News from Around Banderas Bay
|Changing Seasons, Changing Currents, Experienced Captains A Must!|
Stan Gabruk - PVNN
November 22, 2010
If you don't know by now, weather patterns follow water temperatures / currents. If the ocean currents are warm, you have warm and humid weather in Mexico. When currents change to a southern direction you find ocean temperatures drop which, in turn, brings cooler weather to the mainland.
|Sailfish caught by Nathan Howard on a 10 hour charter aboard the Magnifico, November 7, 2010.|
This is what we are seeing right now with the invasion of Mackerels, Jack Crevalls and several species of bait type fish drifting in the area on the same currents. Last week we saw the Red Tuna Crabs, tiny Squids and Jelly fish drift in. These of course are the three favorite dishes for Yellowfin Tuna. So you can imagine the frustration of the anglers targeting Yellowfin Tuna, seeing the Tuna, casting to fish who couldn't care less about your bait!
That all changed a few days back and now the Yellowfin Tuna are taking baits again. A by-product of these cooler conditions will eventually result in smaller Yellowfin Tuna and the beginning of the migration south of Marlin, Sailfish and, of course, the Tuna. But for now the fishing is still about as good as it gets so don't delay your trip if possible.
Another indication that the currents are changing is the simple fact we are seeing dirty water to the edge of the deep water fishing grounds of Corbeteña and El Banco. These unsettled waters are churning up the sediments from the bottom kinda like a blender. But no worries, the fish are still biting if you know where to go.
El Banco this week started churning out Yellowfin in the 60 to 180 lb range, but only if you were on the points of El Banco. Now you've heard me discuss the high spots a thousand times, but there are more than two peaks at El Banco to pay attention to.
As an underwater mountain with strange peaks that look like stalactites (or is it stalagmites) that stick up... anyway the deeper spikes have been the secret this week. But if you were on a cheap or expensive boat with no electronics you would never know where these peaks are, so that would mean if you were targeting Yellowfin that wasn't on the surface, you were out of luck amigo.
Sounders will tell you where the temperature breaks are (to set down riggers) and what the bottom conditions are in the upscale products, not to mention show what fish if any are under the boat. Even the lower cost electronics will show less detailed information, but good enough for the average fishing fanatic.
On the 160 foot deep spike on the north side of El Banco was a fishing machine! But get out of the 100 yard circle about this peak and you would think there were no fish to be had! Black Marlin in the 250 to 500 lb range have also been in the area as were larger Dorado to 50 lbs.
No Sails to speak of, but the spinners (Bottle Nose Dolphin) are still in the area and most of the time that means tons of smaller YF Tuna action. If you were targeting YF Tuna this week, that was about the only real reason to be fifty miles out. If you were targeting any other species, there were better options to take advantage of.
One of those options was between El Banco and the point of Punta Mita. Anywhere from five miles out to twenty miles from the point out towards El Banco is alive with Black Marlin in the 250 to 600 lb range, Sailfish in excess of 100 lbs, Dorado in the 30 to 45 lb range and even some Blue Marlin are being boated!
The bait fish, for the most part, have been hanging in closer to shore and options on the menu for every species out there is making it hard to determine which bait option to use. Those using the small Hoochies or plastic squids strung in a line, there are names for this rig, we used to call them snag lines... Will work when larger baits won´t.
So if you catch something, look in their stomachs to make sure you know what they are into that day! Remember, elephants eat peanuts too and larger bait is not always the secret. One thing that is a little surprising is there are these tiny little sardines, I mean these bait fish are no larger than your thumb nail and they´re out there by the billions in bait balls the size of WalMart's parking lot! These can be hard to imitate and present to a receptive fish. They´re like fish Rice Crispies, one won´t do the trick, but if you have a whole bowl full, well that´s another thing!
Corbeteña this week has been alive with smaller Yellowfin in the 60 to 100 lb range. Sailfish are taking over the Rock, as are Dorado. Black Marlin and Blue Marlin are north of the Rock about half way to El Banco just over the ridges and canyons where so many tournament-sized fish have been caught before. So remember, the whole area is alive with possibilities so don´t lock your mind into just a few locations and refuse to try new things. The water has been on the dirty side here but there is clean, blue water to be found - if hunt for it.
The Marietta Islands and El Morro are as always full of fish and they're waiting for you to show. This area has been packed full of large Sailfish over 100 inches, as is normal for this time of year. Dorado in the 30 lb range, Rooster fish off the reefs in the 30 lb range, Jack Crevalls, Bonito, Needle fish, Snapper and more are there waiting for you. The past week this area has been a great place to spend an eight hour fishing day.
Remember, you don't always have to hit he deep water, another word for expensive, locations to catch fish. So be aware of what you want to catch and target the correct location. Many times the fishing closer in can be better than what is at El Banco. So the guy who points to just one location on the map and is unaware of what is happening outside the bay is just shaking you down for money and will probably hit the deep water spot, then come back in where the fish may be. Again know what species you are targeting and plan accordingly... and of course keep up with my reports and Vallarta Fishing blog!
If you're looking for a shorter day with some smaller action the bay is still it´s usual self of Bonito, Snappers, Smaller Dorado, Sierra Mackerels, Jack Crevalls and the list goes on. Four to six hour is perfect for younger kids and adults alike. But be warned, you may hook into a Sailfish or larger Rooster fish around the rocks and structure areas, so be ready for anything amigos.
If money is an issue, no worries I have boat for every budget. They may not be the most beautiful boats when it comes to economy fish, but they're rigged and ready to go. The fish don´t care about the boat, they´re looking at the bait so a well equipped and kinda ugly boat will meet your expectations, but these ugly boats would never make it on ESPN...
With the currents changing early this year, the Yellowfin Days for the Monsters will be limited. With water temperatures still in the low 80's this will change before our normal turn of currents in early January. So if you are waiting for a later date trying to schedule everything like a holiday and fishing trip together, I guess you may need to make a decision on if you want Yellowfin Monsters or Yellowfin Footballs. But no worries, we always have fish, just call me so I can put your order in with the fish gods.
While in town don't forget to visit the Village in Marina Vallarta with Restaurant row and 150 shops from everything from hair salons to Peruvian Cuisine, you´ll have fun, get your food fix and rediscover how cool the village really is. If it´s been a while since you've been on the "Other Malecón," then it's time to check it out.
Until next week, don´t forget to kiss your fish!
Stan Gabruk is the owner of Master Baiters Sportfishing and Tackle in Marina Vallarta. He came to Puerto Vallarta for a brief, three-week vacation and never left. You can find Stan at his Master Baiters Sportfishing shop in Marina Vallarta, located on the boardwalk down from the lighthouse next to Tikul Restaurant. For more information about fishing in Puerto Vallarta, visit MasterBaiters.com.mx or email Stan at Catchfish(at)MasterBaiters.com.mx.
Click Here to learn more about fishing in Puerto Vallarta with Master Baiter's.