After another week of outstanding fishing, things are starting to slow down just a touch. Yes, we still have Marlin, Sailfish, Dorado and more in our world class fishing grounds of Puerto Vallarta. But now we have Krill. Krill, also known as “Whale food”. These tiny squids and micro fish are back in the area of course with the Whales. This creates a specific set of challenges we deal with on a yearly basis. How do you get fish to pay attention to your presentations, aka bait, when they’re stuffed with Calamari? No worries, we have been dealing with conditions like this from the beginning of time. There are always challenges and as challenges change, captains have to come up with solutions. Krill for the most part are more abundant in the bay, but they will be all around the Bay of Banderas’ fishing grounds.. Again this is normal, but it’s a pain in the backside at times. Larger species like Marlin and Yellowfin Tuna are not affected by this Whale food since they like larger baits. So one challenge can produce opportunities if you know the seasonal basics. As we enter the final stretch of fishing high season, there are some big fish out there waiting for you to show up!
Welcome to another wonderful week of fishing. As we all know, fishing is an emotional Rollercoaster. When things are great, you can still have a down fishing day. Once we get into this time of the year, it’s difficult to not catch fish, if you’ve got an experienced captain and enough bait. There are some small, but important changes this past week as we start to enter Whale Watching Season. For many fisherman, this is a trigger. When the Whales arrive, the Krill are not far behind. And we’re seeing some of this “whale food” coming into the bay. The bait fish will start feeding on this Krill, the larger species like Dorado to smaller species like Skip Jack Tuna will all happily chow down on this “fast food”. This is not a “big thing”, but it is a “thing”. And will become a bigger “thing” in the coming weeks. But this is normal. Presently, Puerto Vallarta fishing is at its yearly peak! The warm water species will be hanging around until the end of December. Those looking to target world class species like Marlin, Dorado and Sailfish should make a move. If not, it will be another year before you realize you should have “done this years ago”!
Where to start? I almost feel like I’m writing the same article over and over again. Now when this happens in the winter time, say March, I know I’m going to be writing many a “cookie cutter” report. But when we come to this time of the year, the best time of the year for world class fishing. I don’t expect to have a “cookie cutter” report about how one species has taken over the entire fishing grounds. Anywhere from Corbetena to Yelapa has been invaded by Dorado! Are there other species out there? Well of course there is, but the thing is, there are so many Dorado out there, it seems getting a bait in front of another species is like getting a Nordstrom’s credit card out of my ex-wifes hand! But after Dorado being M.I.A. for so long, it looks like Dorado have returned to our fishing grounds in Puerto Vallarta!
Much of the last article was about the passing Hurricanes and what we hoped it would leave behind. It’s been a week now and we’re golden! By that I mean we’re full of Dorado, translated into English means Golden Fish and we’re definitely “Golden” at all our world class fishing grounds. Those willing to venture out into “unknown” territory are finding Sailfish, Marlin, Big Dorado and Yellowfin Tuna. With Blue water, perfect water conditions, perfect bait conditions and plenty of fish, It’s safe to say we have some of the best fishing we’ll have in Puerto Vallarta all year!, Right now!
With pretty much ‘back to back” Hurricanes, each reaching Category 4 intensity, it has pretty much put fishing in Puerto Vallarta on hold. Once you’re outside the bay, both post Lidia and now post Norma has left us with some pretty rough deep water fishing conditions. Big swells, stiff winds and plenty of floating logs and debris. You can imagine these deep water fishing grounds for the last week weren’t exactly where you wanted to be. But even then, for die-hards like me, you can’t ignore the fact Hurricanes push fish either in or out of the area. With the paths of these monster systems, it pushed plenty of fish into the bay of Banderas. Now at this time of the year to get a big push of fish into the bay, during a passing Hurricane, well that’s priceless. Dorado filled the bay and with the mature trash lines, fishing in the bay was about as good as could be expected at Punta Mita! It’s more or less a “Hurricane Back Handed” fishing report.
About this time last week we were wondering what was going to happen with Hurricane Lidia. Nobody knew what to expect as the predicted path of the Hurricane looked like the impossible path. Lidia came up naturally from the south, it was heading out towards Hawaii, until it took a sharp right turn and was heading right down the throat of the Bay of Banderas. Any deviation at all would have sent Lidia to a different area easily enough, but it didn’t quite play that way. As this was all happening, besides being concerned for my girlfriend who was freaking out, I was thinking “this Hurricane will push a whole lot of fish in the area. It took a few days before we had charters again, but now we’re heading out daily. All the “ills” of the Hurricane for the city of Puerto Vallarta have for the most part been taken care of. Marina Vallarta has all the utilities and no travel issues. Same goes for fishing, for now PV has almost every species our world famous fishing grounds have to offer. What looked like a possible disaster for fishing, has turned out to be a “backhanded” gift from the fish gods! For now, whatever your fishing budget looks like, get on the water. One reason, the Dorado in the bay are huge! Let’s start there.
Now that we’re in October, Tournament season has begun. This should be the best indication that we’re in the best part of the year for those targeting World Class Fish in our world famous fishing grounds. We all know there is no such thing as “perfect fishing conditions”. But we’re not far from it. We have all the major species people want and now is the time to meet the challenge. We’ve had a three week stretch where you couldn’t go wrong finding a trash line in the middle of the bay. But currents have changed now and you need to find where the trash lines are now. If you can find one of these mature trash lines, you’ll have all the Dorado you tired arms can handle. Right now we’re looking down the throat of a possible local Hurricane, Lidia to be exact. This will push fish into the area. I’m thinking by this time next week we’ll be talking about what happened or hopefully didn’t happen.
It never fails, people will always walk in my shop and ask me “when is the best time of the year to go fishing in Puerto Vallarta?” The answer to that is “Right Now”! It all really starts to “jell” around the middle of September, but Oct. 1, Fishing High Season officially begins! “Fishing High Season”, what does that mean? Well, if you’re looking to have the fantasy of catching a specific fish or rather species, you’ve got a 90% chance of boating your fish fantasy! We’ve seen an explosion of Dorado in most of our Puerto Vallarta fishing grounds. Head out a little farther and it’s all about Sailfish. Hit the deep water fishing grounds and you’ll have so much arm burning action, you may give up and come in early! With a perfect bait situation, blue water and Trash Lines, you have so many options it’s hard to decide. But one thing for sure, long day or short day, you won’t be sorry you hit Puerto Vallarta’s world famous fishing grounds!
We’ve been waiting now for warm blue water for months. We’ve had this “clean green” water, but frankly it’s a sad substitute for warm, blue water. It’s cold, green, not a fish’s first choice. We’re coming out of a three year “La Nina” running head first into what’s being quoted as a “Super El Nino”. We’ll find out what that means soon enough, but the initial “symptoms” are the return of blue water, massive amounts of warm water bait, followed by Black Marlin and now sizeable Yellowfin Tuna. Puerto Vallarta’s world class fishing is returning now and soon fishing conditions will be back to the level people have come to expect. This won’t happen overnight, but Puerto Vallarta is back in the game and until the end of December, you can expect arm burning action, big fish and even bigger smiles!
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!