Puerto Vallarta Fishing is Great, Large Fish, Small Fish, Conditions Improve!


Scott Turnipseed  and a his nice Rooster Fish!

Family Turnipseed with their catch of the day!

Puerto Vallarta Fishing is Great, Large Fish, Small Fish, Conditions Improve!

The unpredictable season continues with more fish moving into the area. With the fish moving in and out it is difficult to say what you´ll find on any given day, but anything is possible, including coming in empty handed. With tourism being down, fewer than normal boats are heading out in the mornings which keeps incoming information on where to head out to a guess, making it all a crap shoot. This is the time of the year where some captains will consistently come in with fish, while others promise that they are the best, but can´t walk the talk. Experience pays off in times like these and it doesn´t hurt to have a well stocked tackle box and a little luck in your back pocket.

Let’s start with the outer fishing grounds. The primary locations of Corbeteña, El Banco and the Tres Maria Islands…. The Tres Maria Islands: Commonly known as the Prison Islands, this area gets larger fish all year long. The only question is how big will they be, with the primary species being Yellowfin Tuna and Striped Marlin for the time being. Some days the Yellowfin Tuna are in the 200 pound plus range, then other days you´ll be lucky to get a strike. The down side besides the iffy conditions is that it is 80 miles one way and that makes a 14 hr day! Most are not up for this length of a trip, while others who are used to heading out this far from places like California will consider this normal. The bottom line here is if you are looking for sizeable Yellowfin Tuna, the Tres Marias are the place to be. For those of you heading out there, good luck and call me when you come in to fill me in on the details.

Corbeteña and El Banco are two locations that have been hot and cold just like everywhere else. Striped Marlin have been boated, and I don´t mean just one or two, a few miles off the high spots and off the rock. Trolling is the way to go, not many boils to find or birds diving, but if you keep your eyes peeled you´ll see them jumping off in the distance. Striped Marlin in the 150 to 250lb size range have been released this week. But just as many days have gone by with nothing. So it’s always a good idea to keep your ears open for when they are striking, you normally have a two day window to get out there before things change. If heading out for Striped Marlin, make sure your captain has teasers, if not don´t get on the boat amigo. This equipment is essential to draw fish in or as we say it, make fish come! Lack of equipment can make or break your day so ask the question and ask to see it if you´re heading out for Marlin before you leave the dock. You´ll be glad you did.  The good news is the species that are there are interested in your bait. Google Eyes, Skip Jack Tuna, Bonito, no worries just make sure you have bait .

Things have gone from fair to good at the Marietta Islands. We are still seeing Rooster fish in the 35lb size, with Pompano in the 30lb range, Jack Crevalls 35lbs, Bonito, Sierra Mackerals, just about any fish you will find in the bay is at the Reefs near the islands. The big change this week is the huge areas of Red Snappers that are in herds in the area surrounding the Marietta Islands and El Morro. There are so many Snappers out there the sea is fluorescent red in color in an area the size of WalMart, parking lot and all. Look for them, you may not see birds diving into them so if you see dark patches off in the distance, make a b-line to it, you´ll be glad you did.  For the last week this area has been the spot, most of the time out performing the deep water fishing grounds. You can for the most part expect to see at least six fish of varying species, Roosters and Snappers being the dominant species at the moment. So the day is fun but be warned, not everyday is perfect, but most are productive. If some pirate agent tells you that Black Marlin are out there, run…. You´re being played as a sucker.

In the bay the story remains the same with Snook at the river mouths, Snapper in close where there is structure along with small groupers and several fish I don´t even know the name of available. Six hours is still my recommendation for in the bay, but four hours can be productive if heading up near Yelapa. Skip Jack Tuna, Bonito, Sierra Mackerals are automatic these days.

Up by Punta Mita at the Litibu area you will find Rooster fish in the 40lb range, Tons of Sierra Mackerals, Snappers and even African Pompano.  Why it is like this up here now is a mystery to me, but who’s complaining. 8 hrs will do the trick.

Just a reminder, when people in the area say the fishing is slow, I have a hard time hearing this as a negative. If you look at the picture these this is an African Pompano and the guy in the picture, Scott Turnipseed couldn´t be happier. Scott also boated three nice Rooster fish not pictured in the 35lb to 45lb range. The last I saw of them they were filleting the Pompano for dinner… They´re tasty so dinner will be special for everyone involved. So if this is a slow day for 8 hrs, I´ll take slow everyday…

That is the latest and greatest for now. I would like to say thanks for reading my articles and my blog, I never really know who is out there… But I have had some positive responses and if you would like to get on my mailing list, fire me an email to catchfish@masterbaiters.com.mx and I will set you up on the direct mailing list. Tell your friends about my articles and hopefully I will have 31 readers next week!

Until next time, 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

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


There is More to fishing in PV than Just Catching Monster Sized Fish!

The name of this fish is ¨Ojo De Pera¨ or Eye of the Bitch, looks like my ex wife!

The name of this fish is ¨Ojo De Pera¨ or Eye of the Bitch, looks like my ex wife!

There is More to fishing in PV than Just Catching Monster Sized Fish!       By Stan Gabruk

Everyday people come into my shop and marvel at some of the fish pictures I have on my wall. After years of going fishing in what is considered some of the best fishing grounds in the world has produced some impressive fish and even more impressive photos. Everyone always wants to know when the best fishing is. But that is a loaded question, summer is the normally the answer, but what if you don´t want to catch a 300 lb Yellowfin Tuna or a 1,000 lb Black Marlin? Well for those types, yes, there is smaller game fish that doesn´t take hours to get to or a fortune in fuel!

One thing for sure is that Puerto Vallarta has been blessed with all sorts of conditions that produce a variety of game fish available to the visiting angler looking for some fun action, but not Moby Dick. For that guy we, I should say Puerto Vallarta, has several options that satisfy the person looking to hit the bay and have some fun. For most people a fish of fifty pounds is larger than any other fish they have ever caught. Especially if you are looking at Trout, Steel head, Salmon and the list goes on. In fact I tell clients all the time that there is a lot to be said for driving up to a stream, river or lake and not having to take a boat out with all the related expenses. Now don´t get me wrong, big fish in the summer is what it is all about here in Puerto Vallarta. But winter fishing is not exactly slow as many would have you believe. Slow to most of us here in PV means the fish are under a hundred pounds. In comparison, it´s kinda hard to find a fish close to a hundred pounds in a stream or lake, short of Sturgeon. Now imagine you are in one of my boats, you are trolling the area around the Marietta Islands or El Morro and you come up on this fluorescent red patch of water the size of a WalMart parking lot with thousands and thousands of 25lb Red Snappers. Would you steer clear or throw out a line or four?  Well of course you´ll attack that herd of Snappers with everything you got! Tell me then it’s slow as you go in with a full fish box!

Right now we´re seeing Rooster Fish, some days are better than others, but they have been constant and hungry. They may hit 60 or 70 lbs if you are lucky, but even a 30lb Rooster fish (Pez Gallo in Spanish) will put light tackle to the test. Jack Crevalls which take over PV about this time of year are fierce fighters, but they’re smaller and only hit 50lb as a general rule! If you´re near the rivers, Roballo or Snook can hit up to 45 lbs and to my taste buds are better eating than Dorado! Would you call that slow or would you say the guys calling these conditions slow are either jaded or full of himself(s)?

Now if you are a fanatic and you have to have Sailfish, Striped Marlin and Yellowfin Tuna, then great, they´re out there right now. But it is work, it will be more expensive than summer fishing simply for the distance which equates to fuel and hours. But you can have them if you want. Now most of the Anglers at this time of the year are looking for shorter days, smaller boats and smaller fish. Which is fine and the season is right. Even now with historic cold water temperatures with the La Nina conditions you can have the time of your life with smaller game fish! So the next time you hear someone say the fishing is slow or start making excuses for not having Monster Marlin and Yellowfin, keep this article in mind and grab a smaller boat like a super panga. While you´re out there keep an eye peeled for me, I like shorter days where I can maximize my catch and keep the fuel cost down.

Until next time, don’t forget to kiss your fish!

Warmer Water Moves into PV Fishing Grounds, Striped Marlin / Yellowfin Tuna Move Closer In!


Yellowfin Tuna off El Banco 125 to 250lbs !

Warmer Water Moves into PV Fishing Grounds, Striped Marlin / Yellowfin Tuna Move Closer In!

Just a few days ago I was telling my faithful readers, all 30 of them that if they were heading out to El Banco they were basically throwing their money away. But like all things fishing, nothing stays the same for long. We are seeing some weird currents move into the area and we are also seeing some water stream down from the north from the Sea of Cortez. This warmer water has coaxed the Striped Marlin that were hanging out in Mazatlan down south were we have amazingly abundant bait in the area. Now not only are there Striped Marlin, we have some cow sized Yellowfin Tuna in the 150 to 225lb range five miles northeast of The Bank or El Banco for the nationals. There is blue water outside of Cobeteña so this means we have Blue Marlin in the area, and Striped Marlin,  about twelve miles southwest of Corbeteña or the Rock as we call it here in PV. If you are brave, rumor has it the Sand Bank about 75 miles or so south of Cabo Corrientes, the southernmost point of the Banderas Bay has some monster Yellowfin as well. So if you´re not afraid of a little travel time, the fishing is improving!

Everyone who comes to Puerto Vallarta has naturally heard how these waters are considered the best fishing grounds in the world. I have said this a thousand times and it is still true, we always have fish, even in bad and cold conditions, PV always has fish. Winter fishing is naturally smaller game fish for sure. But that doesn´t mean we don´t have Sailfish, Marlin and Tuna in the ¨off¨ season or winter as we call it. Tourism is high, but the fisherman looking for trophy sized game fish are not here for the most part. And very few are willing to spend the time it takes to boat these beauties, but at least they´re out there which is a real plus for guys like me looking for the day I can tell my customers things are improving!

As I have already mentioned the fishing has improved at The Bank or El Banco in Spanish. Water temperatures have climbed a little due to the warm streams of water appearing from the Sea of Cortez and elsewhere.  Weird swirling currents from the south are inching their way north with is something I have not seen in the dead of winter before. But La Nina will cause weird currents and this is apparently one of those strange things happening now. So the Bank offers you die-hards some real options. Cubera Snappers for the bottom fisherman or guys who Jig to 65lbs, Amber Jacks to about the same size, a few Dorado are in the area but nothing you can depend on. But the Striped Marlin are in the 250lb rand and the Yellowfin are huge for anytime, but especially for now in the dead of winter! So if you´ve been waiting for a good time to head out to the catch Moby Dick all I can say is this; Moby is not out there, but his cousin is! It’s worth the fuel dollar and your worst case scenario is hit the Marietta Islands on the way back!

Corbeteña or the Rock has been dead, dead, dead… that was until the other day. Again the warmer currents from the north are filtering their way down and the water is blue, blue, blue! We’ve been plagued by dirty water from weird upwelling currents, but just a few miles to the south of the rock is a temporary fishing paradise. From this area south to the Sand Bank has the potential to hook into Sailfish (yes I said Sailfish), Striped Marlin, Blue Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna and he ever present Cubera Snapper. Normally by mid January these species have headed south to Costa Rica and Panama for the warmth of an equator ocean.  Now I don´t know why they´re in this area again, I am not asking the big guy in the sky what the deal is, but I will be happy knowing they are there and that for now is good enough to get my interest. If you are anywhere between El Banco and the Sand Bank right now anything is liable to happen, so don´t be surprised by the pictures you may see!

The Marietta Islands are still up and down. You don´t really know what will happen in the bay, but the Marietta Islands are still producing well. But not like a machine like the last few months. That is not to say the fishing is bad, but it did drop a notch or two. Rooster fish are still there in the 30 to 55lb range this week. Sierra Mackerals, Jack Crevalls to 40lbs or larger, Cubera and normal snappers, African Pompano or Cookies like many call them.. White meat fish that taste outstanding. Small groupers, even the chance at some Yellowtail, not Yellowfin Tuna, which must have moved in from Cabo because we don´t see this fish in this area. More strangeness…..  Most of the day trips these days for eight hours are heading out this way for the moment and for good reason.

Just like San Pancho, Sayulita and the area have been ignored by the local Marinaros or Mariners in English. But the reports I have been getting are of abundant Rooster Fish of the shore and not out far at all. So if you want some arm burning action on lighter tackle, then hit this spot on an 8 hr day for the time of your life…. Dorado and Snapper may also be in the area, but then again……

Inside the bay things are hot and cold. Some days are hot, others are beyond cold to frigid. You can find one day the fish are everywhere and you had a great day with Sierra Mackerals, Snappers, Jack Crevalls, small Grouper, Bonito, Skip Jack Tuna and more.. Then you may just find you come in empty handed. Even with the captains call around to check out other areas in the bay can find others out there with clients with the same condition. Experience and equipment count these days and if you are not equipment flexible for bottom fishing or jigging then you may just find you didn´t have the best chance to catch fish when others may be. Remember, all boats are not created equal, even though they may all be in the same price range, so do your homework before walking around Marina Vallarta or town.

Something that has surprise me is the lack of trips to the San Pancho area and points a bit farther north. With this warm thread of water out there, San Pancho is normally a hot spot for Sailfish at this time of the year. If things continue to go well with warmer water in the area, it may be worth your time and thought when planning your next trip. The conditions are ripe for uncrowded fishing on San Pancho and may be the next best kept secret. Something to think about.

That is the latest and greatest for now. I would like to say thanks for reading my articles and my blog, I never really know who is out there… But I have had some positive responses and if you would like to get on my mailing list, fire me an email to catchfish@masterbaiters.com.mx and I will set you up on the direct mailing list. Tell your friends about my articles and hopefully I will have 31 readers next week!

Until next time, 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

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

QUICKIE REPORT: Yellowfin Tuna / Striped Marlin at El Banco!


Striped Marlin at El Banco

QUICKIE REPORT: Yellowfin Tuna / Striped Marlin at El Banco!

After weeks of me telling you to forget about Yellowfin Tuna at The Bank or El Banco, once again these fish zig when I zag! As late there seems to be a warm stream coming down from the Sea of Cortez which is bringind down Striped Marlin from Mazatlan and Yellowfin Tuna back to El Banco! This is amazing and a very welcome thing with this being a more normal condition than the early frigid water conditions we presently have….. In fact Caremela had four hook-ups and brought one in with them a few days ago. I was afraid to announce this since I figured it was a fluke, but it looks like it´s a super fluke now.

Corbeteña still has the Cubera Snappers, but if El Banco has Marlin and Yellowfin Tuna, can Corbeteña be far behind? Stay tuned on this one…

The Marietta Islands are still working with Rooster Fish, Jack Crevalls, African Pompano, Snappers, Sierra Mackerals, Bonito, and the list just goes on. There have been some Sailfish caught in the area, but it is more miss than hit. We even came in with some Amber Jacks over 50lbs. But the fact remains that anything is possible so be ready for anything.

Water temperatures yesterday were running in the low 60’s close to the mouth of Marina Vallarta, which is the coldest temps I can remember in the ten years I have been in Vallarta!

The bay is still small game fish, but there are Groupers that taste great, plenty of Jack Crevalls, Bonito, Sierra Mackerals, Snappers and who knows what else is out there. One thing for sure, shorter days are producing much better than a few weeks ago and now it´s worth the time and fuel money right now.

I am not going to say the fishing is rebounding, but it is better and if you’re in town it is worth an 8 hr day.. Maybe 12hrs if you want an elusive Yellowfin or Striped Marlin….

That’s all for now, stay tuned and until the next time, don´t forget to kiss your fish!

Fishing in Vallarta Improves, Rooster Fish, Jack Crevalls, Sailfish Taking Baits!

Fishing in Vallarta Improves, Rooster Fish, Jack Crevalls, Sailfish Taking Baits!

January 8, 2011


If you have been keeping up with my articles, you know the conditions have been a real mixed bag for the last two to three weeks. With red tide, dirty water, cold water conditions and super abundant bait there were few reasons to head out fi

Rooster Fish, Blake Meyers on Magnifico at the Marietta Islands

Rooster Fish, Blake Meyers on Magnifico at the Marietta Islands

shing. Now thankfully things have improved to the point where it makes sense to head out to the fishing grounds, finally!

For you Yellowfin Tuna guys, there is good news and better news. The good news is that the Yellowfin Tuna are bordering on the 220 lb range down to 60lbs off the Tres Maria Islands. The better news is we have Yellowfin Tuna in the winter. So you summer guys who think it needs to be the heat of summer to boat a trophy sized Yellowfin fantasy will be happy to discover you can catch fish and not melt in the process from the heat. But this is a distance, but for normal YF Tuna guys, this is not big deal, it only filters out those who are not serious about their Yellowfin Tuna! Just remember to stay out more than six miles from the Islands or the prison will seize your boat… not a good thing!

Corbeteña and El Banco are not exactly on fire these days. Water has been dirty and there have been spots of red tide so these areas have been avoided as late. I expect this to change in the next week or so since we are seeing huge numbers of Striped Marlin off Mazatlan, about 175 miles north of Puerto Vallarta. This is strange since the water in that area is colder than what we normally have in PV. So I am thinking with a little luck and a few more days we may see some Marlin in the area. We have had sightings, but not takers when presented bait for the most part. But again, with so much bait in the water, they have their pick of ¨fast food¨ at the present. But patience pays off and they will take what you are presenting sooner or later. Cubera Snappers are still there and they´re hungry amigos.

The main story this week is still the Marietta Islands. With most of the real action still happening here there have been an army of boats attacking the reef. Some days are better than others with it being a hot and cold situation. With the water Temperatures still in the cellar we´re seeing some strange fish appear like Yellow Tail, not Yellowfin… We never see these fish in Vallarta for some reason, they do like cooler water so that probably explains it all. But the Rooster fish anywhere from 30 lbs up are still striking trolled Goggle Eyes as are Snappers (20-35 lbs), Sierra Mackerals (25 lbs plus), Jack Crevalls in the 20 to 50lb range, Cookies (don´t k now the English name for these) that are smaller at about 10 to 20 lbs, Bonito, Skip Jack Tuna and the list goes on. Including a Sailfish just a few days ago. There are Dorado in the area, but they have been anything but interested in what we´re offering. Again, lots of natural bait is the issue in most cases if the fish don´t bite. One little secret is that the area between El Morro and El Faro or the light house has seen some Dorado action for the patient. They have mostly been hitting Google Eyes, with a standard rig.

Both the north end of the bay and the south end has seen Jack Crevalls just take over and they are not shy in the least. Sierras, Snappers, Snook and more are in the bay finally. A few weeks ago the idea of fishing in the bay for the short day angler was not worth your fuel dollars. But now things have changed and the fishing is well worth your time. The spots are changing daily and the fishing in the bay has improved greatly. So four to six hours fishing is producing nice action right now for those not interested in catching Moby Dick.

Now north of Punta Mita at Sayulita is picking up a little with larger Roosters off shore there. Sailfish are also lingering around the area on the surface, but getting them to take bait is another thing. But this will change sooner or later, let’s hope sooner! Snappers are at the point and Dorado are always a possibility. North of Punta Mita in San Pancho has seen several boats take the chance with nothing much to get excited about. Normally Sailfish are enjoying their winter vacation here, but this year is not your normal year. But you can say fishing is not a normal activity and you´d of course be right. So there you are….

It´s hard to make a call these days as to what will be coming in the near future. But I expect to see Striped Marlin at El Banco and Corbeteña in the next week if they decide to come down this way of course. The red tide and dirty water that plagued us all the last few weeks has moved out and cleared up. There are still some small spots of red tide, but nothing that will affect your day on the water.

When in Puerto Vallarta make sure you visit The Village in Marina Vallarta, with Restaurant row and 150 shops and services its Puerto Vallartas other Malicon (board walk in English) and should be on your list of places to visit…

Until next time, 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

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


RollerCoaster Conditions Changing By the Moment, Sailfish Reappear off Sayulita


50 lb Jack Crevalls, this is what ¨slow¨fishing is like in Vallarta, Imagine that!

RollerCoaster Conditions Changing By the Moment, Sailfish Reappear off Sayulita

January 4,2011

Another day and conditions are changing faster than I can post an article. There have been a few changes for the positive lately and this is good news for all of us interested in some winter fishing action. With the rapidly changing water temperatures and conditions in general mixed with a real lack of clients heading out to the fishing grounds, we are taking our best guess and heading where we think things should be good. What that really means is people are playing follow the leader when it comes time to head out fishing. If one boat caught a bunch of fish in one location, the next day several if not many, boats are heading out to that spot. If a boat comes in with fish and they don´t tell where they were, the same boat will have other boats waiting for them at the mouth of the Marina who follow them to the productive spots from the previous days. This in turn makes the previous spots over crowded, the fish dive or sound as we call it and then the fishing is over in that area. Then it turns into the same mess. The experienced captains know not to share all their secrets. Even in crowded conditions, not everyone catches fish, yet others seem to always come in with fish consistantly! This is where experience comes in and having the right equipment. It´s all vital, the boat itself while it may be very nice, the boat on its own will catch you nothing without a good crew and well equipped.

Everyone lately has been heading out to the Marietta Islands and chasing Roosterfish along with Snappers, some Cuberas there as well in the 50 to 60 lb range, Pompano, Skip Jack  Tuna, Sierra Mackerals, the occasional Dorado, Bonito, and the list goes on. Some strange stuff has happened as well, like Yellowtail, not Yellowfin tuna, but Yellowtail which is a cooler water species that we used to see in California and even in Cabo. But in Puerto Vallarta, this never happens. We have also seen Sea Bass, another cold water fish we never see, yet they have been boated at the Marietta Islands in freak instances. This is just another sign of cold water bringing in cold water winter species we almost never see. If this trend continues I will be much happier with the colder water temps! Stay tuned….

Normally when winter arrives in Puerto Vallarta we see an invasion of Jack Crevalls. They love cold water and these fish have saved many a day on the water for anglers. Finally they are back in large numbers near the south end of the bay, to the middle areas of the bay. This of course means that in ten minutes they´ll be everywhere in the bay and that sits well with me. It means the short or half day trips will have plenty of smaller action. If a 30 to 50lb Jack Crevall can be considered smaller action! With the Sierra Mackeral population increasing along with Bonitos the shorter days are producing now very well. Snappers closer to the rocks and of course anything is possible in the bay at any given time. So now if you have a short fishing budget, you can still enjoy yourself. One thing to remember is there have been Dorado in the area between El Faro at the southern point of the bay to El Morro. So if you’re in the area, give it a shot.

Bait conditions have changed. Bait is getting harder to make these days and the two inch Sardines that have been hanging around have either been eaten or they moved on. Google Eyes are available in the bay again so this is the primary live bait along with the Chorras or Bait sized fish of Bonito, Mackerals or Skip Jacks. So that is good news!

No reports from Corbeteña or El Banco lately. If you are looking for Yellowfin Tuna, the Tres Maria Islands are the place to be. The size has diminished a little, but the action is still exhausting for sure. The Yellowfin are in the 60 to 125lb range. Smaller than last week, but that’s the way it goes amigo. We’re just real happy for what we´re seeing now with these cooler water temperatures.

Right now there have been Sailfish Sightings off Sayulita and there has been a lot of Rooster Action in this area. But the water has been dirty out this way which makes it difficult at times. But with the Sailfish and Dorado there hovering on the surface, casting a bait to them will get their attention. I have a boat out today with a small group, this was the plan today so stay tuned for more info later in the week!

Off Punta Mita is the same recent story, Dorado possibilities, Snappers and Jack Crevalls. For the time and fuel dollar you´re better off heading just a ways up north to Sayulita and take your shot there. San Pancho has also been ignored for the most part as well and this area is normally a hot spot for Sailfish and Striped Marlin come winter time. But we´re not seeing the fishing enthusiast, we´re seeing the kind of guy that  will go fishing if it´s not too expensive type. And these types are looking at shorter days as in normal for this time of the year. With raising price of fuel, less and less are willing to explore the coast line without recent reports. So there you have it, nobody will head out ¨That  way¨ until somebody has already been there with positive results. At least you won’t find a crowd following you to your secret spot!

We had a dead period there for a few weeks that had us all wondering what the deal was. But it looks like the winter species are finally moving in which means more fish and better fishing everywhere. Its hard to make a call as what will happen with Sailfish and Dorado, but there are still out there in smaller numbers. This could change if you find warm spots and sunny days help that! Rooster fish are hanging around nicely, but this can change also, let’s hope things stay the same for a little longer…

Until Next Time, Don´t Forget To Kiss Your Fish

Remember all fishing companies are not created equal. Master Baiter’s Sportfishing and Tackle is the oldest fishing company in Puerto Vallarta and are service oriented with the professional and amateur alike. Beware of imposters claiming to be Master Baiter´s on the internet as they call me the imposter. In Mexico Trade Mark laws mean little to nothing and are almost impossible to enforce. So if you aren´t in contact with Stan Gabruk from Marina Vallarta, you are dealing with imposters. They have gone as far as copying my text and using it on their site. So you´ve been informed, and don´t be fooled!

Fishing in Vallarta, Smaller Game Fish to be Found, Conditions Changing!


Jack Crevalls at Marietta Islands

Jack Crevalls at Marietta Islands

Fishing in Vallarta, Smaller Game Fish to be Found, Conditions Changing!

Normally at this time of the year I am looking forward to my annual New Year’s Eve late evening fishing trip to El Banco for the last of the Season Yellowfin Monsters and Black Marlin. But this year I will be enjoying the celebration with my friends all over Marina Vallarta! You see, just like Florida and California, La Nina has found Puerto Vallarta’s fishing grounds as well. Right now we are seeing February in January where fishing is for smaller game fish at the usual locations in and around the bay. So if you are expecting summer fishing in January, you can pretty much hang that thought up until Next July. Those looking for a fishing fix can still find the Monster Yellowfin Tuna at the Tres Maria Islands and the fanatics’ don´t care where they have to go or how much time or money it will cost. The fish we´re talking about is the equivalent of big game hunting, but on the water. The person who has the inclination can still get Striped Marlin and Yellowfin Tuna. But there is a secret or two to getting their interest, so stay tuned, here come the facts!

The water conditions have been changing rapidly right now and outside the bay, past the Marietta Islands, the water is dirty with some spots of red tide, just what you wanted to hear. The good news right now is about ten miles north of El Banco there is warmer, blue water. This is where you’ll find Striped Marlin and have a shot at larger Yellowfin Tuna. Now if you keep heading north you´ll run into the Tres Maria Islands, aka the prison islands, where the Yellowfin Tuna have been running in the 200lb range. Now eighty miles out for a guy from Southern California is considered close in, so those types are very happy to have the opportunity for this rare chance to hit something larger than a 80 lb Albacore Tuna, which is considered a catch there. The vacationing angler with a recreational interest is more than happy with a shorter day catching smaller game fish with nice action. So if you are of the mind-set to head out after these beauties, then this is where you´ll have to go.

One thing to remember as I think of it is the bay is just surrounded by these tiny Sardines about two inches long and they´re the fish fast food of the area for now. If you are running full sized google eyes or larger baits like Bonito or Skip Jack Tunas, you´re not doing yourself any favors. There is an old fishing saying, ¨Elephants eat peanuts too¨!  Out near the point of Punta Mita the skiffs that fish bait in the late evening or early morning hours have been selling scoops of these Sardines and if you rig them up in a snag line sort of rig. Many have come up with a fancy name for this like a Sevicay (or something like that) rig where you run several small baits and jig it. It works, but it’s not exciting, but did I say it works? So keep this in mind.

Corbeteña and El Banco are still producing good sized Cubera Snappers for those who don´t mind doing a little bottom fishing for a great tasting and hard fighting fish. They can run in the 60lb range right now. But you may also find them in the 30 lb range, so it just depends on what you come across. One thing for sure fishing is anything but exact! Not much action other than this at Corbeteña and El Banco for that matter, but again everything can change if the water gets a little warmer or you find warm spots! These are pretty much the only reason you´d be heading out to Corbeteña or El Banco for now…

The Marietta Islands are the place to be if you want to catch fish, but be warned, everyone in Marina Vallarta is heading to this popular location. Rooster fish, Snappers ranging from large to small, Sierra Mackerals, African Pompano, Even some cold water Sea Bass are coming in from who knows where? These are definitely a cold water fish. So there are fish around the reefs like normal. But if you´re not using small baits and lures, you may come back empty handed. There are lots of boats out there, too many boats to be sure since this is the best fishing spot for the moment. This can chase the fish down and drive you nuts. My suggestion is to hit this spot early, then if the crowd comes, move out to El Morro or elsewhere. Discuss this with your captain and develop a plan as you leave the marina in the morning. As I was finishing this article one of my boats came in and while whale watching they ran into some Dorado smack in the middle area between El Faro at the southern point of the bay and the Marietta Islands. Again not exactly abundant, but it is nice to know they are out there! Stay tuned for more reports later, this could pick up if we have just a little luck! Again anything is possible in warmer water.

Those looking for a shorter day on a tighter budget can hit the south end of the bay close to shore and find Skip Jacks, Sierra Mackerals (they’re everywhere), Jack Crevalls, Roballo or Snook at the river mouths are large and strong and of course Snappers are around the bay as well. The point at Punta Mita is still producing Snappers. There have not been many reports from Sayulita (just north of the point) lately and this area may be worth a visit if you are in that direction. Rooster fish like to hang out there so anything is possible or probable … But I have had a boat come in yesterday from this area with three nice sized Dorado. That is the upside for the area, but they were more than an hour apart in their strikes and it will be more ¨miss¨ than ¨hit¨. If you are on your way to San Pancho targeting Sailfish you may have a Dorado surprise.

With the water temperatures ranging from 72 to 78 right now, the warmer areas will have fish, the chilly areas are not where you want to be, another reason to have decent electronics on your boat. Look for clear, blue water outside the bay and you´ll have fish. Remember to use smaller sardines or you may have an issue getting fish to pay attention to your presentation. The Bite has been happening later and later in the day. Anywhere from 12 to 3:00 is when things are happening… The Eclipse and extreme tides are just a few examples the ingredients in the present conditions that make it hard to predict when the bite is happening. So be flexible, and be patient. The fish are out there as long as you´re not looking for Moby Dick and you can have a great time. Those with kids will find the smaller game fish perfect for action and a shorter day. I even have center console Super Pangas with a head / bathroom of sorts so the girls will have some privacy. For now, we will be expecting these sorts of conditions to continue until the currents change direction.

So there you have it, the latest and greatest amigos. Thanks for reading my articles, it is appreciated. My philosophy is this, if you are going to come to Mexico and fork out that hard earned disposable income, it´s my job to make sure you know the truth straight up. Unlike others I am not out for your one time business. So I won’t tell you what you want to hear just to get your cash. That is why at Master Baiter´s we say ¨We Won´t Jerk You Around¨ and we mean it! Master Baiter´s in Marina Vallarta is the oldest Deep Sea Fishing Company in continuous operation since 2000. There are imposters in Vallarta claiming to be me, so be sure you get me, Stan Gabruk when sending emails or talking on the phone. Others will tell you they are my business, Or I´m dead or out of business when looking for us in Marina Vallarta, .. Enough of that….  Well that is about all there is for now….

On a side note, while in Puerto Vallarta make sure you visit The Village in Marina Vallarta, with Restaurant row and 150 shops and services its Puerto Vallartas other Malicon (board walk in English) and should be on your list of places to visit…

Until next time, 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

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