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 for years now I’ve been writing this article and I’ve learned that when the fishing finally gets to the “World Class Level”, there are very few charter boats heading out with low tourism. So if you were here now, you would have our famous fishing locations all to yourself. It’s been just in the last few days that everything changed, Dorado, all of a sudden are very large. Sailfish are finally picking up in numbers. Yellowfin Tuna are still hanging out at the high spots. Blue and Black Marlin are fair sized and there’s plenty of bait. Puerto Vallarta fishing conditions have finally gotten to the point where the fishing is incredible. The abundance of species guarantee you’ll have the time of your life, but your arms might fall off before the end of your fishing day. Yes folks, these are the type of days that made Puerto Vallarta Fishing the envy of the free world. The only thing missing is you!
When we come to this time of the year, everything is in a state of flux. With changing currents, then one day there is blue water, the next is the clean green water comes back. This is not unusual, in fact it’s more or less normal. It’s just very early in the summer fishing season to have more stable conditions as we continue the seasonal transition, nothing complicated. But we are seeing subtle and constant improvements by the day. The strong currents of a few weeks back that brought with it the larger Black and Blue Marlin have relaxed. For now we have most of the favorite species people are looking for. Sailfish, Dorado, Tuna, Marlin and more are already here. Sounds great, I know, but the whole thing needs some time to jell. Right now with all those famous species, massive amounts of warm water bait has come with them. Now this is a double edged sword, too much bait means it’s hard to get these fish to check out your “presentation”. Not enough bait, and they all leave. The good news is these species are filling in the entire area in all the different fishing grounds right now there are serious possibilities. With so few boats heading out in this slow part of the year for tourism, what I’m seeing could be just the tip of the iceberg. People are catching fish, but first you have to be on the water for the “action to begin”.
Well, here we are again, we’re still transitioning and the fish are still breeding, so we still have those challenges when it comes to fishing in Puerto Vallarta. We go through this every May until early June, we prepare for it and bear through it. It’s a perfect time of the year for this to happen with tourism down. But there are some positive signs, water temperatures are up, bait is abundant and we have fish, yes folks the fish are out there, but they’re full of eggs and their appetites subside. That doesn’t mean you won’t catch fish, but it does mean you’ll be working hard for your catch. With changing currents, massive bait and in general improving water conditions, things are finally looking up. And hopefully soon we’ll have blue water and Blue Marlin!
Fishing is never stable or predictable, there is no way around that amigo. But there are yearly patterns and those patterns can be predictable within reason. For now we’re moving into the predictable seasonal changes. Once we move into spring, we see the days get longer, the water get warmer and many species move into breeding season. As this is all happening there are the changing currents, changing species and increasing water temperatures. Puerto Vallarta’s world famous fishing grounds are entering this phase now. We try and keep a finger on the “pulse” with the daily changes and this works well for us. What happened yesterday, can be an indication for tomorrow expectations, but not always, you see fish move. For now we’re dealing with the fact many species are breeding and ignoring baits, while other species are moving out. For now with the conditions changing daily and the fickle nature of breeding species it’s important to remember “fish are where you find them”. That means start where you they were yesterday, then develop a plan. Finding fish isn’t a problem, getting them to take bait is another thing.
What has been for the most part an amazing year for fishing, I find myself scratching my head as we once again see all the indicators of seasonal changes. The largest “indicator” this week was the two to three degree increase in water temperatures. We’re moving into spring so this isn’t too unusual. We have the swirling currents, the continued clean green water and of course massive amounts of Whale food in the form of Krill Squids.
This past week was a real Rollercoaster. The good news is Striped Marlin are north of Sayulita. Grouper are in their “holes” in the bay. And of course we still have our fill of Krill. Here we are in late February and we’re still seeing our late summer species hanging around. With water temperatures at what looks like a seasonal low, Grouper and Sea Bass are gracing the bay. Those with families and short budgets can find plenty of “Action Fishing” in the bay.
Well, here we go again, Krill, Krill and more Krill! They’re getting under my skin. Maybe not the best way to start this article, but for four weeks now we’ve had these stagnant conditions. We all know, that is if you’ve been reading my articles, that we’re ending a La Nina year. You know, when the water stays cooler for the year, then at some point it “snaps” back.
Once again the area in between Corbetena and El Banco is showing why this area produces more tournament winners than anywhere else. Fishing is “fishing” and conditions will never be perfect, but if you focus on what’s “biting” and what’s not, then Dorado right now should be grabbing your attention!
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.