Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - It's morning, the sun just came up, the air is fresh and the sky is clear in Marina Vallarta. Tourism at this time of the year consist mostly of Mexican Nationals on family vacations from Guadalajara, Tepic, Monterrey and everywhere else in Mexico. Yes it's warm, humid also, but undeniably beautiful.
Yellowfin Tuna at El Banco or Corbeteņa are in the smaller size varieties, but the Tres Maria Islands are just boiling with 200 lb Yellowfin Tuna. Sailfish are still the main species being targeted, but who can complain about Marlin and Sailfish.
Puerto Vallarta fishing is still great and getting better by the day for the visiting angler, professional and amateur alike, Fishing High Season is Here!
As we move deeper into Summer the conditions still could not be better. Outside the bay the blue water is clear and just beautiful. A deeper blue than the Caribbean, the visibility is amazing. Bait is everywhere and varied in species. Bullet Bonito, YF Tuna's favorite bait, is all around the point of Punta Mita and in the bay. Flying fish in the four inch length are all around the reefs and the Marieta Islands.
Goggle eyes, Chorras (Bonito, small tunas) are boiling all over the place. Once again it's a bait smorgasbord, all you can eat for fish. Sounds like a good thing right, well the down side is there should be more fish here than there are. Maybe this is just my impatience, it is still a little early in the Big Game Fishing season, it's like Christmas and the presents aren't under the tree yet, but you know they're coming.
El Banco and Corbeteņa: There are still Black and Blue Marlin anywhere between the Rock, aka Corbeteņa, and El Banco to just off the Marieta Islands. Fertile fishing grounds that many ignore or forget about. The numbers of Marlin are down a little, many taking long looks at your presentation and ultimately ONLY giving it that long look. Others are taking baits, but if you're targeting Marlin, two strikes a day seem to be the average on a ten hour day. The Marlin are still between 300 and 450 lbs with larger ones out there being spotted and lost.
Rainbow runners are at both the locations running over 20 lbs, but these can hit 50 lbs, just depends. If you're looking for Marlin with a side of Sailfish, then these two locations are worth the expense and the time.
The Marieta Islands and El Morro have slowed down with the Sailfish moving out farther these last couple of days. We have to remember that fish move, then they come back. So no big thing, wait a few minutes and they'll be back. We're seeing Needle fish in the 35 lb range, Bonito and Skip jack Tuna in the same size range. Dorado are absent without leave (AWOL), but this can change in twenty minutes. If you can find a floating log, or just a pile of debris bunched up, there are always Dorado in these situations. For now you're better off heading out to the point of Punta de Mita.
Speaking of Punta De Mita, Sailfish and Marlin are twenty miles off the point. Two weeks ago they were five miles, again fish move. Find a buoy and you'll find Dorado about 25 lbs, same size, same story as last week. You can go for ten hours and get the same fish at Corbeteņa or take an eight hour trip and target the same fish here. To me this is the fishing value once again for the Big Game Fishing fanatic. But don't think you'll just arrive and these fish are just counting the moments for your bait to magically appear before their hungry little bills. You want to make sure you have plenty of lures, since they've been working as well as live bait at times.
But for now, I'd just target the local species like Jack Crevalls (35 lbs) which are a winter species, still can't figure this one out. Bonito to 30 lbs everywhere, Skip Jack Tuna to 45 lbs off Yelapa, Rumors of Dorado in the 25 lb range around Los Animas the tourist area. Sierra Mackerels are also hanging out in the 20 lb range. Sailfish have been boated around La Cruz Marina near the point.
There are always Needle fish and other species just moving around. Snook at the river mouths are an ignored species with white meat, great tasting, and frankly a local favorite. You don't need to troll around the whole bay, just pick a species and head to the location.
The sweet water, or Agua Dulce as the locals call it, is where the river fresh water and salt water mix. It's the pipeline for this Fish Trail Mix and they like being the first in line. The Equivalent of my ex-wife being the first person in line for a Nordstroms Sale with an untapped credit line! So don't just focus on the "movie star" species, the "stand- ins" can be "stars" also. Four hours will put you on fish, so if the budget is short, we can still make sure you're catching fish and dinner too!
Until next time, don't forget to kiss your fish! - and remember, at Master Baiter's Sportfishing & Tackle "We Won't Jerk You Around!"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 between docks A and B on the boardwalk. For more information about fishing in Puerto Vallarta, visit MasterBaiters.com.mx or email Stan at masterbaiterspv(at)gmail.com.