When People ask me “when is the best time of the year to go fishing in Puerto Vallarta”? My normal response is the first two weeks of November or the first two weeks of December. I’ve been saying this for years as those are the down times for tourism in between the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year, being a La Nina year, the calendar has changed seasons early and what was on fire last week, is cooling down a little more each day. The longer duration trips are still coming up winners, but blue water is scarce. With Swirling currents and massive amounts of bait moving into the area in the form of Krill, remember none of this is new to experienced captains. What is new or unusual is the “La Nina” factor that throws the whole “seasonal clock” into disarray. Those looking for larger Dorado, Marlin and Sailfish need to get on the water before the summer species bug out. For now the fishing is still “worth” the effort. But the clock is ticking and the summer fishing season will be over soon.
Every year we deal with “low” season action, when in reality the funny thing is “low” season for tourism happens smack in the middle of “High Season for fishing”. And you might ask what that means? You see when the weather in perfect in Puerto Vallarta, that reflects the lower water temperatures in the area. As we know, weather patterns follow water temperatures, nothing new there. Well in “Low” season Puerto Vallarta Fishing is at its best because with the high temperatures, comes warmer water temperatures. Perfect for our most famous species of Sailfish, Dorado, Marlin and Yellowfin Tuna. In fact, it’s Dorado city at all our fishing grounds! And that’s where we are now. But, things are changing, as we enter October, we enter the best time of the year to be on the water in Puerto Vallarta. If you’re looking to catch a fish bigger than your car, now is the time to be booking fishing trips amigo or get left with another year before you do!
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!
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.
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.
As we begin to see the end of the peak fishing season we’re lucky to have good if not unpredictable action. Fishing is a “liquid” sport and I mean that in forms of the word. Fish move and they’re moving all around the bay. With winter here the Whales are back as are the Porpoise everyone but fisherman love. For those looking to boat that bucket list fish before another year passes, I’d suggest you “Get it in gear” before the Marlin head for South America.
These days there has been a lot of talk about the Tres Maria Islands. When you ask a Yellowfin Tuna Fanatic, they don’t know much more than the “rumors” they’ve heard and the Pictures they’ve seen. And yes, they’re impressive. For the Pacific side of Mexico, Yellowfin Tuna are revered as the top game fish Sportsmen are looking for. With the secret out, there has been a lot of attention turning in the direction of Puerto Vallarta. I’ve stolen some information and inserted my own slant to develop what seems to be the only real independent description of the Tres Maria Islands. He I have stolen a little history and there’s a little “Wikki” in there too. To my knowledge this is the best description of the area and the fishing conditions available.
One thing is for sure, nothing stays the same for long in “Fish City”. Things have stepped down a notch from last week and we’re seeing what was concentrated around Corbetena and El Banco has spread out again. Marlin and Sailfish are out there, but for the next few days you’ll need to move some water. In layman terms that means you’ll be moving around from El Banco to Corbetena so you’ll need longer days on the water. The good news is there are fish out there!
In the world of Big Game Fishing, nothing ever stays the same from day to day. For the last few weeks it’s been wide open. By that I mean the fish are moving around the area with no real concentration for any real length of time in any one location. So, this means you have to be prepared to move around and find the fish. This is actually normal, but for those on a thin fuel budget this could be an issue if targeting large Marlin, Sailfish or Tuna. We have fish, but we don’t have them in a barrel.