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Marina Vallarta Las Palmas I Local 3

After many weeks into the winter season regarding fishing in Puerto Vallarta, we’re still seeing summer species in plentiful amounts if you’re in the right place at the right time. El Nino this year has really messed around with our seasonal fishing calendar. Species you would never expect to be available at this time of the year, Dorado, Sailfish and Striped Marlin to name a few, actually never left the area. So here we are on the cusp of spring and we’re still sending people out after Yellowfin Tuna. As we slowly move into breeding season, the fishing can be a little erratic. And we can’t get around that, but this isn’t happening much. Remembering we’re still in the winter fishing season, we’re seeing Grouper and other very cold water species moving into the bay. So stay positive, the fishing is great!

Clients get their catch frozen and stored for free. 150 pesos per bag for non-clients

For about four weeks now we’ve pretty much ignored Corbetena with it’s lack of action. This has changed a little this week with Cubera Snapper at 50 lbs has changed things a bit, but not much as far as attention for the Rock. Now north of the Corbetena rock, about twelve miles you’ll start to run into the Spinner Dolphin and the massive amounts of bait. From this location, commonly known as ‘bottles’, I refer to this location as ‘midpoint’ north of the high spots at El Banco. This entire area is your best bang for your fishing dollar. The reason why is because you can still boat Dorado in excess of 30 lbs. Sailfish, Striped Marlin and Yellowfin Tuna anywhere from 30 to 100 lbs. running with the Spinner Dolphin. There are also Schools of Yellowfin Tuna, but you need to be at the right place, at the right time when they come up and are frenzied. They can do down just as quickly, so keep an eye out for the birds and the Spinners! A ten hour trip can meet the challenge, but I’d suggest the extra two hours so you can move around a bit to find where they went. In ten hours you’re hoping they’re where ‘you went’. With Bluewater and massive amounts of bait, water Temperatures don’t seem to be an issue.

Grouper are moving into the bay!

The area from El Morro to Punta Mita is ‘iffy’. By ‘iffy’ I mean there are Striped Marlin and Sailfish, but they’re thin in numbers and they’re a little picky when it comes to taking baits. Having said that, we did boat a Striped Marlin this past week, but the day before the Stripers were just looking, not taking. There are some larger Jack Crevalles as well in the area, but lets face it, we can get Jack Crevalles in the bay for a fraction of the cost. If your heart is set on a Striped Marlin or Sailfish, it’s the second best location. Bonito are also in the same area in pretty good numbers, but again, you don’t go to the point for Bonito. FYI, if you do give it a shot, drop baits about six miles off the point and troll on a heading from 285 to 310, I suggest 300. Once you’re out about ten miles, anything can happen.

Inside the bay is pretty much unchanged. Jack Crevalles have taken over the bay and are plentiful everywhere. One downside is the Jack Crevalles are in breeding mode. Some days or sometimes I should say they’ll take baits, other times they ignore your presentation. The bottom line is it’s breeding season and they may not eat in the morning bite, but will in the afternoon bite. Remember we have two ‘bites’ per day, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Many times the afternoon is the better bite. Arctic Bonito, the Bonito we have here in PV is part of the Tuna family and shouldn’t be considered bait. The Bonito are in the 20 lb. range, maybe larger, and more abundant. The bay is alive with action fishing, great for families or for those looking for a shorter-duration fishing trip, yet have plenty of action. Another interesting thing started happening, the Grouper have finally shown up in the bay and they’re of great size at 20 lbs or larger. Snapper will be moving in and Sea Bass can’t be far behind. There are several great locations in the bay where these white meat species can be had fairly easily. Now that they’ve decided to visit the bay. But to be fair, the water temperatures on the surface are staying a bit warmer from the sun and currents. But at the depths, the water is cold and now it appears the water is cold enough for this limited window of six to eight weeks for these cold water species.

Surprisingly Large Dorado at El Banco running with Yellowfin Tuna

Now some details for the locals, the bite is still about 08:30 in the morning, I suggest being at your chosen fishing grounds before 08:30. For those looking to sleep in a bit, the afternoon bite is happening at 15:00 or about 3:00. The bay may be a bit choppy from the afternoon trade winds, but it’s nothing that should deter a person unless you’re a sea-sick type. There is plenty of bait and it’s a mix between lures and live bait. Petroleros are always a great choice, but live bait is working, that is when they’re taking bait that is. Water temperatures are still at 73 to 74 degrees, but you already know the water at depth is considerably colder…  

Until next week, don’t forget to kiss your fish!

Written by Stan Gabruk

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