Yellowfin Tuna Turn Up At El Banco Today, Tomorrow Who Knows?
Written by: Stan Gabruk owner of Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle
The dreaded El Nino has finally come to an end, but that doesn´t mean the fishing is going to be any better amigos. The ultimate weeks and months of El Nino can drive you crazy if you´re in my business. People think that when and El Nino ends that everything is going to return to normal and the fishing will be incredible. Well that´s not exactly correct. When we see the currents swirling with warm water, then cold water we know there are going to be challenges to fishing. After an El Nino the following year, primarily summer is a bag of frustration. Right now one day the fishing is world class. The next day the fishing fleet gets word of this and BAM, no fish for love or money! The next day, who knows, it´s challenging for sure. The fish are out there, the only question is can you get them to take your bait!
Just mention the word(s) Yellowfin Tuna and the hairs on the back of your neck will stand up if you´re a fanatic like so many of my readers. This year it´s been pretty sparse for Yellowfin Tuna. When we do have YF Tuna it´s ¨fish city¨. When they´re not there or more likely not biting, you may just come in bald headed! Three days ago there were some 180 lb Yellowfin Tuna at El Banco. Actually they were anywhere from 60 lb to 180 lbs, averaged at 100 lbs. The next day nothing, zip, nada. Fishing is never a guaranteed sport and true fisherman know that when you´re going for world class gamefish like Sailfish, Dorado, Marlin and Especially YF Tuna it´s not always a ¨happy ending¨ (and the illegal fishing is not helping). For me, to ignore El Banco because it may be a little ¨Iffy¨ is short sighted and with a plan you´ll have a great day, YF Tuna or not. If you decide to take the challenge a good place to start is 2 miles west of the high spots. No Marlin, No Dorado, but there are still 50 lb plus Cubera Snappers taking trolled baits, no jigging necessary. Those two are pretty much what´s happening.
Just as El Banco has no Marlin, Corbeteña has pretty much only Marlin and Sailfish, maybe. Same situation, one day it´s fish city, the next day it´s a fishing ghost town. Make no mistake, the Marlin are there, no doubt about it, but they may not be interested in your bait. Why, well there are Bullet bonito bait balls the size of a healthy McDonalds, parking lot and all. Sprinkle some large six inch Sardines (Sardinas in Spanish) and you´ve got a Yellowfin Tuna Sundae they have no reason to resist. Hard to turn a Tunas head when your presentation doesn´t measure up. For a ¨fighting¨ chance the best place to start dropping baits is on the 240 compass reading from the rock out about five miles. Use your electronics to find the drop and this is where all the action is, if there is action that is. So always, always get local baits for a fighting chance. Not much else to say for now about El Banco. Stay tuned….
Not everyone wants a ten hour day to Corbeteña or a twelve hour day to El Banco. For those the fishing around the Marietta islands to Punta Mita they´re being rewarded with Sailfish and small Blue Marlin. For some reason in this area the Marlin and Sailfish have no issues taking your presentation. I say presentation because if they don´t like the way your bait looks, they ignore it! If you´re lucky enough to find yourself 3 to 6 miles off the Marietta islands you´ll find a mixed bag of Sailfish and Blue Marlin running 200 to 350 lbs. Or you may find yourself with a Sailfish or three in the same area. So it´s Sailfish or Marlin from this area out. Punta Mita is mostly about Sailfish, but there are Marlin in this area as well. So in a nut shell, the Marietta Islands to Punta Mita re alive with action. Jack Crevalls (25 to 45 lbs) for some reason are starting to thin out but still in decent numbers. Bonito at 20 to 35 lbs are common. Sierra Mackerals near shore and at Punto Burro, just this side of the Anclote Reef there has been a few 35 to 60 lb Rooster Fish chasing Sardines. Oddly enough these particular Roosters took cedar plugs, that’s a new one on me. Lots of people ask me when the Rooster fish will be in, well they´re coming in now! Cross your fingers the Sardines do their job and get these puppies back in the area. El Morro has been quiet, but they normally have Sails in the area so don´t forget to give this area a look.
Inside the bay is off the hook with interesting fishing for sure. Interesting because we have Sailfish all over the bay chasing those Sardines everywhere and not bad sized. A few years back I would argue with you about Sailfish in the bay, but there they are. If you´re around La Cruz Marina the water is blue and they´re hanging out. In the middle of the bay, off Los Arcos, they´re all over the bay and they´re taking bait. A four hour trip right now can pay off in Billfish. We also have tons of Sierra Mackerals at 12 lbs. Not too big, but very tasty! Jack Crevalls as mentioned are thinning but still plentiful enough. Bonito like always to 30 lbs and soon the Snook will be in front of the rive mouths when they stop pouring dirty water into the bay. Capt Cesar and I were talking how we need to fill the fridge. Wait a couple of weeks and we could have out fill of Rooster fish and Snook or Robalo in Spanish!
Ok, here´s some strangeness for you. We´re seeing water temperatures at 86 degrees at El Banco and Corbetena. But in the bay it´s 87 degrees and sometimes warmer. Strange stuff and for me the swirling warm and cold currents are the biggest reason these world class species are in and out. The fast currents of last week look to be calming down, so things could be changing now. Bait buy mouth full is plentiful, which is another challenge to deal with. But experienced Captains know what to do if all the elements come together. With all the live bait running lures may not be the best idea, but if you do, the Green Iguana lures are where you want to start (Green with black stripes with yellow on top). The bite seems to be a moving target so get out early and be at the ready.
We have a new team member in Raffa, his 25 yrs of experience working with the hotels and concierges is invaluable to us at Master Baiter´s. Raffa is a tour expert where I never approached this lucrative field as I focus on fishing. But we can now offer the lowest prices on tours you´re going to get in PV. It´s a loss leader but they charge too much for these tours because they pay monster commissions. We figure if you read these articles or are fishing with us you deserve a break. We also have many options you won´t hear from the local ¨promoters¨ as they call themselves. So come say hello to Raffa and remember, he and we won´t sell you a timeshare! Trust Raffa, I do!
Until next week, Don´t forget to kiss Your Fish!
Master Baiter´s will Freeze Your Fish! Master Baiter´s clients get this service for free. Non clients will pay $150 pesos ($7.00 usd each Gallon Zip Lock bag). You can make arrangements to pick up your fish just before leaving PV to keep cold as long as possible. And of course we´re the only ones offering this service in Marina Vallarta that I know of. If you get ten bags of fish it makes us the cheapest fishing company in Puerto Vallarta.
We´re now offering Geno´s Box Lunches delivered to your boat at the dock in the morning. You don´t have to fish with us to take advantage of this service. Geno (pronounced Heno) worked and ran a local coffee shop / Deli and she´s delivering a wonderful and abundant product so let me know if you´re hungry, I´ll be able to scratch that itch
Shared Boats: It´s that time of the year again where we are looking for people to share a Super Panga for eight hours. it works like this, send me an email, ask to be put on the shared boat list, I´ll do what I can to ¨hook You up¨ with another couple for eight hous of fishing in a super panga with a head or bathroom. Half the boat is $275 usd and that´s good for up to two people. No scrimping on these trips either, English speaking crews, top notch equipment, beautiful boats that catch fish. Capt Scoobyis incredible.
4 hr fishing tip int he bay $200 usd: For those who are looking for a budget fishing I have a new single engine panga for four hours of fishing in the bay. Bano or porta potty, everything included but dock boarding fees and what you want to eat and drink. That simple, on either one of these boats… Super Shaddy, which means you won´t get sun burnt and we´ll put snorkel equipment on the boat as well so for four people it´s the cheapest tour or fishing boat in the bay. You won´t beat this price, period!
Master Baiter´s is located in Marina Vallarta between docks A and B on the boardwalk. Email your Questions to me at: CatchFish@MasterBaiters.com.mx Web page: www.MasterBaiters.com.mx , Local Phone at: (044) 322 779 75 71 or if roaming: 011 52 1 322 779 75 71 cell phone direct. Come like me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Master-Baiters-Sportfishing-Tackle/88817121325
The trade name Master Baiter’s ® Sportfishing and Tackle is protected under trade mark law and is the sole property of Stan Gabruk.