For months now I’ve been putting out accurate information regarding fishing conditions here in Puerto Vallarta with as positive a spin as possible. Finally this week, no spin, things have changed drastically and now there is every reason to be heading out of the bay. First, water temperatures are up, Bait is plentiful, New Summer species are moving into the area. And even El Banco, aka The Bank is showing signs of a pulse! I’ve been patiently waiting for mid-June to show up as this is normally when things start to turn around. Things aren’t perfect, but they’re moving in the right direction and it’s only going to improve as we get deeper into High Season for Fishing in Puerto Vallarta’s fishing grounds!
Sometimes it feels like I’m almost making excuses for the “fishing conditions”. Clients come into my shop midwinter looking for summer species. Being at the wrong end of the calendar it’s disappointing for some. Things have changed, water is warming up, Red Tide has all but disappeared, No dirty water to speak of and we have a trash line. With the La Nina keeping water temperatures down I was wondering when the numbers and species would ever pickup. But we’re back in the Summer High Season for Fishing in Puerto Vallarta. Conditions are improving by the day, the “locals” are stuffing themselves with varied “karnada” or baits. Now if we could just figure a way to keep the air temperatures and humidity down, everything would be perfect!
Another week and more small changes. But that’s normally the case, we wouldn’t want extreme swings in fishing conditions and this week the “small” changes are adding up to great fishing action. When you talk about fishing in Puerto Vallarta, people want to know about the major summer species, which of course for the last six months haven’t been here in the area. Now that we’re at the end of May, the transition period with the dirty water and questionable species is coming to an end, finally. Does that mean the water conditions are perfect, of course not! But it does mean there is plenty to be excited and optimistic about. For now, my “glass” is half full, so don’t expect doom and gloom, things are improving amigos!
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!
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.
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?
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!
It happens every year. We know it’s coming and it looks like were in a transition period about a month early. It’s a La Nina year and we never know what that’s going to bring us when we talk about fishing in Puerto Vallarta. Water temperatures have been holding steady, but the water conditions are changing. Bait is plentiful, but our famous summer species are starting to thin in numbers as winter species like Jack Crevalles, Amber jacks and Snappers begin to move into the area. For now the fishing is still good, but with the changes that are happening now it could change things. The good news is Striped Marlin are moving in as we’re seeing the beginning of another transition season.