesn´t make much sense for cold water currents to move in when they should be moving out. For this reason I think we´re going to see a slight cooling, then things will turn around at the end of May when a transition begins to warm water. The drop in seasonal tourism coincides with the beginning of water temp increases. One thing for sure, nothing is going to happen over night and we have some time to see how the coming Summer Season is going to shape up. I am predicting a super summer fishing season. With Yellowfin Tuna coming back in the area, Dorado outlawed for export and the weak peso I believe we´ll see a great ¨High Season for Fishing¨. So keep an eye on airfares and hotels in the Marina Vallarta Area, they´re all making deals!

Shared boats: Yes we´re still doing the shared boat thing. It´s a process where if you´re interested you need to contact us before you arrive in Puerto Vallarta so we can start working on matching you up with other people. This is for Half a super panga, which can carry four people. This means you can have two people, fishing or not for $275 usd for eight hours. This is a very popular simi private boat and the best fishing deal in town. For those with budget concerns this is the perfect option. So send us an email or call telling us your phone number, dates you can fish so please provide more than one day so we have the flexibility to match you up with others, email is nice also. That way when we have the ability to contact you and put something together. So don´t delay, don´t worry about money, we´ve got you covered and we´re ¨fishing cheap¨!!

for 8 hrs targeting Dorado has been very popular (½ Super Panga, 2 person max. per half the boat)! Just fire me an email so I know when you´ll be here and we´ll do the rest. The Downtown Store on Basidillo Badillo and Insurgentes is open for High Season. Call Chris (El Centro Mgr) at (044) 322 112 9558 for fishing, tours or T-shrts amigo.  I am still in Marina Vallarta so take your pick. YeHa! We are also Smoking your fish, we keep half, but man is this stuff good. Call Chris for Details in my El Centro store. Contact us about a week before coming to PV so we can get you set up early on a shared boat!

Until next time, don´t forget to ¨Kiss Your Fish¨. . .

Master Baiter´s is located in Marina Vallarta between docks A and B on the boardwalk. Email your Questions to me at: CatchFish@MasterBaiters.com.mx  Web page:  www.MasterBaiters.com.mx  , Local Phone at: (044) 322 779 75 71 or if roaming: 011 52 1 322 779 75 71 cell phone direct. Come like me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Master-Baiters-Sportfishing-Tackle/88817121325

The trade name Master Baiter’s ® Sportfishing and Tackle is protected under trade mark law and is the sole property of Stan Gabruk.