Fishing is Hot & Cold, Stuffed Fish Don´t Bite
Written by: Stan Gabruk owner of Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle
It would be nice to tell my clients there is any species they would like to catch in our world famous fishing grounds. But in reality there are so many factors as to why a certain species is abundant, then there are others that should be abundant that are M.I.A.! One day you´re hitting fish like a machine, the next day you start to wonder if you went through a time warp after the extreme swings in available species at specific fishing grounds. What does this mean, well you don´t know if there´s going to be fish at your chosen fishing grounds or not. But there are fish out there, it is still fishing and at this level of fishing nothing, but nothing is guaranteed. For the local guy who can fish when things are perfect, then you´re like me, pick and choose your days. If you´re on Vacation looking for Moby Dick, I can tell you he´s out there, but he is cruising the neighborhood, eating until he´s full and then ignoring baits. It´s the Fisherman’s job to entice, to lure, and ultimately to get this fish to take your bait. So that´s the deal, fast moving fish, plenty of bait, stuffed fish, welcome to my world amigos, fishing just turned into ¨fishing¨!
This past week, I had a good friend head out in search of larger Marlin, Tuna and whatever else came along. The Day before we hit five Yellowfin Tuna at Corbeteña over 60 lbs and one Blue Marlin at 500 lbs. So we get excited for my friend since he´s heading to the same exact place as these fish we caught. Next day, bait was easy to make and then that was it. The fish had moved, we trolled, searched and in the end, came up empty. This is what we mean by hot and cold. With so few boats heading out to the fishing grounds, the radio chatter does not exist so sharing locations where there are fish is not happening. Chatter, the fisherman’s friend, if they´re not playing games on the radio helps everyone. The Captain, the clients, the owners, the restaurants that cook this catch, the mini marts, you name it, they all come out ahead. But that´s what you do, look at what happened yesterday, hope for the best. If things have changed and there is no radio chatter due to a lack of boats at the deep water fishing grounds, then the challenge is all on your captain. Fishing has always been a luck thing. Mix in some skill, an experienced Captain, professional equipment and a nod to the heavens and even then you can wind up pulling your hair out. If you have a day like this, then hear the next day that the same place was on fire, then you know what I am dealing with when potential clients are asking me ¨what´s biting¨?
So, to the best of my ability, this is what´s happening now: Corbeteña, up and down, plenty of bait in the area, water temps are perfect, high visibility blue water and you just know there are some world class fish in the area and they´re there. Blue Marlin at 500 lbs this week is the average range, if you have a hungry fish around. Sailfish are everywhere and they´re nice sized. Cubera Snappers are always at the Rock and running a minimum of 45 lbs, some in the 60 lb range. Rainbow runners at 30 to 45 lbs, Yellowfin Tuna are all around. Some with Spinner Dolphin and they´ll run 30 to 55 lbs normally. Then we have the traveling YF tuna that are in the 60 lb range, they´re moving quickly. Skippies, Bonito, Jack Crevalls, you get the picture.
Corbeteña Update: Two days after this paragraph above was written Brian Hudkins on Sea Weed II boated this nice 150 lb Yellowfin tuna at 5:15 or in the late afternoon. Tuna are funny creatures and you have to be on their schedule, which is just one element of preparedness. Which of course means you have to be there when ¨they´re¨ there. They could be below you and when you bug out in the afternoon, you may be leaving a bit too soon! Many fishing boats will try and wrangle you into their schedule, which of course means they´re not looking out for your best interest. If they only work between set hours, and the bite is after that, did you get screwed? If you have a set schedule and you work around the family or something else and the bite is late, did you leave too early? I´ve been in places where the day before the location was on fire, then wait. Wait some more, then get frustrated and leave. Just to hear on the radio one of the boats near us were killing it all of a sudden as these Yellowfin Crazies finally come to the surface! Bait all day, they´re like my ex wife, try and look for patterns and they´ll zig when they should zag…. When your plans get in the way of a fishing trip, then who´s fault is that? Right now if you´re looking for big tuna, be there for the bite. If that means Overnight trips so you can get up at sunset or fish the late evening bite when the moon is full, then that is what it takes. Yes that can get a little pricey, but if you´re not ready to play the game of World Class Big Game fishing, then you´re better off staying off the playing field, save your money and let the committed get your fish! Or STEP UP!
El Banco, same story, in and out fish, but it seems El Banco is probably your best place to start. Blue and Black Marlin at or larger than 500 lbs, Sailfish, Cubera Snapper, YF Tuna from 30 lbs to close to 100 lbs, it just depends on what you come across. Bonito, Jack Crevalls, Skip Jack Tuna but no Dorado. Start a few miles before the high spots, drop your baits, head north and when you´re in the ten mile area you should come across Tuna, what size we can´t say. If no luck, turn toward Corbeteña, somewhere between the rock and El Banco you´ll find fish. Now this is going to take FUEL. So if you´re fishing on the cheap, you´ll diminishes your chances! Remember, fish move, if you don´t, then you either wait, complain or go home with empty fish boxes!
The Marietta Islands have some Rooster Fish at 35 lbs around the reefs, but not many. You may find some smaller Dorado, but not likely. Sailfish are everywhere and this area to El Morro is strong with Sailfish. Jack Crevalls, Bonito, Skip jack Tuna, other than Sailfish which are everywhere and building in numbers as we should expect.
Inside the bay, well things are a little strange. Around Yelapa they´ve seen 40 lb Yellowfin Tuna footballs and around Los Arcos. Some Sailfish are in front of La Cruz Marina to the point, but you can´t count on this. Jack Crevalls to 35 lbs in front of Nuevo Vallarta (Sails have been boated here as well). Snook and Snappers at the river mouths Skip jacks everywhere, Bonito, and a host of other fish. The bay is hot and cold as well.
With tons of bait we´re seeing some species filling their bellies and then taking the day off. We´re also seeing fast currents and moving species chasing fast moving bait. Flying fish are all around the bay mouth, so Sails and Marlin are ¨hanging out¨. If heading out, develop a strategy, follow the plan and don´t get panicky. Like I said, the fish are out there, you just have to get them interested. How you do that is up to you… good luck amigo. Me, I´d start at El Banco, hit the high spots, if this doesn´t produce, head towards Corbeteña on a troll and somewhere in between these two locations you´ll find fish. This trek is a tournament winning trek and well known by the local ¨experts¨. If going on a ¨safari¨ where you´re on a ¨find the fish¨ adventure, keep positive and your chances will improve!
The bite right now is mid day, the moon is a sliver so as you´d expect the bite is later. Water temperatures are perfect 85 degrees which is perfect. Lures: same as always, purple and green with brown are strong. Cedar plugs are working well with the footballs and larger. Old technology or tried and true fishing tackle should never be ignored for modern designs because it works!
If you´re coming to Puerto Vallarta and you´re looking for a shared charter let me know, I´ve come up with a system to hook people up and get them fishing for the cheap. If you can find a person that meets your desires, then it´s Yatze! It´s been working nicely and you´ll save money, maybe making a new friend, who knows. I have several people looking to share a super pangas and larger boats for the next couple of weeks. Fire me an email and I´ll do what I can to get you matched up! ….. Again, fire me an email with your dates, I´ll publicize it and get you ¨Hooked-Up¨!
Until next time, don´t forget to ¨Kiss Your Fish¨. . .
Master Baiter´s has changed locations 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 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.