We’re seeing small changes, but not enough to say they’re much different from last week. We’re still seeing massive amounts of different baits. Squids, Sardines, Google eyes and the list goes on. We’re still seeing the challenges of moving fish and the overabundance of food. Sounds tough I know, but there is plenty of positive stuff. Spinner Dolphin are touring the area near Corbetena. El Banco is your best fishing option with Sailfish, Dorado and Striped Marlin running the area. And of course there is always the possibility of Yellowfin Tuna the farther north you get. Water temperatures are ticking up and if things continue the way they are, once we get into a more stable situation, condition wise, we’re setting up for a beautiful fishing season in Puerto Vallarta.
Well, here we are again, another week of changing currents, changing water temperatures and massive amounts of bait and whale food! Yes folks this is the transition period where you never really know what conditions you’ll be dealing with and for the last three weeks now, things have pretty much been the same. Of course this is no surprise and my articles are meant to limit the frustration and save on the fuel expenses. And like I’ve been telling everyone for the last few weeks, you have two real fishing options, six hours in the bay or twelve hours, more would be better. Where Dorado, Sailfish and Striped Marlin can be found. Maybe not boated, again, that depends on the level of bait in the water and how hungry the fish are. Are you getting a “feel” for conditions? We’re transitioning from not only a La Nina year, but from winter species and water temperatures to summer species and hopefully warm water.
Every year as we come out of the winter fishing season into spring we see the annual changing of the seasonal currents. This past year has been weird, there is no other word for it. As we are hopefully exiting a “La Nina” year, we’re seeing the beginning of a regular fishing season, if you don’t mind my positive perspective. You see this is what we expect, this is “normal”. Last year we went straight from summer fishing, to spring fishing all through the “winter” fishing season. Now with the clashing currents and dirty water that produces, this is a positive thing. When this happens, it’s at the lowest part of the spring tourism season or basically PV is a bit of a ghost town after Easter. That means that while it’s not the most positive thing, it’s an indicator that we’re moving into a “normal” season and to me, that’s positive. Now I’m not saying the fishing is any better or worse than it was last week. But we roll with the punches and prepare for the positive!
We have fish, but they’re cruising with erratic currents and stuffed full of fresh bait. Varied water temperatures, varied water conditions and species normally not in the area for this time of the year. Being a person who’s supposed to be “more or less” an expert on the subject in the area. I have to tell you, this is driving me crazy. It’s hard to predict what’s happening on a daily basis. All I can really do is tell you what happened. Everything else right now is a “roll of the dice” Some days you’re coming up all winners. Other days, you’ll be wondering “What Happened”? And I’d be right there with you!
This year, the fishing has been strange. Especially Puerto Vallarta’s world famous fishing grounds. Last week we had many of our favorite summer species, Dorado, Yellowfin Tuna and Sailfish to mention a few. They all came in fast and hungry. The bait remained, but the different species have either moved on or have thinned out in number by spreading out across all of PV’s fishing grounds. Bass are still around, kinda strange with warm water temperatures in the bay. It’s a “La Nina” year, which means the normal conditions are anything but. We’ve seen summer species in the area now for months, when normally they wouldn’t be. Dorado are a perfect example. We’ve been dealing with this for about a year now, but things will be changing. The only question is how and when?
Summer now is a completely different animal. Temperatures will be in the 32 to 36 Celsius range or about 90 degrees or above daily. I frankly never look to see how hot it is. To me hot is hot and that’s good enough for me. When you know it’s this or that temperature, then you feel even hotter. I think it’s psychological. The humidity is insane. I’ve seen 100% humidity and you’d think it would be raining, but you’d be wrong amigo. So at this point you’re probably shaking your head and asking yourself why anybody would hang around for this sort of torture?
After the last few disappointing weeks of fishing, things changed like a lightning strike. All of a sudden currents change and with it a massive invasion of varied baits. Small tiny baits eaten by Skip Jack Tuna are being follow by much larger species. 30 lb to 200 lb Yellowfin Tuna about 65 miles out are chasing these baits in unusually cool water for Yellowfin Tuna. That’s a 12 hr. day with no guarantees. These southern currents are bringing Sailfish and Striped Marlin are also in the mix. Snapper off El Morro and the action is unexpected. To see Yellowfin Tuna this early in the season can only be explained as a La Nina result. We aren’t complaining, but this may not last long as the bait is riding currents which means as quickly as they’re moving in, they can move out.
Here we go again, I hope you’re not bald because it’s hair pulling time again. With swirling currents and mixed water temperatures, combined with massive amounts of bait, you should expect “chaos”. By this I mean some days the Billfish are taking baits, others not. Dorado finally have been taking baits again, as they come out of their breeding season. Clean blue water, Red Tide, Dirty water, clean green water, it’s all out there to drive you crazy. The other side of the coin is we have fish amigos. Sailfish, Striped Marlin, Dorado, all of which are frankly out of season. It’s easy to complain about what’s happening, or you can be happy we have species we normally wouldn’t sin a La Nina year. You may not want to head out to Corbetena quite yet, but the freaky thing is El Banco is stuffed with Sailfish and Striped marlin. Right now it all comes down to the “mood” that fish is in. Billfish are looking at baits, and at times will take them. Same with Striped Marlin, it all comes down to the bite and the mood of these fickle fish. One thing for sure, with massive amounts of two inch squid moving in, the local Captains are happy to face this out of season species challenges. Yeha!
Normally at this time of the year we don’t talk much about “breeding” fish. But normally we don’t have to deal with La Nina. Normally we don’t have species like Dorado in the area in the middle of “winter” fishing, even though It’s Spring. So much of the frustration we’re seeing in our fishing season is from species that “shouldn’t be here”. We all know it’s a “mixed up season”. So the locals are full of eggs and we have to deal with that. The good news is Jack Crevalles are taking bait again. Dorado that are here are still fickle, but beginning to take surface baits. Striped Marlin and Sailfish, again two species that are either “super early” for their normal season are showing signs of taking bait. With strange water temperatures and currents, species that shouldn’t “be” here, are because of La Nina, it can be hard to figure out. But the silver lining is the bay fishing is incredible with smaller species, like normal. And as the remaining Whales filter out, the near future for fishing in Puerto Vallarta is looking better by the day!
Focusing on Fishing in Puerto Vallarta, I like to look at what’s happening in the surrounding areas of Barra Navidad and Manzanillo, both to the north and south respectively. I had been getting report that the Dorado fishing and Striped Marlin were lined up waiting for your bait. And here we are in Puerto Vallarta struggling to get a strike, things have changed. The Whales are moving out and that could be part of it, but the real news is Sailfish are back and they’re taking baits. Striped Marlin are also in the beginning stages of taking baits as well. Dorado are full of eggs and the Jack Crevalles that were full of eggs are now taking baits as well. So there have been some nice changes for the positive. And the locations of Barra and Manzanillo, as I understand it, their water has turned cold like it should be. As 0ur water currents are swirling. This means we still have warmer water in the area, which of course helps keep warm water species in the area.
We’re finally seeing some changes for the positive when it comes to fishing in Puerto Vallarta. Water temperatures are holding. Striped Marlin and Sailfish are still off Punta Mita and most of the deep water fishing grounds are “on vacation” until further notice. But it’s March, the time of the year we normally start to see Sailfish return to the area. You may say “Sailfish, they’ve been here since before December”. And you’d be correct, but they shouldn’t have been frankly. I understand why visitors to Puerto Vallarta (PV) hoping to catch a billfish or Yellowfin Tuna. The only problem with that is, they’re on the wrong side of the calendar. Strangely Enough we can still provide a “Shot” at a Sailfish or Striped Marlin, which in itself is a strange thing. As fisherman/women we always deal the cards dealt. Right now Corbetena or El Banco are on vacation until further notice.
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?
Right now your best bang for your fishing dollar is six hours in the bay. Bonito averaging 20 lbs, Jack Crevalles to 50 lbs, Sierra Mackerals are the equivalent of Ocean Trout, plentiful but no larger than 10 lbs. We’re still seeing the occasional Dorado, but with thirty boats heading out, maybe 2 Dorado boated. Which means they’re out there, but it probably won’t be you catching it! A couple of tricks you might want to try is using a downrigger, which seems to be working. The other is use light leader. Many of these guys, local Captains use heavy fluorocarbon leader of 80 to 125 lbs. When fishing for smaller gamefish, it’s like connecting a minnow to T.V. Cable! Drop your leader to 40 or 50 lbs and you’ll have better results. Keep these secrets to yourself.
Here we are again, Week four in the “Bubble”. I don’t know if it’s a current or if there is some underwater volcanic activity, but the water is still warm and blue off Punta Mita. If you read last week’s fishing report, this will be about the same. Warm water off Punta Mita had most of the action this past week. That doesn’t exactly mean the fishing is off the hook. But what it does mean is if you’re targeting Striped Marlin, Sailfish, and Dorado, this is your best option. But on the other hand, a six hour trip in the bay is full of arm burning action. So it all comes down to “What do you want”? Smaller gamefish with a boat load of fish. Or do you decide to head for an eight or even twelve hour trip targeting the remaining summer species? Or do you save the time and money, hit the smaller “tasty” gamefish in the bay and have the time of your life? It’s a decision only you can make amigos!
Strangely enough we’re in the third week of the “Bubble”. It’s strange, but this freak situation of warm water hanging off the point of Punta Mita continues. Water temperatures seem to have stabilize a bit for the moment. Massive bait in the form of Squid and Red Crabs are all around the area as our yearly transition period continues. With plenty of action, everyone fishing in Puerto Vallarta right now are getting their fill of action. If you’re looking for Billfish or just a family day on the water, we’ve got you covered!
Pulled over by a Police Officer: Ok, so you rent this car, you’re driving down the street cautiously but things are different here. Sometimes you make left hand turns from the right hand side or the streets are not marked at all and you have to figure this out as you go along. So this serious looking police officer in his best English informs you that you did something you can’t understand wrong. This is when not understanding Spanish is your friend or enemy, depending on how you use your “ignorance” …. Now you can be stupid which is believable. Or you can act like you know something. Me, I can talk with these guys and remedy the situation. You couldn’t, so you do this…
We’ve come into a time of the year where we just don’t really know what to expect when talking about fishing in Puerto Vallarta. The title isn’t code, it’s a recipe of ingredients. It’s a mixed bag where if you have all the ingredients measured out in the right mix will make your day on the water memorable. We’re in a “La Nina” year and what’s happening is unpredictable and confusing at best when trying to predict the near term “fishing” conditions. We’re in a transition period where summer species if not already gone like Dorado, Blue Marlin and Sailfish, for the most part soon will be. Normally, once we get ready to enter February we have an “Indian summer” of fishing. Late season Dorado normally come down from California. But this year, who knows. The fact of the matter is we know what we have right now. Predicting the future when it comes to fishing is easy if your crystal ball doesn’t have a crack in it like mine!
Every year about this time we start to see the currents change, water temperature drop and now the types of bait have changed. We get periods of time where we get Squid and tiny Shrimps in the water which can be frustrating. Then we get these Red Crabs. We call them the Tuna Crabs, they float and travel with the currents and when they’re around, you have a major challenge. Right now we have both so it’s a double whammy. But it’s not just about bait, water temperatures are in a “free fall” right now, but we still have warm areas and that’s the real story this week!
So here we go again, transitional season, pull your hair out trying to figure out what we “have” here in Puerto Vallarta’s fishing grounds. As you should expect with dropping water temperatures in mid-January things can get confusing. Dorado are still in the area, but that’s not saying much. We are still seeing Blue Marlin, but nothing automatic. Sailfish have bugged out, but now Wahoo are starting to make an appearance. I told people all last week to forget about Dorado in the bay and then Wham! Dorado are in the bay. The only thing I can say for sure is Corbetena and El Banco are hardly showing a pulse!
“Things” this week are really mixed up. When you stop and think about fishing, we all naturally assume water temperatures are pretty much the same at all our fishing grounds. But when you’re fishing in Puerto Vallarta you know fishing logic many times doesn’t apply. Right now as cold water is moving in daily, there are still some “hot spots” where you’ll find Marlin and Sailfish. Then again inside the bay the water temperatures are still dropping as expected. La Nina threw a monkey wrench into this year’s fishing schedule. As a result you can find your favorite summer species and winter species at the same time. It’s the one time of the year you can do that but only for a short time, now would be that time!
It looks like our Fishing grounds are in a season of contradictions. With lingering warm climate into winter and cooling water temperatures have created the contradiction. Black Marlin have finally decided to join the party, as water temps drop? Dorado are plentiful everywhere, yet they don’t like water temps on average under 80 degrees. And having said that, the ultimate contradiction is the fishing is great even with dropping water temperatures! Short days, long days, it doesn’t matter. If you’re serious about fishing and you’re looking for a “no-brainer” fishing day, now would be a good time to jump on on a boat and abuse this fishing opportunity of the year.