Marlin & Sailfish at Corbeteña, Tuna Missing
Written by: Stan Gabruk owner of Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle
The headline this week pretty much sums it up. First the Hurricanes have drifted off throwing their energies and swells to points like Malibu in Southern California. We had some rough days also, but the seas are smooth and inviting. The Water tempts are still too warm for comfort at 89 to 91 degrees, not bad for Marlin, not good for Tuna in the Yellowfin Variety. Dorado for the most part is still touring Manzanillo, Small Dorado at the trash line. Jack Crevalles are still taking baits, plenty of bait. The conditions are all and all wonderful and with Marlin and Sailfish, two world class species, picking up in numbers, which means we have fish! And I am happy to say they´re taking baits after so many weeks of just being ¨lookie-lu´s¨ they started getting a little more aggressive, YeHa!
It all starts with conditions, the preferred blue water is here, dirty water has filtered out and settled. Water temperatures as mentioned are warmer than preferable for Yellowfin Tuna, Marlin don´t have an issue with it for some reason. Dorado will prefer it a little cooler, but will chase baits at any temperature. Bait is abundant, plenty of small Flying Fish in the four inch range. Bonito Bullets as bait balls are also dotted all over the place. Mullets, Goggle Eyes, Skip Jack Tunas, Bonito, so the menu is packed. The Rains have been short but strong with a nice Trash Line as a result, small Dorado babies in the 10 lb range are everywhere, throw these back please.
What was dirty water condition in the entire Banderas Bay last week quickly turned from dirty to blue as we had some foul weather and showers, not storms, sweep through the area as the aftermath of Hurricane Marie. We hoped and ¨kinda¨ expected the pressure would push fish into the area, specifically Yellowfin Tuna, but no such luck. Inside the bay we´ve seen the dirty water either move out or settle back to the bottom. With short but heavy showers the Trash Line has returned and can be found all over the bay from the seven Contributing Rivers to the Bay of Banderas. At the south end of the bay, you can still find billions of Skip Jack Tuna, Bonito, Sierra Mackerals and bullet or baby Bonito. Small Dorado in the 10 range is inviting for larger fish, but we should throw these back…. North end has Jack Crevalles and a strong shot at Sailfish chasing baits for some reason in front of the La Cruz Marina. The swells that were causing the large surf last week has calmed down so anywhere in the bay now is calm and serene. Short days are producing smaller fish which are great for those looking for action but not Moby Dick. You´ll catch fish, have fun and just being on the water is its own reward. Don´t forget the river mouths with white meat Robalo just hanging in the sweet water. There is no shortage of fishing options in the bay, so try something different. The locals know that you don´t want a Sailfish every day, but a Robalo or Skip Jack daily, then mama will love you as she feeds you handmade tortillas and keeps you in cold beer! It´s all good until they ask for the credit card as you weigh your options. Tortillas and beer or the Credit Card? God Help Me!
UpDate 09/04/2014 Hurricane Norbert: Hurricane Norbert formed not that far off the coast of Puerto Vallarta and has thrown some rain our way for the last couple of days. The ¨juice¨ is heading north, past Cabo. But we´re seeing some swells and the port authority closed the port to small vessels. For the next few days we´ll see pretty much only Bay Fishing. So if you have a fishing trip planned for the next few days, check with your captain or agent to develop a plan or get your deposit back. From the picture below you´ll see Hurricane Norbert is just north of the tip of Baja. Since this is only three hundred and fifty miles or so as the crow flies, this will be short lived, but possible intense. So for now, play it safe and stay in the bay….
El Morro to the Marietta Islands have been less than spectacular the last few weeks. Things are not much better now, the reefs are a little vacant from bait fish, so goes the domino effect. Still Sailfish are off the South end of El Morro out to about ten miles to the south west. I am a little surprised that we are not seeing more Skip Jack Tuna, Bonito and Needle fish at the Marietta Islands. Normally by this part of the season we see Dorado moving in. Manzanillo is full of Dorado as is Cabo, so the void here is surprising. We know we´ll see Dorado shortly in larger sizes and quantity. So just hang tight, they´re coming, but never soon enough!
The Point off Punta Mita, normally a fish producing area has been quiet for the last few weeks. Yes there are still Sailfish off the point, but not in the numbers we´ve become used to seeing. Start trolling about ten miles off shore and work your way out. Look for the birds, many times there are bait balls that just explode on the surface then disappear just as quickly. It´ll drive you crazy, but you should keep your eyes peeled. Dorado at a buoy if you can find one, maybe, possibly bigger than 20 lbs, maybe. Sometimes the reefs will produce some varied varieties, if in the area see what´s taking bait.
Corbeteña to El Banco is still the place to be. Black Marlin anywhere from 400 to over 700 lbs are getting more aggressive and several strikes a day are common place. This is the latest news, but to be straight up not many boats have been heading out to these deep water, deep sea fishing locations. We´re coming into the season where the seasoned fisherman know that it´s the time frame now when we start seeing the world record sized fish we´re famous for. Sailfish are a regular player here, but the species running now is the Green or I call Gold Sailfish and are not the silver and blue striped fish you normally see. I find these Golden Sailfish run a little larger and are every bit as aggressive. They are in the same area as Marlin, so if targeting Marlin you´ll have competition for your bait. Once you´re five miles off the El Morro area you´ll find Marlin Sightings. For now we´re saying you´re shot at a Marlin is 70%, with Sailfish being 75%. Cubera Snappers are running 60 lbs, we´re seeing about two a boat a day, not automatic, but Try the wounded bait trick, just let half a bait settle down to the bottom, something will hit it before you would expect. Great Tasting, Cubera Snappers are ignored for some reason. With white meat and plenty of it, I am surprised more people just focus on the billfish and Tuna.
For those looking to make some near term vacation plans, fishing in Puerto Vallarta is in it´s prime season where Sailfish, Dorado, Marlin, Rooster fish, and many others will be increasing daily in numbers. From the end of August to the second week of January just after New Year’s you´ll find the best fishing Mexico has to offer. It´s also Tournament season for obvious reasons. So if you´re thinking of coming to Puerto Vallarta, remember Puerto Vallarta is not Nuevo Vallarta, they´re two different places in two different Mexican States. As those coming to Puerto Vallarta wind up in Nuevo Vallarta they suddenly realize that the only thing in common is the name Vallarta. I suggest staying in the Marina Vallarta Area with the Mayan Palace, Westin, Marriott, Melia, Velas, Secrets / Now Hotels and many more. Marina Vallarta has more than fifteen restaurants, shops, services and of course Yachts to look at as you walk the boardwalk or Malicon in Spanish. Many have no clue Marina Vallarta exist and it´s a classy and fun place to visit. Get a drink in the Light house, Eat a Steak at the Argentina Restaurant, Great Italian food at Porte Bellos, wonderful Fajitas and sports at Fajita Banana and the list goes on. We have a new Star Bucks and a whole slew of new and trendy locations next to Neima Bay. So when scheduling your vacation, don´t be fooled, Puerto Vallarta is not Nuevo Vallarta. And of course you´ll find me at Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle as well. I look forward to seeing you here in Marina Vallarta.
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.