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!
Now that we’ve moved into what I call “Fishing High Season” conditions are much the same as last week and that’s not bad. Sailfish are picking up in numbers at Corbetena. Black and Blue Marlin are at both El Banco and Corbetena. Two weeks ago “making bait” at the deep water fishing grounds were an issue. Right now we’re seeing massive amounts of different baits moving into both the bay and the deep water locations. Fickle fish are full of Ballyhoo’s, flying fish, Squid and more. Water temperatures have stabilized and there is a nice circling current from Corbetena to El Banco like we used to have! With more of our treasured summer species moving into the area with these favorable conditions including perfect high visibility blue water, if you don’t catch fish right now, that’s all on you amigo!
Summer is here bringing with it the seasonal rains, many call monsoons, but in reality it’s just a mostly daily heavy rain that will last a few hours then leave a nice, “fresh” breeze to follow. If you’re a local, it’s a welcome break from the heat and humidity. But if you’re a “fish”, the rain is a god send. The rain fills the rivers, washing the organic materials like leaves, twigs, seeds and many other things fish love to eat. We call this a trash line, clean water on one side, dirty water behind it. Finding a mature trash line can guarantee Dorado. Same goes for floating debris or floating logs, you have a Dorado Goldmine! Trash lines can be great for Dorado and other smaller fish. But if you’re looking for a species bigger than your car, aka a Black Marlin, you’ll need a ten hour day. Bucket List Marlin are presently at your disposal and being boated daily! It appears that we’re finally in the middle of our summer fishing season. For those holding off on making reservations hoping for better Marlin or Tuna, it’s time to make a move.
Here we are again, a week has gone by and things have changed considerably! The bait issues at Corbetena and El Banco have gone away. Sailfish and Marlin have returned to both Corbetena and El Banco. All the deep water locations have blue water and mature Trash Lines. Dorado and Sailfish are also on the menu, thanks to the fish gods. We’ve even seen some decent sized Yellowfin Tuna as well. Two days after I wrote the last article, things changed drastically as Skip jack Tuna moved back into Corbetena, El Banco and Punta Mita! While water temperatures are still warmer than we’d like, we’ll have to endure since this warm water isn’t going anywhere soon. All the necessary “elements” are here now. The only question is if you can put those elements together. If so, the results will be the stuff memories are made of and will last a lifetime!