It´s Sailfish City, Marlin Teasing, Cubera Snappers Deliver
Written by: Stan Gabruk owner of Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle
It´s morning, the sun just came up, the air is fresh and the sky is clear in Marina Vallarta. Tourism at this time of the year consist mostly of Mexican Nationals on family vacations from Guadalajara, Tepic, Monterey and everywhere else in Mexico. Yes it´s warm, humid also, but undeniably beautiful. In this warmest of seasons here in Puerto Vallarta we see World Class Gamefish come into the area and feast on the abundant bait. August is when things start to happen, for now Black and Blue Marlin are picking up in numbers. Yellowfin Tuna at El Banco or Corbeteña are in the smaller size varieties, but the Tres Maria Islands are just boiling with 200 lb Yellowfin Tuna. Sailfish are still the main species being targeted, but who can complain about Marlin and Sailfish. The fishing is still great and getting better by the day for the visiting Angler, Professional and amateur alike, Fishing High Season is Here!
As we move deeper into Summer the conditions still could not be better. Outside the bay the blue water is clear and just beautiful. A deeper blue than the Caribbean, the visibility is amazing. Bait is everywhere and varied in species. Bullet Bonito, YF Tunas favorite bait is all around the point of Punta Mita and in the bay. Flying fish in the four inch length are all around the reefs and the Marietta Islands. Goggle eyes, Chorras (bonito, small tunas) are boiling all over the place. Once again it´s a bait smorgasbord, all you can eat for fish. Sounds like a good thing right, well the down side is there should be more fish here than there are. Maybe this is just my impatience, it is still a little early in the Big Game Fishing season, it´s like Christmas and the presents aren´t under the tree yet, but you know they´re coming.
El Banco and Corbeteña: There are still Black and Blue Marlin anywhere between the Rock, aka Corbeteña and El Banco to just off the Marietta Islands. Fertile fishing grouns that many ignore and forget about. The numbers of Marlin are down a little, many taking long looks at your presentation and ultimately just giving it a long look. Others are taking baits, but if you´re targeting Marlin, two strikes a day seem to be the average on a ten hour day, for Marlin that is. The Marlin are still between 300 and 450 lbs with larger ones out there being spotted and lost. Sailfish are here as you would expect they´re also a little fickle on the bait now with the abundance I can understand. Cubera Snappers are still biting. Using the ¨wounded bait¨ trick where you cut a Chorra in half and just drop it over the side, as it sinks Cubera will come out of their holes and attack that bait. When Cubera’s are running 70 lbs, they´re another ignored species except to the locals who know how good tasting these fish are! Rainbow runners are at both the locations running over 20 lbs, but these can hit 50 lbs, just depends. If you´re looking for Marlin with a side of Sailfish, then these two locations are worth the expense and the time.
The Marietta Islands and El Morro have slowed down with the Sailfish moving out farther these last couple of days. We have to remember that fish move, then they come back. So no big thing, wait a few minutes and they´ll be back. We´re seeing Needle fish in the 35 lb range, Bonito and Skip jack Tuna in the same size range. Dorado are absent without leave (AWOL), but this can change in twenty minutes. If you can find a log or some floating Whale, or just a pile of debris bunched up, there are always Dorado in these situations. For now you´re better off heading out to the point of Punta De Mita…
Speaking of Punta De Mita, Sailfish and Marlin are twenty miles off the point. Two weeks ago they were five miles, again fish move. Find a buoy and you´ll find Dorado about 25 lbs, same size, same story as last week. You can go for ten hours and get the same fish at Corbeteña or take an eight hour trip and target the same fish here. To me this is the fishing value once again for the Big Game Fishing fanatic. But don´t think you´ll just arrive and these fish are just counting the moments for your bait to magically appear before their hungry little bills. You want to make sure you have plenty of lures, since they´ve been working as well as live bait at times.
Inside the bay, it´s strangely active. No trash line due to a lack of rain. We´re having a weird year rain wise and we only have a trash line when the rains cooperate. Besides cooling down the evenings, the rain washes this organic trail mix into the bay that smaller and frankly larger fish like to feed on. We have so many rivers emptying into the Bay of Banderas that there are several trash lines and you can spin the bay looking for the best one. But for now, I´d just target the local species like Jack Crevalls (35 lbs) which are a winter species, still can´t figure this one out. Bonito to 30 lbs everywhere, Skip Jack Tuna to 45 lbs off Yelapa, Rumors of Dorado in the 25 lb range around Los Animas the tourist area. Sierra Mackerals are also hanging out in the 20 lb range. Sailfish have been boated around La Cruz Marina near the point. Needle fish, and there are always other species just moving around. Snook at the river mouths are an ignored species with white meat, great tasting and frankly a local favorite. You don´t need to troll around the whole bay, just pick a species and head to the location. The sweet water or Agua Dulce as the locals call it is where the river fresh water and salt water mix. It´s the pipeline for this Fish Trail Mix and they like being the first in line. The Equivalent of my ex-wife being the first person in line for a Nordstroms Sale with an untapped credit line! So don´t just focus on the ¨movie star¨ species, the ¨stand- ins¨ can be ¨stars¨ also. Four hours will put you on fish, so if the budget is short, we can still make sure you´re catching fish and dinner too!
The Bite: With the evenings being over cast, the full moon is having less of an impact on the bite. For now just make sure you´re on the water early and see what happens. Focus on the hours between 7a.m. and 2 p.m. Water conditions: Water temps are still in the low 90´s, kinda warm, too warm for some species. If targeting Yellowfin Tuna, at El Banco or Corbeteña make sure the boat you´re on has down riggers or you´ll never get a bait in front of a Tuna. Sounders can show were your temperature breaks are so you know how deep to set the down rigger. Frankly I wouldn´t target Tuna on a boat without a Down Rigger amigo, why would you knowing what you know now? Remember the better equipped boats will always have an edge. Money talks and if you don´t have the correct lure or bait combination, then you don´t catch fish, which is hard enough anyway. Or you´re just paying for excuses. Lures: Same as last week, Petrelaros of brown and purple color of about six inches. Diamond Jigs and Rapallas around the shallows or Trash Lines. Brown and purple combinations are working, but mix it up a bit when you´re running lures.
Tres Maria Islands: For the guy that absolutely, positively, has to have a Yellowfin Tuna, well they´re at the Tres Maria Islands and they´re thick as ants. You know, I’m like the guy who wants everyone to catch fish, but at what cost. You can head out more than a hundred miles, spend the majority of the time traveling to this Fishery (Breeding grounds) just to get chased by the authorities. The local companies raking in money don´t tell you anything inside what they call the ¨buffer zone¨ is poaching, it´s illegal plain and simple. Now is it poaching if nobody is enforcing the laws anyway? I don´t know what to say, maybe we should ask an Elephant how he feels about being poached as people still want Elephant products no matter how short the supply of Elephants are. So I feel like I`m watching these so called fishing companies put themselves out of business making you think ¨it´s all ok amigo¨. Well if you´re inside the buffer zone, and you´ll have to be inside the buffer zone to catch 200 lb Yellowfin tuna because they´re not twelve miles away from the structure. Another thing is the Tres Maria Islands are a prison, the larger island. So the authorities don’t want fishing boats close in. Fishing happens within two to six miles normally to the islands, same distance to the prisoners. They jump off the islands from time to time and imagine if there´s a fishing boat in the area?! Let your imagination run a while with thatone, say good bye to your vacation and a bunch of money. You want the same situation as the marine being held in a Tijuana Jail now for months for something insignificant? Yellowfin Tuna just a few short years ago used to be abundant around Corbeteña and El Banco has become a thing of the past. Now the local poachers charging for three day trips are just raping the resource. So yes there are Monster Yellowfin Tuna at the Tres Maria Islands. I just feel a social responsibility as a ´SPORTSMAN´ not to make a bad situation worse. What you don´t hear about is how the Navy, police or the enforcers are chasing private boats trying to bring them in and this is something you do not want and won´t hear about through the promotional media sites as they show poachers standing next to three hundred pound Yellowfin Tuna. Fishing boats are a prime trophy that they don´t have to return. If you head to the Tres Maria Islands and you keep outside the legal boundaries, more power to you, but you won´t catch fish this far from the islands and structure, period. Everyone knows this, but the pictures shown by these famous reel companies and fishing sites are no better than poachers going after Elephants.. Most people aren´t told it´s illegal to fish this area since their agenda is making money at the futures expense. Remember this Fishery is nothing new, but the trips to this area are. The old timers know you don´t kill the future for quick profits. If the truth be known, there have been many, many incidents where captains are held for days upon days in the general population as the clients had to find a way back. I can tell you of incidents where boat owners who live in Canada are chased all the time pushing the envelope. There are tons of stories about bribes and close calls. Sooner or later there will be something serious happen, do you want to volunteer to be there when it all comes down? It´s not fun if it´s not legal or safe! I don´t want to be Mr. Negative, but this is just ridiculous.
Until next time don’t forget to kiss your fish and remember at Master Baiter’s Sportfishing & Tackle “ We Won’t Jerk You Around”!
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.