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Fishing in Puerto Vallarta, Right Now It’s All or Nothing January 27, 2011

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 situati

African Pompano at the Marietta Islands
African Pompano at the Marietta Islands

on 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.

With very few boats heading out in the mornings it is hard to determine where the fish really are these days. Now if you are heading out to the Tres Marias hunting Yellowfin Tuna, then your chances of coming in with large fish between 120 and 200 lbs is very good. The upside being you may boat six or more Yellowfin Tuna or Striped Marlin. All out of season fish for the most part, but the Tres Marias can keep the attention of these finned fantasies in the depth of winter. A few years back heading out this far was unthinkable and nobody ventured here at all.  But now with clients looking for off season fishing, the area has become very popular. Now before you load up your boat and head out, remember these islands are a prison and the perimeter is patrolled by the police. So keep your distance. If you get within six miles, you can expect a visit. A quick bit of advice, if you are paid a visit and forced to head into the Islands docks, do not hand over your passport and do not get off the boat. As long as you do those two things, they cannot really do anything to you. Also, you should expect to spend the night at best there, but they will realize you are pretty much untouchable and let you go.

One development this week has been the currents are all swirling around again and this has stirred up the water sediments so the water is dirty, dirty, dirty!  The water is clear at El Banco and Corbeteña, which doesn´t mean much since there are few fish to be had trolling. That is not to say there are no fish in these two locations, it just means  you´ll be jigging for bottom fish like Cubera Snappers, Amber Jacks, and Rainbow Runners for the most part. There is a chance a Cubera Snapper will come after a trolled bait, but don´t hold your breath. One recent development there has been Sailfish between El Morro and Corbeteña, that is if you can find some clean water. But the water temperatures are not favorable for these fish at the present moment, so again, don’t hold your breath.

The Marietta Islands have kinda shut off as well. Your chances right now coming in with fish are a little better than 50 / 50. Some days you come in with fish like Snappers, Roosters (in diminishing numbers), Sierra Mackerals, and African Pompano have increased in size and abundance, small groupers and whatever else decides to hang out around the reefs. Most of the species at the Marietta Islands are running in the 30lbs and below sizes for the moment.

Inside the bay, four hours is not enough time to find fish and six hours won´t be much help. For those looking for fish there have been some White Sea Bass caught up at the Nuevo Area where the bottom is sandy. But with like 30 boats lined up to catch the same few fish you choices for a location to hit needs to be analyzed and reviewed.  Right now I have been telling my customers the same thing, if you are going to get pissed off if you don´t catch fish in four hours in the bay, then maybe you should head to the golf course for the next few days until something is ready to get in the game. Harsh I know, but this is fishing and there are times during the year where you need to make at least an eight hour commitment to see any action. Now remember, just because I wrote this brief article does not mean that tomorrow things won´t change. So make sure you keep up with what is happening and any changes in conditions. Also remember all I can do is report what happened yesterday, today could be better or possibly worse, but one thing is for sure, I will continue to offer up the best information at my disposal so you can at least have a fighting chance at catching fish by heading out to the correct location amigos!

Back to fishing, things could be like this for a while. Until the water temperatures start climbing upward, we will have to deal with the frigid water these poor tropical fish have to deal with. But this is not exactly strange conditions when you compare Florida and Cabo. We are all cold and this is the results of La Nina. I hear the ground hog saw his shadow so spring should be early, lets hope he got it right this time!

Not the best information to share with the visiting angles to Puerto Vallarta. After saying this, there are plenty of people out there telling you that Black Marlin are out there waiting for you. If you come across a person who tells you this sort of non-sense, don´t argue, just walk away.

When choosing a fishing company, consider the questions you put forward. Many people ask me how much a fishing trip will cost, I tell them I have several boats to choose from and then what are they looking to do or catch? One of the most important questions you can ask a guy like me is; Who is the best captain and boat I can get for the best possible price. It´s like walking into a series of doctors offices for open heart surgery. Do you walk into office after office looking for the cheapest doctor you can find or do you look for the most qualified and know   that they know what they´re doing? Would you go to a cheap doctor with no operating tools? Would you go to a doctor with no electronics like lamps, heart meters, etc.? So ask the right questions, when they can´t answer them, this is a great clue to keep looking… Don´t do anything you wouldn´t do at home when investigating companies. Do your home work and don´t walk around the Marina or town when you get here asking the Taxi guy who you should fish with. His answer is simple, go fishing with his cousin!

That right now is the latest and greatest, until next time, don´t forget to kiss your fish!

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