Water Temps Drop Again, Roosters in Sayulita, Freak Fishing
Written by: Stan Gabruk owner of Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle
With a title like that, you must be wondering what this is all about. We’ve been waiting for the “cold” water all winter. Well it’s finally here as we see another dip in water temperatures and an increase in Krill squids and shrimp, Sardines and more. With massive amounts of bait it can present a challenge to get fish to take your offering or presentation (aka baits). Everyone is catching fish, some days are better than others. But if you don’t catch fish now, you must be either jinxed or on a boat with an “unlucky” captain. All and all the fishing is great, short days, longer durations, it doesn’t matter so get on the water already!!
Puerto Vallarta at this time of the year has plenty of visitors. Many want to go fishing but don’t understand that it’s not the time of the year when you’ll find most species of Marlin. For the lucky there have been an abnormal amount of Striped Marlin, Sailfish and Dorado. Now if you’re fortunate enough to boat one or several of these, you’re lucky. With less than a 25% chance of getting one of these coveted game fish anyone catching one should count his lucky stars. Having said there we’re seeing this happen on a daily basis. To have any shot at any of these species is lucky in itself. Places like Corbetena are normally the place to be. For now there’s Cubera Snappers for jiggers, Sailfish for the lucky and very few Striped Marlin here. Not much of a reason to head out 35 miles. Last week there were large schools of Yellowfin Tuna Footballs anywhere from El Morro to Corbetena, this week, well don’t waste the fuel dollars now on these thin prospects. Ditto for El Banco. Sure there are Jack Crevalls but you can find those anywhere. It’s that time of the year when our expectations of Corbetena should be held in check as winter is not Corbetenas Season.
Now Punta Mita / El Morro and the Marietta Islands is in my opinion the best area to get these warm water visiting species and the cold water locals alike. Let’s start with the available baits, Sardines by the billions. Goggle eyes, flying fish and mostly red, three inch Squids and Shrimps, commonly known as “Krill”. When you catch a Jack Crevall, Bonito, Sierra Mackerel, Sailfish, Dorado or even Striped Marlin they’re full of these. It’s hard to imagine fish that are so full they won’t take a bait. But some days this is the situation. Those lucky enough to be on the water around Sayulita to the Four Seasons Hotel are seeing some nice sized Rooster fish in the 50 inch or 60 lb range chasing the massive Sardine Bait Balls. There are 40 lb Jack Crevalls, Sierra Mackerels’, Sailfish and more which are 8 miles off the point with the possibility of a 140 lb Striped Marlin. You have to find the birds or the fins on top of the water. When you see that, you’re golden. But there can be days when the fish are there, you can see them, won’t take a bait. Frustrating at the very least. This is what we mean by “on and off”. With Bonito, Jack Crevalls, Sierra Mackerels’ you can’t go wrong. Update: Surprising development in the fact that we’ve seen Rooster fish at 45 lbs move in the last days north of Sayulita and they’re chasing Sardine bait balls. Striped Marlin have picked up in numbers as well, ten boats yesterday, everyone had multiple hook-ups, you should have heard the radio! Sailfish and even Dorado at 20 lbs. Anywhere from Sayulita north is a fishing fantasyland right now so don’t delay…. Start at six miles out, take a heading of 315. This should last a few days so if you’re reading this update get on the water before the “the coffee gets cold” !
Once again, as is normal for this time of the year, the bay is “happening”. You can literally point the boat in any direction coming out of Marina Vallarta and know you’re heading into a great fishing day. We’ve seen Jack Crevalls increase in numbers to the point it’s difficult to get a bait in front of any other species. Bonito to 30 lbs. are all over the place, but seem to be more abundant around Yelapa. Sierra Mackerels are everywhere at 10 to 15 lbs each and great tasting. Freak Sailfish and Dorado are still happening around Los Arcos, but not anything you could plan on. Sea Bass from 10 to 25 lbs are at the river mouth of the Ameca River now that water temps in the bay are cooler. You might even find a Cubera Snapper here as well. You can’t go wrong as long as you hit the bite right.
With massive amounts of bait it’s hard to determine which bait to use, which color lure works best or even what time to head out. The worst thing you can do is leave the dock too early to find you’ve back as the bite is on! For those smart enough to read these weekly articles know that the bite has been later in the morning now for weeks. So those telling you it’s best to leave early in the morning are not helping your day on the water. The bite for now is happening around 10 to 11 a.m. If you’re leaving the dock at 7 for a four hour fishing trip, you missed out because the “Promoter” told you whatever it took to get you on a boat. If they don’t know what time the bite is, walk away. Here’s a little trick. You know how if you’re around water, you’ll see fish all of a sudden start jumping with no reason? Well that’s when the bite is happening. Small fish, big fish, all fish are “biting” at the same time. Water temps dropped from 74 to 70 degrees in the deep water locations. Inside the bay is 72 degrees and is always a little warmer than the outlying fishing grounds. Baits, well at the bait boat at Punta Mita they’re getting twenty pesos, or more than a dollar for one three inch Squid. My suggesting, get twenty bucks worth!
Some inside story: For the last three weeks we’ve seen what was unusually warm water temperatures of 77 degrees out of the bay area to the deep water fishing grounds. Last week they dropped to 74 degrees. Sailfish picked up a bit, then gone. Striped Marlin are in and out, but not automatic in these days. Now we’re looking at 70 degrees, just about as cold as we would normally expect it to reach. We even had some Wahoo reports. You may ask yourself why a warm water species like Dorado would be in the area? Well we don’t know amigos, our guess is the massive fields of bait. The interesting thing is you can many times find Sailfish and Rooster fish north of Punta mita. Guayabitos is a ten hour fishing day, right now well worth the money. Worth a shot…
Until next week, Don´t forget to kiss Your Fish!
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