Here we go again folks! It’s been a strange and wonderful week, but the “norms” these days are anything but normal. Remembering it’s still a “La Nina” year with a strange mix of Hurricanes, strange water temperatures and even stranger currents, anything is possible. Water temperatures are perfect, blue water in all the deep water fishing grounds and mostly blue in the bay. Plenty of varied bait and favorable seas. With the seasonal Tropical Rains finally kicking in gear, we have a beautiful trash line and plenty of fish. Sailfish, Dorado, Marlin, Tuna, pick a fish and set your sights. But like always, no matter how perfect things seem, we know there are always challenges in the world of fishing. Right now, if you’re here in Puerto Vallarta and you’re not at least on the water for a six hour fishing trip, then you’re missing out on short day fishing, with long day species results!
Focusing on Fishing in Puerto Vallarta, I like to look at what’s happening in the surrounding areas of Barra Navidad and Manzanillo, both to the north and south respectively. I had been getting report that the Dorado fishing and Striped Marlin were lined up waiting for your bait. And here we are in Puerto Vallarta struggling to get a strike, things have changed. The Whales are moving out and that could be part of it, but the real news is Sailfish are back and they’re taking baits. Striped Marlin are also in the beginning stages of taking baits as well. Dorado are full of eggs and the Jack Crevalles that were full of eggs are now taking baits as well. So there have been some nice changes for the positive. And the locations of Barra and Manzanillo, as I understand it, their water has turned cold like it should be. As 0ur water currents are swirling. This means we still have warmer water in the area, which of course helps keep warm water species in the area.
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!
We’ve come into a time of the year where we just don’t really know what to expect when talking about fishing in Puerto Vallarta. The title isn’t code, it’s a recipe of ingredients. It’s a mixed bag where if you have all the ingredients measured out in the right mix will make your day on the water memorable. We’re in a “La Nina” year and what’s happening is unpredictable and confusing at best when trying to predict the near term “fishing” conditions. We’re in a transition period where summer species if not already gone like Dorado, Blue Marlin and Sailfish, for the most part soon will be. Normally, once we get ready to enter February we have an “Indian summer” of fishing. Late season Dorado normally come down from California. But this year, who knows. The fact of the matter is we know what we have right now. Predicting the future when it comes to fishing is easy if your crystal ball doesn’t have a crack in it like mine!
Puerto Vallarta fishing is alive and well this week as we’re in the middle of the best time of the year to be fishing in PV. With dropping water temperatures the Dorado domination is starting to tick down. That doesn’t mean you won’t catch Dorado, it just won’t be automatic. Marlin that was mysteriously absent have begun moving in again, but they’re small, if a 400 lb Marlin can be considered small? Sailfish are also picking up in numbers as well, we’re normally stuffed full of Sailfish in a non La Nina year. If you get the idea things are mixed up, you’re right. We’re seeing warm water species mixed with cold water species. Which all adds up to great fishing in perfect conditions. Plenty of bait and perfect conditions at our world famous fishing grounds adds up to arm burning action and endless grins!
It’s a “life is a box of Chocolates” sort of situation now when it comes to fishing in Puerto Vallarta. It can be hot and then cold, then hot again. We need to remember that fish move and you need to be prepared to chase the birds. If you’re stuck on a boat that won’t use fuel, then you picked the wrong company to fish with. The fact of the matter is you will catch fish, right here, right now! Dorado are averaging over 20 lbs, Sailfish are picking daily in numbers, Marlin, Tuna, maybe even Rooster Fish. With plenty of varied bait there isn’t any problems making bait. Water Temperatures are a bit lower than we like at this time of the year, but still in the “normal” range. Blue water and smooth seas. What more could you want?
Two weeks ago I was a little scared that we may have seen our best fishing of the year with the announcement of La Nina. Water temps dropped like a rock and the fish bugged out after Pamela. Last week we had an improvement with some Dorado showing up in good numbers. But now, the Krill don’t seem to be an issue, but they’re still around. Bait is abundant if the form of Skipjack Tuna (aka Skippies). Goggle Eyes, Green Runners, Flying fish, you name it. Marlin moved back in, Yellowfin Tuna aren’t huge but they’re 60 lbs and the story just starts there. For those presently in PV and looking to go fishing, now would be a good time to “break the bank” or sneak out with the wifeys credit card. It’s ok, you can blame me, it wouldn’t be the first time!
If you’re an experienced captain, you’re very excited about the near perfect water and fishing conditions. You’re also pulling your hair out because we do have fish, but we also still have massive amounts of Krill in the form of Squid and Shrimps. Krill, aka Whale Food is in the area about a month early. Which means all the “locals” are stuffing themselves on some gourmet baits amigo. But, of course that’s not all, we have cooling water temperatures! Why, well last Thursday La Nina officially began and we’re seeing some swift “fish” reactions. So that’s the story this week, cooling water, massive Krill and everything with “Gills” and fins are chowing down. Welcome to “Lucky” fishing.
After what I thought might be a temporary thing, Dorado numbers have exploded. In fact fishing in Puerto Vallarta is all about Dorado right now. It’s now October, the fishing from now until hopefully New Year’s will be the best of the year. The local climate is calming down and it feels like an early winter. But for now a bay trip to Corbetena is well worth the time and money. With mostly dirty water, once you’re past the Marietta islands things change. If you’re in the south end of the bay, things are different and now even larger Dorado are in the bay. So sit back and let the Dorado Show begin.
This past week was full of rain and wind, but the fishing is still improving. As far as unexpected weather surprises go, we’re doing pretty well. Just the normal seasonal rains. You’d think rain would be bad for fishing but in reality it’s best in the rain! Fish get excited and come to the surface, which makes your chances of boating an “excited” fish much better. Naturally with rain, areas near the river mouths will be coffee colored, not a preferred condition at all. But in the areas away from the mud in the bay, things have improved as well. When it comes to the deep water fishing grounds, Dorado are both picking up in numbers and size! Sailfish are also picking up in numbers as you’d expect. Haven’t seen any Black Marlin this year, that’s not normal at all. But on the other hand, we’re happy to still having Yellowfin Tuna at Corbetena! At this time of the year the deep water locations is where your best fishing will be for the near term. Inside the bay, there is still great fishing, but you won’t find Marlin, Sailfish and Tuna for the most part.