Special Article: Yellowfin Tuna, What Do You Really Know of These Spectacular Fish?

Yellowfin Tuna, What Do You Really Know of These Spectacular Fish?

Written by Stan Gabruk

Owning Master Baiter´s Sportfishing and Tackle in Puerto Vallarta it seems come summer time everyone walking in my door wants to hook into a Yellowfin Tuna, I don´t blame them. Most people will tell me how they have always wanted the chance to challenge a Monster Yellowfin Tuna on their ¨Bucket List¨.  But other than that, what do you personally know about Yellowfin Tuna? For most of you out there you`re going to say ¨not much ¨.  Well amigos, we´re going to change that, at least a little, right now!

Yellowfin Migration Ranges between latitudes of approximately 40°N to 35°S

Yellowfin Migration Ranges between latitudes of approximately 40°N to 35°S


Yellowfin tuna are pretty much everywhere in the world except the Mediterranean Seas and will migrate between latitudes of approximately 40°N to 35°S, is a highly migratory species but in the Pacific Ocean there is very little evidence of east / west or north / south long range migrations. This means there is little opportunity to intermix species forming sub species. To me this means they follow the bait and water temperatures wit h no specific migration patterns.

Yellowfin Tuna have gone by many English language ¨common¨ names which include:  Yellowfin Tuna, Yellow fin tuna, Allison tuna, Long Fin Tunny, Longfin, Pacific Long-Tailed Tuna, and Tuna. Other common names include,  Ahi (Hawaiian), Albacora (Portuguese), Rabil (Spanish), and the list goes on…


Yellowfin Tuna prefer it between 65 to 88°F (18-31°C).  I know we have seen YF Tuna sound to 150 feet or deeper to adjust body temperatures to surrounding water temperate as the surface water temps were over 90°F which of course is uncomfortable for them. Yellowfin will stay in an area if there is plenty of bait and clean water. But when Areas like Puerto Vallarta has warm water temperatures YF Tuna will migrate north in to the Cabo San Lucas area where historically water temperatures are slightly cooler than PV. So like we saw in El Nino a few years back, Tuna sounded or moved north to cooler water as an example of this. Normally YF Tuna will go as deep as 330 feet if they have a reason to do so.  Yellowfin tuna’s circulatory system acts to retain metabolic heat. This warms their bodies above ambient temperature and allows them to process food and transport oxygen more efficiently. Their ability to stay warm does not match the near warm-blooded bluefin tuna, and as a result, their migration range is more limited by water temperature as I just mentioned. Their sensitivity to cooler temperatures also limits vertical movements to the relatively thin layer between the thermocline and surface.

Schooling Yellowfin Tuna

Schooling Yellowfin Tuna

Yellowfin Tuna are more likely to ¨School¨ with other species of the same size than their own. Here in the Eastern Pacific off Puerto Vallarta you will find them running with several Dolphin species including Spinner Dolphin. When we see this we know we`ll be catching Football sized Yellowfin at the smallest. Spinners are always our friend here in PV! This example of YF Tuna ¨schooling¨ with other species is not seen anywhere except in this area. The rest of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans do not see this which makes this behavior unique.

It  also seems that Yellowfin Tuna tend to school only on the surface, the deeper they are the less likely they are to ¨school¨ and will fragment or scatter.

                                                     200 pound Yellowfin Tuna caught in Puerto Vallarta, Felipe Bravo of Gueroazteca

Distinctive Features

The Yellowfin is a large tuna. Its body deepest under its first dorsal fin, while tapering considerably towards the caudal peduncle. Two dorsal fins are present. In adults, the second dorsal fin is very long, as is the anal fin, which is directly below the second dorsal. These fins become relatively longer in larger individuals. The pectoral fin is also long, reaching beyond the space between the dorsal fins. The caudal peduncle is very slender and includes three sets of keels.  With seven to ten dorsal and ventral finlets are present. A swim bladder is present. The eyes are small; teeth are small and conical.

Below are some descriptions of Tuna species running in the Eastern Pacific:



The body is metallic dark blue or greenish above, while the belly and lower sides are silvery white and crossed by many vertical, interrupted lines. Perhaps most distinctly, a golden stripe runs along the side. The second dorsal and anal fins and finlets are bright yellow, and the finlets are bordered by a narrow band of black.


Size, Age, and Growth

The maximum length reported for Yellowfin is 110 inches ( 9ft or280 cm) total length and the maximum weight is 880 lbs. (400 kg). The all-tackle record recognized by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) is 388 lbs. 8 oz. (176.4 kg). This latter example is more indicative of the common maximum size for the species. But that doesn´t mean there are not larger YF Tuna out there. We have had Yellowfin Tuna larger than 400 lbs boated with our certified scale in Cabo waiting for calibration so nothing official for us. And he 388lb record is suspect since this information is from a few years back.


Food Habits

Primary prey include fish, cephalopods (ceph·a·lo·pod [sef-uh-luh-pod], noun, 1. any mollusk of the class Cephalopoda, having tentacles attached to the head, including the cuttlefish, squid, and octopus.), and crustaceans (crus·ta·cean  [kruh-stey-shuhn] noun, 1.  any chiefly aquatic arthropod of the class Crustacea, typically having the body covered with a hard shell or crust, including the lobsters, shrimps, crabs, barnacles, and wood lice.). A study by Watanabe (1958) found 37 families of fish and 8 orders of invertebrates in Yellowfin stomachs. Fish species consumed by the yellowfin tuna include dolphinfish, pilchard, anchovy, flyingfish, mackerel, lancetfish, and other tunas. Other prey are cuttlefish, squid, octopus, shrimp, lobster, and crabs. Yellowfin are sight-oriented predators, as their feeding tends to occur in surface waters during daylight.


Reproduction occurs year-round, but is most frequent during the summer months in each hemisphere. It is believed that 79°F (26°C) is the lower temperature limit for spawning. In the tropical waters of Mexico and Central America, it has been determined that Yellowfin spawn at least twice a year. Each female spawns several million eggs per year. The juveniles grow quickly, weighing approximately 7.5 pounds (3.4 kg) at 18 months and 140 pounds (63.5 kg) at 4 years.    

Yellowfin tuna larvae: A.) 5.1 mm  B.) 6.0 mm  C.) 8.5 mm  D.) 46.0 mm  (NOAA Tech Memo NMFS-SEFC-240)

Yellowfin tuna larvae:
A. 5.1 mm NL, B. 6.0 mm SL, C. 8.5 mm SL, D. 46.0 mm SL

                                                                                     (NOAA Tech Memo NMFS-SEFC-240)

Yellowfin tuna can host up to 40 parasites including protozoans, digenea (flukes), didymozoidea (tissue flukes), monogenea (gillworms), cestoda (tapeworms), nematoda (roundworms), acanthocephala (spiny-headed worms), and copepods.

Well there are, the basics when it comes to Yellowfin Tuna and how it relates to us as fisherman. Useful information if you are an angler looking for the challenge of boating a Monster Yellowfin Tuna or if you are a lure manufacturer looking to understand what the species prefers when it comes to feeding habits.

Hopefully you know a little more now about  Yellowfin  Tuna and their habits  than you did a few minutes ago….


Written by Stan Gabruk, owner of Master Baiter´s Sportfishing and Tackle (http://www.MasterBaiters.com.mx)


It´s Fish City at Corbeteña, El Banco Remains Quiet, Huge Dorado at Punta Mita

It´s Fish City at Corbeteña, El Banco Remains Quiet, Huge Dorado at Punta Mita

Written by Stan Gabruk


As we finish September and enter October we begin to see tourist return for several reasons.  One of those reasons is our world class fishing. With the possibility of returning to the dock with a 250 lb Yellowfin Tuna or a Black Marlin over 500lbs or a Dorado over 50 lbs there is plenty to gain. The peso is weak right now which means the exchange rate gives you an automatic discount on purchases of products and services! With great deals on hotels and airlines the list of opportunities go on and on. In Puerto Vallarta, it is the lowest of low season. Tourists are on hold waiting for cooler weather to arrive. But for fishing, this is high season and the fish are larger and more abundant by the day. Those in the know like popular fishing magazines, televised fishing programs on channels like ESPN and assorted sports writers around the world descend on Puerto Vallarta. They produce stories and film / pictures to document our world class fishing in every manner. With the fishing grounds deserted the chances of fish sounding (going deep to avoid noise and boats) is non-existent which increases your chances of coming in with that ¨Bucket List¨ finned fantasy. There are world record fish out there to be had for those lucky enough to be here right now.

Again this week’s fishing report is not going to sound much different from last weeks and hopefully next week’s report. This is because when things are great, it can´t get much better.  Having said that the fishing grounds are again as deserted as they will ever be. The water temperatures are perfect, the water may not always be the perfect blue we like to see, but clear green works just fine.

El Banco, has seen some brave souls heading out to this famous location just to find it slow and disappointing when compared to Corbeteña or the Rock as many of us call it. Yes you will catch fish, but nothing you won´t find closer in so most are saving on the fuel cost. It´s been like this now for weeks and frankly for now my suggestion is to keep your ears open and be patient. OR go to Corbeteña…

Black Marlin 300+ lbs, Magnifico, Corbeteña

Black Marlin 300+ lbs, Magnifico, Corbeteña

Corbeteña on the other hand is on fire. You name the species, it is out there for the most part. Yellowfin Tuna are still between 80 and 200lbs or larger. Black Marlin are picking up in numbers and size to between 300 and 700lbs. Sailfish are still large and of course Dorado are here for the taking. If you send me an email I will let them all know you are coming.  One thing to keep in mind where ever you are fishing, there are abundant Goggle Eyes and Sardines for bait out there. So if you are using lures, like I always run, you may find it ignored in favor of goggle eyes. If you have a casting net onboard you can catch your own bait out there like Magnifico does (our 31 ft. Bertram) but the Sardines were not working as well as the Goggle Eyes. So put that piece of information in your back pocket. One other thing, make sure you have plenty of bait. With the number of Dorado out there right now you will find you can go through your bait quickly. Don´t be cheap and caught short on your fishing trips, bait is cheap insurance and you can´t scrimp on the basics. If you are heading out with another company make sure they provide at least 25 baits. I suggest in time like these the more bait the better, you can always throw it back in the bay if you don`t use it. But if you need it and you don´t have it, then this can be an issue, a big issue….

For those in the know, know that the point of Punta Mita is smoking once more. Ten miles of the point, just like last week you will find very large Sailfish in the 90 to 100+ inch range. Or if you prefer, 80 to around 100 lbs which is great sized! Dorado are insane right now and very large in the 30 to 55 lb range. They are so thick out there, there are times when you think you could walk on them. Rooster fish possibilities around the reefs make this the place to be. Again forget plastics and lures for now, but run one anyway (I swear I don´t have multiple personalities )… I always run one just in case.

Dorado At  Punta Mita, Dinner hanging!

Dorado At Punta Mita, Dinner hanging!

For those interested in shorter days on more economical boats, a super panga will do the trick. Yelapa at the southern end of the bay has Dorado, Skip Jack Tuna in the 35lb range, Snappers, and the list goes on. One issue is the dirty water from the rains as  it run down the hills into the bay. This can be good or bad and you never really know until you are out there. The trash line is still our friend, Magnifico came in from a six hour trip with a nice sail and two 30 lb Dorado off this trash line. So no worries, you don´t have to head out looking for Moby Dick amigos. But if you have kids or just want a shorter day, you can have your fill of fishing and come back with something for the table. Don´t forget to have your captains check the river mouths for Snook or Raballo in Spanish.

Something else for you all coming down to think about. I posted some information that came from NOAA about La Nina. It is coming back again, back to back La Nina´s would be more accurate. We are seeing water temperatures in the 83 degree range right now, but ten miles out from Corbeteña this week there were noticeable changes in water temperatures on the cooler side. To me this is just another indication of an early winter.  Remember weather patterns follow water temperatures and it looks like things are already changing out there. My first indication of this was the past couple of Hurricanes that past us hundreds of miles out, the minute they turned away from shore, they fizzled out. A strong indication of cooler water temperatures. I wrote about this and now it looks like we will be lucky t o have Monster Yellowfin Tuna into early January as we (I) normally expect. So if you think you are going to wait until the holidays and then get the cooler weather and great fishing, you may be caught short amigos. Keep an eye on my blog and reports for what is happening directly. The fishing is great and like the story goes, you have to hit it when it is hot. You never know what will happen, but my cracked crystal ball it telling me t o take advantage of the moment!

Well I think that is about it for now…. Until next time, don´t forget to kiss your fish

Written by Stan Gabruk, owner of Master Baiter´s Sportfishing and Tackle. My daily blog is www. Masterbaiters.wordpress.com where you can sign up for updates and when I post articles.

Sept. 23 Hurrican Hilary Update

Hola, I hope everyone reading my blog gets this infor mation, especially if you are heading this way towards Puerto Vallarta  to go fishing!

Hurricane Hilary is slow moving and strong. It became a category four Hurricane in  the last 24 hours. I predict that  once the Hurricane makes its way out to sea, it will fizzle with the cooler water. Remember NOAA is sa ying we are looking at  back to back La Nina Yea rs which means cold water and later cold weather patterns in the northern states and Canada. Canada and much of north America is cooling down quickly early in the year already. For us here in PV, we have not seen  really warm water temperatures this year. Which of course is perfect for fishing this year, but  will effect the end of the season I predict with an early chill …  This means cold water fish moving int o the area before New Years again this year, lets hope not. Check out the pa th of the Hurricane and  don´t sweat it, most  likely will not affect us here in PV much except for some rain and mildly  rough seas…

Hurricane Hillary 9 23 2011

Hurricane Hillary 9 23 2011

Hurricane Hilary Tracking

Winds have surpassed 75 mph making Hilary a full fledged Hurricane.

Winds have surpassed 75 mph making Hilary a full fledged Hurricane.

Hillary is only moving ten miles an hour so it is another slow Hurricane. Heading towards open ocean I predict once it hits cooler water it will fizzle out as the others have this season….

Could help the fishing, nothing to worry about, stay tuned….



Hurricane Hillary Announces Herself

Hurricane Hillars sets up house south of the Mexican Boder….


Hurricane Hilary is way south of PV, but these can move quickly

Hurricane Hilary is way south of PV, but these can move quickly

Yellowfin Tuna, Black Marlin, Dorado, Sailfish, Lets go Fishing Amigos, PV has it all!

Yellowfin Tuna, Black Marlin, Dorado, Sailfish, Lets go Fishing Amigos, PV has it all!

Written by Stan Gabruk, owner Master Baiter´s Sportfishing and Tackle

For the past several years the Yellowfin Tuna fishing has been less than what we have come to expect from many, many previous years. It used to be there were 250 lb Yellowfin at El Banco and Corbeteña all the time come September in Puerto Vallarta´s fishing grounds. But the last few years we saw the effects of large scale commercial fishing from Mazatlan and the Japanese. These days of Production ships (Seiners) scouring El Banco and Corbeteña have disappeared with hard times and low fishing counts. They essentially put themselves out of business. Now Two years later we are seeing the return of large Yellowfin Tuna within 60 miles of Marina Vallarta. With Marlin and Yellowfin as running mates where you have one, you will normally find the other which is good  news for the fisherman looking to check off another item from his ¨ bucket list¨. Just like days gone by, Puerto Vallarta is once more the place to be for Monster Yellowfin Tuna. Summer is getting on and the best is yet to come, the only thing missing at the fishing grounds is YOU!

Black Marlin 300lbs on Magnifico at  Corbeteña

Black Marlin 300lbs on Magnifico at Corbeteña

Like I mentioned, it´s like we´re turning the clock back the way fish are behaving lately. Take inside the bay for instance. Years and years ago it really was not unusual for Marlin to come into the bay. Many people forget for some reason that Marlin love Dorado and will chase them down. Now in the bay near Los Animas on the south end are seeing smaller Marlin chasing down these nice sized Dorado so there have been some real surprises when those fishing with light tackle hook into a good sized Black Marlin. Dorado are not a fish you hear about used for trolling, that is because they die quickly when trolled. But dead Dorado trolled can still work if you have Marlin in the area.

In front of Los Arcos, not far from Marina Vallarta at all, Capt. Cesar took his family fishing and the Dorado pictures are a result of that fishing trip… Bonito, Skip Jack Tuna, Snook at the river mouths. It is really a happening place in the bay right now. If you follow the trash line from this area out to El Morro you can get Sailfish as well. Imagine catching all of this in less than six hours in the bay.

Moving out to the points, Punta Mita is on automatic. Sailfish, Dorado, Roosters near Sayulita, the reefs are alive at Anclote and many are still targeting this area as their first choice heading out in the morning. There is no way you can go wrong with an eight hour day in this area.

The Marietta Islands have fish, they always have fish. But when they have the same fish in close, why head out there? Well for one reason Sailfish love this area and the area between Corbeteña and the Marietta Islands have been ignored making this area a untouched opportunity. If you are heading out past the Marietta Islands drop a few baits and see what is happening, may just surprise you with some Black Marlin and closer in sizeable Yellowfin Tuna, wouldn`t be the first time this happened!

Dorado Everywhere including Los Arcos where this was caught by Capt. Cesar

Dorado Everywhere including Los Arcos where this was caught by Capt. Cesar

The real deal this past week continues to be Corbeteña. I mean the Rock is on fire and with no crowds you can linger and let the bite happen instead of trying to hurry things before some other boat moves in to your ¨space¨ trying to get your fish! You name it, Marlin in the 300 to 700lb range with possibilities of larger, much larger at this time of the year. Yellowfin Tuna anywhere from 60 to over 250lbs. Magnifico boated a Black Marlin and just when the Marlin started jumping less than thirty feet from the boat, all of a sudden Yellowfin of 250 lbs were hurling themselves from the water to the point it looked like they were flying Volkswagens! So Buckwheat, you ever catch a fish bigger than your car!! It could happen amigos! Large sailfish, even the Dorado here are in the 35 to 50 lbs. I mean you could not ask for better conditions. With deep blue water and perfect water temperatures of 84 Degrees fantasies can come true RIGHT NOW!  Here´s a secret, if you are not running Google Eyes, smaller Sardines or Bonito you will not be catching anything. Plastics stopped working this week, you`ve been informed now use this information wisely grasshopper!

Sailfish like this one at Punta Mita make 8 hr trips worth while!

Sailfish like this one at Punta Mita make 8 hr trips worth while!

El Banco, this place has been dead, dead, dead… But there is now some signs of life, nothing spectacular but still a weak pulse of sorts. Yellowfin of 60 to 80 lbs have turned up in the Green Water out there. Why it is green water, your guess is as good as mine. But if you have bullet Bonito baits, small babies, The Yellowfin will hit it hard. But if you are running any other bait, forget about it, you will never know there was a fish around. No Marlin, No Sailfish and no Dorado. If all you are going to get is smaller, fickle Yellowfin why spend the extra fuel cost on a more distant location.

So here we go again, another week with perfect conditions, plenty of bait, blue water and large amounts of Trophy Game Fish! Uncrowded fishing grounds, cheap hotel prices, and over 12 pesos to the dollar means Puerto Vallarta is a bargain.

Remember mid November this year will be when the 56th Annual Pez Vella and Marlin tournament will be happening. So make your mind up to participate. You can get all the information you need at: www.fishvallarta.com .

Well that is the latest and greatest for now. Stay tuned and watch my blog for on the deck and breaking news and even some fish porn (safe for your 12 yr old) pictures of naked fish!

Until next time, don`t forget to kiss your fish!

As the oldest fishing company in Puerto Vallarta and the only company with any World Recognized Fishing Championships like the WBS Billfishing Series Grand Champions (2000 and 2001) under our belt. Nobody, but nobody in Puerto Vallarta can come close to us in quality or price when it comes to world class fishing boats. Remember, at Master Baiter´s Sportfishing and Tackle, We Won´t Jerk You Around! If you have any questions on any subject regarding fishing or Puerto Vallarta, feel free to ask!

For questions or suggestions you can reach me at: CatchFish@MasterBaiters.com.mx

The trade name Master Baiter’s ® Sportfishing and Tackle is protected under trade mark law and is the sole property of Stan Gabruk.


Dorado Invade Puerto Vallarta´s Fishing Grounds, Uncrowded Perfect Conditions Hold True!

 Dorado Invade Puerto Vallarta´s Fishing Grounds, Uncrowded Perfect Conditions Hold True!

Written by Stan Gabruk, owner Master Baiter´s Sportfishing and Tackle

When summer or High Season for fishing in Puerto Vallarta comes anything is not only possible, but probable. It seems that every year for the last three yea s we have seen the arrival in mass on Dorado later and later in the fishing season.  Last year it was July before the Dorado massed in number, this year it´s early September. Now there have been Dorado in our fishing grounds, but the numbers were less than impressive. That has all changed now and Dorado are essentially on tap at all the fishing grounds where you would expect to see them. From Yelapa to Corbeteña, you will find something sizeable and edible for the dinner table, and I am not talking about your boot amigo!

Monster Dorado at  Corbeteña

Monster Dorado at Corbeteña

With PV moving into high gear as the season progresses nicely, Dorado are the story this week. So let’s just jump to the subject. Everywhere from Yelapa in the bay to Corbeteña thirty five miles out from Marina Vallarta, you will find Dorado for the dinner table amigos. Nothing special here to know, all you need to do is have some poppers handy, some Google Eyes on hand and you can come in with fish, a lot of fish , within reason of course and with the regulations in mind amigos! But there is a lot more than just Dorado in the bay for those looking for some affordable fun or you want to head out for Moby Dick, no matter what you are looking for, this is the time of year to find it!


Corbeteña has been the place to be for the last three weeks or so. With every Trophy Fish Puerto Vallarta has to offer with Black Marlin lagging a little. So what do you want, Blue Marlin to 600 lbs, Yellowfin Tuna averaging 175 lbs. with Monsters in the area. Dorado now are in the 40 to 50 lb range and hungry. Sailfish are here as well and getting more and more abundant by the day.  Clean, clear and blue water in the 84 degree area is just what the fishing gods ordered. Those heading out looking for Tuna need to remember to keep an eye on the moon phase. Full moons are for fishing early or late bites. But mid day will most likely be disappointing. For some reason we are not seeing any issue with the moon phase with Marlin or Sails. Or any other species or trophy game fish at the rock. The really nice thing is that the Rock is deserted. If you see five boats out there it would be considered crowded! No worries of overcrowding chasing fish down or out.

Yellowfin Tuna, 70lbs at  Corbeteña

Yellowfin Tuna, 70lbs at Corbeteña

El Banco, just say no to El Banco until somebody comes in with some fish. A couple of boats headed out to the high spots, got a couple of bites, no hook-ups. Don´t know what the deal with El Banco is, but then again do any of us really know anything in the world of Deep Sea Fishing. Just keep your ears open and your fuel tank full, these conditions here cannot last much longer amigos.

Not many heading out to the Marietta Islands this past week once more. Seems those heading out are going in other directions. But there are always Skip Jack Tuna, Bonito, Rooster Fish; Needle fish (False Marlin), Snappers, Dorado (now) and the list goes on. For the fuel dollar Punta Mita is probably a better idea, for this moment anyway….

Punta Mita is a Dorado Machine right now. It really doesn`t matter what you are running for bait, they will hit it harder than my wife used to hit her Nordstrom’s Credit Card at their annual sale! Dorado from 20 to 35 lbs, Sailfish in the 80 to 100 lb range and a fair shot at a Rooster Fish near Sayulita makes this area perfect for those looking for a shorter day of 8 hrs and a pay off in your limit on Dorado! For those of you wondering where these gold and blue beauties have been, well we know where they are now! So get off your duffs and take advantage of this before things change… and they always change amigos.

For anyone hearing there are no fish in the bay from promoters trying to get you to spend more money, walk away from these guys. The Trash line is only out to the Yelapa area with the rains being a little sparse for the last few weeks means the bay is accomadating. This means Dorado, Skippies (Skip Jack Tuna), Football Tuna, even some small Sailfish are just at the south end of the bay waiting for you to put something in front of them!! They will hit just about anything, so you don´t need to be a rigging genius, just flip a popper, diamond jig, Rapalla, hell use your car keys with a hook, it will all work well. For the few times when the bay is like fishing in a barrel, this is where we are now. For those out there looking at some dirty water, it may be bad for swimming or snorkeling, but the fish and many of us also know that this dirty water many, many times can be from a few inches to a few feet thick. Not hard to overcome. I suggest running a planer about two to three feed down, run from the clear side of the t rash line into the dirty water and see if you get a hit.

So there you have it, the latest and the greatest when it comes to fishing here in Puerto Vallarta. The fishing is great, plenty of fish or all species. Perfect water conditions, hungry fish, uncrowded, I mean what more can you ask for… well free fuel would be nice, but highly unlikely this fantasy will ever happen… Ha Ha Ha…. For those with the time, the money and the inclination Puerto Vallarta fishing is coming into its own right now. The only thing missing is you!

Until next time, don`t forget to kiss your fish!

As the oldest fishing company in Puerto Vallarta and the only company with any World Recognized Fishing Championships like the WBS Billfishing Series Grand Champions (2000 and 2001) under our belt. Nobody, but nobody in Puerto Vallarta can come close to us in quality or price when it comes to world class fishing boats. Remember, at Master Baiter´s Sportfishing and Tackle, We Won´t Jerk You Around! If you have any questions on any subject regarding fishing or Puerto Vallarta, feel free to ask!

For questions or suggestions you can reach me at: CatchFish@MasterBaiters.com.mx

The trade name Master Baiter’s ® Sportfishing and Tackle is protected under trade mark law and is the sole property of Stan Gabruk.

Fish Pic of the Day: 9/11/2011 Magnifico and Family @ Los Arcos, 4 hrs for these!

Magnifico headed out with Capt. Cesar… below are a couple of pictures of their day.

Los Arcos is very close to Marina Vallarta and when people tell you there are no fish in the bay, show them these!

09 11 2011 Dorado At Los Arcos, Cesars Parents with dinner in their hands!

09 11 2011 Dorado At Los Arcos, Cesars Parents with dinner in their hands!


Magnifico Capt. Cesar with the family at los arcos

Magnifico Capt. Cesar with the family at los arcos


Master Baiter´s is running a special for  Sept where you and six of your friends can head out fishing for  four  hours and get these for

only $400.00 usd… six people max, this is a tournament ready boat at Economy Boat prices amigo… now what is your excuse. Price breakdown for longer time frames available on request….. Just email me….



Master Baiter´s Sportfishing and Tackle

My Mexico, A Resident’s View on life, safety and Living in Puerto Vallarta

My Mexico, A Resident’s View on life, safety and Living in Puerto Vallarta

Written by Stan Gabruk, owner Master Baiter´s Sportfishing and Tackle (www.masterbaiters.com.mx)

I have lived in Puerto Vallarta now for about ten years and change now. I am constantly asked if Mexico is a safe place to live. Now I have not lived in many places in Mexico, only Puerto Vallarta in Marina Vallarta mostly. It´s an isolated pocket where mostly Americans and Canadians own homes / condos.  There is also a large number of Mexican owners as well, with the vast majority of the Mansions in Marina Vallarta owned by Mexican Nationals as you should expect.  The popular misconception that All Mexicans are broke and have no money is a promoted misconception. Mexicans have money. One look around at the cars traveling down the road is an indication that Puerto Vallarta is Mexicos Palm Beach!

People here live their daily lives like people in North America, they go to work, pay their bills, raise their families and try to squeeze as much out of life as we all do.  Puerto Vallarta has grown dramatically in the last ten years. The flow of money was steady and strong.  North Americans have been steadily visiting Puerto Vallarta since the mid 60´s, but it was the Bubble Days when Free Money was there for the taking in the states that has created what we now know as PV.  Puerto Vallarta Grew and Grew and then got more expensive.  Life was good, everyone was making money, the bubble was growing and  the money machine was in full swing.

During this time there was never any talk in the American press of Drug Cartels, or how Mexico is more dangerous than Iraq as the American press quotes quite often. But the politics of the time started talking about how there was crime in Mexico. Now this is not the subject, crime in Mexico, it exist just like crime exist in Beverly Hills, you can never avoid crime.  When you take a place that has no mention and is pretty much forgotten by the press like Mexico, it can be a shock when you read some of the press Mexico has been getting in the past two years. Suddenly there is crime in Mexico and Drugs, OMG Run for the hills!

OK, so what´s the surprise here amigo, there are drugs everywhere and where people are dealing in drugs there are always drug related deaths, does this really surprise anyone. If you are one of those ¨Scar Face¨ type characters, then you may be one of those guys you are reading about. But hey, I live here, I don´t see those guys in PV! I know people that smoke pot, and they are not some bent nose criminals dealing in drugs all over city…

I live in a small residential area about eight blocks from Marina Vallarta called Colonia Aramara. I have a small hardware store, a fruit market, butcher, laundry and grocery store a stone’s throw from my little  house. The house I live in is a two bedroom, two bath Casita.  A small place with a very nice garden patio, modern appliances, air conditioned, very comfortable place for $5,500.00 pesos or $458.00 dollars per month. My Electric bill during the summer is $1,300.00 pesos or $108.00 dollars for two months with air conditioning going in the evenings since there is nobody home during the day time working hours. By all accounts, this is cheap, very cheap living. When I lived in the Marina I paid $8000.00 pesos ($660.00 usd) a month and paid $350.00 usd for electricity for a month of air conditioning.  The Marina is referred to by Nationals as Gringo Landia or Land in English. You can see my electric bill for one month in the Marina is essentially six months of air conditioning in my Residential Casita.

Casa Pine, My Casita in a Mexican Neighborhood

Casa Pine, My Casita in a Mexican Neighborhood

My Neighbors are normal working class people just like my parents were in our residential neighborhood of Venice California (which was considered dangerous when I was growing up). If you are looking for a connection, there is always somebody close to contact, just like any neighborhood in the states. There are no gangs looking for Gringos with Machetes as the press would have you believe. There are no mass murderers in the streets as is the Perceptions of Americans of Puerto Vallarta and all of Mexico. The occasional party can drive you crazy as Nationals love to find a reason to turn the music up and have a party! But if you are being kept awake, join them, you will be welcome even if you don´t speak Spanish, or Spanglish in my case! Your neighbors look out for your house when you are away, just like normal neighbors. When things go bad, the neighbors all pitch in or set up neighborhood groups to take care of common areas and parks. Normal daily stuff to me. Not that different than any Neighborhood in the western world.

But  when I come to work (my fishing shop), in PV, I open the daily Drudge Report, CBS News, Fox News, CNN and the rest just to discover I am in grave danger of  Drug Cartels looking to cut my head off or worse  since I am being told my little neighborhood is more dangerous than Iraq!! Iraq, WHAT ??  I grew up in California, Venice to be exact. When I was a kid just walking down the street in decent clothes was enough for someone to come after you. Nice shoes, your gold chain, you name it, if it you looked like you had money, you got attacked by all sorts of ¨minority types¨.   Yet I am told Los Angeles is safe. Safe for who? Drive By shootings was the reason I moved away from there in the first place and went to Seattle and worked for Boeing as an Engineer!

El Faro or The Light House in Englis, the focal point of Marina Vallarta

El Faro or The Light House in Englis, the focal point of Marina Vallarta

Two years ago the world, mostly the USA went on a rant about how horrible Mexico was because the H1N1 Flu Pandemic started in Cancun. The press made a big, big deal sending CNN´s medical reporters and doctors to document the deaths that were occurring in Mexico. But there was nothing to report because in all there were only 83 people in all of Mexico that ultimately died of the H 1N1 Flu Virus in all of Mexico. Most of them contracted it in the United States and brought it back with them.  There were travel warnings not to visit anywhere in Mexico or you could die. This went on, and on… and on.   It was so bad it like they were all ¨Chicken Little´ running around saying the sky was falling! A year later it came out in the press in small text in the back of the news papers that the Pandemic was actually started in Los Angeles and these student types had communicated the disease long before coming to Cancun who ultimately got the blame. So tourism and business travel to Mexico was halted like throwing a stick in the spokes of a bike! Of course this was all over the world. When it came out that this was all a farse, a hoax of biblical proportions, then came another reason to focus on Mexico. Drug Cartels!

Suddenly Juarez on the border becomes big news for the national news services in the United States. Juarez has always been a bad area, Mexico knows it, America knows it, no secret here. Long before the cartels were the lead news story in the press, Juarez was a place to stay away from. I figure it will always be a place to stay away from. But the news is really off base, Juarez has been less and less violent yearly for the past twenty five years. But with the internet and the biased news services Juarez is all of a sudden news worthy. Juarez has always been about Mexicans shooting Mexicans in No Mans Land, Again, nothing new here. My only question is if Juarez has improved to the point where crime and deaths are down in number, no matter what you hear or read, why is it now Dangerous for North Americans now to visit Mexico. Why wasn`t it dangerous twenty years ago, ten years ago, why now? Did the American press not care about Americans safety in Mexico then?  There are a lot of reasons for this, I will not go into them except to say the main goal here is to keep American Dollars in America. Tourism is a huge thing in Mexico since it is so close to the United States, it draws many, many Americans and Canadians. Again nothing new….

So here I am living in Mexico, Listening to the news services, reading the news in the papers and I start think I am living in a dangerous place!  After ten years of living in Puerto Vallarta and not seeing one incident, or involved in any sort of unusual incident, I was still concerned for my life. I mean after all the press can ´t be making this all up, right? I started telling my friends I was leaving and they all, every one of them pointed out that I was being manipulated by the press and I knew better. I knew I was safe, my family is safe and my friends are safe. If you are in the drug trade in Mexico or Detroit, it is all the same. Lazy, uneducated people with big guns and small minds thinking they can make quick and easy money fast.  It  works  that way until some other small  minded, uneducated  person with another bigger gun gets the same idea and then wants to take over this guys territory.  Then the cycle returns and gets more intense as more and more top drug cartel heads are captured and sent to the United States to be prosecuted.  Naturally this leaves a void, the void is filled with another group(s) of big guns / small minded criminal types, primarily Mexican Nationals, who are the ones dying, not tourist. That is unless they are coming to Mexico to be a drug dealer themselves, then that makes the news also! Out of most of the deaths you will hear about in the States and Canada, the vast majority are dealing in things they have no business being involved with! But the news forgets to put that in the story!

So I hear stuff about dead beheaded bodies being hung up in Cancun. When you look at the story, knowing Mexico, Cancun is like fifty miles away from where the incident happened in an area a law abiding citizen would not be.  Then you see pictures of Juarez where there were dead bodies across in the street as they talk about Acapulco, show Juarez and talk Acapulco, is this a lie??  Even the picture states it was from Juarez a year prior to the article in very fine print.  I get more nervous, remember I own a company here. It once again was pointed out to me that this was another bogus story meant to scare Americans out of Mexico and keep those tourism dollars in the states….

The bottom line here is I walk the streets here in PV late at night. I take the bus and watch and listen as some magician or musician or snake oil salesman performs his show on the buses. I eat at the local taco stands and find the food and the people wonderful. I hang out in Mexican National Cantinas and love the Banda Music and the Ladies! I associate with rich types and the guys who wash the cars and even have been known to buy a six pack and throw a few down with these happy and simple amigos.

I come into my shop in the Marina and get questions on the internet from people asking if it is safe in Mexico. How do you argue with the press? I tell everyone I know, Mexico is safe. It is every bit as safe if not safer than the United States. But we in the states are desensitized in the press. We hear stories of how some guy goes walking into an iHOP and kills eleven people. Or the day before how 47 people were killed  (www.nbcnewyork.com) in new York n labor day. If this happened in Mexico it would be world news, in New  York it is forgotten the next day, of course except for the victims family…..

My Shop on the Boardwalk in Marina Vallarta

My Shop on the Boardwalk in Marina Vallarta

You walk into a Mexican Emergency Room on a Saturday night and you see some scarey stuff, car accident injuries, broken bones, heart attacks, normal stuff. Go into the emergency room of East Los Angeles or Chicago, you see bullet wounds on clearly criminal types, stab wounds, drive by shooting victims, basically war zone injuries…..

Tonight I will close the shop, got Fajita Banana Restaurant and have some great ribs and a few beers. I will then go to Dante Restaurant and have a conversation with the owners as my friends. I will then walk down the street to my lady friends house and spend a little time, then I will take the bus home and walk through my quiet neighborhood before I watch a movie in my air conditioned house and watch the American news as it scares me once more about living in Mexico.

For the record, Mexico for those visiting tourist areas is as safe as you could hope to be. If you are coming down and wanting to enter the drug business, I would suggest you stay as far away from that as possible… If you want to come to Mexico and open a business, I would support that as well because Mexico is the land of opportunity. Now there are some cultural and business challenges, but so what.  You can live cheaper, better and healthier in Puerto Vallarta than California. You can drink the water, the Medical care is all done by board certified, America Trained and educated doctors. Housing is one third the price of the states and the weather is mild when compared to places like Kentucky, florida or even Chicago.

If you have any reservations, then th ere are dozens of web sites that talk about the situation in Mexico and how the North Americans are being misled to believe they will die if they come to Mexico.   Feel free to contact me and ask me anything you want to know.

For now, I am staying here in Mexico. I am safe, retired, and living a life most of my friends would love to have. My health is good, my mind is clear and I worry about what is happening in the United States when Americans cannot afford to retire and live on reduced retirements as the govt. tells the American Citizens they have to tighten the belt a little more each year. In Mexico, I live well and will continue to live well as you all watch the demonization of Mexico.

While I am in a tourist business, when tourism is down, that only means I own Puerto Vallarta and that is not a bad place to be amigos.

Next time you are in Mexico, Puerto Vallarta to be exact, come by and say hello! You´ll find me at Master Baiter´s Sportfishing and Tackle daily watching the seasons turn and enjoying what Mexico has to offer!

Remember you read this the next time you hear a news story pointing a finger at Mexico,  then ask yourself what the hidden agenda behind the story is!

Yellowfin Tuna Monsters to 250lbs, Blue Marlin@ 500lbs, PV Fishing is Incredible!

Yellowfin Tuna Monsters to 250lbs, Blue Marlin@ 500lbs, PV Fishing is Incredible!

Written by Stan Gabruk, owner Master Baiter´s Sportfishing and Tackle

Welcome to October, arguably the best month of the year to boat a Monster Yellowfin Tuna over 200 lbs at Corbeteña right now! The Sailfish are now running from 70 to 100lbs and are at most of the popular fishing grounds in Puerto Vallarta. The bay is alive action for those looking for shorter days and smaller fish. Punta Mita and area has nice sized Dorado, perfect water temperatures, plenty of bait, what are you waiting for, it won´t get much better than this!

Blue Marlin 425 lbs, Ken Sutula at Corbetena

Blue Marlin 425 lbs, Ken Sutula at Corbetena

Right now you can have the fishing grounds to yourself here in Puerto Vallarta´s world famous fishing grounds. With very few boats heading out in the mornings, we´re in the few slow weeks between the end of August and the middle of September that are perfect times to be heading out to Corbeteña or El Banco. This time of the year has always been the secret, no crowds anywhere prices are as good as they will get for the year. With Yellowfin Tuna in the 90 to 250 lb range the time to head out to catch these Monster Yellowfin Tuna is NOW.

El Banco: The Bank has seen better days than what was happening at El Banco this week. Blue water, no bait and few fish have been what was happening the last couple of days. But, in El Bancos defense we had a low pressure system sitting on Puerto Vallarta which was bad for human and fish alike! Not many people heading out this direction from Marina Vallarta. If you do take a chance and head out to El Banco my suggestion would be to go southwest from the high spots about twelve miles. You should find football Tuna there and maybe Marlin as well. But things change by the minute so keep your ears on….

Corbeteña: Again with summer season in the limbo stage before High season and the end of Summer Vacation for kids, there are very few heading out to the fishing grounds. Those who are heading out are for the most part hitting the Rock or Corbeteña and for good reason. As the most flexible location we have for fishing in PV Corbeteña almost always produces! Right now this is the place to be with Yellowfin Tuna well over 200 lbs if you´re lucky! Sailfish are in the 70 to 100 pound size which is good sized for Sails. Blue Marlin have taken over the rock for some reason ranging from 300 to 600 pounds. So this area is producing like a machine for fish right now. With a host of other possibilities like Cubera Snapper, Wahooand others anything is possible on any given day. With deep blue water, water temperatures of 84 degrees and plenty of bait in these waters I am sure you can see the draw. Definitely worth the ¨Little Woman’s¨ scorn for taking her credit card and filling up the boat!

Sailfish at Punta Mita

Sailfish at Punta Mita

Punta Mita is still churning out Dorado in the 20 to 30 lb range, Sailfish a little further out and Rooster fish at Sayulita. Just find the reef at Anclote and you will have plenty of action. Not much to say about this area except there are happy people coming back from this area every day.

Marietta Islands / El Morro: Not much news coming back from the Marietta Islands, but there had been some nice sized Rooter fish hitting poppers at the Marietta Islands and the El Morro islands. Same old stuff here, possible Sailfish, Rooster fish, Small Dorado, Bonito, Skip Jack Tuna and larger Jack Crevalls. This is another area not getting too much attention, which may be a good thing for you, you could just catch it right! Again, clean water, plenty of bait, perfect water temps, what else could you ask for… except fish!

Inside the Bay: The bay is still getting that rain water flowing down the hills and into the bay so we still have a beautiful trash line that  will attract smaller fish and Dorado. Keep an eye out. Also remember when the water is dirty it many, many times is only a few inches to feet thick. A Great trick for this is to use plainers to get your baits below the dirty water. The problem is you never really know how thick it is, so you may need to play with your baits a little. But if it works, then you will be genius!


All and all the fishing is right on time and still coming on. Sept. and October are among the best times of the year to come fishing in Puerto Vallarta to boat a Giant Marlin or Monster Yellowfin Tuna. With conditions stabilizing we have no reason to expect anything to change radically. Keep an ear open and an eye on the docks for what is coming in from those that are heading out. It´s a great way to see what is out there for free and you can even enjoy Marina Vallarta with it´s restaurant row and 150 shops. Many people have never heard that we have the 10 most popular private Marina in the world, now you know also.

For those of you thinking of entering our local tournaments from Barra to Manzanillo, Master Baiter’s Captains are the best in Puerto Vallarta with many being multi-tournament winners. We keep our prices down as much as possible for tournaments because we like to be in the action too! So if saving some money and not paying double the regular price of a charter per day appeals to you, then contact me about the tournament you are interested in and we will fix you up with tried and true captains, boats and crews with fresh line, top notch equipment and tackle and of course English speaking, professional crews of course! So come be part of Team Master Baiter’s and find out for yourself that “We Won’t Jerk You Around!”

 Yellowfin Tuna over 200 lbs at Corbetena on GuerroAzteca, Capt Carlos and owner Felipe

Yellowfin Tuna over 200 lbs at Corbetena on GuerroAzteca, Capt Carlos and owner Felipe

That’s about it for now, until next week, don´t forget to kiss your fish!

As the oldest fishing company in Puerto Vallarta and the only company with any World Recognized Fishing Championships like the WBS Billfishing Series Grand Champions (2000 and 2001) under our belt. Nobody, but nobody in Puerto Vallarta can come close to us in quality or price when it comes to world class fishing boats. Remember, at Master Baiter´s Sportfishing and Tackle, We Won´t Jerk You Around! If you have any questions on any subject regarding fishing or Puerto Vallarta, feel free to ask!

For questions or suggestions you can reach me at: CatchFish@MasterBaiters.com.mx

The trade name Master Baiter’s ® Sportfishing and Tackle is protected under trade mark law and is the sole property of Stan Gabruk.