Yellowtail Tuna, Black / Striped Marlin Abundant, Hurricane Frank Fishing Opportunities
ell, all the kids are back in school, North American types as well as the Mexican nationals. It´s slow season folks in Vallarta, but that is not to say the fishing is slow! In fact it is just the opposite as we enter High Season for Fishing in Puerto Vallarta. That’s right, the kids are in school, tourism is down, Deals are all over the internet and the fishing is getting better by the day. Yellowfin Tuna are abundant at El Banco running anywhere from 80 to 180 lbs. Striped Marlin are coming on strong lately off the point of Punta Mita. Rooster fish at Sayulita, the whole bay is rockin and waiting for you to show up amigos!
The big news this week is Hurricane Frank. When this article was written it had stalled directly 300 miles off Puerto Vallarta. It is now a Category one hurricane and moving at a snails pace of 5 knots (6 mph). This means we may have to deal with the swell sizes, which are surprisingly smaller than I would expect, for now anyway. To the avid angler, this is not exactly bad news if your schedule is a little flexible. When these Hurricanes come through it can make the day after incredible. I have two guys in town now waiting for it to pass so they can pillage the fishing grounds.
Most places in the world where you can expect to find world class Billfishing will have conditions where it is hot, sticky and humid when the bite is on. Since we all know these world class game fish like warm water in the mid eighties, this means you will always have warm conditions when heading out looking for Monsters! So if you cannot prepare yourself mentally, then you better find the one or two air conditioned boats that rent for a premium. But no matter how you find your way to the fishing grounds, it´s time to be there! We are seeing the annual explosion of Black Marlin up to 800 lbs, and Yellowfin Tuna that will make any Monster (Tuna) Hunter Happy with many bordering on 250 lbs!
Fifty miles out from Puerto Vallarta is El Banco or The Bank in English. I commonly refer to this as a Marlin McDonalds and they will setup house as the resident species here. Known as one of the best fishing grounds in Mexico, El Banco has two spikes that are 58 and 65 ft respectively below the surface. Now these spikes jut up from a strange rock formation that has gulleys, ridges and valleys. You can find Black Marlin there as we did this week bordering on 500 to 800 lbs. The Yellowfin Tuna will range between 80 and 250 lbs (it just depends on conditions). Cubera Snappers are taking trolled surface baits, if there is a log the Dorado or Mahi Mahi as they´re also known as will be around floating logs or any sort of floating ¨thing¨ they can find. After a strong rain, this is a great find and can make your day and your evening dinner! The one thing about El Banco is the fact that everyday anything is possible. If you’re looking to hook into Moby Dick, this would be the place you want to be NOW.
Thirty five miles out from Marina Vallarta is Corbeteña or more commonly known as the ¨Rock¨. This is the most flexible location we have in PV when it comes to conditions. With the rock jutting up from the ocean bottom and the deep trenches surrounding it and with the structure on the north side anything is possible. Black Marlin, Sailfish and Yellowfin Tuna are there waiting for you to present them a bait. Cubera Snappers are taking surface trolled baits here as well. Several YF tuna have been boated here the last few days. With the number of tourist in town way down, there are not that many boats out there. So there are no issues driving the fish down and away from your baits! If you are looking for a world class day on the water at a reduced expense when it comes to fuel, this is the place to be.
The Marietta Islands are still the place to be for those looking for a shorter day with arm burning action. We’ve seen Amberjacks, Snappers to 35 lbs, Skip Jack Tuna to 40 lbs, Sailfish, Jack Crevalls and the list goes on. For an eight hour trip you can´t go wrong. Well worth the time and the money.
Around the point of Punta Mita, 26 miles north from Marina Vallarta there have been several Striped Marlin eight miles to fifteen miles off the point. Dorado (20 to 35 lbs) are around the floating logs or whatever you can find floating (you can only imagine what you´ll find floating out there). Just a little north of Punta Mita, Sayulita has been showing some why it´s Rooster Fish City. Around the shallows and the rocks they have been running anywhere from 35 lbs to 70 lbs! Not known as a good eating fish, my Mexican friends invited me to try a piece fresh off the grill and let me tell you, I liked it. So don´t be afraid to filet up one for the dinner table. Live dangerously and give it a try….
The bay is a confusing place these days. With the rivers just pouring silty water into the bay after the monsoon intensity rains we´ve been having our difficulties. If the fish can´t see the bait, they won´t take the bait. So be smart and head to the rocky shore areas and hit the Snappers and Roballo (Snook) for some great action and the blue plate special! Last week they were hitting 40 lb Skip Jack Tunas at will in front of Yelapa. So keep your ears on and for any positive news. A four hour trip is cheap and will get you a fishing fix for less.
As I m mentioned earlier we are in our Hurricane Season. Most people cringe when I say this, but the locals know this provides an opportunity to boat fish that are hungry. One of the biggest secrets is to chase the Hurricanes and fill the fish boxes with hungry fish. You can only do this is you are flexible, here and ready to go at a moments notice. So don´t be afraid of Hurricanes, they almost never hit land here in PV (70 yrs now) and normally work their way north or west… or north west.
For those of you out there worried about your safety in Puerto Vallarta, I would wonder about you if you weren´t. The things you hear about in the news are a world away, exaggerated and don’t affect us here in PV. Air fares are down, Hotels are cheap and the fishing is great, the best it will be for the year from now until the end of December. If you are considering a fishing vacation, remember Puerto Vallarta has drinkable water (I drink it, could be my problem), World class game fishing, reduced prices and everyone speaks English. So keep PV on your Bucket List and check at least one life experience off the things you´ve always wanted to do!
Remember we have the Pez Vela Tournament or Sailfish Tournament coming in November from the 10th to 14th so start making plans to be here for this (www.fishvallarta.com). I have several boats we are keeping at a lower rate to make things more affordable. If interested I have several boats that are still open and available. Several o f them past winners with winning captains! If you have never been in a tournament with Master Baiter’s Sportfishing and Tackle, we don´t mess around and we come prepared … So play to win with Master Baiter´s and we’ll see you at the awards ceremony! When more information is available I will let you know in my articles.
One last thing to remember, with the rains comes the dirty water. Many times you will find this coffee colored water as far out as El Banco. Be prepared with down riggers and planers. Many times the farther out you are, the more likely this dirty water is on the surface only. Drop the down rigger and give it a chance. If you have those expensive electronics on the market as most do, use them to see where the temperature breaks are and this will give you an idea as to how deep to set them.
Marina Vallarta is a place that even the well traveled and familiar with Puerto Vallarta often times will know nothing about, even after visiting Vallarta for years on end! There is a business association newly formed to promote the ¨Village in Marina Vallarta¨ now and we are looking for local businesses to become involved. If you are a manager or owner of a business in the Marina Vallarta area we would like to invite you to become involved. Remember, there are 150 shops, Restaurant Row with the top restaurants in Vallarta, Real Estate Services, Massages, Tequila Tasting, Sportfishing (naturally) and much, much more. If interested in checking out our Facebook page to to: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Village-at-Marina-Vallarta/113471265373196?v=wall#!/pages/The-Village-at-Marina-Vallarta/113471265373196?v=info You´ll be glad you did!
Until next week, don´t forget to kiss your fish!
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