Tournament season has started and even though it’s still early in the season for peak fishing conditions, they’re not bad. With abundant blue water, plenty of fish and now a Trash Line, conditions are good. We’ve had a pretty good run for the last two weeks since the Hurricane passed, but like all good things, they come and they go. We’re not seeing the 35 lb Dorado in the bay any longer, but we’ve still got nice sized Dorado at Los Arcos, but the Dorado have spread out in the bay now. We’re getting a steady stream of Marlin these days, Sailfish are picking up in numbers and are in more locations. Water temps are up, no bait issues. Day by day the conditions take a click in the right direction. For now things aren’t quite as good as they were after Hurricane Beatriz. Those were freak conditions where if you were here to take advantage of the situation, you had some unforgettable action. Looking forward, I feel very positive for the season. With more fish moving into the area, we know conditions will only improve.
You know I’ve been writing these articles now for something like twenty years. In that time, writing and paying attention to conditions, you begin to learn and see what happens with the seasonal changes. That means how currents work, water temperatures change, the results of these types of natural ocean movements and the things that just don’t “fit” in the scenario. So it’s not surprising to me when the seasonal changes comes and frankly we’ve been waiting for it. But it’s a La Nina year, which throws a wrench into everything you’d expect, especially water temperatures. Then we come into March.
If you’ve been paying any attention at all, you already know this is a “La Nina” year. It keep the water temperatures at a solid 84 degrees, which is perfect for all our world class species. We’ve been seeing solid fishing around our world class fishing locations. Unlike normal years, the “fish” or all the Sailfish and Marlin have a wide range of travel. What that means is they’ve been moving around and they’re spread out. You can’t just focus on one location and expect all the varied species waiting for you to arrive. Or can we? With massive amounts of bait already in the bay, more is moving in. I’m calling it “Hit & Run” fishing. With massive amounts of the Krill or seasonal “Whale” food, Krill stuffed Mahi are not interested many times in your bait. Marlin and Sailfish are chasing baits and playing fish tag. Smash the bait and then they turn away. The only “favorite” species we have that aren’t eating Krill is Yellowfin Tuna. The fishing is great, but you have to keep at it. Lazy Captains and crews are coming up empty handed. Those putting the effort of changing bait, changing trolling speeds and have the fuel to find the fish are coming up winners.
We’ve been riding a Rollercoaster of storm currents when it comes to fishing in Puerto Vallarta. Right now to find fish, you have to follow the bait. And they’re riding the currents. With changing storm currents this means fish right now are spread out from Yelapa to El Banco. We had a Hurricane pass us last week and for a few days Sailfish and Marlin were pushed into the area. Then we got hit with some heavy rains, which of course means plenty of dirty water washing down the rivers which dumped into the bay. Dirty water pretty much, at the moment this article was written, was in most of the bay, and any fishing grounds that would be normally associated with an eight hour trip. Sounds kinda negative now doesn’t it. This is when you have to turn your head and look in a different direction. Open you mind and think like a fish. What would you do if you were a fish in our local waters?
This week we’ve built on the outstanding fishing conditions of last week. With the seasonal rains, we now have a trash line! Water temperatures have stayed much the same and with the changing summer currents we have plenty of bait at all our world famous fishing grounds. For now there have been some surprising changes, weird actually. For those willing to take the risk, longer duration trips can produce larger Yellowfin Tuna, Marlin, Sailfish and more. For the family guy looking for a fun day on the water, shorter duration with plenty of action. For now I can’t remember a better July when it comes to fishing. With Hurricanes pushing fish in the area, I can’t imagine conditions being any better than they already are for July. That doesn’t mean you won’t have a “bad” day now and again. But for now the fishing is great and should only improve from this point onward into fishing’s high season!
For months now I’ve been putting out accurate information regarding fishing conditions here in Puerto Vallarta with as positive a spin as possible. Finally this week, no spin, things have changed drastically and now there is every reason to be heading out of the bay. First, water temperatures are up, Bait is plentiful, New Summer species are moving into the area. And even El Banco, aka The Bank is showing signs of a pulse! I’ve been patiently waiting for mid-June to show up as this is normally when things start to turn around. Things aren’t perfect, but they’re moving in the right direction and it’s only going to improve as we get deeper into High Season for Fishing in Puerto Vallarta’s fishing grounds!
Sometimes it feels like I’m almost making excuses for the “fishing conditions”. Clients come into my shop midwinter looking for summer species. Being at the wrong end of the calendar it’s disappointing for some. Things have changed, water is warming up, Red Tide has all but disappeared, No dirty water to speak of and we have a trash line. With the La Nina keeping water temperatures down I was wondering when the numbers and species would ever pickup. But we’re back in the Summer High Season for Fishing in Puerto Vallarta. Conditions are improving by the day, the “locals” are stuffing themselves with varied “karnada” or baits. Now if we could just figure a way to keep the air temperatures and humidity down, everything would be perfect!
Well, here we are again, another week of changing currents, changing water temperatures and massive amounts of bait and whale food! Yes folks this is the transition period where you never really know what conditions you’ll be dealing with and for the last three weeks now, things have pretty much been the same. Of course this is no surprise and my articles are meant to limit the frustration and save on the fuel expenses. And like I’ve been telling everyone for the last few weeks, you have two real fishing options, six hours in the bay or twelve hours, more would be better. Where Dorado, Sailfish and Striped Marlin can be found. Maybe not boated, again, that depends on the level of bait in the water and how hungry the fish are. Are you getting a “feel” for conditions? We’re transitioning from not only a La Nina year, but from winter species and water temperatures to summer species and hopefully warm water.
Every year as we come out of the winter fishing season into spring we see the annual changing of the seasonal currents. This past year has been weird, there is no other word for it. As we are hopefully exiting a “La Nina” year, we’re seeing the beginning of a regular fishing season, if you don’t mind my positive perspective. You see this is what we expect, this is “normal”. Last year we went straight from summer fishing, to spring fishing all through the “winter” fishing season. Now with the clashing currents and dirty water that produces, this is a positive thing. When this happens, it’s at the lowest part of the spring tourism season or basically PV is a bit of a ghost town after Easter. That means that while it’s not the most positive thing, it’s an indicator that we’re moving into a “normal” season and to me, that’s positive. Now I’m not saying the fishing is any better or worse than it was last week. But we roll with the punches and prepare for the positive!
After the last few disappointing weeks of fishing, things changed like a lightning strike. All of a sudden currents change and with it a massive invasion of varied baits. Small tiny baits eaten by Skip Jack Tuna are being follow by much larger species. 30 lb to 200 lb Yellowfin Tuna about 65 miles out are chasing these baits in unusually cool water for Yellowfin Tuna. That’s a 12 hr. day with no guarantees. These southern currents are bringing Sailfish and Striped Marlin are also in the mix. Snapper off El Morro and the action is unexpected. To see Yellowfin Tuna this early in the season can only be explained as a La Nina result. We aren’t complaining, but this may not last long as the bait is riding currents which means as quickly as they’re moving in, they can move out.