Record Rains in Mexico, Black Marlin love it, Plentiful Bait, Look for the Birds!


Magnifico and another Blue Marlin

Magnifico and another Blue Marlin

Record Rains in Mexico, Black Marlin love it, Plentiful Bait, Look for the Birds!



Right now, Puerto Vallarta is the place to be for Sportfishing this week. With Black Marlin off the hook and Blue Marlin not far behind. We’re seeing fewer boats heading out to the fishing grounds, it´s even worse than last year when the swine flu scare chased everyone from Mexico.  I can´t imagine why any person with a bank account and an interest here now with the incredibly affordable prices for air fare and hotels. But, there you are. So if you were here you would be enjoying packed fishing grounds. We are also seeing the number of Sailfish on the rise. We know that come October Sailfish will take over the area and it looks like this year is no exception. A Large Sailfish will run you just under a hundred pounds. But they can easily go over that and be in excess of 100 inches in length.

Lets discuss the fishing: El Banco, Black Marlin (250 – 800 lbs), Blue Marlin (250 – 500 lbs), Sailfish, Amber Jacks (40 – 60 lds), Cubera Snappers (40 – 75 lbs) and of course Dorado (25 – 40 lbs) have all been boated here in the past week. With water temperatures running in the 86 degree range the water is a little warm for Yellowfin. But don´t dispare, they are there and they´re large. But you´ll have to work to get a 200 plus pound Yellowfin boated. Not that they are impossible to find, but they are not exactly looking for your bait, so present it the best way you can! Most of our boats this week have been running down riggers and looking for the thermal layers on the screen of those expensive electronics. This is where the better your electronics increase your possibilities at Yellowfin because you know where or what depth to set your downrigger! So if you’re heading out, make sure you have one of these along!

Corbeteña is a cookie cutter forecast.  When booking a boat I would plan for El Banco and use Corbeteña as a fallback position. Not that Corbeteña is bad, in fact it’s great. But if you are looking for the largest of whatever species you come across, just remember, everything is bigger at El Banco. But, Corbeteña has so many variables, I consider Corbeteña a more consistent fishing ground. So for those of you who believe bigger is better, the hit El Banco. If you want consistency then hit Corbeteña. If you keep an open mind and open wallet, then you will have the best of both worlds.

The area between El Banco and Corbeteña is mostly forgotten about. But again, those expensive electronics can show you the ridges and galleys’ that are about half way between the two spots and many a tournament winner has been pulled from the depths here! Keep this as your tournament secret file for the upcoming Pez Vela Tournament Nov. 10th to 14th!

With the Sailfish returning in bigger numbers the Point of Punta Mita is doing better.  This is normally a high Dorado area, but with the long Liners being allowed to operate just north of there it has all but killed the Dorado fishing in this area. It doesn´t help that the commercial fisherman are fishing this species illegally. But where there are laws and no enforcement, what are you going to do? For the most part for now I would avoid this area. But around the corner at Sayulita, they are still hitting Roosters fish. It is more miss than hit, but still worth the time and effort. If you head our due west from the beaches in Sayulita you will run into Striped Marlin just ten miles in from The Bank. So if you are looking for Sailfish, Marlin and Dorado, then this area is where you want to be.

The Marietta Islands have been their consistent self with Snappers to 40 lbs, Jack Crevalls to 40 lbs, Rooster fish to 45 lbs, Needle fish, Dorado around anything floating, Skip Jack Tuna, Bonito, and the list goes on. Well known for its action, be sure to stay away from the reefs, this is still a protected area and you would not want to get hit with a hundred thousand dollar fine!

Right now if you are in Vallarta and you´re heading out to the deep water locations, then you are catching fish amigos. With the abundance of fish it´s easy for a captain or boat to claim he is the king of fishing. It´s easy to catch fish when we head into this time of the year, so even a half way good captain will catch fish! But these guys are all business men like I am. And being a business guy, I know what it takes to operate a boat at prices that allow you to keep a well maintained boat, updated equipment, a large selection of lures by color, and a fully fueled boat. Sadly those looking for a cheap boat are expecting the same services we provide at Master Baiter´s.  When ¨would-be¨ clients come in the shop and quote a ridiculous price that I WOULD NEVER try to compete with walk out because I refuse to put my boats out at less than cost. But the simple fact is you are not getting what you would expect from these low cost providers. They don´t operate at a loss either, but they don’t tell you the product you purchased is diminished, they just let you find this out as you head out. So as you save a hundred dollars or so on your fishing trip, let me tell you what you are going to get for a price that can’t be believed. First, as you leave the marina, the captain and crew will immediately drop lures, not live bait. You will troll out to the fishing grounds, which ever you´ve decided on, at 7 to 9 miles per hour with only lures (bait die being pulled this fast). Once you arrive at the fishing area, then they´ll drop live baits and fish for the time frame that allows THEM ample time to turn around and troll back to the marina. Their concern is not for you to catch fish, but to make sure they made money on this fishing trip. You, you want a fast boat, because after all you are paying to catch fish, not a boat ride. But in fact, that is exactly what you are paying for, at a reduced price and got something other than what you actually wanted! So four hours later you make Corbeteña,  you make one or maybe two turns around the rock and then you´re heading back to the Marina. When you ask about this, they say this is what you paid for, yet you think you paid for a better quality trip. So once again, the cheap get raped and many will catch fish and think they did very well. I guess we should not down play a happy fisherman, but those of us that know, we paid for fuel, we want to use that fuel. We paid for top notch equipment, we want that equipment  on board, not a burlap bag with ten lures from 1950!

Then you´ve got these same guys telling you the fishing license is not included! That is nothing more than a lie, all boats that are licensed in Marina Vallarta have a fishing license. It is difficult to find a daily license in Puerto Vallarta because they are not sold individually here! You either buy them online out of San Diego or you purchase enough licenses for the entire year for a packed boat! This runs us in the neighborhood of $125.00 usd per license for one person / per year. Figure we will have enough licenses to accommodate the max number of people the insurance company allows on the boats for fishing. So the fishing license scam will no longer work right …. Wrong! I see people fall for this every day and if you say anything about this to would-be victims, they think it’s just sour grapes… I get a lot of business this way.

With the cost of fuel heading up daily (nearly two dollars a gallon in two months), the low cost operators , more and more boats that have no Matriculas or Legal License to operate a fishing charter boat and no insurance have been putting reputable fishing companies out of business. Nine businesses that focus on Sportfishing in Marina Vallarta have closed their doors  in the last 18 months. Some of the remaining fishing companies have converted to selling timeshare to cover their nuts. But it looks like the port authority which has been taking under the table propinas to allow these companies to operate may have seen this all change, lets hope anyway. You see representatives from the port authority have come around the fishing shops like mine to inform them there is a meeting coming up to address this issue of  ´PIRATE¨ Sportfishing boats. Now we have had several Port Authorities in the past, they all make the same noise when they are new and ultimately they all take the bribes that allow Pirate companies to operate and who under price their boats putting taxpaying businesses out of business! That is the good news…..

So when you get this price you can´t believe, and you get taken on a slow boat ride to china, you were told of the situation! You should get the best price you can, but don´t let the price be the only thing you focus on. Ask questions, what exactly does this price include? Fast boat?  Bait or Carnada?  Licenses? Ask for a scenario of what the day is going to be like. Remember in Mexico you will never, ever, get what you pay for with disreputable companies.  Better Captains cost more than those pretending to be a captain.  Fresh line is essential, check to see how fresh it is on the boat. Dull, yellowing line, bad ….  Short selection of lures and colors, bad…  Can´t communicate, pretends not to understand you when you try t o tell him what you want.. Bad! Kills your fish when you want to release it, bad! And I could go on forever! Be sure you know what you´re getting and the best way to do that is discuss what you are looking for from a reputable company that can communicate with you in your own language. Now if you´re Mexican, I may be in a little trouble with that one, but keep this in mind. Should you need a recommendation or suggestion on who to go with outside of Puerto Vallarta, then contact me and I will steer you in the right direction ….

As we are now in the thick of Fishings High Season in Vallarta, the fishing is as good as it will get for the year and should continue into late December. Find yourself a way down here and enjoy the action. If not you´ll just be another year older and another year more expensive. You can have the Fishing Grounds to yourself literally right now, so take advantage of these conditions, you may never have a chance to see conditions like this again!

Right now we are coming into the Sailfish Season where they move in, in large numbers, just in time for the 54th Pez Vela Torneo.. Or The 54th Sailfish Tournament sponsored by the Club De Pesca.  So mark your calendars and check out their web site at: for the details if you would care to participate. The dates this year are November 10, 11, 12 and 13th, so check it out.

If you find yourself in Puerto Vallarta make sure you visit The Village at Marina Vallarta. With 150 shops and Restaurant row it´s the number one attraction for Puerto Vallarta. Check out the daily catch on the docks or the jewelry stores or window shop for a new condo… What’s that, You´ve never heard of the Village? Then it’s time you came on down and checked it all out.  If you need it, it can be found in the Village! Check out their Facebook page (The Village at Marina Vallarta) and hit the ¨Like¨ Button to keep up with all the exciting changes as they happen!

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

Remember, if you have any questions or suggestions you can reach me at: or

The trade name Master Baiter’s ® Sportfishing and Tackle is protected under trade mark law and is the sole property to Stan Gabruk.  Always ask to speak with Stan to insure product quality and to insure you are working with the true Master Baiter´s ® and not an imposter



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