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

Welcome to another week of winter fishing in Puerto Vallarta. Yes, I said winter fishing, but that’s not quite right. In fact, it’s another week of La Nina fishing. Now you all know we get El Nino and the opposite of this is La Nina. That means what we would normally expect, isn’t happening.  Water temps are what’s throwing the fishing community into a loop. Normally at this time of the year we’d be looking at less than 70 degree water temperatures. Right now we’re looking at 74 degrees, unchanged now for three weeks, unusual at best. This does is throw the entire “fishing calendar” off. We should be seeing Red Snappers, Bass, Grouper and several other winter species. There is normally a six to ten week window we get for this great fishing in the bay. This year it isn’t happening. Now it may still happen, but for now it’s not. So the Question remains, what is happening?

We could say a lot of things, but the simple fact is we are in the middle of unpredictable winter fishing season. Why would I say “unpredictable”, the simple answer is the La Nina Factor. El Nino is about warm currents and La Nina is about cold currents. But that doesn’t mean the water is cold, it means the currents are cold and the results are up in the air. Now you shouldn’t be disappointed, this isn’t unexpected, no shock here. Frankly the “weird” thing is we still have Dorado in the bay. Even one Dorado being caught is not a normal thing. Sailfish have been running the area when they should be just about ready to come back. What’s strange is the Jack Crevalle Situation. Normally Jacks are our “bread and butter” fishing species. Large, strong fighters, abundant and easy to get to, is what is normal for Feb /March. Right now, no Jack Crevalles. Now that doesn’t mean Zero Jack Crevalls, but it does mean you can’t target jack Crevalles with any real expectation of boating even one.

The Rare and Difficult Striped Marlin

Also, it’s Whale season and there are plenty of our beloved Whales in Banderas Bay. The Whales come for the breeding season and the super abundant food. Right this minute we have fields of red water. As mentioned last week, that’s Krill Squids and Shrimp. Sardines, half an inch in length, more Whale food have moved in, in a massive way. Three inch Shrimp are another bait “issue”. Flying fish, Goggle Eyes, Skip Jack Tuna and the list just goes on. As a result, even the bait if full of “bait”. When this happens the entire fishing balance is out of whack. And this is where we start the process, wondering what the best strategy is.

Which brings us to present fishing conditions. The frustrating news is we still have Dorado, Sailfish and Striped Marlin. The warmer than normal water temps and the massive bait available is just too attractive to ignore or abandon. The “bubble” off Punta Mita is still there, but the fishing is close in. Even then the bait is a problem with bait abundances. Having said that, people are still boating Dorado in the bay and the occasional at Punta Mita. That’s about it, sad but true.

So about now you’re asking yourself, “If I want to go fishing, what do I do”? The simple answer to that is “check your expectations”. Those looking for fun fishing can find it in the bay. We’re calling it “Action fishing”. You’ll have action in the bay, but the fish won’t be large. Those expecting Moby Dick to take your bait will be sadly disappointed. For now all I can recommend is a six hour trip in the bay and target Bonito to 25 lbs and Sierra Mackerels. Sierras are smaller, think of them as “sea trout” and you will have the correct picture in your mind. You can extend your day on the water by including a whale watching tour or a Snorkeling tour. Why not all three? The bottom line is fishing isn’t at its best right now and “multi-tasking fishing trips” make your day on the water fun and you can kill several “tours” with one trip like this in the bay. Remembering things change quickly around here, so fire me an email and I’ll fill in the blanks.

Freak Dorado in the bay

Don’t forget to check out my weekly Video Fishing Reports on YouTube, they’re very popular! Also if you’re looking for tours, Airport transfers and somebody to freeze your catch, call us, we’ll fix you up.

Until next week, don’t forget to kiss your fish!

Web page:  www.MasterBaiters.com.mx , Local Phone at: Our international number is: +52 322 209 1128. #MasterBaitersSportfishing on Instagram, Facebook: Master Baiter’s Sportfishing & Tackle. The trade mark Master Baiter’s ® Sportfishing and Tackle is protected under trade mark law and is the sole property of Stan Gabruk.