The Maximus (Moth) Flew Too Close To The Tres Maria Islands!

The last few weeks I have been telling everyone how the Tres Maria Islands have been alive with action…. more specifically Monster Yellowfin Tuna. I have also gone out of my way to mention that these islands are a Mexican Prison.  It’s a little city out forty miles from shore that has always had big fish at all times of the year. So you have to ask yourself why now, the last two years, have charter boats started heading out this direction to go fishing when we all have known of this location and the ever present Yellowfin??

Now I need to warn all of you out there about the Tres Maria Islands. I have been ¨reporting¨ a lot about this location since there have been so many boats heading out to this protected area. One thing to remember when heading out this way, the limit is fifteen (15) miles. Any closer than that and you are risking being arrested and taken in. When you are on some of the popular bulletin boards on Puerto Vallarta you will see them all puffing their chest up about the Monster Yellowfin Tuna and then proceed to tell the world how cool they are as some guy in his living room is reading this crap. Now the Yellowfin Tuna are  out there, but look at the Maximus. A newly operating long distance charter boat out of Puerto Vallarta that can handle up to ten people was caught the other day by the Navy! This charter boat with paying passengers had no insurance, no fishing licenses and a forged permit to fish these islands. Now this boat gets more than $1,500.00 per person for a three day trip. That is top dollar for anywhere, especially here in Mexico! The guys onboard all read their articles, they all believed this operation to be first class and they all found out that they got duped! In fact there was a guy on the boat who word by word explained why the Navy was there interrupting their fishing!  The boat was TOO close to the PRISON ISLANDS and with the phony documentation, then other missing necessary documentation, the passengers were all mad as hell! The Captain as it turns out had been warned before, at least two times before! The boat and it´s passengers were sent home and I am sure you can imagine the taste that left in their clients mouths!

Now i HATE BLOODY DECKS THE WEB SITE. And this guy Ali is a computer something or another that is as I am told part of this operation so it does not surprise me… As I understand it he is connected to the operation in some way, but i have no facts, just hear-say on this so you can do the research if you want….

But  the site is a  club, not a real company or web site, it´s a public bulletin board that anyone can post and market on for free off the internet.   So don´t expect to find this information on the bloody decks site, but it may be…. It was, lets just say that… They are known for pulling down unflattering information that is posted by unhappy people! So you are receiving filtered information.

I have been in PV now for more than ten years now.  We always knew about the Tres Maria and we stayed away from the place for two reasons, the first being the distance and the expense we would hve to charge in a middle class market. The second reason is naturally the fact you can have your boat confiscated. So if your three or five hundred thousand dollar boat is worth risking for a few two hundred pound Yellowfin is worth it, then good luck. It seems that more and more people are willing to risk their boats and do some short sited shenanagans to look cool on a site that is basically a bunch of liars and blowhards blowing smoke up their own back-sides. They as a club get to blow smoke up each others back sides as well! So if you want to float around the room and still be handled by low rent operations  who deceive paying customers with no recourse then head out with them….

Now  Bloody decks is also promoting The Anna Maria, Chelita and others that are also in the same condition.  Hell you´ll even see them showing them selves winning tournaments in Barra, but these boats also have no insurance, no operating licenses and the poor clients who think they are getting something special are flying under the radar. Ultimately there will be some clients that find this all out the expensive way… when they´re being forced in!

One thing  I know about the Tres Maria Islands, it will take you all day to get there, and you can not be closer in, legally that is, within 15 miles. So when you read about these guys inside two miles, they´re telling you they are actually risking their boat and the clients well being by pushing a fishing location that for all practical reasons should be avoided. Even if there are fish in the area, going here is a risk and getting away with fish is nothing more than luck, dumb luck!

There are those out there that will tell you the fishing is getting worse because they are being fished out. But in reality the currents are more than twenty five miles out from the bank and this is not unusual at all. But winter is not Tuna Season, unless you´re out to these islands. Now the Yellowfin may be thinning out, but that is no reason to put clients at risk, wouldn’t you agree??

You can get a permit, on occasion. But those who tell you that they have permits, remember the forged documents I just spoke of. THESE ARE PRISON ISLANDS, NOT DISNEYLAND.. There are very, very, very few permits released and if you don´t know someone, you don´t get one!I know some high powered Mexicans that can’t get one from their buddies, do you think some gringo is going to get them at will??

One recent problem was the fact that there have been some criminals who have escaped the island! They also bring and return with other criminals by boat as well. I am sure yoiu can see what the problem is for the officers doing their job. Boats too close to the islands are possible escape / attack vehicles. Even if it is almost impossible to clear the rocks  to get out to a boat, stranger things have happened. So to say these officers and Navy guys take this seriously is a understatement. Expecially when you have boats inside two miles of the islands! Now who in their right mind thinks that the risk is worth a few pictures on bloody decks is risking your safety and all your money, not to mention  your vacation fantasies!  Those thinking they´re smart and will do a hit and run scenario needs to get his head screwed on straight. They patrol the islands now that those prisoners have escaped.

Take it from me, stay away from the islands unless you are on a several day trip. If you are on a several day trip, make sure you know who and what you are dealing with! Be informed, be safe and have the time of your life in Puerto Vallarta. For some reason it seems your safety and well-being is not a concern to many on ¨that ¨ site that would have you believe they are too cool to be caught.

Remember, it is our job, we have a fiduciary (responsible for others  in a position of knowledge) responsibility to make sure our clients have all the safety equipment, insurance, fishing licneses and operating licenses necessary to be considered a safe boat. Everything else comes second, yet when you talk with clients they all seem to focus on the price and what they can catch… not to mention how they throw in your face the unsafe guy down the road is a hundred dollars or more cheaper than you are with insured, etc. boats! Now this will drive you crazy and then put you out of business.

Remember to do your home work and look out for the things they should be taking care of for you!

You may ask how do you find a safe and professional company? There are several resources at your disposal. Western Outdoor News, World Wide fishing Guide, Marlin Mag, Saltwater Mag, and other pay for advertising publications and web site. If you have a company that can afford to advertise on real sites, not bloody decks which is free for every person who wants to throw lies out there to get your business. Ignore the trash talk, the sexy chicks in skimpy clothing and the smoke being blown around.

You´ve been informed, now use this information to protect yourself. If you have a question about any charter company in Puerto Vallarta, I will give you an honest assessment of the company, their boats and their captains, I have no interest in beating up my competition if they are worth their salt!  I have been in Vallarta a long time now and many of the guys you read about got their starts with Master Baiters. Bloody Decks, especially this Ali guy who is connected at the hip with Bloody decks is in the thick of this all.

FYI, I have been banned by bloody decks from posting because I called some of their inner circle guys out (Drew) as they told the world I was embezzling peoples money and could not come up with the proof as they slandered me across the board. Their idea of getting business is blowing smoke up their clubs ass and then trashing any competition with the  Bloody decks taliban as I call them. …. I don´t need bloody decks to survive, but the others do…

There is always plenty of finger pointing, but when charter boat clients get harrassed by the authorities because they are not looking out for your well being and not taking care of business, then you the client will lose every time…..

Take care and until next time, don´t forget to kiss your fish!

Quickie Report: Jacks Move in Strong, Pompano at the Point

Quickie Report: Jacks Move in Strong, Pompano at the Point

Feb. 15, 2011


We are seeing the water temperatures hover in the low 70’s and while that is still cold water for us here in Puerto Vallarta, it is still much better for fishing than the low 60’s we were dealing with last week. There were some mornings where my Mexican side wanted a parka from the cold in the mornings! Thankfully that has all changed now and even the air temperatures are coming up to the normal 80 degree mark in the days!

Naturally tropical fish like tropical waters, even cold tropical water comes with a group of fish we won´t see much of come summer. African Pompano have pretty much taken over the areas with structure where you would expect Rooster fish to be lately. You can expect to find many, but not overly abundant around the corner of Punta Mita in Sayulita and at the Marietta Islands around the reef. Small sardines are the food of choice right now for most of the fish out there since they, the Sardines have taken over the point! So that makes it easy, local bait always works best. So Google Eyes may be ignored so have some bait choices. Lures have been working as well, Pink, Yellow, Orange, black, in combinations are working well.. Six inch lures with skirts the size you should be trying first. But squid baits may work as well with all the Squid we´ve seen in the area as lately….

 Jack Crevalls Everywhere

Jack Crevalls Everywhere


Sierra Mackerals are everywhere and they are great tasting. Size wise they´re a little on the small side, but still taste great. It is nothing right now to hook into thirty of these in a six hour day, but they are not much larger than bait. Great fishing for younger Anglers for sure.

Jack Crevalls have also become more abundant than the last time I put up a report. In the middle of the bay to the Islands to Sayulita, they have shown up in larger numbers and as long as the temperatures remain in the 70’s they will be in the area. Many a day has been saved by Jack Crevalls or Torros as the locals call them. They are also fairly large in the 25 to 45lb range as well so make sure you are running light tackle to even the challenge and you will have a great time with some nice action!

Striped Marlin are at the Tres Marias, but they are at the third island and close in, closer in than you should be fishing. But it looks like those in charge are getting a little more flexible on the perimeter they guard and have been letting boats in closer than the guidelines permit. So keep your wits. One good thing, they are at least warning you if you are too close to the Tres Maria Islands. Remember these are prison islands and there are some rules that are as flexible as the person enforcing them. So don´t be stupid and get snagged by them! Lots of bottle nose Dolphin in the area, which is always a good sign for Yellowfin Tuna. Depending on conditions, you may still find Tuna, but they may not like what you´re presenting to them so make sure you have a good bag of tricks (lures) on hand.

El Banco to Corbeteña, there have been Sailfish sightings, but I have yet to see anyone boat one, so until somebody comes in with one, I would avoid the distance and fuel cost and hit the Marietta’s or Sayulita.

So for now it looks like your best shot at action is in the eight hour day range which has two advantages. Shorter days at closer in locations. This means fuel and time savings and the little woman can still dress you up and take you to dinner. Let’s hope you´ll be eating your catch that evening!

Until then, take care and don´t forget to kiss your fish!

Conditions Improve, Clear Water, More Sizeable Fish

Conditions Improve, Clear Water, More Sizeable Fish

Doug Cole and his 80 lb Broom Tail Grouper!

Doug Cole and his 80 lb Broom Tail Grouper!

Bob Sandtveit and his 45lb Cubera Snapper...  It´s a beauty!

Bob Sandtveit and his 45lb Cubera Snapper… It´s a beauty!

The Tres Maria Islands are still the place to be if you’re looking for Yellowfin Tuna.  Running from anywhere between 80 to 200 lbs it just all depends on what you come across. The down side is naturally the distance and time you’ll have to put in, but if you´re looking for Yellowfin at this time of the year, then this is where you have to be until summer. Live bait is the way to go for these beauties,  but have a kite on hand, happy hunting!

The area between Corbeteña and El Banco are Fertile fishing grounds with ridges and canyons are showing signs of life when it comes to Sailfish lately. This is a little strange for sure to find these fish in this area at this time of the year. But who is complaining. This may fall off so make sure you have checked the latest and greatest on my blog.

North of Punta Mita at Guyavitos there are Dorado. Yes, I said Dorado and they are fair sized at 20 to 35 lbs. The commercial fisherman has set out buoys so the Dorado for now may be moving back into the area, keep your fingers crossed this continues, but you´ll need ten hour day for these so prepare your mind for this…

Once more the real story for the average person looking to catch some fish and not spend the best part of the day on a boat is still the Marietta Islands. The big difference this week has been the increase, I should say unexpected increase in the water temperatures in the area. With water warming up to the mid to lower seventies this takes the frigid chill out of the water and we see the normal fish we would see returning now. Some unexpected surprises as well off the reefs. We are seeing some large Broom Tail Grouper, in fact we boated one bordering on 80 lbs just the other day. Cubera Snapper the same day was over 40 lbs, Jack Crevalls in the 25lb range have returned. Snappers of all sizes, many pan sized, many larger are also more abundant by the day. Sierra Mackerals, Bonito, and even the occasional Rooster fish. But Roosters have pretty much disappeared so don´t go hunting them! Lots of African Pompano and a variety of fish I couldn´t even tell you their names. The bottom line here is, head to the Marietta Islands if you want a fun and favorably priced trip.

Six hour trips in the bay are worth your time now since there are more Jack Crevalls in the area as well as more and more Snappers near structure / Rocks. But there are more fish moving into the bay so this will only get better. As far as short or half day trips, things may improve in the next few days, but  there is still very little bang for your short day fishing bucks!

An area to keep your eyes on this coming week is the Gravitas area since this area is where Sailfish like to hang out in the winter. With Dorado and Sailfish here I expect this will become a popular area in the coming days.

For those heading out be sure you have your bag of tricks wit h you as well. Lately the bait of choice has been lures for some reason, who knows why. Green, Yellow and Orange combinations are working well. Black and purple combinations are also working well on skirted baits about six inches in length.  So make sure you have some plastics running with your live bait rigs. Remember surface poppers are always a safe bet as well….

I am finally happy to be able to present a positive side to what our fishing has been like.

As always feel free to contact me about the latest and greatest when it comes to getting information on the fishing in Puerto Vallarta, not just what my boats are doing.

There you have the latest and greatest Puerto Vallarta has to offer, so 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


Over Night Conditions Improve, Water Temps Back to Normal?

Feb. 10, 2011

It’s funny how things can be the same for weeks, then all at once fishing conditions change and all of a sudden there are fish moving into the area!  Get ready, you are about to hear some stuff you haven´t heard for a while.

First, Water temperatures are back in the normal range of 71 to 73 degrees, for some reason!? That’s right folks, the water temperatures have returned to what we would normally call cold, so things are not frigid as they were just four days ago!  This means the water in the area has hopefully seen its coldest days and lets keep our fingers crossed that this trend continues.

One of the funny things about currents, we have seen a slight warming current coming up from the south for the last couple of weeks. When about four days ago the water clouded up I wondered if this was an indication that maybe we had a shift of sorts in currents. With the warmer water, and it is everything at this time of the year, we could see Sailfish move back in to the area. Jack Crevalls that normally save the day when there are no fish to be had, have returned again. Sierra Mackerals are getting larger and the smaller Snappers have become more abundant. So it looks like things for the short term at least are improving.

As far as the dirty water conditions of the other day, the water is still a little dirty, but fishable for the most part. The red time is breaking up and getting spotty and we are seeing Dorado up near Guayavitos, a ten hour day, but there are also sailfish in the area as well… maybe even some Striped Marlin, now that would make my customers happy! I have had many waiting for the conditions to improve and it’s looking up!

There are Sailfish and Striped Marlin between El Banco and Corbeteña. Once word of this gets out you´ll see boats heading out this way, so we should have some information on this area soon.

Larger African Pompano have moved back into The Marietta Islands as are Snappers. No Rooster Fish sightings lately, but they have a tendency to disappear and reappear out of the blue. Stay tuned for more to follow in the coming days….

I had a boat head out to the Marietta Islands and the fishing was great. Something I have not been able to say in a while. In fact just a few days ago your chances of coming in with fish was 50 / 50 at best. Now with bait easier to make this could even improve things more….  My boat that went out for 6 hrs yesterday came in with more bait than fish! 

I write my report for Western Outdoor News tomorrow, stay tuned for the long version of that report….

Until then,… take care and don´t forget to kiss your fish!

Cookie Cutter Reports, Red Tide, Dirty water, Fishing Challenges


Rooster Fish, Surf Fishing with Phil on The Beach in Sayulita

Cookie Cutter Reports, Red Tide, Dirty water, Fishing Challenges

Feb. 9, 2011

I know, I know I have not been putting up information on this blog like I normally do, but writing the same damn report on a different day is a brain eater for sure. Now that I have some information to put forward the time has come to share this with my 30 loyal followers. If you live here in Puerto Vallarta you have the luxury to wait for the conditions to change. If you are reading this from outside of Puerto Vallarta, then you can use this info to help plan or prepare yourself mentally for what you are heading out to…

For the person who wants to head out on the water, on a beautiful day with calm conditions and is wrapped around the axel (expecting) about getting a monster trophy fish in four hours. I will tell you now, you are setting yourself up for disappointment which is seldom restrained verbally. Telling the captain he is lousy or his boat is bad or what-ever is not going to change things and it is if anything, going to make the situation even worse. It always seems like the guy who has been counting the minutes to head out fishing with great and unrealistic expectations (thank you bloodydecks) puts off energy or vide that seems to work against them in the end and nobody is happy. Or the guy who gets this grand picture in his head of what they will catch in four hours on that cheap, cheap boat from an agent hungry for his deposit is almost a guarantee for angry disappointment. If you are that type of a person, then maybe you should be on the golf course. When you hang all your hopes and expectations on one day of fishing, then this can happen. In many ways it’s like scheduling a skiing trip and the one day you are going to ski, it´s raining… what are you going to do?

Now if you are the kind of person who can enjoy a beautiful day on the water, enjoy the whales that may be around, the dolphin and turtles and hope to catch fish.  This is like a guarantee you will come in with something surprising. It´s a positive attitude with no great expectations because the owner or agent who talked with you as you signed up told you the facts, straight up. You know things won´t be perfect, fishing never is. What worked yesterday may not work today. The location where you killed them yesterday will not be the hot spot it was yesterday. Fishing in a word is ¨Fishing¨. There are going to be times when you will not catch fish, plain and simple but people choose to ignore the negative when they have been dreaming or fantasizing about this fishing trip for the better part of the year. They head out and the rest is predictable.

Needless to say I have had more business walk out my door this week, just to see them head out fishing with the guy who told them what they wanted to hear. With tourism being down, the number of boats and companies are going belly up all over the place is scarey. The guy throwing you a cheap, cheap price is more than likely on the brink of going out of business and this guy is hoping for a fat tip. This of course never follows with cheap people. This means the boat didn’t even make enough to cover his per trip expenses of maintenance and upkeep. To get you on that boat you may have only paid the cost of fuel. So this doesn´t help the guy trying to stay in business by throwing cheap prices at cheap skates.

Recently other fishing companies have  given in to the Time Share Promotors. These time share guys pay their rent in exchange for the rights to approach their would-be clients and pay for a portion of their fishing trip if they attend a presentation. The company gets its rent and utilities paid, you get put on a horrible boat since the promoter has to pay for it and of course you don´t find this out until after the presentation. They may even show you a boat you are led to believe you´ll be on. But when the d ay comes to head out, after the pain of the presentation, it´s a different boat and they may want more money because the agent or promoter drank your deposit the night before. The boat owner won’t head out unless he gets paid. That is when you see the side negotiations going as people are arguing prior to you heading out! In many cases the promoter will tell you the boat owner or captain wants more money. When in fact the boat owner just wants to get paid.  So to cover this guys drinking problem, they tell you that you need to pull out another $125.00 dollar or so or you won´t be heading out. What do you do, pay the money and go fishing since you´re all dressed up and ready. Or do you not go out and demand your spent deposit back? What happens to me a lot is these folks have talked to me, decided to fish with others of this caliber, then want me to help them at the last minute in the morning which is very difficult at 6:30 in the morning! I do what I can, but the boats are still the prices they were the day before. Many times I will give you a huge discount since I feel bad for your screwed up situation and I want the fishing industry to flourish in PV. Actually, this is one of the ways I get my return clients and word of mouth advertising, buy helping those that learned the hard way. Don´t let this be you!

Why do I always harp on this with my readers and clients, because what you don´t know, or how you are thinking will determine your state of mind when you return. Come in with fish, even small fish, then things will normally be ok, maybe not great for the expectation guy. No fish and Mr. Expectation completely engrosses himself in his negativity he can´t enjoy the bay, or any of the spectacular sea life in out there, nope, he is going to be pissed off and that is how things are going to be. He didn´t go fishing, he went catching and all he caught was a bad attitude and made the whole environment negative and no fun! Is that you?

If it is, then what ever you do, don´t get on a boat and go fishing, with me or anyone right now. You see the guy who booked a trip with me six weeks ago today is heading out to a bay just full of red tide. You know, plankton that for some reason dies off, leaves their dead carcasses on the surface of the water, makes breathing difficult for fish, so they move out. If that isn´t enough, the water with the swirling and changing currents have stirred up the muck on the ocean floor so the water is coffee colored. Now imagine Mr. Negative as he heads out into those conditions that just spring up unexpected. You think this guy is going to be happy heading out that day?

Yet I put people out on a super panga today, they went fishing yesterday caught small fish and enjoyed the day, same bad conditions. Now they are out with another captain today and they are looking forward to the time out and enjoying the beautiful scenery, wild life and most likely will come in with desirable fish, I hope so anyway. But they have no illusions and are heading out anyway….. These guys know what to expect and they´re going ¨fishing¨…

Every year we hit a six to eight week period where the fishing is not its usual self and we are in the beginning stages of that time frame. With the La Nina conditions we have been seeing cold water temperatures well below what normal is and we know certain fish will be leaving the area. Sailfish, which we normally see for most of the year have headed south to warmer water. Black Marlin, Blue Marlin and Yellowfin Tuna are all in the southern waters of Costa Rica and Panama until mid July. Dorado will be back in the area in early May if we´re lucky and get a warm current, otherwise it was July when they appeared last year.

Now if you want to focus on the positive, which is always a lot more fun, then we do have very large Yellowfin Tuna. Now the Tres Maria Islands are a ways out there, but in reality your day is only a couple of hours longer than heading out to El Banco. Right now we don´t have the Tuna Hunters here at this time of the year so the perception is the fishing is slow or bad. Yet the guys stepping up and heading out for a long 14 hr day will tell you the fishing is great! The flip side of this coin is there are days when you can still come in empty handed after all those hours and all those dollars flew away. I have had this happen to me more times than I can remember, but I also remember days when it went the other way where our arms were like spaghetti from nonstop action.  So I guess the bottom line right now is to be informed, open minded, flexible and positive….. Most importantly informed.

Changing subjects; A few weeks ago I wrote a brief thing about boats being  black listed because they did not have the necessary documentation or operating licenses, insurance, safety certificate and licensed captains. The port authority gave a few of these guys some wiggle room last week by talking directly with the captains and boat owners of the black listed boats to let them know directly of what  their clients will be forced to deal with. First, the navy is patrolling the area, I should say fishing grounds and checking boat names on the water. The boats like Anna Maria with Capt. Steve Torres are illegal and warned again last week about chartering a private boat. Guanatuna and Pecositas are two other boats that got this same warning. Yet if an agent books you on these uninsured, unlicensed, and unsafe boats, you are the only loser since the boat will be told to turn around and head into port where it will be confiscated by the Port Authority / Capt. Of the Port. You will lose your day on the water, most likely all your money unless you can get the cash back you paid prior to heading out. It is just an ugly scene and you as the client are the victim. The agent knew, the captain knew and the owner knew what they were doing.  Did anyone tell you this?? These boats try to head out under cover of darkness and they hope they won´t be spotted in the morning as the navy watches all boats that come in and head out. So if the boat is trying to get you to head out early, very early before six in the morning and you´re not heading to the Tres Maria Islands, this could be a clue.

Now you take a guy like me, I have a shop and I am easy to find. So the Port Authority tells me things directly and more importantly they know where to go if I book an illegal and unsafe boat. I am in one place day in and out. But what if you book through a web site with no office and the guy you are dealing with is on a cell phone, but he has cheap boats. Well ask this guy if he has an office, if not, they can´t be tracked down and found. You have nothing but a web site address to go back to and in the end you get left holding the bag and little else for your time, efforts and money. Well before you fork out the money via credit card or wire transfer, make sure these guys you are booking with has an office and will have someone there in the morning to meet you  and to load you on the boat. I find that a multitude of problems can be avoided if I am there in the  mornings. Today for instance, I had a boat motor die on the way to pick up clients. It was a stupid and simple problem that was easily fixed. But I was there, upgraded the clients to a bigger and nicer boat then they paid for, all was good and everyone was happy! Imagine if I had not been there, a disaster in the making for sure!

Ok people, at the risk of sounding negative, please protect yourself. Every time there is a problem or some guy charters a boat through a person they were suspicious of and things go wrong, this affects the whole fishing industry here in Puerto Vallarta. We all get a bad rap for these low life promoters and agents.  If you do a little research, check your sources, and think about your actions, there are reputable people you can work with out there. Look to sites that have actual fishing reports from real fishing publications like Western Outdoor news ( or World Wide Fishing Guide ( etc…These are good places to start your search for reputable companies. Unlike Bloody Decks, you have to be a real company to post on their sites and they control the content so you don’t have to worry about your younger kids seeing something you wish they hadn’t. For the record, the site BloodyDecks gets a lot of attention, but they post lies and it´s a free bulletin board that thinks it´s a fishing site. There is a limited group that post there and they all have an agenda to push their business at the expense of others. You will find Capt. Steve Torres there as well posting reports. Now remember, he is on an illegal boat (The Anna Maria) as he post his reports, this is one of the guys I just warned you about. There are others there as well. Just one example of who to steer clear of…..

Safety in Mexico seems to be a big question I get all the time. Let me tell you, Puerto Vallarta and all of Mexico as a whole is safe. The news reports about the border towns are nothing new and anybody that knows Mexico knows not to linger in Juarez! To be in Juarez is like visiting the slums of Detroit looking for crack. Do you think nothing is going to happen? The press forgets to print how the drug cartels are fighting for the top spots that have been vacated through arrest and deaths. The drug war is a direct result of the top guys being brought to justice. As long as the drug market and demand continues to grow, Mexico will have a cartel issue. No matter who is taken down, there are ten to take his place and they all have illegal weapons via the USA! So you have no worries and if you talk with a person who is familiar with Mexico and Puerto Vallarta in particular, they will tell you that Mexico is safe.  The news stories you read are misleading and designed to keep the tourist dollars in the states. It´s just that easy. If I was to make a case like this against the United States, it would make what is written about Mexico look like they were talking about Disneyland! Be smart, be safe and be informed……

That is all for now… take care and don´t forget to kiss your fish!

PV Fishing Conditions: Winter Fishing Takes Hold


140 lb Yellowfin Tuna off Fish Hog with Capt. Victor & Fleco in blue.

PV Fishing Conditions: Winter Fishing Takes Hold

February 7, 2011

Here in Puerto Vallarta you may hear fishing is slow. Now that is a term that can mean several things, it can mean fish are not biting, it can mean the fish are smaller or it can mean that there are not very many boats heading out. It can mean also mean that there are fish in the Bay, but they won´t be 100 lbs like so many of the return fish snobs will say. Me, I downplay the winter fishing conditions because if you truly want huge fish, they are here.

Now if you mean things are slow due to few charters heading out, you´d be right. Not many boats are heading out these days with the bad economy and negative reports about Mexico, yes we would call it slow. If slow means the fish are less than 100lbs, then yes it´s slow.  But if you say slow means the fishing is bad, well then we have something to discuss. Yes the fishing is slower in the amount of fish coming in, but that doesn´t mean there are no fish to be had. If you are like most people in Puerto Vallarta at this time of the year then a fish less than 100 lbs would still be fun, then you are the guy I want to talk with!

So this slow season, we are still seeing Yellowfin Tuna in the 100 lb and up range to just under 250 lbs. But this is slow since we have to head out to the Tres Maria Islands. The photo attached is what you can expect, but be warned this is a longer day and will run you 14 hrs on average with smoother seas. This is only two hours longer in duration that heading out to El Banco, yet it seems to be enough to stop those with the money yet short on time. Striped Marlin is also in the area as well, so you have large fish if you want them. Check out the picture with Capt. Victor of Fish Hog, and his brother Fleco as first mate. These guys are young, but strong! They catch fish!

The Marietta Islands, a top producing spot for the last few months is seeing the number of Rooster fish diminish to the point fewer and fewer are being boated lately. The African Pompano have stepped up in their place lately and they have been nice sized in the 20 to 50lb range. Great tasting and a fierce fighter, they are fun to catch and great tasting! Snappers, Sierra Mackerals and Snappers with the occasional very small grouper in the area. Jack Crevalls have been kinda absent in the area for some reason, but this will chance I am sure soon. All and all this is still a great place to head out to …..

The area between Corbeteña and El Morro (neighbor to the Marietta Islands) has seen Sailfish sightings, but none boated lately. We are seeing some dirty water conditions in all areas and this is another indication of strong, swirling currents making fishing a challenge these days. If the fish can see the bait, they may take the bait. But then again nobody has boated one yet so there you go…

Corbeteña and El Banco have been less than exciting lately with dirty water conditions as well. This doesn´t last long and in a few days this will most likely clear up. The fishing here has been on or off with Yellowfin and Striped Marlin in the area or nothing is seems. But once you hit the high spots at El Banco make a setting to dead north and you´ll come across fish for sure. You may just discover you are close to the Marietta Islands before you know it. Be ready for dirty water there as well.

Inside the bay is less than spectacular, but there have been some smaller snappers around structure / rocks. Sierra Mackerals are still all over the place, but on the smaller side as well. Grouper have been boated, small and tasty for sure. Jack Crevalls have been a little sparse lately which is why if you are considering fishing in the bay, you need to give yourself six hours to find fish or a spot that is producing. This is fishing and there is no way around it come this time of the year.

So don´t get excited, just get out there. There are whales, Manta Rays, Dolphin everywhere and the worst thing that would happen to you is you catch fish and see some natural wonders in the bay.  If you are going to be stressed out if you don’t come in with fish, then maybe it would be a better week for golf. But if a day filled with promise and beauty still sounds good, you know where to find me amigos! I´ll be on the water with you!

That right now is the latest and greatest, until next time, 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



Fishing in Puerto Vallarta, Right Now It’s All or Nothing

Fishing in Puerto Vallarta, Right Now It’s All or Nothing

January 27, 2011

Catching up with a late article …..

Yellowfin Tuna, Capt. Arturo and Capt. Torri in hat!


Normally at this time of the year all my fishing reports begin to sound like the same thing with all the same players. Normally we’re in a situation where the water is no lower than 70 degrees on a colder water year. But this year we are seeing water temperatures in the mid sixties if we´re lucky to low seventies at the deeper water locations. So to say these tropical fish feel like they are swimming in Ice water is an understatement. Having said that, there are lots of Yellowfin Tuna at the Tres Maria Islands and the water is no warmer there than it is closer in.  There are tons of bait around the swirling waters of the Tres Maria Islands. So where are the fish, well they all seem to be here, seventy five miles out to your destination.

With very few boats heading out in the mornings it is hard to determine where the fish really are these days. Now if you are heading out to the Tres Marias hunting Yellowfin Tuna, then your chances of coming in with large fish between 120 and 200 lbs is very good. The upside being you may boat six or more Yellowfin Tuna or Striped Marlin. All out of season fish for the most part, but the Tres Marias can keep the attention of these finned fantasies in the depth of winter. A few years back heading out this far was unthinkable and nobody ventured here at all.  But now with clients looking for off season fishing, the area has become very popular. Now before you load up your boat and head out, remember these islands are a prison and the perimeter is patrolled by the police. So keep your distance. If you get within six miles, you can expect a visit. A quick bit of advice, if you are paid a visit and forced to head into the Islands docks, do not hand over your passport and do not get off the boat. As long as you do those two things, they cannot really do anything to you. Also, you should expect to spend the night at best there, but they will realize you are pretty much untouchable and let you go.

One development this week has been the currents are all swirling around again and this has stirred up the water sediments so the water is dirty, dirty, dirty!  The water is clear at El Banco and Corbeteña, which doesn´t mean much since there are few fish to be had trolling. That is not to say there are no fish in these two locations, it just means  you´ll be jigging for bottom fish like Cubera Snappers, Amber Jacks, and Rainbow Runners for the most part. There is a chance a Cubera Snapper will come after a trolled bait, but don´t hold your breath. One recent development there has been Sailfish between El Morro and Corbeteña, that is if you can find some clean water. But the water temperatures are not favorable for these fish at the present moment, so again, don’t hold your breath.

The Marietta Islands have kinda shut off as well. Your chances right now coming in with fish are a little better than 50 / 50. Some days you come in with fish like Snappers, Roosters (in diminishing numbers), Sierra Mackerals, and African Pompano have increased in size and abundance, small groupers and whatever else decides to hang out around the reefs. Most of the species at the Marietta Islands are running in the 30lbs and below sizes for the moment.

Inside the bay, four hours is not enough time to find fish and six hours won´t be much help. For those looking for fish there have been some White Sea Bass caught up at the Nuevo Area where the bottom is sandy. But with like 30 boats lined up to catch the same few fish you choices for a location to hit needs to be analyzed and reviewed.  Right now I have been telling my customers the same thing, if you are going to get pissed off if you don´t catch fish in four hours in the bay, then maybe you should head to the golf course for the next few days until something is ready to get in the game. Harsh I know, but this is fishing and there are times during the year where you need to make at least an eight hour commitment to see any action. Now remember, just because I wrote this brief article does not mean that tomorrow things won´t change. So make sure you keep up with what is happening and any changes in conditions. Also remember all I can do is report what happened yesterday, today could be better or possibly worse, but one thing is for sure, I will continue to offer up the best information at my disposal so you can at least have a fighting chance at catching fish by heading out to the correct location amigos!

Back to fishing, things could be like this for a while. Until the water temperatures start climbing upward, we will have to deal with the frigid water these poor tropical fish have to deal with. But this is not exactly strange conditions when you compare Florida and Cabo. We are all cold and this is the results of La Nina. I hear the ground hog saw his shadow so spring should be early, lets hope he got it right this time!

Not the best information to share with the visiting angles to Puerto Vallarta. After saying this, there are plenty of people out there telling you that Black Marlin are out there waiting for you. If you come across a person who tells you this sort of non-sense, don´t argue, just walk away.

When choosing a fishing company, consider the questions you put forward. Many people ask me how much a fishing trip will cost, I tell them I have several boats to choose from and then what are they looking to do or catch? One of the most important questions you can ask a guy like me is; Who is the best captain and boat I can get for the best possible price. It´s like walking into a series of doctors offices for open heart surgery. Do you walk into office after office looking for the cheapest doctor you can find or do you look for the most qualified and know   that they know what they´re doing? Would you go to a cheap doctor with no operating tools? Would you go to a doctor with no electronics like lamps, heart meters, etc.? So ask the right questions, when they can´t answer them, this is a great clue to keep looking… Don´t do anything you wouldn´t do at home when investigating companies. Do your home work and don´t walk around the Marina or town when you get here asking the Taxi guy who you should fish with. His answer is simple, go fishing with his cousin!

That right now is the latest and greatest, until next time, don´t forget to kiss your fish!