Quickie Fishing Report, July 28… The fishing here in Puerto Vallarta continues to improve!

Black Marlin at Corbeteña

Black Marlin at Corbeteña, thick!

Quickie Fishing Report, July 28… The fishing here in Puerto Vallarta continues to improve as we see Black, Blue and Striped Marlin setting up house at El Banco and Corbeteña. Corbeteña being the closer and most active blue water location. Lures of Yellow and Blue with black tiger prints have been working well, but with the flying fish back just outside the bay, there is no shortage of bait out there. Remember flying fish are their favorite cuisine, so flying fish lures may work well also….

Sailfish are abundant at Corbeteña and there have been Yellowfin Tuna running with the brown porpoises. The spinner dolphin will have Yellowfin Footballs running with them also, so this is all good news. Look for the channels between El Morro and Corbeteña to be fertile with plenty of Billfish species.

Same goes for El Banco, about six to ten miles before El Banco coming in off the Punta Mita point, anything can happen right now. More Marlin, More Sails and there have been some 300 lb Yellowfin Tuna boated off Summertime, a private boat that spends time traveling up and down the west coast of the Americas in search of the perfect fishing grounds….

There are Mahi Mahi or Dorado which ever you prefer to call them, but they are chickens and they are immature. Leave them to grow and keep them another day. But there are commercial fisherman out off the point of Punta Mita fishing Mahi illegally with nets that surround a fishing buoy, they tie off the bottom, then the top and pull the net upwards. This traps the younglings, old lings.. It does not discriminate and the fisherman aren´t either. I walked past a Mexican owned restaurant with a whole chicken Dorado on the plate… it made me mad, but there is nothing new about that….

The main secret out there right now is to find the clean water. Lately there has been a break between the clean and the green water just before you come to Corbeteña. Now remember this will change daily, so be patient and cross your fingers… such is the inexact science of fishing…. Gracias a dios! Thanks to god in English!

Bay is kinda dirty, but planer boards will make a difference getting baits down under the surface…. And don´t forget to keep your speed down, logs, coconuts, even floating dead animals or things like refrigerators have been seen floating out in the bay lately. This happens come rainy season, you just have to deal with it as best you can… and don´t hit a turtle whatever you do!

Right now the deals to Mexico are incredible and  there are no safety issues to you or your family in 95% of Mexico. Don´t be scared about what you hear, mexico is a big place and the bad guys are on the borders  keeping the drug shipments steady delivering to the strong demand, market in the states. I fear that Mexico will always be the conduit for American Drug Demand so you all better get used to it until the demand dissapears….. which I just don´t see happening in the near term.

OK, this is a brief report, so we’ll keep it brief……

And that’s your quickie for today amigos….

Feel free to contact me Stan Gabruk about any subject on Puerto Vallarta, I would be happy to answer any questions you may have. You can also find my Tshirts  online now: www.MasterbaitersGear.com or you can see what Master Baiter´s Has to offer on our web page: www.MasterBaiters.com.mx

Reports of my demise or death are greatly exaggerated by my competition so don ´t be fooled by those claiming to be Master Baiter´s in Marina Vallarta!

Big Game Fishing Explodes with the Return of Dorado, Marlin, Look for Blue Water, Puerto Vallarta Sport Fishing


 Black Marlin 475 lbs at Corbeteña or The Rock on Magnifico

Magnifico’s 475 Black Marlin, The Rock is Rollin!

Big Game Fishing Explodes with the Return of Dorado, Marlin, Look for Blue Water, Puerto Vallarta Sport Fishing



 The Skies have opened up in Puerto Vallarta which means the seasonal rains are now a daily occurrence. We are seeing rain most evenings now which of course brings opportunities and challenges alike when it comes to Sportfishing in Puerto Vallarta. Marlin have moved into the blue water fishing grounds and Sailfish are more abundant daily. Those targeting Yellowfin Tuna will be disappointed unless they´re willing to put the time and work in!


First, let’s talk about conditions, when it rains around Puerto Vallarta, the silty water flows into the rivers and streams around Vallarta. This water is what we call agua Sucio or dirty water and is the color of coffee with two creams! This water is no problem for some species like Snappers, Roballo and Rooster fish for the most part. They love to feast on the natural organic materials like seeds, leaves, bugs and that sort of stuff in general. This forms a trash line in the bay and is the friend of fisherman. For short days fishing in the bay, the sight of this trash line is like a guarantee you‘ll have action. Lately Dorado have been absent from the bay and fishing grounds, but we finally see signs of life around the trash lines. Another thing to remember when fishing in the bay of Banderas during summer is that this dirty water man y time sis shallow and only on the surface. If you have some mid ranged electronics they can tell you many times where the temperature break is and indicate how deep to set a down rigger or just run planers… Logs are also floating around the bay, this is a prime location to find Dorado and you can come across a log anywhere!Other ¨players¨ include Snappers, Bonito, Roballo ,  Sierra Mackerals and others will be in line to  take advantage of this free  ¨All You Can Eat Fish Buffet¨!


Outside the bay the water is moving in streak currents. Some currents have dirty water, others are blue water. But if you’re heading out to Corbeteña, the water is clean and blue. With plenty of bait in the area there is Marlin everywhere. Black and Blue Marlin have been running between 350 and 800 lbs, it just depends on what comes your way out there. Sailfish are running large as well and are running in the 80 to 100 inch length, roughly around a hundred pounds. Cubera Snappers are there as well if you have an open mind and are willing to try some bottom fishing. For the most part Yellowfin Tuna at Corbeteña are still in and out. So you may find yourself settling for Marlin (like that’s a bad thing ). Oh, they can range from the 60 lb range to 100 plus pounds… The dark Dolphin are running with larger Tuna, the Spinners are still running with Schoolies or footballs. But who cares, we’ll eat ‘em all!


El Banco has been seeing a lot of Malin action as well. Mostly Blue and Black Marlin with the occasional Striped Marlin. The secret here is drop your lines at least six miles before El Bancos high spots and you will find some arm burning action in the channels!. Again, Yellowfin Tuna are in and out. Some days they´re really large over 150 lbs, other days you may  have to settle for marlin. So make sure you get the latest news before you head out. Yellowfin Tuna should be showing up any minute now, so stay tuned!


El Morrow this week has been a situation where you´ll find fish in the clean spots around the islands. Same holds true for the Marietta Islands with Bonito, Needle fish, Pompano, Snappers and the list goes on. Sailfish have been seen in the area, but for some reason have not been hanging out in the area. Dorado are back in the area, just look for a floating log or some sort of floating item, they´ll be there waiting for you!


 At the point of Punta Mita we have seen the return of Dorado amigos, they´ve been hanging out with Pargo  or Red Snappers and are ready for you to arrive!  Spend the day or hit it on the way back from El Banco, nothing like more choices on the dinner table! Plenty of bait, but they’re hitting lures as well!


As a whole we are seeing a real down turn in tourism and the number of private boats going out are increasing, but the chartered boats are mostly at the docks these days. It´s a bad situation that I guess we all need to work through until the economy and the news services stop spreading toxic stories that are untrue when discussing the safety of tourist. Puerto Vallarta right now has hotel deals that will surprise you and everyone in The Village at Marina Vallarta are making deals on fishing trips. Just remember to protect yourself from pirate sales people who are unlicensed agents selling tours and fishing trips under the radar.  They will be friendly, funny and nice looking, what else would you want a crook to look and act like, a crook?? If insurance covered fishing boats with legal operational licenses are important to you, then beware of the guy walking up pushing your greed button. Remember the old saying, there is always a cheaper hooker on the next corner! Keep common sense at the ready and remember, why would one boat be so much cheaper than those guys with offices… I think the answers are obvious. You’ve been warned and nobody will feel sorry for you for being …. Fill in the blank……   


Remember when in Puerto Vallarta, come visit The Marina Village with 150 Retail Shops and Restaurant Row. Rediscover Marina Vallarta with the new Star Bucks, The light house, fine dining and not so fine dining. Sports bars, Real Estate, Fishing Tours, you name it. The Marina Village is the Number One Attraction in Puerto Vallarta and it would be a shame if you missed one of the top ten private marinas in the world! Just come on down and tell them Stan from Master Baiter´s told  you that they would get a preferred customer special and see what happens. Hey, you just may get something for free! Either way, I am sure I will get an ear full for that statement! Hahahaha….

Until next week, don´t forget to kiss your fish!

Remember, if you have any questions or suggestions you can reach me at: www.MasterBaiters.com.mx or CatchFish@MasterBaiters.com.mx

As the Premier Fishing Company in Puerto Vallarta, we pride ourselves on service and value to our customers. All boats are insured and have correct and legal operational licenses. Feel free to contact Stan at: CatchFish@MasterBaiters.com.mx. You can also purchase one of my famous shirts online now at: www.MasterBaitersGear.com   Blog: www.masterbaiters.wordpress.com   Facebook: search for MasterBaiters Stan.. Master Baiter´s is also the only company in Puerto Vallarta that Guarantees your catch with a 30% money back guarantee on full priced charters! We take the risk with you, a t Master Baiter´s®, We Don´t Jerk You Around!


The Master Baiter´s® brand name is protect under national and international law and is the legal property of Stan Gabruk of Master Baiters® Sportfishing and Tackle in Marina Vallarta. Any person, company or organization using this registered trademark will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. 

Puerto Vallarta Fishing Report: Corbeteña Turns into Fish City, El Banco Cools off, Marlin Save the Day, Another day of fishing in Puerto Vallarta!

Sailfish in force at the Rock!

Sailfish out in force at the Rock.. Corbeteña is firing now!

Corbeteña Turns into Fish City, El Banco Cools off, Marlin Save the Day, Another day of fishing in Puerto Vallarta!


Master Baiter´s® is one of, if not the oldest Sportfishing company in Puerto Vallarta. We get questions all the time asking what we should expect from year to year at specific times. We can make charts, we can form plans and we can find that all of the effort was a waste of time. When coming down to Puerto Vallarta we all know there are certain times of the year when one species or another is going to be more prevalent than others. This time of the year we see Black Marlin begin to take over the fishing grounds of Corbeteña and El Banco or The Bank in English.  Between these two locations you can usually   expect to boat a trophy sized finned fantasy or Yellowfin Tuna, Black Marlin, Sailfish, Striped Marlin or even Blue Marlin. You get the feeling Corbeteña (or the Rock as it is commonly called) has a ¨thing¨ for Marlin?! Right now there is just about any fish you wish out there, but you have to be a little lucky to come across some popular species!

El Banco this week was a complete bust, nothing much to speak of. Lots of Spinner Dolphin, which are a Captains friend since you can almost always count on football YF tuna to be running with them. But lately this has not been the case. Those hunting YF Tuna have been able to find them heading north between the High Spots of El Banco and the Tres Maria Islands.  Now if you want to boat a Yellowfin Tuna, then this is what you have to deal with. And imagine, you can do this all in 14 to 16 hs! A long day for sure, but when you come back with five YF Tuna in the 175 lb range, it kinda all feels worth the work, expen$e and exposure to the elements! Just a few short days ago El Banco was pumping. Things can change before you know it so make sure you contact me for the latest and greatest on the bite amigos. I’ll tell you the Real Deal Fishing Report… even if it cost me money… Hahahahaaa…  goes without saying of course!

Just about an hour or 25 miles south of El Banco is Corbeteña or The Rock as we refer to it. With its rock island, deep channels diving straight down and with structure about four hundred yards off the rock, Corbeteña is the most flexible fishing grounds Puerto Vallarta has to offer. With a greater variety of fish on a regular basis, this area has produced many a tournament winning fish! As I mentioned earlier, Black Marlin, Striped Marlin, and Sailfish are the primary players here this week running form 400 lbs to over 800 lbs depending on what you come across that is interested in your bait. No Cubera Snappers or Yellowfin Tuna reports and like normal this can change in seconds and probably will, such is the nature of Sportfishing in Puerto Vallarta amigos! The good news is there is plenty of bait to tempt those in the area interested in eating. Lures of Yellow and Orange with black flecks or a tiger print are working well, sometimes better than live bait. Other colors that are working are blue and grey, again with the black flecks or tiger print on the skirts!

This time of the year we many times will discuss clean water vs. dirty water. With the river mouths pouring rain water down these Adobe Clay hills, the water that pours into the bay looks like coffee.  Fish naturally hate having to breath this mud, so they stay away from it at all cost. This week as long as you were more than ten miles out past the point of Punta Mita you were generally in clean, Blue Water. If you were closer in, then you weren´t. Sometimes the silty water is not too green, but then again, only a few species will tolerate this condition, so it’s always best to avoid the green water.

The silver lining or up side to the dirty water filling the bay is the Trash Line. The trash line is where the organic materials like leaves, seeds, weeds, you name it forms a barrier between the green water and the clean or blue water in the bay. These trash lines can extend out twenty to thirty miles depending on the ever changing currents. Dorado are famous for feeding on the trash line along with Rooster Fish. Lately with very few Rooster fish and Dorado, the trash line is still worth looking for, but may be a little disappointing if too far out in the bay.

Now if you´re near the river mouths, this is another thing. With Snook, Roballo in Spanish, they will hang around and be first in line for the smaller fish feeding on that organic mix. So even if the water is dirty, you can make that work for you! But first you need to know of this option. Many ignore the locals and how they fish. Mexicans can’t afford those expensive boats, they make do with surf fishing and anything that will float them just past the surf line! No need to get fancy, just get there!

By now you can imagine the in the bay fishing has been a little on the slow side with the dirty water and indeed that has been the case. But those looking for Rooster fish will find they are not near Sayulita or the Marietta Islands this week. Where they went, who knows, but I had some Western Outdoor News readers come in looking for Roosters today and had to let them in for the bad news after reading about how Roosters were biting. Again, things change as fish move.. And Roosters move on a whim!

The Marietta Islands have been on the weak side with Snappers, Needle fish, Jack Crevalls, Bonito and Skip Jack Tuna being the  main players as late. Still worth an eight hour day with the chance of Sailfish. The news here this week is the seasonal rains will also wash logs into the bay. Now the other day there was a log between the islands of El Morro and the Marietta’s that had Dorado in the 25 to 40 lb range. But if you can´t find a log or the equivalent, forget it, Dorado are nowhere to be found and I couldn´t tell you why. Stay tuned for more on this next week….. but if they can find logs, they can find  my bait….. at least we know they´re out there!

 You know it always amazes me when people come in and spew the same old stuff from their mouths looking for the same old fish in the same old places. The local, old salt captains in Marina Vallarta know that there are many great fishing grounds between Yelapa and Cabo Corrientes on the south end of the Bay of Banderas! For those looking for Rooster fish, these beaches have produced in the past and will again in the near future!  Skip Jack Tuna, the occasional Sail fish, Snappers, Needle fish, Skip Jack tuna love this area and the list goes on. Don´t be afraid to ask if there are places that are firing off that the others will never consider. Remember, even though we have these huge world class species of Marlin, Sailfish, Yellowfin Tuan and Dorado. We also have what we call smaller fish, fish under a hundred pounds, which are still a lot of fun to catch. Most of which are suitable for the dinner table, an extra added advantage for those who get hungry! So keep this in mind next time you ask about the local fish, not just in Vallarta, but anywhere you find yourself. Ask a local who is not interested in selling you a charter, he’ll probably talk your ear off!

 Just a quick reminder, the United States is making it harder and harder to accept American dollars. So bring pesos to Mexico and if you get them at your bank, you get the daily bank rate, without paying the local commission…. You can get as much as two pesos per dollar more this way, an additional twenty percent savings on everything you do!   When you talk with your banker , give him a day or  two to get  you r pesos for you and bring them back to him so you don´t lose money on the return exchange fees which add up. You can beat the banks at their own game and not have to worry about getting screwed on the exchange through the hotels, restaurants or even the Money Exchanges (Casa de Cambios) . One other reminder, many Americans are shocked when they discover Credit Cards are not accepted in most normal businesses by individual like myself. Many restaurants and most sportfishing companies find credit card issues spring up on a daily basis and it causes us to drop this option with all the fraud visitors hit us with. I know,  you don´t hear much about that , but it is an issue we find impossible to deal with when north Americans cancel charges saying they were never in Mexico…. It also stops all credit card fraud… so you´ve been warned, bring Pesos!


Don´t be fooled by imposters in Puerto Vallarta using my corporate and trademarked name of Master Baiter’s® Sportfishing and Tackle. If anyone other than Stan Gabruk, the owner contacts you via email, you are being scammed! These folks have gone as far as coping my web site almost word for word to confuse my age old clients. You can reach me at my web page of MasterBaiters (dot) com (dot) mx, that way you know you have the original and only Master Baiter´s which is located in Marina Vallarta! Trade Marks on file with proof is necessary!


Until next week, don´t forget to kiss your fish!


As the Premier Fishing Company in Puerto Vallarta, we pride ourselves on service and value to our customers. All boats are insured and have correct and legal operational licenses. Feel free to contact Stan at: CatchFish@MasterBaiters.com.mx. You can also purchase one of my famous shirts online now at: www.MasterBaitersGear.com   Blog: www.masterbaiters.wordpress.com   Facebook: search for MasterBaiters Stan.. Master Baiter´s is also the only company in Puerto Vallarta that Guarantees your catch with a 30% money back guarantee on full priced charters! We  take the risk with you, a t Master Baiter´s®, We Don´t Jerk You Around!

Picking a Charter Company, What You Don’t know Will Hurt You

Picking a Charter Company, What You Don’t know Will Hurt You Written by Stan Gabruk of Master Baiter’s Sportfishing and Tackle Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Since the year 2000, Master Baiter’s has been in the Sportfishing Charter business. Some call it Deep Sea Fishing, others call it Sportfishing, what ever you choose to call it, it’s expensive and there’s no way around that simple fact of life. I always have potential clients enter my shop on the boardwalk in Marina Vallarta and they naturally ask for prices. When I collect all the information I need from them to make a recommendation, they are seldom happy about the price and that in itself is a deal breaker. Especially for many vacationing Anglers with a “whim” to go fishing for “Moby Dick”. When I do finally figure out the correct or best option for the client, he’s usually grabbing his chest from the heart palpitations he’s experiencing. I can understand that reaction for sure. When you tell a potential client that a ten hour trip on a nice and nicely equipped boat is going to run on average $1,000.00 usd for up to five people (total, not each person), this is normal. After years of this I think it’s finally time to get down in writing why things are the way they are. When you stop and realize that for the same money, you can rent a Jet Ski and pay more for that per hour than you are for a multi-hundred thousand dollar boat! Just to put things in perspective. Lets go into a little more detail on this since it can be a deal breaker.

Start-up and Operating Expenses: First, let’s take a look at the expense of the boat itself. If you’re lucky and you buy a three year old Luhrs Express with fresh engines for example, you’d be lucky to get one of these for $180,000.00 usd (it’s a ball park number so don’t beat me up for this over present market conditions). Now the engines on a Charter Boat that’s going out 15 to 20 times a month (which is a lot) will last three years before you’ll need to start thinking about what the engines remaining life span is. Without getting into this too heavily, I use the accounting / business standard three year return on my investment (ROI) formula for this, as do some others in Marina Vallarta. The boat payment alone, without interest attached for 36 months (3 yrs) is a $6,000.00 usd per month payment alone. Most financing a boat like this will extend the terms so their payment is in the neighborhood of $2,000.00 usd per month for multiple years, with a substantial down payment. Tack on Fuel, insurance, water, electricity, cleaning products, oil changes, Equipment, salaries, fishing licenses for a year, Line, Lures, Poles, maintenance, Reels, ADVERTISING, more equipment and you start to get a feel for what the upfront expenses are before you ever see a dime in profit. Don’t forget, you’re a startup company so people won’t know of or about you. With all these expenses and some I didn’t mention, the actual running expenses / cost of the 32 ft. boat will ultimately run approx. $743.00 usd per 12 trip (1/3 to 1/2 being fuel alone, rest being fixed cost). If as an owner you charge $1,000.00 for that trip, the owner saw maybe $257.00 usd over operating expenses in profit. Hit this amount with taxes or Hacienda as they call it here in Mexico, and I’m sure you can see where this is going. I’d also like to emphasize that 15 trips a month is considered a heavy traffic month, so the numbers can go south in a heart beat if demand for your services dry up due to bad economies like in the USA now. Put this all together and you’ve got a dicey situation for the Deep Sea Fishing industry, especially if you’re new in the “neighborhood”. A risky business venture to be sure, yet we get those who want to retire and become Jimmy Buffet Living in Margarita Ville where life is a constant party. Well folks, it doesn’t work like that, it’s not glamorous or a big money maker.

Average time in business for start up charter companies is 2.5 yrs in business or less. That’s how long it usually takes people to figure out they’re not having fun or making any money and most likely both. Hell, they’re not even covering their expenses with low charter months and eventually the money will just dry up and there goes the fantasy. The competition doesn’t help when they sell their boats for less than operating cost, but hey, they got few dollars I their pocket today. They worry about tomorrow when they can’t avoid it any longer.

Charter Services in Florida, Hawaii, and Cabo all price their charters considerably higher which makes Puerto Vallarta the best value for your Sportfishing dollar as things stand now! With Marine Fuel in the $2.40 (conservative) a gallon range, it’s less than half what they’re paying for it in the Caribbean, Hawaii or Florida!

Recently in PV, Many existing charter companies with good reputations are updating their charter boats with newer boats, yet prices are staying stable because of a noticeable slow down in tourism. With all the financial balls people are juggling in North America the budget fisherman has been hit hard. But the growth in popularity of Puerto Vallarta and the sport is off setting the lower levels in tourism. People with money will always have the money they want to do what they want. Big Game Fishing has never been cheap and it never will be. For those with the necessary cash flow, The World has turned its eyes our way and things are changing accordingly…..

One thing to look out for is the guy who says he can take a deposit on a specific boat, he may even have a slip of paper with a number on it, but it doesn’t mean a thing amigo. Last week I placed two different sets of people who gave a person a deposit for a day of fishing, just to find out when it came time to go, the boat was no where to be found. No contact, Nobody. I tried calling the boat that was “chartered” only to find the boat was already booked and confirmed for other people. Those unsuspecting folks were robbed and didn’t find out for three days after they dropped the deposit. Don’t be fooled, Use an established Charter company with an office from which they work from. If you don’t have that, and I don’t mean a mini mart, you’ve got a possible vacation disaster. So beware of who you’re dealing with…..

About Captains and Crews: They say there is no substitute for experience and here in Puerto Vallarta (PV) truer words were never spoken. Many, if not most of the Captains here grew up on the docks learning from their Fathers and Grand Fathers. There are many third generation charter Captains that know this area better than the back of their hand. The problem is, this is Mexico and most Mexican Captains and crews don’t speak English (all of ours do). This can make communication difficult for the vacationing Angler. So the Captain with good, maybe not great English skills will be favored over the non-English speaking Captains. Now I can more than understand this since a person coming down from Canada or the States will find a comfort factor in being able to communicate with the Captain….. Imagine that. So when a boat owner chooses a Captain, he has to choose from a limited few that may or may not be the best choice available. Coming down to the Marina or reading articles online will help the decision making process but you never know what you’ve got until you’ve been out with one. Many people come to PV year after year going from one company to another looking for the correct combination of ability, quality, comfort factor, and price! Since people are creatures of habit, if they have fun, you’ve got a locked in return client! They’ll come back year after year, since they already like the boat and crew, why change??

Some Captains come in consistently with fish, while others will tell you they’re the best, yet choke when the chips are down. Now we all know fishing is fishing and on any given day you can come in skunked, it happens to the best of us. But as a charter company owner I’m looking for everything, Perfect English, Experience, reliability, a dash of personality and the ability to come in with a full fish box when others are coming back “empty handed”. For those off days when you come back with an empty fish box, we’ve all heard the horror stories, the very least you want is a Captain and Crew that you feel gave it their all. Changed lure color often, tried different things and had the tools necessary for several fishing methods! Not just trolling the six lures they may have.

So how would the general public coming down to Puerto Vallarta know which Captain is best for them? Well amigos, it’s almost impossible to tell if you’re not in the middle of the action. That’s where we come in, making sure we have the best Captains available on our boats so you don’t have to worry about such things. The boat you were on last year may have been great then, but things change rapidly in Marina Vallarta and the captain and crew, hell even the owner may have changed since the last time you went out fishing with them. Everything has changed about that boat, except the name that is. So choose a reputable Fishing Charter Company and you’ll most likely not be disappointed with your day on the water.

Now remember, this article is for the average guy hoping to learn a little something from an insiders view. Again the goal of this article is to share information with the average person so “he” can better understand why things are, the way they are!

Lets Talk Equipment / Tackle: Sportfishing makes the expense of Golf look like nothing in comparison. When it comes to Big Game or Deep Sea Fishing here in Puerto Vallarta (PV), where it’s very possible to boat a world record fish, you just know it’s going to be expensive. If you compare a rig as I call it, or a fishing pole / reel set-up to that of a bag of golf clubs (about the same cost, balls and all), you could spend between $1,200.00 to $2,000.00 usd dollars in the blink of an eye. Take this number, multiply it by ten to fifteen times and you’ll have a basic idea of the minimum requirements for a professional charter boat when it comes to poles, reels, line and lures. If you’re looking for smaller fish inshore or larger fish at El Banco or Corbetena, you have to have the correct rig for the species targeted and for conditions that day. Mix in hooks, line, Flouro Carbon leader (expensive), gaffs, harnesses, swivels ($15 usd each), Kites, Down Riggers etc. , the list just goes on and on. Nothing is cheap, tack 30% on to the normal USA cost for these items just because you’re buying them in Mexico and you start to see what we’re talking about. You can try sneaking it in, but good luck, they love finding new fishing gear in suitcases as they’re checked in Customs.

Now the Charter Boat that doesn’t have the best equipment and tackle, well this will become obvious when you head out and snap the line ten times in one day on a boat who’s using stressed line….. We all lose fish, but not a bunch in a row from broken line. If this happens it’s old, chaffed, and ready for the trash bin. The Angler spending a thousand dollars for a trip to catch Moby Dick deserves much more than the opportunity to lose a fish on a half full spool of stressed line.

That’s another point, Getting spooled in this day and age is unacceptable and you should never go on a boat that doesn’t have Spectra Backed reels. Especially when you’re looking at Grander Marlin and Monster Yellowfin tuna from June to Mid January! Once you’ve boated or fought a larger billfish or Yellowfin Monster you’ll be glad you had new line. But even then, the life span of the line is between five and ten big fish, especially billfish. The fishing line these days are designed to perform, but not forever. It stretches and gets chaffed by bills, sun, salt and age. Fresh line on full reels is very easy to see and is an indicator for what you could expect on that charter boat. So the next time you’re out choosing a charter, ask to see the equipment if possible. The whole day will depend on the mere fact that the charter boat owner spends fifty dollars to reline a reel so these things won’t happen for the worse constantly. But remember, like I said earlier, breaking line is part of the game, but not ten times in one day! Everyone wants to save a buck or two, but make sure you get what you think you’re paying for, not what your wallet tells you. You’re better off waiting another year and doing it right with the opportunity to have the time of your life….

Let’s talk about the service end of the business: I’ve talked before on how people look for a charter company. First they may check out the internet at home, but many wait until they come down to Puerto Vallarta to get the “feel” of the area. First they talk with the guy who gets their luggage to the taxi at the airport when you first arrive. Then he’ll talk with the taxi driver, Next comes the concierge at the hotel, the waiter in the restaurant, people around the pool and finally he’ll find his way to Marina Vallarta and walk the gauntlet. There are companies in Marina Vallarta that are the flavor of the month. One guy or company which just sprung up this past summer went out of business selling Roasted Chicken and now books really cheap boats out of Los Penas Marina. They’ve got a nice, cheap office with pretty furniture and a nice logo to impress you. Then also got a guy who’s standing on the board walk (or walking the boardwalk) asking you if you need anything from a tour to a fishing charter. Now this guy can’t tell you what kind of baits are working right now, but he’s quick to talk of his twelve boats. Of course he can’t remember the names of but two, but he’s got twelve!

Check out internet travel forum sites about the area or sites like Trip Adviser, World Wide Fishing Guide, Fodor’s travel guideLinely Planet, or Fromers  etc.  where slouch companies can’t afford the price of participation. Look for recommendations from travel agencies, articles, travel guides again like Fodor’s, the hotel concierge, but locals that live in the area are always the best. Word of mouth is still the best advertising as long as you’re not talking to a taxi driver about his brother in law that just bought this new boat and he´s cheap. English speaking types that live in the area are your best bets. Vacationers and travelers in general are always more than willing to share their experiences, mostly bad. I’ve always found that flattering words may go unsaid, but a bad time will get plenty of volume when it’s time to speak of horrible experiences.

Service is first and foremost, no matter how much you paid for your day on the water. Naturally lower cost providers should come with lowered expectations. Having said that, I don’t care if you live in Mexico or on Mars, service is a basic fact of life in any business. Service doesn’t cost the operator or Owner a thin dime more than he’s already spending. It all comes down to getting the most from your people and making sure clients are not only having fun, but are being provided the service they don’t know they need. Do they meet you on time at an agreed to meeting place? Is the boat fueled up with bait and ice, ready to go? Are there any money issues that you’re unaware of until that moment of departure (This happens all the time)? Do you have your contact persons phone number if need be? Do you know your boats name / location?

All important stuff that should not be a mystery! Was the crew courteous and pleasant? Do they interact with you? Do they listen to your request? Do they release when informed of this desire or not? Did they tell you they speak English, just to later discover they know ten words of English? This and the list could go on for ever. All very important things to consider when choosing a charter company…..

I have another article I Have written. I will post that article after I get this up….

If you should have any questions, feel free to ask: www.MasterBaiters.com.mx or CatchFish@MasterBaiters.com.mx Facebook: MasterBaiter Stan  Tshits: www.MasterBaitersGear.com (big sellers and very funny).

Mass Migration of Stingrays… Mexico

Mass Migration of Stingrays
Looking like giant leaves floating in the sea, thousands of Golden Rays are seen here gathering off the coast off Mexico. The spectacular scene was captured as the magnificent creatures made one of their biannual mass migrations to more agreeable waters.
Gliding silently beneath the waves, they turned vast areas of blue water to gold off the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. Sandra Critelli , an amateur photographer, stumbled  across the phenomenon while looking for whale sharks.
She said: ‘It was an unreal image, very difficult to describe. The surface of the water was covered by warm and different shades of gold and looked like a bed of autumn leaves gently moved by the wind.
‘It’s hard to say exactly how many there were, but in the range of a few thousand’

‘We were surrounded by them without seeing the edge of the school and we could see many under the water surface too. I feel very fortunate I was there in the right place at the right time to experience nature at its best’
Measuring up to 7ft (2.1 meters) from wing-tip to wing-tip, Golden rays are also more prosaically known as cow nose rays.
They have long, pointed pectoral fins that separate into two lobes in front of their high-domed heads and give them a cow-like appearance. Despite having poisonous stingers, they are known to be shy and non-threatening when in large schools.
The population in the Gulf of Mexico migrates, in schools of as many as 10,000, clockwise from western Florida to the Yucatan.
Don’t forget to share this with others! Let your friends enjoy the beauty of nature, too!

Fish R Where U Find Them, U Won’t Be looking Long, Puerto Vallarta Sportfishing Takes Off!


Yellowfin Monster 2000 lbs plus

Sushi forever!

Fish R Where U Find Them, U Won’t Be looking Long, Puerto Vallarta Sportfishing Takes Off!


 After the first of the year, mid January at the latest we set into the winter fishing mode and focus our fishing on Dorado, Sailfish and Jack Crevalls. But as we dip into early summer in June we begin to see the larger Species trickle in. Now that we are in mid July we see the summer species of Yellowfin Tuna in the 100 lb plus range or larger start to roll into Corbeteña and El Banco. We also see the Black Marlin and Sailfish become more abundant and larger! Sportfishing in Puerto Vallarta is improving daily and finally there are people in Puerto Vallarta to enjoy these fantastic deep sea fishing conditions!

Lets start with the deeper, blue water location of El Banco, we’ve seen some slowing this week with smaller Yellowfin Tuna running in the 60 to 80 lb range. Black Marlin are finally setting up house as the resident species for El Banco as they slowly come back. One thing we need to remember about El Banco is that fish move. One day there will be large fish everywhere around the high spots. Other days you will have to keep an eye out for the birds and work your way out from the high spots west or north.. And sometimes south… Just pick a direction. No matter which direction you head, get a report before you go out. There is plenty of bait, the water is a little green, but clean. All and all, worth your time and your precious fuel dollar! Striped, Blue and Black Marlin are all players here lately. Sorry, Dorado are still absent without leave (AWOL)!

Corbeteña has been surprising this week with Yellowfin Tuna moving into the area. Now they´re football sized, but abundant. Nothing wrong with boating a bunch of these. Keep your eyes out for the spinner dolphin, the ¨Footballs¨ run with them so they´re always a welcome site! Sailfish, Cubera Snappers, Amber Jacks and more are also in the area. Lots of Sardines and bonito for bait, but don´t take chances, if you can make bait on the way, do it! Live bait is still king, but lures have been working as well. The past week it was on the verge of dirty, but we have had some very favorable weather conditions keeping the seas smooth and fast. Oh, the Black Marlin here have been running in the 800 lb neighborhood, Large Cubera Snappers, even the occasional Wahoo, so get out there!

Anywhere from El Morro, to Punta Mita, to Cabo Correntes is alive with action. You can actually have a short day and catch Billfish. In front of La Cruz Marina down the shoreline to Nuevo Vallarta, Sailfish, Bonito, Jack Crevalls, Sierra Mackerals all large for their species, averaging in the 25 to 40 lb range. Skip Jacks around the Yelapa area around the coastline. With the rain, the river mouths are just packed with Snook or Roballo in Spanish. Great tasting and you don´t even need a boat to get to them. Cast from shore at a river mouth, just pick one, and you´ll be eating well that evening. White meat and sweet, these fish are fairly unknown and very under-rated.

El Morro to the Marietta Islands have been a little short on Sailfish for some reason, could be because they’re all in the bay chasing all those sardines! But there are still large rooster fish in excess of 40lbs, Snappers are starting to turn up again, you´ve always got the Bonito, Skip Jacks and Jack Crevalls to fill in the blank spots and they do it very well on light tackle. It´s just impossible to say you will not come in with fish right now. But then again, anything can happen and usually does!

Those looking to stay in the bay, just find the trash line. This is a sure fire source of Rooster fish and many other species. Always in the bay, I have seen trash lines way outside of the bay. The farther out, the bigger the fish, feeding on smaller fish. So I just gave you all the motivation you need to get off that couch and get in the game amigos. The fishing is incredible, close in and even the cloudy days are a blessing with cool temperatures on the water.

Just a reminder, when you are out on a boat fishing here in PV, remember this is summer under an equator sun, it will cook the fair skin types like a potato chip. Those who get sun regularly, you still need to be cautious. One hour in the sun here is like three to four in the states.

 Now to switch gears a little. Make sure when heading out fishing you are with a real company with licenses and most importantly insurance! The boats that have legal and tax paying companies behind them are dropping like flies with pirate fishing companies putting them out of business. The regulators are like that of the states, they really don´t regulate, they take mordidas or bribes. A cheaper price on an unsafe boat is just a recipe for disaster, pain or worse. If you do business with anyone not having a place of business, say just a web page or some guy walking down the boardwalk, they have no accountability. God forbid should something happen there will not be anything they will do. You cannot go to the authorities because they are not liable if anyone gets hurt since they are a private party boat. Basically you went fishing with friends is the deal. Now with Gaffs, hooks, poles, flying hooks and lures, not to mention all the small and not so small hazards on a fishing boat, don´t take chances with your life or your families’ life. This holds true for Mexico, USA, Hawaii or Panama.  Just a friendly word of advice, companies going out of business will be asking cheap prices, look for the value, not the price!

 We’ve seen a low pressure set up house over the center of Mexico, which has kept the temperatures down, humidity up and the fishing is great. I predict a great year for Puerto Vallarta Sportfishing as we see the early arrival of large Yellowfin Tuna, Black Marlin, plenty of bait and perfect water temperatures, so prospects are good.  August marks the beginning of Monster Season with Tuna in excess of 200 lbs. Hotel rooms are cheap and available, and the dollar is really strong right now. If you purchase pesos in the states, you get a much, much better rate of exchange than you will get here in PV. It is like getting an extra ten percent or more on your purchases because you came to Mexico with the national currency. When you go back home, you get a better rate of payment for excess pesos also. Again, more money in your pocket, so keep that information in your back pocket and get your butts down here! Any bank can handle this if you tell them a few days before you come down, they will have it delivered and the inter bank rate is what you will get, they don´t take commissions so you get it all at the market rate. Watch the rates and if you come to México regularly, then when the peso is high to the dollar, it´s like mone y in the bank… again, for the guy trying to get the most bang for his vacation dollar, a little work will add up to big savings and more money for the wife…. Remember her, she will like the idea if she knows she is going to get some of this… wink, wink! 

Don´t be fooled by imposters in Puerto Vallarta using my corporate and trademarked name of Master Baiter’s® Sportfishing and Tackle. If anyone other than Stan Gabruk, the owner contacts you via email, you are being scammed! These folks have gone as far as coping my web site almost word for word to confuse my age old clients. You can reach me at my web page of MasterBaiters (dot) com (dot) mx, that way you know you have the original and only Master Baiter´s which is located in Marina Vallarta! Trade Marks on file with proof is necessary!

Until next week, don´t forget to kiss your fish!

Master Baiter’s is now all over the place. Stan Gabruk post articles as a feature writer in publications, reputable web sites, Vallarta Fishing Experience host and member of better known fishing social networking sites. As the Premier Fishing Company in Puerto Vallarta, we pride ourselves on service and value to our customers. All boats are insured and have correct and legal operational licenses. Feel free to contact Stan at: CatchFish@MasterBaiters.com.mx. You can also purchase one of my famous shirts online now at: www.MasterBaitersGear.com   Blog: www.masterbaiters.wordpress.com   Facebook: search for MasterBaiters Stan, or look for me on www.Banderasnews.com under their fishing section. Banderas News is the source for information, activities and events for Puerto Vallarta and the surrounding areas, so check them out….


El Banco Once Again Shows Why It's The Place To Be

El Banco Once Again Shows Why It’s The Place To Be

When it comes to fishing in Puerto Vallarta, you can only Say: FISH ON!


 As we march deeper and deeper into the Summer Fishing season in Puerto Vallarta we continue to scratch our heads trying to make sense of this season so far. Now the fishing is wonderful, no other way to describe it. But we are not seeing some regular players in the mix this year, Mahi Mahi or Dorado as they´re more commonly known as around Puerto Vallarta. With small football Yellowfin Tuna from Yelapa to Cabo Corrientes and Sailfish at the other end of the bay, short day anglers are hitting the mother load! Deep, blue water locations are producing like years gone by. Marlin, Sailfish, Yellowfin Tuna, as long as you aren´t expecting Dorado, you´ll be a happy and tired person at the end of the day amigos!

 The last couple of seasons have been hard on the Sportfishing industry from Hawaii, to Florida to Mexico. The economy has kicked us all in shins or worse and like you would expect those heading out for a day on the water are in short supply. So far this year I can name four Sportfishing companies in Marina Vallarta that have gone under. Some have been here for many years and had a loyal clientele. Fuel prices are taking sharp jumps to the upside, insurance is not getting any cheaper, lower tourism makes finding deals harder by the day , and the negative crap they´re putting up on the news services are all taking their toll on Mexico’s tourism areas like Puerto Vallarta. That’s the bad news, the good news is the exchange rate for dollars is about as favorable as it will ever get. The hotels and air fares are very reasonable and the business people who own shops are doing what they can to keep prices to a minimum.

 Because people have a little less disposable income these days, we have been offering options when it comes to fishing. Buy options we’re looking for ways to keep prices down and service / quality high. One way we do this is by changing the game a little. I now have a single engine panga that has all the electronics, all the tackle, everything that is essential for a fun day on the water. Now a four hour trip on this boat, a Master Baiter’s® Boat is $195.00 dollars. Good for up to three people max, and it will go for up to eight hours for $295.00. This is the cheapest boat in Marina Vallarta that is insured and safe. With the way the fishing is at the moment, it means you can come in with a Billfish and not have to empty the vacation budget piggy bank!  So if you’re worried about the budget, this will fit and you won’t have to feel guilty!

 El Banco or The Bank in English has been smoking when it comes to Yellowfin Tuna.  Sitting on the high spots will get you action we haven’t seen since last year. Tuna in the 60 t o 150lb range are a daily occurrence for those who are out there. It´s not unusual to find you and maybe another boat out there with the whole area to yourselves. For this time of the year, this is very unusual and worth taking advantage of. Black Marlin have finally started to s show up, but the Marlin action is mostly Blue Marlin and Striped Marlin for now. Bait is not an issue, there is plenty so no worry there. We’ve also seem some Amberjacks (45 lb s) and Cubera Snappers (55 lbs) hanging around so anything is possible.

Corbeteña has finally s tar ted t o live up to its reputation! In my not so humble opinion I believe the Rock to be the most versatile location Puerto Vallarta has to offer up when it comes to fishing grounds. With a nice little finger below the water line, trolling lures across this small ridge can produce Wahoo unexpectedly and was doing just that last week. You know you had a lucky day when you boat a Wahoo on Monofilament line with a hook perfectly set in the corner of it´s mouth!  With teeth like a razor, anyone boating this coveted blue plate special must have been under his / her lucky stars! Blue and Striped Marlin as well as smaller Yellowfin Tuna have set up house. With Sardines in the area, bait is not an issue. Cubera Snappers are taking bait as well and you don´t even have to be bottom fishing, they´re coming up to your bait right now!  The water has been dirty on some days, but just a touch farther out will take care of that problem with plenty of blue water to be found.

My weekly cookie cutter report for the Marietta Islands still has me smiling. For an eight hour day, the Islands can´t be beat. Sailfish are there, still waiting for them to take baits though. Rooster fish are still attacking bait like a freight train, Sierra Mackerals are large, Snappers plentiful, Pompano in the 40 lb range, Bonito, and the list goes on. Just remember not to get too close to the reefs, they´re still protected if you’re out there. Mikes fishing party goes charges $170 dollars per person for an 8 hr trip. My single engine panga for three is less money and if the action slows down, you can go find the birds, Mikes will stay in the spot. Not a bad thing, but the panga is a better option. I have lot s of options, so if you´re interested, just ask and I’ll fill you in.

 As I mentioned earlier, the best bang for your fishing dollar this week was hands down inside the bay. We talked about the football Yellowfin in   Yelapa  to 40  lbs, but at the other end of the bay, just in front t of La Cruz Marina down to the hotel zone of Nuevo Vallarta, Sailfish, Jack Crevalls, Bonito and Snappers are hitting anything that looks shinny. If you put a hook on your car keys, they´d hit those! Now everyone is looking for a great captain, but even a bad captain can put you on fish right now, so there are no excuses for not catching something worth bragging about. T he Sailfish are very large and if you don´t look carefully, you may just think you boated a Striped Marlin. And of course they´re in the bay as well running up to 80 kilos or 180 lbs! Now this is not normal and will not last long. But the flying fish that were all over El Banco or The Bank have moved into the bay, so the Sailfish and Stripers followed them in. The water temperatures are perfect also running in the 84 to 86 degree range, so really there is nothing to complain about when it comes to fishing in the bay… but we s till do of course.

 Those of you who know bay fishing or just have been reading my articles for years will be familiar with the ¨Trash Line¨. During the summer when we get the seasonal rains, the water from the rivers flow into the bay and wit h it comes silt and organic materials. Seeds, bugs, leave all sorts of stuff Rooster fish and Dorado love to feed on. With the rains finally kicking in, there is a beautiful t rash line to take advantage of in the bay. With the dirt y water separated from clean blue water by a line of crap floating on the water, this is what you want to find. Again, Rooster fish, Dorado, even snappers will feed off this line and you can normally expect to have a great day if you come across one of these. So the bay is where  t he action is this week, don´t let anyone tell you differently  just to squeeze a few more bucks out of you on a longer day. Six hour s will do the trick for you amigos. Four works well also, but six gives you just a little more time to deal yourself a better hand.

Travel Update: If you are coming to Mexico be warned the United States has dictated to Mexico that they need to track the flow of American Dollars to combate the drug trade so cashing Dollars in Mexico has gotten expensive for local businesses. To combat  the drug cartels, or so the story goes, Mexican Businesses now have enforced limits to how much American Dollars can be deposited in bank accounts or cashed in for pesos. Now nobody is telling anyone about any of this in the states, so you have been warned. I would suggest contacting your bank in the States and cashing in dollars for pesos before you come down. You will get the bank to bank rate which is close to 14 pesos to the dollar. That is better than 20% more than you will receive at the banks in Mexico…. But the United States is sticking it to Mexico again in an effort to do whatever it can to keep Americans locked inside their borders using fear, intimidation style broadcasting, and now the Dollar is being declared as unacceptable in Mexico because the United States is demanding track ability of where American Dollars are going and how they move around. In a Mexican society, it´s all about dollars since they keep their value and are just a more stable currency. Mexican pay many of their bills in Dollars for rent, or other services. Now this has been deemed a bad thing so visiting tourist are finding it impossible to cash dollars in places that used to readily accept them…. You´ve been warned, get pesos before you come to Mexico and you´ll beat them at their own game amigos!

Remember, don´t be fooled by imposters in Puerto Vallarta using my corporate and trademarked name of Master Baiter’s® Sportfishing and Tackle. If anyone other than Stan Gabruk, the owner contacts you via email, you are being scammed! These folks have gone as far as coping my web site almost word for word to confuse my age old clients. You can reach me at my web page of MasterBaiters (dot) com (dot) mx, that way you know you have the original and only Master Baiter´s which is located in Marina Vallarta! Trade Marks on file with proof is necessary!

Until next week, don´t forget to kiss your fish!

Master Baiter’s is now all over the place. Stan Gabruk post articles as a feature writer in publications, reputable web sites, Vallarta Fishing Experience host and member of better known fishing social networking sites. As the Premier Fishing Company in Puerto Vallarta, we pride ourselves on service and value to our customers. All boats are insured and have correct and legal operational licenses. Feel free to contact Stan at: CatchFish@MasterBaiters.com.mx. You can also purchase one of my famous shirts online now at: www.MasterBaitersGear.com   Blog: www.masterbaiters.wordpress.com   Facebook: search for MasterBaiters Stan, or look for me on Twitter: www.Masterbaiters/twitter.com and for local information that is priceless visit: www.Banderasnews.com and keep up with Puerto Vallarta…