In the world of world class fishing, not every day is a perfect day. The fishing grounds of Puerto Vallarta are considered some of the best in the world. Yet we still have to pay homage to the changing season, changing currents and of course changing water temperatures. We also know we have a seasonal swing from winter species to summer species. Conditions are changing and there’s no escaping that. Right now we’re in the middle of this seasonal change, which means there are some days are better than others. With plenty of bait in the area, the down side, temporarily I might add, is we now are experiencing red tide. Red tide, which is created by dead or dying plankton has taken over the entire area. We’ve seen this now for about a week and it could last for a brief while longer. Red tide is a normal condition and fishing in this red water is difficult at best. While not preferable on any level, this is a short lived condition. As you read this article, keep in mind things have probably already changed. Fish are out there, your challenge is finding clean water, even if it’s green. If not for the red tide, we’d still be dealing with “pregnant” fish!
Living in Puerto Vallarta now for 22 yrs., I’m what you’d call a “Gringo Pata Salada” or American with salty feet, aka a long time local. And I can relate to this nick name, although through the years I’ve been referred to by many different names by many different types. I’ve watched Puerto Vallarta grow into a cross between a small town and the big city. Puerto Vallarta and area have in the neighborhood of eight million people a year come to this beautiful and safe location to vacation where the dollar goes a long way and the people are famous for their kindness and generosity. Yet at the last consensus, there are less than three hundred thousand people living in the entire coastline of The Bay of Banderas. Which of course encompasses both states of Jalisco and Nayarit.
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!
Not long ago I had this couple walk into my shop. They were just amazed that there was actually a private marina in Puerto Vallarta. They continued that they had come to Puerto Vallarta for the last ten years and stayed in the Marriott Hotel. For some reason this couple never knew that within walking distance was one of the top ten private marinas in the world. It just amazed me. But, after a few seconds of thought I could understand. You see as you enter Marina Vallarta, driving down Paseo de la Marina avenue, you will never see a boat, water, anything that suggest you’re in Marina Vallarta, nothing. You’ll pass the Marina Vallarta Golf Course and you’ll pass many condominium complexes just before you arrive at your hotel. In fact most people don’t even know that Marina Vallarta’s entrance is signified by our world famous whale statue!
Every year the fishing season develops differently. Forest would say “Fishing is like a box of chocolates”! With constantly changing currents and weather conditions we never know what we’re going to get. This year we’re seeing some exciting indicators and frankly I haven’t been this excited for the new fishing season for many years. Water temperatures are perfect, Bait conditions are perfect, the seas are as smooth as I’ve ever seen. Yellowfin Tuna of good size, early season Dorado in large numbers. I mean we even have had some rain so there are mature Trash Lines, it’s very exciting stuff. Want to know more, keep reading…
For the last three weeks now I’ve been surprised at the amount of Striped Marlin in the bay. As water temperatures rise we normally see Striped Marlin leaving the area. But when there is so much “Fast Food” why would you leave? Smaller Dorado are in the bay which is encouraging. For now we’re focusing on the “water” conditions. We’re in a “current” transition period where clashing currents can create dirty water and hair pulling frustration.
Every year like clockwork we see the changing of the seasons just about the second or third week of January. This means the water temperatures drop, currents change, and abundant “Whale Food” in the form of hard shell Squids, Red Crabs and massive amounts of Krill Shrimp and Squids. And this is just the tip of the iceberg amigos. At times “too much” bait can be a problem for the vacationing Angler looking for a bucket list Fish to be checked off. But never fear, we have fish if you can get them to take your bait.
With a title like that, you must be wondering what this is all about. We’ve been waiting for the “cold” water all winter. Well it’s finally here as we see another dip in water temperatures and an increase in Krill squids and shrimp, Sardines and more. With massive amounts of bait it can present a challenge to get fish to take your offering or presentation (aka baits). Everyone is catching fish, some days are better than others. But if you don’t catch fish now, you must be either jinxed or on a boat with an “unlucky” captain. All and all the fishing is great, short days, longer durations, it doesn’t matter so get on the water already!!
This week we´re looking at similar conditions as we have had for the last couple of weeks. As mentioned Sailfish are the main players around the bay for the time being. Sailfish are showing up in larger numbers off the point of Punta Mita from five to ten miles. Dorado as well off the Anclote Reef and buoys near Sayulita. Buoys are your friend amigo if you can find one. Dorado, which have been mostly on the smaller side, will be running about 15 to 20 lbs. These are throw back sized fish and any self respecting sportsman will throw them back. You may find some Snappers in smaller sizes of 10 to 15 lbs, perfect for the dinner table, fun on light tackle. Those heading to San Pancho will have had no better luck than around the point of Punta Mita or the Marietta Islands….