Rainy Season in Full Swing, Black Marlin Sightings, Yellowfin Still at Corbeteña, Fishing is Great!

Rainy Season in Full Swing, Black Marlin Sightings, Yellowfin Still at Corbeteña, Fishing is Great!

Written by Stan Gabruk

We are in full summer mode now as we have rain in most evenings as is normal for this time of the year. Recently I have had people worried about the weather as they look at the forecast for Puerto Vallarta. One thing to remember is the weather forecast unless there is a Hurricane moving in, essentially the same for the next five months. Which is a 20 to 60% chance of rain with temperatures right now in the days around 88 degrees with 60% or so humidity. There is your forecast for the next five or six months amigos.  When it comes to fishing, the forecast will also remain pretty much the same as well with Yellowfin Tuna still in the 150 lb range at the deep water locations, Black Marlin are moving in, many sightings but nobody with one on the boat as yet. I suspect this is the streak of a week I´ve been discussing for the last few weeks looking for these Billfish fantasies to show up and it looks like they finally have. As we move deeper and deeper into summer we´ll see warmer weather, warmer water temperatures and more world class gamefish amigos. Fishings High Season is coming on nicely now and we´re all good with that! While fishing in the rain is a possibility, you need to understand that when it rains, it brings the fish up to the agua dulce or sweet water in English. Many a customer said the fishing exploded when t he rain started and this is more often than not the case. So don´t let the bogus weather report online make you think the weather is bad, the report is bad and computer generated. We won´t let you get yourself in trouble amigo, that is why we are here!

Yellowfin like this 150 pounder are everywhere in the deep water locations of Corbeteña and El Banco

As you can imagine the rains, bring the trash line in the bay and all the stuff that washes down the local hills into the streams and rivers. So what you´ve been seeing is the dirty water that lines the shores and a few blocks out there is clean water. Not great for swimming in the ocean, for me it´s not an issue, but for fishing from shore it could present a bit of a challenge to those surf fishing guys. Welcome to summer, you can deal with it, we´re fisherman and we´ll find a way! At the trash line you´ll find small Dorado, Skip Jack Tuna, Bonito, Small Snappers, and any other species looking for fast food and a place to hide (in the dirty side when something wants to eat you as a fish). Over by Yelapa there have been some 30 lb Skip jack Tuna and there are some smaller Dorado in the 25 lb range with some luck. The bait has moved out a little farther in the bay so we´re not really seeing any Sailfish in the bay like last week. But that was not usual so it was a short lived luxury that has moved on.

Punta Mita and the Marietta islands have been blessed with clean and blue water. This means Sailfish are hanging in the area and are on some days a little fickle. Bait can be found in large bait balls surfacing at any second creating a feeding frenzy for whatever species happen to be lucky enough to be in the area. Same Story at Punta Mita, Dorado off the structure and buoys, Sailfish farther out with the chance of Striped or maybe even a Black marlin heading out about 15 miles.

The Marietta Islands are still alive with action as well, Rooster fish are thinning out for some reason, but there are plenty of Snappers (red and Conoco`s) to be had readily. Sailfish are a touch off the reefs and abundant. Skip jack Tuna, Bonito, Needle fish are turning up and nice sized. Amber Jacks have been boated and of course there are small Dorado here as well. Just a reminder, throw the females back and don´t let the crews talk you into keeping the females. If you want fish in the future, think conservation today amigos, this is very important.

Larger Dorado at El Banco

El Banco is alive with Sailfish, Dorado in the 35 to 45 lb range, Sailfish, Yellowfin Tuna to 150 lbs but could only be in the 60 lb range. Black Marlin sightings, nothing on the docks as yet. Water temperatures are still favorable for Wahoo so if you have any rigs with wire leader it would be worth a try.  If you don´t find Yellowfin in the area, venture out about five to ten miles and you will find the birds and the bait amigo. We´re into Tuna Season and they´re out there now for the taking. The only question is where are you??

Red Snappers at the Marietta Islands with Master Baiter´s

El Banco is a carbon copy of Corbeteña, but there have been more Black Marlin Sightings. It´s still a little early in the year for black and Blue Marlin, but they are in the area. Why they are not taking baits for now is a mystery. But I suspect it has something to do with breeding season. But there is a ton of bait out there, either Google Eyes or Bullets (baby Bonito and Skp jack Tuna) which is a good thing for us. Amber Jacks, Rainbow runners, Cubera Snappers and whatever else decides to visit this fishing hot spot.

Straight up, the North American press is making the North Americans afraid to come to Mexico. Now I can sit here and tell the world the news stories coming out of Mexico are being exaggerated and exploited, but the damage is now done. Now you can play this to your advantage if you can think for yourself and get it from the locals, not a group of govt. types with an agenda. Hotel rooms are as cheap as I have ever seen them. Airfares are very low for a prime vacation season to PV and the fishing is great. If you zig when the others are in zag mode you can practically have Puerto Vallarta to yourself with uncrowded fishing grounds, restaurants, shops and more. You can have PV like it was before the rush and the higher prices. I have lived here in PV for so long now many consider me a ¨icon¨ in Marina Vallarta. Now I would not exactly say that, but I have been here long enough to know this is a rare opportunity for those who are not drinking the juice amigos. Other than tourism being down, to be honest, I like having my favorite spots that are still open to me. I like being the only boat on the High Spots at El Banco or Corbeteña. These are the ¨good old days¨ amigos. Now get out there and do some fishing, the boats need the business…

Master Baiter´s is making deals, come into my new location in Puesta Del Sol off the boardwalk in front of dock d and say hello! I am making deals you will never see again to get my captains and crews out. The boats need to move and to do this we´ll make sure you have a great day on the water with a nice sized discount! Remember if you ask where Master Baiter´s is, you will hear I am dead, out of business or they don´t know where I am. Trust me, they know and they will not direct you to me since they want your business. A liar is a liar is a liar and if they´ll lie to you on this level, well they´ll lie you on any level. Be smart, don´t get taken. And as always, think of m e as your man in PV! Ask what you have on y our mind and I will answer it to the best of my ability!

Until next time, don´t forget to kiss your fish….

Master Baiter´s has changed its location to a larger shop located directly in front of Dock D in the shops behind the grassy area in the Puesta Del Sol complex half way between the Oxxo and Las Palomas Restaurant. Map of location in Marina Vallarta: http://masterbaiters.com.mx/location/   Come in and get your PV Mirror there and say hello to Stan. Please tell your friends where they can find the Mirror and of course Master Baiter´s.

You can come be a ¨Fan¨ on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Master-Baiters-Sportfishing-Tackle/88817121325  looking forward to meeting you online.  Reports, Fish Pic of The Day, Local information, Tournament information  and all that good stuff that keeps you informed and not wasting your time or money on B.S., if  you know what I mean. Also Facebook Fans get special perks you won´t find in my reports.

Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle is located in Marina Vallarta on the Boardwalk in front of Dock D. Facing the water turn to your right and we´re down four doors or so from Las Palomas the Restaurant. Come by and say hello!  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 at my email: CatchFish@MasterBaiters.com.mx Web page:  http://www.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.

 

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Yellowfin Tuna Fifty Miles Out, Blue Water at El Banco / Corbeteña, Great Fishing Now!

Yellowfin Tuna Fifty Miles Out, Blue Water at El Banco / Corbeteña, Great Fishing Now!

Written by Stan Gabruk

I was reading a few of my old articles and it dawned on me I have almost been making excuses why the fishing here in Puerto Vallarta has been less than it´s normal perfect self. Imagine this, Puerto Vallarta has some of the BEST FISHING GROUNDS IN THE ENTIRE WORLD and I am making excuses for unusual conditions that made things ¨less than perfect¨, which is about as spoiled as you can get. With normally perfect conditions your expectations are always elevated.  So if somebody isn´t catching Moby Dick at El Banco that doesn´t mean fishing is bad. It just means Moby has not entered the building quite yet, but he´s coming for sure.

Dorado Everywhere…. These were boated off Punta Mita… http://www.masterbaiters.com.mx

One thing that always surprises me is the perception people have about Fishing in Puerto Vallarta and that is there are only four or five species of gamefish worth going after. Strange stuff to me since my Mexican National Friends who don’t have boats, still love fishing and are not targeting Monster Yellowfin Tuna from the shore line. You want to catch fish and the water is dirty, then head to the river mouths where that dirty water is pouring into the bay from the run-off from the seasonal rains in the local mountains. My national friends know Roballo or Snook will be heading to this free meal of seeds, leaves, bugs, all sorts of stuff they just love to chow down on! Yes the water is dirty, but Roballo are looking for this organic sediment in this dirty water and will  hit a lure they can see like my ex wife used to  hit the Nordstrom’s Half Yearly Sale, they both take no prisoners! Now catching a 30 to 50 pound Snook with its white meat and wonderful flavor is a great alternative than going after Dorado every single time you go fishing… I mean there are other fish in these waters that would be worth of your attention and in four to six hours on a panga if you want to hit this from the sea side of things is cheap and well worth the convenience of being put on fish directly.

At this time of the year we hit the wall when it comes to humidity. For about two weeks before the seasonal rains begin the humidity goes through the roof. Well we finally got the rains and this means all sorts of things to people, primarily the relief from heavy humidity or at least a few hours as it turns to rain. If you live in Vallarta this is a perfect time to be at Brando’s or Chappy’s Bar putting a cold one down as you watch the rain and maybe lightening from you dry perch. To those fishing it means the mixed blessing of the Trash line as we call it. Mentioned earlier this trash line is where the clean water and dirty water from the mountain runoff are divided by a line of sediment type organic materials washing down the rivers, streams and streets. Dorado, Skip Jack Tuna and every Rooster fish will take this free meal and chase the smaller fish that thrive on this free and fast food. The smaller fish will take refuge in the dirty water when larger species looking for a meal are within striking distance.  Tossing a three inch Diamond jig, commonly called Iron will produce results if there are any fish in the area. Remember this trash line is not a few hundred feet long, it can stretch all the way to the Marietta Islands so you still have to find these fish. Thank god or even cheap electronics.  So don’t be afraid to explore some of the many forms of fishing we have here in Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay.

Sailfish at The Marietta Islands. .. http://www.masterbaiters.com.mx

As far as what we’re seeing now is a bit of a mixed bag. There has been some red tide in the bay. Now mixed in with some dirty water this is a challenge. But the red tide is moving out and there are small fish to be had still in the bay. Nothing like the 70lb Sailfish we had very close to shore last week here near Marina Vallarta. The bullets or baby bonito have moved out and the fishing slowed down her for a little bit. Dorado in t he 15 to20 lb ranges in the bay are still looking for your offerings in the clean water or near a trash line. Bonito, Skip Jack Tuna are also south near Cabo Corrientes to the Yelapa area. Basically if you can find the clean water areas you have dinner amigos! Snappers, Pompano in the 25 lb range as well available if you target something different than Dorado.

The Marietta Islands to Punta Mita has turned into Sailfish City. Small to large it’s a Sailfish Bill garden with plenty of bait, perfect water temperatures and improving by the day amigos. Roosters are slacking off here a little, no reason for this. Needle fish are moving in as well, a little late for them.  Bonito, Skip Jack tuna, and Snappers with the possibility of Rainbow runners and the list goes on….

Now the deep water locations of Corbeteña and El Banco are still sporting 150 lb Yellowfin Tuna with Crystal Clear Sapphire blue water and abundant bait. Sailfish are also getting thicker by the day as they love this area with the varied terrain and abundant bait come summer time. Marlin are here, but it is a low percentage catch for the moment. We´re still a little early in the Season for Marlin, but I hear Cabo is seeing some Blue Marlin now. They have not as yet given me a confirmation date as when to expect them, but we know they´ll be here shortly with no announcement.  At Corbeteña you may need to look a little to the south west about ten to fifteen miles out from the rock to find Yellowfin where the warm currents seem to be bringing in more bait from down south. You´re looking at twelve hour fishing trips for these fish amigos. I am making crazy stupid deals on Magnifico, Andelé and Guanatuna II my super panga just to get the boats moving and my captains in tortillas. No specifics here for my competition to use, but call or Email me and get a deal you would never see unless my guys weren´t sitting idle… you´ll be glad you called.

Tres Maria Islands have been on the quiet side. Not many boats heading out this way with lower tourism and Yellowfin Tuna at El Banco. The fuel expense doesn´t make sense when it´s a gamble there as well for triple the fuel expense!

As I mentioned earlier, Fishing on any given day poses its own challenges which a competent crew and captain will see and know how to deal with. With our normal challenges of Dirty water from the mountains, strange currents, seas, bait and water conditions, nothing is ever exact or go as we would like. The primary challenge of fishing is still Man against Fish in what would be considered the equivalent of Elephant or Lyon Hunting in Hemmingway’s days. Big Game, Deep Sea or World Class Sportfishing are three different terms for the same thing. It has never been cheap and is getting more expensive every day. Remember what you´re paying for, the first thing being the truth from the people you are dealing with. Everyone in Marina Vallarta these days except three of us are all selling ¨cheap¨ with the added benefit of a timeshare presentation.  Please remember if you are dealing with anyone or any company make sure you can go back to them if there is an issue. Some guy walking on the boardwalk or coming up to you in a restaurant trying to sell tours, timeshare or fishing is not the people you want to deal with. The boats these guys push are NOT INSURED HAVE NO LEGAL LICENSES and too cheap to have top notch equipment and tackle that is maintained. In reality they are expensive for what they offer, except for a cheap price on a boat that doesn´t look like its photo or may not even be the same boat you expected. There are lists of things that are different than better quality boats, service being the main factor. Having said that, if you are looking for price, I can put you on the best of the economy boats in Marina Vallarta. Most are charging ¨ putting myself out of business¨ prices, and then let me put you on the best of those Mexican hand crafted boats. Your professional expectations should be lowered with fewer baits, older equipment (fine working), not a beautiful or overly well maintained boat, but they will have insurance and licensed captains. Not that guy in the restaurants third cousin on his mother’s side for a captain who works once month fishing would be a bad thing?!  There are some decent guys out there, but if you are not in the game here in PV, then you are the game…. Like being played?

Guanatuna and some happy people…www.masterbaiter.com.mx

For now, we have no delusions for what the Fishing Tourism holds for us this year. We know the press is putting out as much as they can against all of Mexico and lets face it they are giving the American and International Press plenty to write about. For those who know Mexico and Places like Cabo or Puerto Vallarta these fears are unfounded in fact on any level. The big surprise is people suddenly realize there is crime in Mexico, well DA!  With 150 million people in the country things are going to happen. The numbers they quote as Americans passing away in Mexico include Heart Attacks, Strokes, Car Accidents, and some crime. Houston last year had more Americans die from drug related incidents than all of Mexico. Does that mean the USA is Dangerous, maybe. Does it mean if you put all the heart attacks, etc in the death count that you will have a problem or incident, hardly! But with this false press, the hotels are empty, the restaurants are running deals, the peso is as favorable to exchange rates as I have ever seen them to the dollar and these World Famous Fishing Grounds we just spoke of are as empty as you will ever see them. To have El Banco and the High Spots to your self is an unexpected luxury and when things turn around will return to being crowded. For the guy who can think for himself and has the facts he needs in hand, he knows this is an opportunity that should be taken advantage of if the inclination is there.

I just want to say thanks for reading my ramblings and as always you can expect to get Straight Talk about the fishing and conditions here in Puerto Vallarta. Please tell your friends of my articles and sign up to my blog and web site for instant updates. Master Baiter´s is the only in depth and accurate fishing report you will find on the internet where I am  not talking about  how cool we are as a company, everyone already knows who we are. So what you hear in real time is useable information now if you are heading out fishing. Your expectations should be in line with the reports here and you will find yourself happier and spending money on fuel when you get the best Bang for your Buck…..

Until next time, don´t forget to kiss your fish….

Master Baiter´s has changed its location to a larger shop located directly in front of Dock D in the shops behind the grassy area in the Puesta Del Sol complex half way between the Oxxo and Las Palomas Restaurant. Come in and get your PV Mirror there and say hello to Stan. Please tell your friends where they can find the Mirror and of course Master Baiter´s.

You can come be a ¨Fan¨ on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Master-Baiters-Sportfishing-Tackle/88817121325  looking forward to meeting you online.  Reports, Fish Pic of The Day, Local information, Tournament information  and all that good stuff that keeps you informed and not wasting your time or money on B.S., if  you know what I mean. Also Facebook Fans get special perks you won´t find in my reports.

That´s about it for now from PV… Until next time, don´t forget to kiss your fish!

Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle is located in Marina Vallarta on the Boardwalk in front of Dock D. Facing the water turn to your right and we´re down four doors or so from Las Palomas the Restaurant. Come by and say hello!  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 at my email: CatchFish@MasterBaiters.com.mx Web page:  http://www.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.

 

Picking a Charter Company, What You Don’t know Will Hurt You

Written by Stan Gabruk

So you want to go fishing for trophy game fish, well I don´t blame you. In recent years the ¨fishing game¨ has changed drastically. Fuel prices have gone through the roof with no end in sight. Fishing companies that were in Puerto Vallarta have all but me fallen victims to Timeshare Pirates who offer ¨their¨ boats to unsuspecting ¨suckers¨.  These people can be found walking the boardwalk in Puerto Vallarta, in WalMart, Restaurants, any where you as a visiting tourist would want or need to go. For that reason I periodically re-post this article, which is good information for anywhere

 

Since the year 2000, Master Baiter’s has been in the Sportfishing Charter business. Some call it Deep Sea Fishing, others call it Sportfishing, what ever you choose to call it, it’s expensive and there’s no way around that simple fact of life. I always have potential clients enter my shop on the boardwalk in Marina Vallarta and they naturally ask for prices. When I collect all the information I need from them to make a recommendation, they are seldom happy about the price and that in itself is a deal breaker. Especially for many vacationing Anglers with a “whim” to go fishing for “Moby Dick”. When I do finally figure out the correct or best option for the client, he’s usually grabbing his chest from the heart palpitations he’s experiencing. I can understand that reaction for sure. When you tell a potential client that a ten hour trip on a nice and nicely equipped boat is going to run on average $1,000.00 usd for up to five people (total, not each person), this is normal. After years of this I think it’s finally time to get down in writing why things are the way they are. When you stop and realize that for the same money, you can rent a Jet Ski and pay more for that per hour than you are for a multi-hundred thousand dollar boat! Just to put things in perspective. Lets go into a little more detail on this since it can be a deal breaker.

Start-up and Operating Expenses: First, let’s take a look at the expense of the boat itself. If you’re lucky and you buy a three year old Luhrs Express with fresh engines for example, you’d be lucky to get one of these for $180,000.00 usd (it’s a ball park number so don’t beat me up for this over present market conditions). Now the engines on a Charter Boat that’s going out 15 to 20 times a month (which is a lot) will last three years before you’ll need to start thinking about what the engines remaining life span is. Without getting into this too heavily, I use the accounting / business standard three year return on my investment (ROI) formula for this, as do some others in Marina Vallarta. The boat payment alone, without interest attached for 36 months (3 yrs) is a $6,000.00 usd per month payment alone. Most financing a boat like this will extend the terms so their payment is in the neighborhood of $2,000.00 usd per month for multiple years, with a substantial down payment.  Tack on Fuel, insurance, water, electricity, cleaning products, oil changes, Equipment, salaries, fishing licenses for a year, Line, Lures, Poles, maintenance, Reels, ADVERTISING, more equipment and you start to get a feel for what the upfront expenses are before you ever see a dime in profit. Don’t forget, you’re a startup company so people won’t know of or about you.  With all these expenses and some I didn’t mention, the actual running expenses / cost of the 32 ft. boat will ultimately run approx. $743.00 usd per 12 trip (1/3 to 1/2 being fuel alone, rest being fixed cost). If as an owner you charge $1,000.00 for that trip, the owner saw maybe $257.00 usd over operating expenses in profit. Hit this amount with taxes or Hacienda as they call it here in Mexico, and I’m sure you can see where this is going. I’d also like to emphasize that 15 trips a month is considered a heavy traffic month, so the numbers can go south in a heart beat if demand for your services dry up due to bad economies like in the USA now. Put this all together and you’ve got a dicey situation for the Deep Sea Fishing industry, especially if you’re new in the “neighborhood”. A risky business venture to be sure, yet we get those who want to retire and become Jimmy Buffet Living in Margarita Ville where life is a constant party. Well folks, it doesn’t work like that, it’s not glamorous or a big money maker.

Magnifico getting necessary maintenance where the bottom gets painted with ant -fouling paint to keep barnacles off, the boat fast and it will use less fuel keeping prices down and quality high, but not all maintain their boats like Master Baiter´s

Average time in business for start up charter companies is 2.5 yrs in business or less. That’s how long it usually takes people to figure out they’re not having fun or making any money and most likely both. Hell, they’re not even covering their expenses with low charter months and eventually the money will just dry up and there goes the fantasy. The competition doesn’t help when they sell their boats for less than operating cost, but hey, they got few dollars I their pocket today. They worry about tomorrow when they can’t avoid it any longer.

Charter Services in Florida, Hawaii, and Cabo all price their charters considerably higher which makes Puerto Vallarta the best value for your Sportfishing dollar as things stand now! With Marine Fuel in the $2.40 (conservative) a gallon range, it’s less than half what they’re paying for it in the Caribbean, Hawaii or Florida!

Recently in PV, Many existing charter companies with good reputations are updating their charter boats with newer boats, yet prices are staying stable because of a noticeable slow down in tourism. With all the financial balls people are juggling in North America the budget fisherman has been hit hard. But the growth in popularity of Puerto Vallarta and the sport is off setting the lower levels in tourism. People with money will always have the money they want to do what they want. Big Game Fishing has never been cheap and it never will be. For those with the necessary cash flow, The World has turned its eyes our way and things are changing accordingly…..

One thing to look out for is the guy who says he can take a depositon a specific boat, he may even have a slip of paper with a number on it, but it doesn’t mean a thing amigo. Last week I placed two different sets of people who gave a person a deposit for a day of fishing, just to find out when it came time to go, the boat was no where to be found. No contact, Nobody. I tried calling the boat that was “chartered” only to find the boat was already booked and confirmed for other people. Those unsuspecting folks were robbed and didn’t find out for three days after they dropped the deposit. Don’t be fooled, Use an established Charter company with an office from which they work from. If you don’t have that, and I don’t mean a mini mart, you’ve got a possible vacation disaster.  So beware of who you’re dealing with…..

Maintenance, Top of the line Equipment, Professional level and paid crew makes all the difference when it comes to catching fish or getting reeled in!

About Captains and Crews: They say there is no substitute for experience and here in Puerto Vallarta (PV) truer words were never spoken. Many, if not most of the Captains here grew up on the docks learning from their Fathers and Grand Fathers. There are many third generation charter Captains that know this area better than the back of their hand. The problem is, this is Mexico and most Mexican Captains and crews don’t speak English (all of ours do). This can make communication difficult for the vacationing Angler. So the Captain with good, maybe not great English skills will be favored over the non-English speaking Captains. Now I can more than understand this since a person coming down from Canada or the States will find a comfort factor in being able to communicate with the Captain….. Imagine that. So when a boat owner chooses a Captain, he has to choose from a limited few that may or may not be the best choice available. Coming down to the Marina or reading articles online will help the decision making process but you never know what you’ve got until you’ve been out with one. Many people come to PV year after year going from one company to another looking for the correct combination of ability, quality, comfort factor, and price! Since people are creatures of habit, if they have fun, you’ve got a locked in return client! They’ll come back year after year, since they already like the boat and crew, why change??

Some Captains come in consistently with fish, while others will tell you they’re the best, yet choke when the chips are down. Now we all know fishing is fishing and on any given day you can come in skunked, it happens to the best of us. But as a charter company owner I’m looking for everything, Perfect English, Experience, reliability, a dash of personality and the ability to come in with a full fish box when others are coming back “empty handed”. For those off days when you come back with an empty fish box, we’ve all heard the horror stories, the very least you want is a Captain and Crew that you feel gave it their all. Changed lure color often, tried different things and had the tools necessary for several fishing methods! Not just trolling the six lures they may have.

So how would the general public coming down to Puerto Vallarta know which Captain is best for them? Well amigos, it’s almost impossible to tell if you’re not in the middle of the action. That’s where we come in, making sure we have the best Captains available on our boats so you don’t have to worry about such things. The boat you were on last year may have been great then, but things change rapidly in Marina Vallarta and the captain and crew, hell even the owner may have changed since the last time you went out fishing with them. Everything has changed about that boat, except the name that is. So choose a reputable Fishing Charter Company and you’ll most likely not be disappointed with your day on the water.

This is what you are paying for, not a boat ride. Everyone will tell you they´re the best as they leave with you aboard on a smokey and slow boat to the fishing grounds.

Now remember, this article is for the average guy hoping to learn a little something from an insiders view. Again the goal of this article is to share information with the average person so “he” can better understand why things are, the way they are!

Lets Talk Equipment / Tackle:  Sportfishing makes the expense of Golf look like nothing in comparison. When it comes to Big Game or Deep Sea Fishing here in Puerto Vallarta (PV), where it’s very possible to boat a world record fish, you just know it’s going to be expensive. If you compare a rig as I call it, or a fishing pole / reel set-up to that of a bag of golf clubs (about the same cost, balls and all), you could spend between $1,200.00 to $2,000.00 usd dollars in the blink of an eye. Take this number, multiply it by ten to fifteen times and you’ll have a basic idea of the minimum requirements for a professional charter boat when it comes to poles, reels, line and lures. If you’re looking for smaller fish inshore or larger fish at El Banco or Corbetena, you have to have the correct rig for the species targeted and for conditions that day. Mix in hooks, line, Flouro Carbon leader (expensive), gaffs, harnesses, swivels ($15 usd each), Kites, Down Riggers etc. , the list just goes on and on. Nothing is cheap, tack 30% on to the normal USA cost for these items just because you’re buying them in Mexico and you start to see what we’re talking about. You can try sneaking it in, but good luck, they love finding new fishing gear in suitcases as they’re checked in Customs.

Now the Charter Boat that doesn’t have the best equipment and tackle, well this will become obvious when you head out and snap the line ten times in one day on a boat who’s using stressed line….. We all lose fish, but not a bunch in a row from broken line. If this happens it’s old, chaffed, and ready for the trash bin. The Angler spending a thousand dollars for a trip to catch Moby Dick deserves much more than the opportunity to lose a fish on a half full spool of stressed line.

That’s another point, Getting spooled in this day and age is unacceptable and you should never go on a boat that doesn’t have Spectra Backed reels. Especially when you’re looking at Grander Marlin and Monster Yellowfin tuna from June to Mid January! Once you’ve boated or fought a larger billfish or Yellowfin Monster you’ll be glad you had new line. But even then, the life span of the line is between five and ten big fish, especially billfish. The fishing line these days are designed to perform, but not forever. It stretches and gets chaffed by bills, sun, salt and age. Fresh line on full reels is very easy to see and is an indicator for what you could expect on that charter boat. So the next time you’re out choosing a charter, ask to see the equipment if possible. The whole day will depend on the mere fact that the charter boat owner spends fifty dollars to reline a reel so these things won’t happen for the worse constantly. But remember, like I said earlier, breaking line is part of the game, but not ten times in one day! Everyone wants to save a buck or two, but make sure you get what you think you’re paying for, not what your wallet tells you. You’re better off waiting another year and doing it right with the opportunity to have the time of your life….

First you have to get to the area where you can find bait like this. Hand held GPS´s and hand held CB radios are not what you want to see on the boat.

Let’s talk about the service end of the business: I’ve talked before on how people look for a charter company. First they may check out the internet at home, but many wait until they come down to Puerto Vallarta to get the “feel” of the area. First they talk with the guy who gets their luggage to the taxi at the airport when you first arrive. Then he’ll talk with the taxi driver, Next comes the concierge at the hotel, the waiter in the restaurant, people around the pool and finally he’ll find his way to Marina Vallarta and walk the gauntlet. There are companies in Marina Vallarta that are the flavor of the month. One guy or company which just sprung up this past summer went out of business selling Roasted Chicken and now books really cheap boats out of Los Penas Marina. They’ve got a nice, cheap office with pretty furniture and a nice logo to impress you. Then also got a guy who’s standing on the board walk (or walking the boardwalk) asking you if you need anything from a tour to a fishing charter. Now this guy can’t tell you what kind of baits are working right now, but he’s quick to talk of his twelve boats. Of course he can’t remember the names of but two, but he’s got twelve!

Check out internet travel forum sites about the area or sites like Trip Adviser, World Wide Fishing Guide or Fodor’s travel guide, where slouch companies can’t afford the price of participation. Look for recommendations from travel agencies, articles, travel guides again like Fodor’s, the hotel concierge, but locals that live in the area are always the best. Word of mouth is still the best advertising. Vacationers and travelers in general are always more than willing to share their experiences, mostly bad. I’ve always found that flattering words may go unsaid, but a bad time will get plenty of volume when it’s time to speak of horrible experiences

Service is first and foremost, no matter how much you paid for your day on the water. Naturally lower cost providers should come with lowered expectations.  Having said that, I don’t care if you live in Mexico or on Mars, service is a basic fact of life in any business. Service doesn’t cost the operator or Owner a thin dime more than he’s already spending. It all comes down to getting the most from your people and making sure clients are not only having fun, but are being provided the service they don’t know they need. Do they meet you on time at an agreed to meeting place? Is the boat fueled up with bait and ice, ready to go? Are there any money issues that you’re unaware of until that moment of departure (This happens all the time)? Do you have your contact persons phone number if need be? Do you know your boats name / location? All important stuff that should not be a mystery! Was the crew courteous and pleasant? Do they interact with you? Do they listen to your request? Do they release when informed of this desire or not? Did they tell you they speak English, just to later discover they know ten words of English? This and the list could go on for ever.

All very important things to consider when choosing a charter company…..

I have another article I Have written. I will post that article after I get this up….

If you should have any questions, feel free to ask: www.MasterBaiters.com.mx or CatchFish@MasterBaiters.com.mx Facebook: MasterBaiter Stan  Tshits: www.MasterBaitersGear.com (big sellers and very funny).

Perfect Conditions: Blue Water, Bait and Yellowfin Tuna @ 150 lbs Hit El Banco / Corbeteña,

Perfect Conditions: Blue Water, Bait and Yellowfin Tuna @ 150 lbs Hit El Banco / Corbeteña,

Written by Stan Gabruk

Every year I wait for the second week of June, to me this is when the second tourism season begins. Kids are out for the summer, teachers are free to travel and the fishing turns into something spectacular. Water temperatures are a perfect 82 degrees (rising nicely) and as blue as you´ll ever get it with bait moving in daily in massive amounts. We´ve also seem some unusual things happening with Sailfish moving in to the shore areas and taking baits as fast as they can find them. The deep water locations are doing well also with Yellowfin Tuna, Skip Jack Tuna, Marlin and more.  For all you Anglers and Danglers there is fish to be had as fishing is GOOD right now. If you´re in the area or just reading about the area, Puerto Vallarta Fishing is right on time amigos.

150 lb Yellowfin Tuna at El Banco and Corbetena

For years now I have warned you about the guy selling billfish in the bay and to run, not walk from this guy. As you may expect this is exactly what has happened. We have 70 lb Sailfish chasing bullets or in real terms Baby Bonito and Baby Skip Jack Tuna practically into the shore. A four hour trip right now is a great value and the time requirements are minimal. Dorado are running 15 to 20 lbs, not monsters but great tasting. So if you´re looking  to get  some  short time action in on a budget and you´re here in PV now would be a good time to raid One: The piggy Bank or Two: Your wife’s purse (or husbands wallet as the case may be). And yes, you too can catch all this in four hours. Imagine, Sailfish in a four hour trip, they´re doing it like a machine right now amigos, right now.

If you decide you need more than four hours, the area from Cabo Corrientes has 50 lb Football Tuna, Pompano and if you come a little into the bay you have Bonito and Dorado. Eight hours is a day you´ll need for the points but well worth the time. If you go in the other direction you´ll also find Sailfish, Dorado a little larger in the 20 to  25 lb range. Striped Marlin out towards El Banco, but the water is warming up a little to much for Striped Marlin. Blue and Black Marlin are penciled in my date book for mid June, cross  your fingers. Punta Mita for now is mostly about these two species. Rooster fish have left the building for now, but they´ll be back without warning.

The Marietta islands are on the slow side, frankly with fish in as close as they are there is not much reason to head out twenty eight miles to get what you can in front of Marina Vallarta, no kidding.  Still, those venturing out will once more find Sailfish, Dorado, Skip jack Tuna, Bonito, Snapper, Pompano and the list goes on.  It´s hard to show the Marietta islands as super special right now when there are so many fish to choose from and close in as well. Worth the time and you of course never know what will happen tomorrow. Worth the time, but you´ll have to make the call when it come to your ever increasing fuel expense.

El Banco an Corbeteña are alive with Yellowfin Tuna, larger Dorado in the 30 to 40  lb range, Cubera Snappers, Rainbow runners, Amber Jacks and the possible Marlin. All and all the Yellowfin Tuna are in the 150 lb range and and are looking for your bait. It´s hard to make one area seem better than another when there are fish at all your favorite locations amigo.

Baby Dorado

All and all the fishing is great because the conditions are perfect. The stage is set with bullets or in normal terms baby Bonito and Skip jack tuna. The favorite bait for just about evey species with fins and gills. If you can make these for bait, then you may just fin Moby Dick in the bay amigo or his distant cousin. One thing for sure you will not have prefect conditions like this for long before the fish grow both in size and abundance. All we need now are some Monster Yellowfin Tuna, Black Marlin, Blue Marlin and get the Roosters back then we´ll be in fishing heaven.

The days have been getting longer, warmer and more humid as you would expect at this time of the year. You can just feel the thickness or the air as the humidity increases and makes it feel like a pressure cooker when standing in the sun. But this is normal for a few weeks then t he rainy season or Seasonal Rains as I call them kick in and give us a little relief from the pressure for a little while. We´ll have the trash line and all the smaller species that feed on it. For us it keeps short days productive with Dorado and other species living off the organic ¨things¨ in the water. Things like seeds, roots, leaves, organic stuff that they love to feed on. Snook or Roballo will also be at the river mouths waiting for some succulent morsel to wander in  front of them, do don´t forget about these fish as most do. Well most of my Mexican friends know how this white meat fish taste. But most close their mind to other possibilities like Roballo which is a shame. But I understand targeting Huge Fish, this is the place to do it.

Floating Fridge

If you are a boat owner or operator, remember with the rains come all sort of things, like floating refrigerators, tree stumps, floating tires, you name it. Keep your speeds down in the dark morning hours heading out. Many of these obstacles are under the surface of the water invisible except for the outline this ¨thing¨ will produce. Many a prop, shaft or rudder has learned these things the hard way, don´t you be one of them heading out too quickly, it may cost you the day and more.

Master Baiter´s has changed its location to a larger shop located directly in front of Dock D in the shops behind the grassy area in the Puesta Del Sol complex half way between the Oxxo and Las Palomas Restaurant. Come in and get your PV Mirror there and say hello to Stan. Please tell your friends where they can find the Mirror and of course Master Baiter´s.

You can come be a ¨Fan¨ on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Master-Baiters-Sportfishing-Tackle/88817121325  looking forward to meeting you online.  Reports, Fish Pic of The Day, Local information, Tournament information  and all that good stuff that keeps you informed and not wasting your time or money on B.S., if  you know what I mean. Also Facebook Fans get special perks you won´t find in my reports.

That´s about it for now from PV… Until next time, don´t forget to kiss your fish!

Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle is located in Marina Vallarta on the Boardwalk in front of Dock D. Facing the water turn to your right and we´re down four doors or so from Las Palomas the Restaurant. Come by and say hello!  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 at my email: CatchFish@MasterBaiters.com.mx Web page:  http://www.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.

Ready or Not, Puerto Vallarta Fishing Explodes, Yellowfin Tuna 150 lbs, Blue Marlin Moving In Now

Ready or Not, Puerto Vallarta Fishing Explodes, Yellowfin Tuna 150 lbs, Blue Marlin Moving In Now

Written by Stan Gabruk

Ok, the month of May is behind us now, water temperatures are moving upwards a little bit each day, bait is also more abundant. The water is now clean and blue, not so for the last few weeks. Dorado moving into the bay, Sailfish at the Points and Chemo at Cabo Corrientes is seeing fifty pound Football Tuna. Conditions are moving nicely into summer fishing.  Tourism is down, which of course means we´re kinda empty in PV for the moment. This also means empty fishing grounds, cheap hotels, great air fares and even the Dollar is very, very strong to the peso. Everything is coming together nicely for the start of Fishing´s High Season to begin. Even with the press stories about Mexico, tourist are returning and taking advantage of the exchange rate, lower prices and the safe environment we have here in Puerto Vallarta. People have over reacted to the slanted news reports creating for those who see the opportunity a chance to basically ¨own¨ Puerto Vallarta. Those who have visited Vallarta are still coming back for a reason, they know what others refuse to ¨hear¨. It´s time to take advantage of the overcorrection while you still can amigos. Those looking for a Monster Season will find it this year with no unusual conditions like El Nino and La Nina like we´ve had for the last three years. Yes Friends, World Class Fishing has returned to Puerto Vallarta.  You may never have a chance again at uncrowded fishing at El Banco or Corbeteña our world famous fishing grounds.

El Banco or The Bank …Our Super Panga with Capt Tory and some nice sized Yellowfin Tuna

Just a week or so ago we were looking to the south to see the second hurricane of the season here close to Puerto Vallarta (PV).  It was an announcement of sorts about the coming of summer as it pushed warm water and gamefish into the area from the south. As a result we´re seeing Dorado in  smaller sizes (15 to20lbs) and 50lb Football Tuna in the Chemo area near Cabo Corrientes or the Light house area. For now if that was all we had it would be enough for this time of the year. But Bonito, Skip jacks, Snapper around the structure, still some Jack Crevalls (surprising) and other small fare in the bay. Things have improved to the point where four hours is still a short day if looking for decent action. Four hours around the rocks or in a bait ball will make your day. So if you have the inclination, take a shot and get something for the table tonight!

Marietta Islands are still rocking with Sailfish increasing in numbers a few miles past the islands (don´t forget El Morro). Snappers are hitting surface baits, Jack Crevalls for some reason are still around. Pompano, Skip Jack Tuna, Bonito, Dorado, thinning Rooster fish. Lots of bait, blue water and warming water temperatures are all working in the Anglers favor right now.

Yellowfin Tuna Again at Corbeteña http://www.masterbaiters.com.mx

Punta Mita is still rockin like last week. Dorado(25 lbs) getting more abundant by the day, Sailfish a little farther out on a western heading, and Striped Marlin (25lbs) are a little farther out still. Rooster fish (30lbs) at the reef off Sayulita.  If you are in Punta Mita area, take a boat panga, with good equipment, etc. and give it a shot.  Beach pangas in this area will many times do the job, but be selective, beach pangas sell ¨Cheap¨ not good.

Ok, El Banco, Corbeteña have been seeing clear, blue water. Plenty of chorras or live bait in the water.  Water temps are creeping up nicely by the day. What does this mean, well there are Big Yellowfin Tuna at the moment in the 150 lb range. You could bank into a Dorado in the 40lb range, Sailfish, Cubera Snappers (60lbs) and who knows what else is possible. Wahoo, not a schooling fish, but ever present in these two world class fishing grounds. If your bait looks raked or if your broken line is a little chaffed, find you wire or cable rigged lures and go for it. Dorado is a special fish with a milky white colored meat that is incredible when it´s on the table.

That is about it for now. Remember with the rainy season, rain is good. Fish get excited when it´s raining since the rain drops hitting the surface of the water looks like bait coming down from a bait ball leap. There are some tricks you can use when there are fish also, but not taking baits, ask your captain. But the Dorado trick of using the wash down hose to sprinkle the water, then cast a Google eye in the middle of the ¨sprinkle¨ and you will have a trick that can work nicely when fish are being fickle.

Suggestion: Keep an eye on the Peso. As the stock market  takes a nose dive, the peso gets weaker compared to the dollar, it doesn´t make sense, but there you are. At this time when  this article is being written you can  get close to 14 pesos to the dollar. If you wait until just before you are coming down you probably won´t see that good a rate anywhere! So get your pesos in the states when the peso is down or you basically get more money for your money! For those who come to PV or Mexico in  general a fair amount, this is how you make your life less expensive.  Also,if you are here, the exchange rates for you dollar are always better using ATM´s. You get the bank rate, not the commission rate.

Master Baiter´s has changed its location to a larger shop located directly in front of Dock D in the shops behind the grassy area in the Puesta Del Sol complex half way between the Oxxo and Las Palomas Restaurant. Come in and get your PV Mirror there and say hello to Stan. Please tell your friends where they can find the Mirror and of course Master Baiter´s.

You can come be a ¨Fan¨ on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Master-Baiters-Sportfishing-Tackle/88817121325  looking forward to meeting you online.  Reports, Fish Pic of The Day, Local information, Tournament information  and all that good stuff that keeps you informed and not wasting your time or money on B.S., if  you know what I mean. Also Facebook Fans get special perks you won´t find in my reports.

That´s about it for now from PV… Until next time, don´t forget to kiss your fish!

Master Baiter´s Sportfishing & Tackle is located in Marina Vallarta on the Boardwalk in front of Dock D. Facing the water turn to your right and we´re down four doors or so from Las Palomas the Restaurant. Come by and say hello!  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 at my email: CatchFish@MasterBaiters.com.mx Web page:  http://www.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.