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.
This year, the fishing has been strange. Especially Puerto Vallarta’s world famous fishing grounds. Last week we had many of our favorite summer species, Dorado, Yellowfin Tuna and Sailfish to mention a few. They all came in fast and hungry. The bait remained, but the different species have either moved on or have thinned out in number by spreading out across all of PV’s fishing grounds. Bass are still around, kinda strange with warm water temperatures in the bay. It’s a “La Nina” year, which means the normal conditions are anything but. We’ve seen summer species in the area now for months, when normally they wouldn’t be. Dorado are a perfect example. We’ve been dealing with this for about a year now, but things will be changing. The only question is how and when?
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.
Right now your best bang for your fishing dollar is six hours in the bay. Bonito averaging 20 lbs, Jack Crevalles to 50 lbs, Sierra Mackerals are the equivalent of Ocean Trout, plentiful but no larger than 10 lbs. We’re still seeing the occasional Dorado, but with thirty boats heading out, maybe 2 Dorado boated. Which means they’re out there, but it probably won’t be you catching it! A couple of tricks you might want to try is using a downrigger, which seems to be working. The other is use light leader. Many of these guys, local Captains use heavy fluorocarbon leader of 80 to 125 lbs. When fishing for smaller gamefish, it’s like connecting a minnow to T.V. Cable! Drop your leader to 40 or 50 lbs and you’ll have better results. Keep these secrets to yourself.
Every year about this time we start to see the currents change, water temperature drop and now the types of bait have changed. We get periods of time where we get Squid and tiny Shrimps in the water which can be frustrating. Then we get these Red Crabs. We call them the Tuna Crabs, they float and travel with the currents and when they’re around, you have a major challenge. Right now we have both so it’s a double whammy. But it’s not just about bait, water temperatures are in a “free fall” right now, but we still have warm areas and that’s the real story this week!
So here we go again, transitional season, pull your hair out trying to figure out what we “have” here in Puerto Vallarta’s fishing grounds. As you should expect with dropping water temperatures in mid-January things can get confusing. Dorado are still in the area, but that’s not saying much. We are still seeing Blue Marlin, but nothing automatic. Sailfish have bugged out, but now Wahoo are starting to make an appearance. I told people all last week to forget about Dorado in the bay and then Wham! Dorado are in the bay. The only thing I can say for sure is Corbetena and El Banco are hardly showing a pulse!
“Things” this week are really mixed up. When you stop and think about fishing, we all naturally assume water temperatures are pretty much the same at all our fishing grounds. But when you’re fishing in Puerto Vallarta you know fishing logic many times doesn’t apply. Right now as cold water is moving in daily, there are still some “hot spots” where you’ll find Marlin and Sailfish. Then again inside the bay the water temperatures are still dropping as expected. La Nina threw a monkey wrench into this year’s fishing schedule. As a result you can find your favorite summer species and winter species at the same time. It’s the one time of the year you can do that but only for a short time, now would be that time!
After what I thought might be a temporary thing, Dorado numbers have exploded. In fact fishing in Puerto Vallarta is all about Dorado right now. It’s now October, the fishing from now until hopefully New Year’s will be the best of the year. The local climate is calming down and it feels like an early winter. But for now a bay trip to Corbetena is well worth the time and money. With mostly dirty water, once you’re past the Marietta islands things change. If you’re in the south end of the bay, things are different and now even larger Dorado are in the bay. So sit back and let the Dorado Show begin.
Almost two weeks after Hurricane Nora we finally have fish moving back into the area. We’re still having the seasonal rains so the bay will mostly have river fed dirty water. We also have mature trash lines which is a fisherman’s friend. After the Hurricane we still have a massive amount of floating debris in the form of tree stumps, logs, furniture, you name it, it’s out there floating. Needless to say it’s a navigation hazard. But for Dorado, debris like this is heaven. The deep water fishing grounds have great, if not perfect fishing conditions as they “reload” with Sailfish, Dorado and more. We always have fishing challenges, the “payoff” is when you find the “solution”!
After years, if you’ve been reading my articles, then you know what happened last week or even yesterday is no guarantee of what will happen tomorrow! But if this week is any indication of what is to come, then we’re going to have a great fishing season! With Black Marlin finally making an appearance, Yellowfin Tuna are right there with them. Now fishing this early in the season is always hard to call, but we have fish! If you’re thinking about coming to go fishing in Puerto Vallarta, world class fishing awaits you now.