For months now I’ve been putting out accurate information regarding fishing conditions here in Puerto Vallarta with as positive a spin as possible. Finally this week, no spin, things have changed drastically and now there is every reason to be heading out of the bay for Black Marlin and Tuna. First, water temperatures are up, Bait is plentiful, New Summer species are moving into the area. And even El Banco, aka The Bank is showing signs of a pulse! I’ve been patiently waiting for mid-June to show up as this is normally when things start to turn around. Things aren’t perfect, but they’re moving in the right direction and it’s only going to improve as we get deeper into High Season for Fishing in Puerto Vallarta’s fishing grounds!
Let’s start with El Banco this week. What used to be the most famous fishing area in Puerto Vallarta and most of Mexico has shown some signs of life this week. First off there is plenty of bait in the area. Flying fish, Skip Jack (Skippies), Google Eyes, Sardines and the list goes on. Water temperatures are now up to 84 degrees! From 81 to 84 is quite a jump and this is when it all begins. Yellowfin Tuna have been running the area the last few days following the currents and the bait. For the next day or so you’ll find 60 – 80 lb Yellowfin Tuna just off the high spots. Marlin have been moving in and we’re also seeing Blue and Black Marlin. A 400 lb Black Marlin was boated yesterday. Blue Marlin are also in the area. And for now Cubera Snappers are taking bait for the bottom fishing guys. Corbetena has also exploded with Sailfish, Yellowfin Tuna from 25 to 45 lbs, Cubera Snappers for the jiggers of 50 lbs and there should be Dorado any day now! Well worth your time and fuel dollar. Black Marlin will be in the area as well. With Blue water, plenty of bait and favorable currents the summer species are moving into Puerto Vallarta’s World famous fishing grounds. Stay tuned!
Punta Mita has been a bit of a nightmare. Up one day, the next miserable. But thankfully things are changing. Sailfish are still in the area from El Morro to the Sayulita area. Striped marlin are also still running the area, but this will change soon with warmer water temperatures. Striped Marlin prefer cooler water temps than Blue and Black Marlin, so they won’t be around long now. Rooster fish of 25 to 35 lbs have been on / off again at the point of Punta Mita, but should be at the reefs north of Sayulita. It’s a 50 / 50 thing so keep the expectations in check amigos. Throw in your basic Jack Crevalls, Sierra Mackerels and Bonito and you’ve got arm burning action!
Inside the bay is coming to life as well. As mentioned last week, on the other side of Los Arcos Dorado have been picking up in numbers, but they’re a bit small. Running mostly under 10 lbs, they’re fun to catch, but you have to throw the babies back. The good news is there are many over 15 lbs and those are fair game. We’ve seen the first Sailfish in the bay for the season, not normal, but these days not too unusual. There is a ridge that runs from Corbeteña to Los Arcos where Sailfish and Dorado will ride the currents. Jack Crevalles are around the rivers and good sized at 25 to 35 lbs. Sierra Mackerels are still over 10 lbs, plentiful and great tasting. Bonito are still running the entire area, great tasting and remember Bonito here is what they put in Tuna cans! Four hours is great, but six hours is still a better option. Family fishing at its best!
Water temperatures are up drastically. This could turn into an issue, but for now things are perfect and conditions should continue to improve. The bite is from 09:00 on. For some reason the midday bite is pretty good. Not hard to figure out, just get on the water and improve your life for a little while!
Normally this is the end of the article, but I was thinking it would be a good idea to share with those unfamiliar with the fishing in PV what to expect in the coming months. First we need to remember it’s a “La Nina” year where water temperatures are supposed to be lower. And they have been. But that looks to be changing now, finally. If you’re planning a trip, then the following information should be very helpful in making plans….
Ok, since you’re on the web site and paying attention, we all know the seasons change and the species change along with them. Right now we’ve seen a drastic jump in water temperatures. This could be the result of a recent Hurricane down by Alcapolco. Or it could be we finally have our summer currents doing what they’re supposed to do. Striped Marlin never really left the area like they normally do, cold water didn’t bother them a bit. But we had insane levels of bait and who in the “fish world” would leave a free lunch? Presently we still have Striped Marlin running the area, but this will change very soon as the Striped Marlin will head up Cabo way since the water temperatures are coller than PV, more to their liking.
Dorado have been a moving target for the last few years. Now that the Gov’t. has finally outlawed the shipping of Dorado out of Mexico, the production ships have stopped attacking the dwindling Dorado numbers about five years ago and we’re finally seeing Dorado numbers picking up as they move into the area earlier each year now. That’s a good thing.
Black Marlin, considered the rarest of all the Marlin Species, they didn’t even show up last year. With La Nina being a factor, I’ll just blame La Nina. This week we’ve seen Black Marlin roaming out by El Banco, a 400 pounder was boated just a day or so ago. Blue Marlin come on a little earlier and we’re starting to see “babies” at 100 to 200 lbs. While this sounds like a big fish, it’s really just a baby when you realize they can get up to and over a thousand pounds! Conservation is the key here for future fish generations to keep increasing in numbers.
OK, lets talk Yellowfin Tuna! We all know Puerto Vallarta’s World Famous Fishing grounds created a Yellowfin Tuna mystique. You can always find Yellowfin Tuna int he area, but they’ll mostly be small, forty pound or under. Right now we’re seing an invasion of 30 lb. Yellowfin Tuna at Corbetena. Early season Tuna like this is exactly what we’re looking for in a “normal” fishing season. El Banco has seen 60 to 80 lb YF Tuna, but this is a first for many years. You see the high spots at El Banco, aka The Bank, years ago had Seiners nets break on the “high spots”. At Corbetena there are two spike peaks of an underwater eco system that impressive! Normally these sharp peaks are heaven for bait fish, you can figure the rest out. But these broken off nets, blowing in the currents has pretty much screwed up El Banco. But the entire area is alive with action as we enter the “hottest” time of the year. Yes folks, when the temperatures are unbearable and the humidity makes you feel like you’ve got a perminent layer of “humidity” on your skin and well, that’s what the fish like.
Tres Maria Islands, Everyone is aware of the Tres Maria Islands about 100 miles north of Marina Vallarta. This entire area is protected and on some list that makes it the equivalent of the Galapagos islands, no kidding. There are species of Corral, Fish and other plant life that exist nowhere else in the world. Especially around the middle island, the Madre Island. We are just now coming into what looks like a great Tuna Season at the Tres Maria Islands…. We’re putting out luxury trips to this area for competitive prices with private cabin and head for each cabin! A/C, no crowded conditions, two first mates, gourme food which is all inclusive…. The boys from Southern California change their operations and move to PV in their off season. Trying to make ends meet, I understand. But the deal with these long range type boats is they’re hitting the best fishing grounds in the world in their off season!! Seriously, they tell people it’s best to avoid hurricanes, etc, but that’s B.S. We get plenty of warning for a hurricane and we’re only 10 miles out. We can get behind the islands, go to Mazatlan which is pretty close…. Or just come back and “regroup”. The botom line is this, as we enter July, every time your line hits the water, you could have hooked into a world record Yellowfin Tuna. But you have to be here at the right time of the year! So if you’re paying for airfare and all the rest, why not come down when the fishing is at it’s best. Yes we have to stay away from the islands, but that’s not a problem in the correct Tuna Season. So if you’re a “Tuna” Guy, then consider taking a later in the year trip and have an experience of a lifetime!
Until next week, don’t forget to kiss your fish!
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Written by Stan Gabruk, owner Master Baiter’s Sportfishing & Tackle