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Yellowfin Tuna Everywhere, Patience Pays Off, Sailfish at Yelapa

Written by Stan Gabruk, owner Master Baiter´s Sportfishing and Tackle

It´s been interesting this past week since my last report. Hurricane Dora marched up the coast line a couple of hundred miles out from shore and while we did not feel any affects from this tropical storm, the fishing is still doing well. Yellowfin tuna, Marlin and Sailfish are still at El Banco (The Bank) and at Corbeteña (the Rock). That is the good news. The bad news is if you are targeting larger Yellowfin Tuna, you will need to have patience and complete line of lures and baits. You see not any one single thing is drawing the attention of these YF Tuna. Surface Poppers, Lures, Live bait, Kites, you name it, they all may work or they may not work. It just depends on the mood of the fish you are trying to coax!  So keep changing your baits every twenty minutes or so.  There are Yellowfin Tuna coming in daily, so it all comes down to how much you want to spend on a boat or fuel. If you want action, then a ten or twelve hour day is not necessarily your best option if you are looking for action. Now if you want Moby Dick, his cousin is at El Banco and Corbeteña. Decisions, Decisions, Decisions, what`s a fisherman to do?

Sailfish in heir natural Evnironment, Spectacular!
Sailfish in heir natural Evnironment, Spectacular!

You know the funny thing about Yellowfin Tuna, they can be at your favorite location and they will be everywhere around the area. Jumping or in schools under the boat. But no matter how many you see, you can ´t make them take your bait. It´s kinda like giving your kids advice, they should take it, but they probably won´t. For those who have been to Corbeteña or El Banco, like those in last week’s tournament, they are just not taking the bait. This means they are eating something else and my guess would be krill shrimps. Now I have nothing to go on to make this call, not even a full belly of a tuna, but if it´s not them, it´s something else. I am not alone trying to figure out this dilemma, but with time all will make itself known. So the best we can do for now is hang in there and hopefully your experienced captain has a few tricks up his sleeve you can benefit from. For sure boats with a short line of lures and equipment will not help your cause. So make sure you get the best price you can get on a charter boat, but make sure you don´t pay for what you are not getting in the way of Equipment. I mentioned kites, there were a few boats that came in this week and if it was not for the kite, they would not have Tuna for dinner!

Black Marlin and Sailfish are both at Corbeteña and El Banco, but like the other species, they are picking and choosing what they want to eat. Marlin are still running in the 450lb range and the Sailfish are more abundant this week as they should be since it is late in the season for them to be arriving, normally it is March when we get the first of these spear headed beauties to show up, so they`re late! No worries, they`re here and we won´t complain! Water temperatures are perfect everywhere, the water is clear and blue at The Bank and Corbeteña and the conditions in general are perfect. If there were more people heading out we would probably have a better report, but with tourism down, it is hard to get a feel for what is happening at our world famous fishing grounds from day to day.

Marlin at El Banco and Corbeteña like this Blue Marlin
Marlin at El Banco and Corbeteña like this Blue Marlin

Inside the bay we are seeing a lot of action and is probably your best bang for your fishing dollar. Sailfish, I should say very small Sailfish are off Yelapa. No wonder there is plenty of bait in the water there and the fish are happy with the conditions. Dorado and yes Yellowfin tuna Footballs are here as well. Four hours out of Marina Vallarta will put you in the fish, I suggest six hours to give yourself some time to find them in the bay. But unless you are shooting for Monster Yellowfin Tuna over 200 lbs or a Marlin, then the fishing is better in the bay right now. So the guy telling you that you have to head out 35 to 50 miles to catch fish is just shaking money out of you! There are still Needle fish, Bonito, Skip Jack Tuna and more to choose from in the bay. So again, don´t lock your mind into one train of thought where it has to be one way or no way. Flexibility in these days is your best ally amigos! Dorado is mostly around Yelapa and the trash line we have in the bay for now. Dorado are anywhere from 15 lbs to 25lbs, perfect for dinner.

Around Sayulita there has been some, I say SOME Rooster fish action, but not enough to say you´ll hook into one for sure. Yet if you are in the area they are worth giving a try! Now the point of Punta Mita, just a touch south has been seeing some nice Dorado in the 30lb range around the buoys. I have mentioned this several times in the past and even wrote a few weeks past that these buoys will kick in shortly and it looks like they are. But like the Sailfish, Dorado are late moving in as well, but we won`t complain about this either!

Normally the Marietta Islands are Sailfish heaven this time of the year, but like Corbeteña and El Banco, you will have to be patient and ready to come in with an empty fish box. But if you are looking for smaller game fish, then Dorado, Needle Fish, Bonito and Snappers are still there. But for the distance and expense why head out this way when you can get the same thing closer in for less time and $$$ !

CHICKEN OF THE SEA, Not Exactly what we were looking to boat! (Jeff Illingsworths photo)
CHICKEN OF THE SEA, Not Exactly what we were looking to boat! (Jeff Illingsworths photo)

So to summarize the state of fishing in Puerto Vallarta right now I would say the fishing is great in the bay, lots of YF tuna around Nuevo Vallarta in the 20 to 40lb range. You have Dorado in the bay as well which are pretty handy. For those looking for larger trophy fish, then El Banco and Corbeteña can drive you crazy, but there are big fish waiting to be tempted. Use small baits like Hoochies and see what happens, but the trip is worth the time and money.

Not too much to say this week with the weather conditions second guessing if they should go out fishing or not. But summer is here and the yearly Tuna Fanatics will start pouring in the next few weeks as the season moves into full swing. So hang in there with me, tell your friends of my reports and my blog (www.masterbaiters.wordpress.com) for info on things like the recent Hurricane Dora and to keep abreast of the action here in PV. Tell your friends or better yet, sign up on my blog and you will be notified when I post articles about the fishing here in Puerto Vallarta. My web page also has my latest fishing report and is always up to the moment when it comes to Sportfishing in Puerto Vallarta.

Puerto  Vallarta Lightening from the El Faro Lighthouse Bar in Marina Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta Lightening from the El Faro Lighthouse Bar in Marina Vallarta

For those of you thinking of entering our local tournaments from Barra to Manzanillo, Master Baiter’s Captains are the best in Puerto Vallarta with many being multi-tournament winners. We keep our prices down as much as possible for tournaments because we like to be in the action too! So if saving some money and not paying double the regular price of a charter per day appeals to you, then contact me about the tournament you are interested in and we will fix you up with tried and true captains, boats and crews with fresh line, top notch equipment and tackle and of course English speaking, professional crews of course! So come be part of Team Master Baiter’s and find out for yourself that “We Won’t Jerk You Around!”

That’s about it for now, until next week, don´t forget to kiss your fish!

As the oldest fishing company in Puerto Vallarta and the only company with any World Recognized Fishing Championships like the WBS Billfishing Series Grand Champions (2000 and 2001) under our belt. Nobody, but nobody in Puerto Vallarta can come close to us in quality or price when it comes to world class fishing boats. Remember, at Master Baiter´s Sportfishing and Tackle, We Won´t Jerk You Around! If you have any questions on any subject regarding fishing or Puerto Vallarta, feel free to ask!

For questions or suggestions you can reach me at: CatchFish@MasterBaiters.com.mx

The trade name Master Baiter’s ® Sportfishing and Tackle is protected under trade mark law and is the sole property to Stan Gabruk.