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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkNews from Around Banderas Bay 

Winter Has Come to Puerto Vallarta Fishing Grounds, Bait Becomes an Issue
email this pageprint this pageemail usStan Gabruk - PVNN
December 22, 2010

For more information about sportfishing in Puerto Vallarta, visit
Everyone in the world has heard of global warming and all the problems that come along with it. Now I really don´t care too much about what they say, but I do know this, the entire United States is an icebox! Mexico is feeling the cold as well, right now we are seeing dropping water temperatures in the 72 to 76 degree range which is about what we would be expecting in late January. So we are about a month ahead of schedule. But as we all know by now weather patterns follow water temps so it is no wonder Mexico is freezing as well! So it should be no surprise the fishing conditions have changed drastically in the last week. It is changing so quickly that it is difficult to keep up with things and I live on the docks…

If you are looking for Yellowfin Tuna, if you don´t head to the Tres Maria Islands (prison islands, 80 miles in one direction), you have a slim chance of success! If you´re looking for Marlin, even striped Marlin, it’s highly unlikely you´ll be coming in with one of those as well… Not seeing or hearing of Marlin strikes is a good indication they have left the building. Clients this week targeting Yellowfin Tuna were very successful, but they paid the price in dollars and time. For the fanatics, the YF Tuna are running from 80 to over 200 lbs, it just depends on what you come across. So what does this all mean to you, the fishing public that is hoping to boat a Yellowfin Tuna over the Christmas / New Year’s holiday? Well you will have to measure your risk factor against the possible gain. … But no worries, you have options amigo.

Dorado are in the area, but if you are looking for these desirable fish you won´t find them in the bay. But you will find them at the point of Punta Mita and points north. In fact they are even easy to find, and they are taking bait. There lies the problem, bait! For some reason the bait in the bay has dried up so the morning stop at the bait boats is many times turning into a first come, first served with many boats getting a max of five baits per boat. At least these small business owners are sharing the wealth so to speak.

The same situation exist for Rooster fish around the Sayulita area. If you have live bait like Google eyes or similar, you got fish. If not, you were throwing everything you could imagine at them hoping to find the right combination. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn´t. If you can´t find live bait, make sure you have fresh dead bait on hand, these will work in a pinch, hopefully…. The reason for this is because those Krill shrimps are everywhere! Now if you remember I been talking about Krill Squids, they have changed to Shrimps…  It’s this sort of food in the water that attracts the Whales to the Bay of Banderas and makes the tour companies a fortune! But when it comes to fishing, it can make you pull your hair out….

Now if you are north of San Pancho, There are Dorado here as well, but it is one of the only places you have a shot at Sailfish for the moment. But Sailfish don’t like freezing water either, so if you´re looking for one of these bill faced beauties, you better get out there soon. These conditions will normally last late into the winter season. With the cold water rushing into the area, this timeline may move forward drastically. There have been no reports of Sailfish lately, none of my boats have come in with any for about ten days now, so there you are… This is a ten hour trip and you’ll need to keep your ears open for reports and act quickly.

Remember, fishing in Puerto Vallarta is always great, but we too have fishing seasons and you have to start thinking winter fishing. This means the invasion of Jack Crevalls, Bonito, Sierra Mackerals, Rooster Fish, Snappers and more. People will tell you it’s slow, but the fact is if a fish in the fifty to 70 lb range is slow, then yes, it will get slow amigo. Me, I´ll take these great tasting game fish any day and leave the Monsters to Mr. Macho in the winter…

Right now a 8 to 10 hr trip is what the doctor ordered for the average guy looking to catch fish. If you are into Yellowfin Tuna, be warned: You will be heading out 80 miles one way amigos.. But with Yellowfin that are huge, it may just be worth the extra time.. There you have it amigos, the lates and greatest.

Until next time, 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 or email Stan at Catchfish(at)

Click Here to learn more about fishing in Puerto Vallarta with Master Baiter's.

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