Changing Conditions, Warming Water, Dorado at Los Arcos!
I’ve been in Puerto Vallarta long enough now to recognize fishing patterns come spring. Water temperatures drop to the coolest levels of the year. Then fish are spawning or breeding. The thing here is this, you won’t always have perfect days at this time of the year. You can find fish, that doesn’t mean they’re interested in your bait. But then again, they’re not always going to ignore what you’re offering. So it’s “Up and Down”. Last week when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, things changed, for one day, drastically. So it went from “nothing biting” to “Fish City”. Now we’re at least getting a bite from Jack Crevalls and Bonito, but it’s still challenging at best.
If you’re a Yellowfin Tuna enthusiast, then you’re well aware of the Tres Maria Islands. Located about 100 miles to the north of Puerto Vallarta the area has become super famous for Yellowfin Tuna from 200 to 400 lbs. Those running boats down this way to PV from Southern California, The Red Rooster, Apollo and Constitution to mention a few, I call these guys the “Chest Beaters”. You may ask: Why do I call them this? Well the answer is obvious, they want to show the So. Cal types that they’re boating these “incredible YF Tuna” like crazy in Mexico. This is of course “Off Season” revenue for these guys when the winter fishing craps out in Southern California. They come down to Puerto Vallarta (aka PV), beat their chest then head back to their own back yard to hit the summer season. I can’t blame them. They do well, they make a few bucks, people are being treated well and having fun. It’s all good. There’s just one down side, it’s México’s “off season” for fishing as well.
Puerto Vallarta like any other place goes though seasonal changes. Here in March we’re in the depth of winter at 85 degrees and suffering. The killing chill is what tourist feel when they walk into my shops and discover that Moby Dick is still here, but not his Marlin friends. Yes folks thing have gone full pendulum with water temperatures now a solid 71 degrees and stabilizing. Yes it looks like we’re settling into a pattern now that will be with us for a while. Now while this may sound negative, it’s part of the game. But in reality it’s a very positive thing as most tourist aren’t interested in heading out 12 hours to find a species that may not be there.
Welcome back to another interesting week in the world of Puerto Vallarta Sportfishing. We like to think we can predict conditions, see patterns and generally beat our chest with our “local knowledge”. When in reality everything is different every day. If we’re real lucky, maybe whatever species was “there” yesterday, will hopefully be there today.
When the Marlin and Sailfish and Dorado and Tuna have all left for warmer southern waters, people for some reason think the fishing just dies or something. But seriously, with cooling water temperatures having expectations of “machine gun hook-ups” is unrealistic. Now if you’re looking for a great day on the water, now I can do that amigo. Corbetena is seeing the seasonal change as well with fewer and smaller Yellowfin Tuna in the 25 to 40 lb Football range. Sailfish possible with sparse Stripers in the 225 range. They should be picking up in numbers, they like the 76-ish water temps. Amber Jacks are here as well and be in excess of 50 lbs easily. Again, it’s that time of the year so expectations need to be kept in check.
With ever changing conditions we’re smack in the middle of the yearly transition from warm water fish to smaller cold water species. For those looking to hit the deep water locations of El Banco and Corbetena are still in the area, but for how long. Late Bite a full moon and Yellowfin Tuna, it’s a little confusing but we can steer you through it all.
The one thing we know happens every year after New Year’s is we get the “change”. Happens every year, the cold water currents come down, warm water species bug out. Basic, but different because currents are all important, but what really makes the difference is bait. Right now we’re seeing wave after wave of Krill Squids and Shrimp. Sardines are thick as are smaller Flying fish. So bait is an issue of overabundance. Sounds like bad news but actually there are lots of great warm water species still in the area. This means we have an interesting mix of fish. Some days are more challenging than others, nothing in machine gun strikes, but they’re here and they’re being caught. Patience pays.
For the last week we’ve had our challenges with “too much” of a good thing. Water temperatures had been hanging at the 79 to 81 degree mark but that changed in the last few days where we’re now seeing 76 degrees throughout the area. Now these water temps will still support warm water species and they’re still here. With the massive bait we’re competing with their favorite foods, there lies the challenge. There is always plenty of action to be had in the area, but the action and the players will be changing as we move into the winter season.
Every year like clockwork we see the changing of the seasons just about the second or third week of January. This means the water temperatures drop, currents change, and abundant “Whale Food” in the form of hard shell Squids, Red Crabs and massive amounts of Krill Shrimp and Squids. And this is just the tip of the iceberg amigos. At times “too much” bait can be a problem for the vacationing Angler looking for a bucket list Fish to be checked off. But never fear, we have fish if you can get them to take your bait.
As we begin to see the end of the peak fishing season we’re lucky to have good if not unpredictable action. Fishing is a “liquid” sport and I mean that in forms of the word. Fish move and they’re moving all around the bay. With winter here the Whales are back as are the Porpoise everyone but fisherman love. For those looking to boat that bucket list fish before another year passes, I’d suggest you “Get it in gear” before the Marlin head for South America.
Before I get started let me first say this, anything and everything can change in a heartbeat in the world of fishing. By the time you read this everything has most likely changed. So check the local conditions first before deciding anything amigos. An ominous introduction of there ever was one. Now to lighten things up a bit, the bay fishing is incredible right now. Great time to save some money and have a lot of arm burning action.
Sailfish and Dorado Primary Players, Good Days, Bad Days, it’s fishing Written by: Stan Gabruk
As we get ready to move into December we’re seeing an earlier than normal drop in the water temperatures. We normally start to see 80 degree water temperatures at locations like the Rock in the second week of January almost like clock-work. This year with the 80 degree mark happening about a month early we’re dealing with the challenges and the opportunities this all presents. With the continued massive amounts of bait in the area and especially the bay the fishing has remained world class.
I love writing these articles for you all, especially when the fishing is at the world class level like we are now. We’ve seen a lot of “fish moving” these days, especially when it comes to sailfish. The weather couldn’t be better if you asked, we’re in the peak of the fishing season and of course the fishing is better than great! A short day trip will get you great you plenty of action. A longer trip could pay off in a fish “bigger than your car”!
Last week all eyes were on the Hurricane marching up the coast. Now that it’s past, the fishing has exploded with plenty of bait, perfect water temperatures and of course sparkling high visibility blue water. All conditions are coming together now to create a perfect situation where larger fish and smaller species are all in the area feeding on the abundant bait. For the angler looking to make an “impact” in his life, a 700 lb Marlin or maybe a 100 lb Yellowfin Tuna might just do that amigos!
As we enter the best three months of the year here in Puerto Vallarta for world class fishing we’re reminded that PV is considered one of the top ten fishing grounds in the world! As me move out of October we’re seeing the yearly Sailfish invasion. Dorado are picking up unexpectedly in numbers, Marlin are making you work for them, but the simple fact a 400 to 700 lb Marlin could be in your future is a pretty exciting concept. But first you have to get on the water amigos! No more excuses, time to tell the “little woman” you may be going AWOL with Stan this week, it’s ok, she’ll understand… maybe.
hey say that a picture can speak a thousand words, then this week I’ll let the Pictures do the talking for the most part. But for the person who craves details, here they are. Corbetena is still looking good with Sailfish, Marlin from 300 to 600 lbs, Small Dorado and Yellowfin Tuna Footballs to 60 lbs with reports of many YF Tuna in the 90 lb range. With Plenty of “Skippies”, Goggle Eyes, Flying fish and more a ten hour trip to this area, is producing with better than a 70% shot at boating a Marlin! El Banco is showing much the same, the only question is which direction?
This week Sailfish, Big Marlin, Dorado and Tuna have moved into the area. I was a little worried with so much bait in the area that it might be tough to turn a world class pelagics head!! But that’s not the case, in fact it’s the complete opposite. Marlin are now hitting live bait, lures, dead bait, if you put a hook on your car keys they’d probably hit that! Fishing in PV is always great, doesn’t matter what season it is. At this time of the year you can increase last week’s factor by three times. But the simple fact is we’re moving into the absolute best time of the year for Anglers looking for that “Bucket List Fish”.
It’s been an interesting week as we move deeper into peak fishing season in Puerto Vallarta. Marlin are at Corbetena and off Punta Mita, Sailfish are picking up in numbers. Dorado are around any debris or stump, all with perfect water temperatures. Massive bait, perfect days, it’s wide open and anything is possible out there.
As we move deeper into the best time of the year for fishing here in the Banderas Bay of Puerto Vallarta, we see things change slowly. Daily there are small improvements that all add up to world class fishing. We’re seeing Marlin, Sailfish and Tuna moving in and out of the area. Nothing is set in stone and remember fish move. At this time of the year we see the inshore fishing less attractive with the dirty water, the results of heavy rain in Guadalajara and locally. This is normal, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have great fishing in the bay, on the other hand 500 lb Marlin won’t be on the “menu” in the bay. Decisions, Decisions….