As we get deeper into the early stages of Puerto Vallarta’s high season for fishing, we’re still waiting for the “fishing” public to arrive. Nothing new here, this is pretty much normal. As we see the conditions pick up, there really aren’t very many fishing charters. We have great fishing, but it’s hard to give a report, when there are so few anglers hitting our fishing grounds right now. Now this may sound negative, but in reality it’s an opportunity to have Puerto Vallarta’s world famous fishing grounds to yourself. Now this is priceless when you have 300 lb Marlin, Sailfish, Dorado and more waiting for you to arrive! So forgive any holes there may be in this week’s report, but the bottom line is we have great fishing and if you head out to these fishing grounds, then next week, I’ll be writing about you! If not, I’ll be writing about somebody else.
When we come to this time of the year, everything is in a state of flux. With changing currents, then one day there is blue water, the next is the clean green water comes back. This is not unusual, in fact it’s more or less normal. It’s just very early in the summer fishing season to have more stable conditions as we continue the seasonal transition, nothing complicated. But we are seeing subtle and constant improvements by the day. The strong currents of a few weeks back that brought with it the larger Black and Blue Marlin have relaxed. For now we have most of the favorite species people are looking for. Sailfish, Dorado, Tuna, Marlin and more are already here. Sounds great, I know, but the whole thing needs some time to jell. Right now with all those famous species, massive amounts of warm water bait has come with them. Now this is a double edged sword, too much bait means it’s hard to get these fish to check out your “presentation”. Not enough bait, and they all leave. The good news is these species are filling in the entire area in all the different fishing grounds right now there are serious possibilities. With so few boats heading out in this slow part of the year for tourism, what I’m seeing could be just the tip of the iceberg. People are catching fish, but first you have to be on the water for the “action to begin”.
Here we go again, I hope you’re not bald because it’s hair pulling time again. With swirling currents and mixed water temperatures, combined with massive amounts of bait, you should expect “chaos”. By this I mean some days the Billfish are taking baits, others not. Dorado finally have been taking baits again, as they come out of their breeding season. Clean blue water, Red Tide, Dirty water, clean green water, it’s all out there to drive you crazy. The other side of the coin is we have fish amigos. Sailfish, Striped Marlin, Dorado, all of which are frankly out of season. It’s easy to complain about what’s happening, or you can be happy we have species we normally wouldn’t sin a La Nina year. You may not want to head out to Corbetena quite yet, but the freaky thing is El Banco is stuffed with Sailfish and Striped marlin. Right now it all comes down to the “mood” that fish is in. Billfish are looking at baits, and at times will take them. Same with Striped Marlin, it all comes down to the bite and the mood of these fickle fish. One thing for sure, with massive amounts of two inch squid moving in, the local Captains are happy to face this out of season species challenges. Yeha!
Normally at this time of the year we don’t talk much about “breeding” fish. But normally we don’t have to deal with La Nina. Normally we don’t have species like Dorado in the area in the middle of “winter” fishing, even though It’s Spring. So much of the frustration we’re seeing in our fishing season is from species that “shouldn’t be here”. We all know it’s a “mixed up season”. So the locals are full of eggs and we have to deal with that. The good news is Jack Crevalles are taking bait again. Dorado that are here are still fickle, but beginning to take surface baits. Striped Marlin and Sailfish, again two species that are either “super early” for their normal season are showing signs of taking bait. With strange water temperatures and currents, species that shouldn’t “be” here, are because of La Nina, it can be hard to figure out. But the silver lining is the bay fishing is incredible with smaller species, like normal. And as the remaining Whales filter out, the near future for fishing in Puerto Vallarta is looking better by the day!
We’re finally seeing some changes for the positive when it comes to fishing in Puerto Vallarta. Water temperatures are holding. Striped Marlin and Sailfish are still off Punta Mita and most of the deep water fishing grounds are “on vacation” until further notice. But it’s March, the time of the year we normally start to see Sailfish return to the area. You may say “Sailfish, they’ve been here since before December”. And you’d be correct, but they shouldn’t have been frankly. I understand why visitors to Puerto Vallarta (PV) hoping to catch a billfish or Yellowfin Tuna. The only problem with that is, they’re on the wrong side of the calendar. Strangely Enough we can still provide a “Shot” at a Sailfish or Striped Marlin, which in itself is a strange thing. As fisherman/women we always deal the cards dealt. Right now Corbetena or El Banco are on vacation until further notice.
Right now your best bang for your fishing dollar is six hours in the bay. Bonito averaging 20 lbs, Jack Crevalles to 50 lbs, Sierra Mackerals are the equivalent of Ocean Trout, plentiful but no larger than 10 lbs. We’re still seeing the occasional Dorado, but with thirty boats heading out, maybe 2 Dorado boated. Which means they’re out there, but it probably won’t be you catching it! A couple of tricks you might want to try is using a downrigger, which seems to be working. The other is use light leader. Many of these guys, local Captains use heavy fluorocarbon leader of 80 to 125 lbs. When fishing for smaller gamefish, it’s like connecting a minnow to T.V. Cable! Drop your leader to 40 or 50 lbs and you’ll have better results. Keep these secrets to yourself.
Here we are again, Week four in the “Bubble”. I don’t know if it’s a current or if there is some underwater volcanic activity, but the water is still warm and blue off Punta Mita. If you read last week’s fishing report, this will be about the same. Warm water off Punta Mita had most of the action this past week. That doesn’t exactly mean the fishing is off the hook. But what it does mean is if you’re targeting Striped Marlin, Sailfish, and Dorado, this is your best option. But on the other hand, a six hour trip in the bay is full of arm burning action. So it all comes down to “What do you want”? Smaller gamefish with a boat load of fish. Or do you decide to head for an eight or even twelve hour trip targeting the remaining summer species? Or do you save the time and money, hit the smaller “tasty” gamefish in the bay and have the time of your life? It’s a decision only you can make amigos!
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!
“Things” this week are really mixed up. When you stop and think about fishing, we all naturally assume water temperatures are pretty much the same at all our fishing grounds. But when you’re fishing in Puerto Vallarta you know fishing logic many times doesn’t apply. Right now as cold water is moving in daily, there are still some “hot spots” where you’ll find Marlin and Sailfish. Then again inside the bay the water temperatures are still dropping as expected. La Nina threw a monkey wrench into this year’s fishing schedule. As a result you can find your favorite summer species and winter species at the same time. It’s the one time of the year you can do that but only for a short time, now would be that time!
It looks like our Fishing grounds are in a season of contradictions. With lingering warm climate into winter and cooling water temperatures have created the contradiction. Black Marlin have finally decided to join the party, as water temps drop? Dorado are plentiful everywhere, yet they don’t like water temps on average under 80 degrees. And having said that, the ultimate contradiction is the fishing is great even with dropping water temperatures! Short days, long days, it doesn’t matter. If you’re serious about fishing and you’re looking for a “no-brainer” fishing day, now would be a good time to jump on on a boat and abuse this fishing opportunity of the year.