Written by: Stan Gabruk owner of Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle

Here in Puerto Vallarta we’re “Kinda” unique. Each of our world famous fishing grounds has its own personality and its own personal quirks. We can see long periods of time where the fishing is the same day in and day out. But like your teenage daughter, they can be temperamental and moody. We’ve had a very temperamental last couple of weeks with tropical storms marching up the coastline. The primary conditions we’re dealing with are strange storm currents and plenty of dirty water. The Currents on top of the rain is turning the bay into a dirty water frustration. The deep water locations of Corbetena and El Banco have blue water and it all starts about ten miles off the point of Punta Mita. Yes folks this week it’s been “All about the Marlin”!

El Banco, 3 released

About three miles before you come to the Corbetena Rock you’ll finally run into Blue Water. Once you get there you’ve got the additional challenge of Bottle Nose Dolphin and Black Tip Sharks, aka “Bait Robbers”. Black Tip Shark are good eating so don’t be bummed if you hook into a shark. The good news is: there is plenty of bait in many different forms at Corbetena. The bad news is if you’re running live bait, the Dolphin and sharks will take it. As a result the only real way you’ll get a strike is if you’re running plastics. Downriggers are necessary for Yellowfin Tuna which are there, but with the warm water, the YF Tuna are sounding between 120 to 150 feet down. Blue and Black Marlin are starting at 300 lbs up to 500 lbs on average with much larger possible! Sailfish are also in the area but the simple fact is Marlin and Sailfish are roaming the entire area between Corbetena to El Banco. UpDate: The Bottle Nose Dolphin have left the area just in time for Big Black Marlin and big Blue Marlin to move in and take over the entire area. Bait is off the scale in the form of Skip Jack Tuna! Dorado are in the 25 to 35 lb range now and probably larger are roaming the area. Sailfish, but strangely enough the Yellowfin
Tuna are still soundings….

So speaking of El Banco aka The Bank, there are also Black and Blue Marlin between 300 to 600 lbs and again much larger are possible. Sailfish are also running the neighborhood as are smaller Dorado in the 20 lb range. Rainbow runners to 40 lbs, Possible Cubera Snappers but it’s not easy to get their attention. For some reason the Dolphin seem to be focusing on Corbetena, but the Black Tip sharks are out in full force. So again, use plastics if you have to deal with the “Shark challenge”! Good news is plenty of blue water, plenty of bait and plenty of Marlin. UPDATE: Everything changed as I was publishing this report. Marlin are thick, the bait situation now is plentiful, but using a Saviki rig, I call them Daisy Chains… you’ll get four Skip Jack tuna for bait, two will make it back as the Marlin will hit you for two of them! Black Marlin or Blue Marlin males are between 300 to 600 lbs, the females which will be larger could well be over the 800 lb range. Sailfish have picked up in size and numbers. The only reason I can see must be the cold snap up north in California, cooling water temperatures and changing currents are now working in our favor. Dorado which have been AOL are now here in greater numbers by the day and increasing in size! Just get in the area, close to the high spots doesn’t hurt and you’ll have plenty of arm burning action. After the second tropical storm marched up the coast we / I thought it would be a few more days before things improved as it always does. Well I’m glad I was a touch of the mark.. Ha ha…

Finally Decent Sized Dorado!

The point off Punta Mita is a challenge for sure. Dealing with dirty water, you’ll need to be about ten miles off the point before you find blue water, but north of Sayulita could be a bit cleaner. Now this all sounds like “doom and gloom” but in reality nothing like these conditions, storm conditions that is, last for long. Normally three days later everything changes for the best and that’s what I expect this week. Wednesday would be a good day to think about heading out again. Of course it’s still just an “educated” guess, ha ha…. UpDate: With all the tropical systems marching up the bay there has been tons of rain. Which results in Trash Lines and debris, which of course means there are lots of Dorado in the area now and they’re all at the 20 to 30 lb size range. Sailfish are running the area as well, but with some luck and heading about ten miles off the shortline, you will most likely see Blues and Blacks, Marlin that is. I’m excited just writing this!

Inside the bay, well it’s a mud-bowl. But that I mean with the massive amounts of dirty water pouring into the bay a four or six hour fishing trip in the bay is not your best option. There is also all kinds of trash and debris in the bay, which is great for Dorado, but wait a few days before giving them a shot. Jack Crevalls to 35 lbs are out of season but a welcome participant. UpDate: inside the bay with all the rain you’d expect it to be like coffee, well it’s not that bad and in fact there are many open areas of blue water. Just about the area around La Cruz Marlin there have been 30 lb Dorado boated as well as larger Sailfish. There is also a ton of bait in the bay. So You’ve got options amigos, YeHa!!

The bite this week has finally changed, maybe, depends on who you’re talking to, but for now it looks like the bite is anywhere from 07:00 to after 10:00 (Update: Bite is a touch later so leaving after 08:00 for bay or Punta Mita fishing is suggested) … For now it wouldn’t hurt getting out there a bit earlier. Bait is available, but with dirty water it’s difficult to present a bait which isn’t seen. It’s just amazing, but they will find the bait. Water temperatures are hovering at 90 degrees, very warm water, Marlin don’t seem to be affected, same for Sailfish and Sharks. Dorado are so thin out there I don’t know what to say about that. Just make sure you’ve got plenty of plastic then start with the Petroleros and the Iguanas, after that it’s anyone’s guess.

Living in Puerto Vallarta we learn that there is always a challenge. Captains worth their salt understand how to deal with them and in fact turn them many times into an advantage. Times like this is when you discover who the “talkers are” and who the “walkers” are. Under equipped boats are not going to catch fish, plain and simple. Be sure you have a full time captain on your boat, plenty of color when it comes to lures and don’t forget a full helping of patience!

Until next week, Don´t forget to kiss Your Fish!

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