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!

Quickie Report! Trash Line Returns with Seasonal Rains, Dorado, Rooster Fish & More! Fish Pictures!

As we enter the Rainy season here in tropical Puerto Vallarta we are all looking forward to the Trash Line we get in the bay as a result of the seasonal rains washing all sorts of organic materials and matter down the mountain sides. This  in turn forms a line or a ribbon of stuff that looks like leaves, dirt, just crap in general that will stretch for as much as miles in any direction. This is a good thing for summer fishing in the bay amigos…

Dorado on the Trash Line

Dorado on the Trash Line

Now this cat and mouse game has been going on forever and the larger fish do wind up getting some smaller fish for lunch for sure. But this is how it all works in nature and who are we to judge. But we can use this information to make our fishing days on the water more productive!

Now introduce a three inch silver diamond trolled or cast just a foot or on the clean side of the trash line and you will have arm burning action on light tackle.

Rooster Fish on the Trash Line, Say AhhHHhHHhH

Rooster Fish on the Trash Line, Say AhhHHhHHhH

The Trash line is in the bay everyday once the rains start in ernest. These trash lines can go out for miles and miles and are not always centered in the bay. But for the most part this is where you will find this trash line in the bay. This means short days will be productive  for those on a short budget or just want to head out for smaller gamefish. Either way it works all around.

Dorado, Mahi Mahi or Dolphin, it all taste the same amigos!

Dorado, Mahi Mahi or Dolphin, it all taste the same amigos!

One more reminder, fishing in the rain is a good thing. When the rain drops hit the water surface, from a fish point of view it looks like bait falling back into the water after jumping from the water for a brief escape from harms way. But what goes up must come down. So the rain excites fish like Dorado and Yellowfin Tuna into a frenzy. So the next time you think you want to wait until the rain is gone, it may be a good idea to think that one over again….

I attached a few pictures of Trash Line types of fish you will come across when fishing on the trash line.

So now you know why the Trash Line is Your Friend…..

More Dorado....

More Dorado....

If you have been reading my blog, I am pretty tech challenged and rely on my readers to spread the word to your friends. So if you see value or entertainment  value to my blog or my fishing articles, then let a friend know.

My goal is to be the best and only reliable source of information when it comes to Fishing in Puerto Vallarta. You can be my “friend” if you want to visit  me at   Facebook under the name Masterbaiter Stan. I have over  2,500 friends and if you are into fishing and hunting, you can type in a quest ion and g e tan answer. It [s a great marke ting and networking tool I have built here so take advantage of it’s resources….

 

 

 

Another Hurricane Marching up Mexicos Coast, Now Worries, Nothing Special Here.

Below is the latest and greatest NOAH Path for Hurricane Beatriz. This tropical storm became a Hurricane at 2 p.m. this afternoon and is kicking up some clouds, but as yet no rain in the Puerto Vallarta Area….. Check it out….

Hurricane Beatriz 06 20 2011 route

Hurricane Beatriz 06 20 2011 route

Puerto Vallarta Fishing Just Got Strange, Plenty of Bait, Marlin in the Bay?

Puerto Vallarta Fishing Just Got Strange, Plenty of Bait, Marlin in the Bay?

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

It’s an amazing thing out there right now, nothing is as you would hope for and yet we are ass still positive about the upcoming season. The water temperatures are right, the water is either clear green or blue if you are out far enough. Bait is not an issue, plenty of bait for sure, which is always a good thing! The stage is set, now all we need are the players. That is not to say there are no fish, but if you are heading out to the deep water locations of Corbeteña and El Banco, your fuel dollars can be better spent right now.

Lets touch bases on the deep, blue water locations of El Banco and Corbeteña. What you have to look forward to is blue water about 28 miles out from Marina Vallarta. You will see lots of bait in the water, but you won’t find any fish. My suggestion on Corbeteña is to head out to the drop, about 15 miles or so west of the rock and see what may be there. There has been the occasional Dorado and Striped Marlin Hook-up, but not enough to get me to open my wallet for ever increasing fuel prices! The Same goes for El Banco, you may find something if you head out far enough, but GuerroAzteca headed out for a two day trip and found nothing but nothing to interested in the baits they were offering. So for the present, steer clear of these normally hot summer locations.

 Black Marlin at Cabo Corrientes?? You  Bet.... Closer in than you might think!

Black Marlin at Cabo Corrientes?? You Bet.... Closer in than you might think!

North, quite a ways north is Guyavitos and they have fish, probably. Sailfish and Striped Marlin have been hanging out about 20 miles or so off shore. Dorado are also in the area and the ones that have been boated are of good size in the 30 to 40ish pound range. You will spend the whole day looking for fish in this area, but if you are hungry for billfish, then this is probably you r best bet right now….

Punta Mita is a little slow right now, but some of these ¨wise guy¨ captains have been setting up buoys of coconut palm leaves in the Punta Mita Area closer in. So if you are not one of the privileged few to know the locations, run the sounder in the usual locations and you will know where to find them. Bait fish and diving birds that don’t move is a strong indication of what is going on there.

The Marietta Islands are less than spectacular right now, again with the clear green water which is loaded with bait in the form of Skip Jack Tuna and Bonito. Rooster Fish are still here in diminishing numbers, but the few that have been boated are in the 40 lb range. But be patient, they won’t be jumping in the boat amigo!  Still for the buck, I would consider this location if you´re flush with fuel cash… There have been a few Dorado here as well, small, but encouraging for sure. Stay tuned….

699  lb Black Marlin, June 6, 2006.... This is the pattern Early to Mid June Yearly

699 lb Black Marlin, June 6, 2006.... This is the pattern Early to Mid June Yearly

Strange enough, the place to be right now is in the bay if you are looking for some decent action. No kidding, Jack Crevalls, Skippies (Skip Jack Tuna) in the 20lb range,  Bonito about the same size. Snappers around the rocks and soon with the seasonal rains on the way, there will be Robalo going crazy near the river mouths as all that organic food like leaves, bugs, seeds, roll down the mountains directly into the fish food chain! Off Yelapa there has been so much bait and the water is perfect temperature that a Black Marlin, 150 lbs only, was boated about twelve miles off the beach. Strange stuff indeed, but I guess it just shows fish are where you find them!

Further south in the bay, Cabo Corrientes specifically is really a great place to head out to with some light tackle.  Skip Jack Tuna a little larger in the 40 lb range are there taking baits like nutz!  Magnifico boated a  Black Ma rlin  and then yesterday hit a 100 lb Plus Yellow Fin Tuna. So this area is firing right now. Head out to Chimo and drop anything you want, they will hit it lure wise. Lures are working better than live bait for this brief moment in time. Yellow, the Mexican flag (green, white & red), Rapallas, Blue, Daisy Chains, you name it, give it a try on light tackle. You´ll be glad you did. It would not surprise me much if you found Sailfish in the area and maybe some Marlin if you head out a little ways. Of course this all depends on how thick your wallet is!  A ten hour day will show some results. With some luck you may find Sailfish there as well….

As we enter June the Marlin normally, notice I say normally…. Come in. We get a week of big Billfish like Blue or Black Marlin mix in the deep water locations. Could be the first, second or even third week, but it has been a pattern now for the last few years and hopefully we can count on this to hold true. Cross your fingers, toes and whatever else you can cross on your body, stay away from crossing your eyes, we wouldn´t want to get anything stuck now would we??

Very few boats heading out in the mornings gives us a pretty thin thread to base a fishing report. But Magnifico has been heading out to the areas I just mentioned and as one of the finest boats in the Marina Vallarta, everyone will agree in the know, if they don´t catch fish, there are no fish to be had. Now they have been coming in with fish, but it has been work. No worries, it´s late May and things will start to pick up again hopefully in Mid June. It´s just a matter of time before we see larger Yellowfin Tuna turn up along with their running mates of Black and Blue Marlin.

With the Bonito and especially the Skip Jack Tuna out there, it is just a matter of time before we see desired results of big fish moving into the area. Let’s hope it’s sooner than later.

I know I write a lot about how you need to be careful with cab drivers. But I had this gentleman come in today, a regular reader, tell me a story of how he left 20 pesos with a cab driver who promised to bring him change in the morning. Ordinarilly this sort of situation would wind up with this trusting sole never seeing his change. You see if a cab driver does not have change, you don’t legally have to pay the guy and frankly I wouldn’t have given this guy the extra trust. But I just wanted to balance out the comments, there are good people who are trust worthy out there… I love Mexico!

El Faro Bar, At The Top of The Light Hose, Sunsets, Lightening, Romance is here!

El Faro Bar, At The Top of The Light Hose, Sunsets, Lightening, Romance is here!

Just a reminder, the Marina Vallarta is empty, yet it is still the ¨Other Malicon or Boardwalk¨ in Vallarta. With 15 restaurants and tons of shopping you can find that little something you just have to give _____ insert name… Don’t forget to visit El Faro Bar or the Light House Bar depending on if you speak Spanish or English. It is atop the light house on the boardwalk in the village in Marina Vallarta. With appetizers and a great drink menu they can order Italian food from my favorite restaurant in Marina Vallarta, Dante Ristorante. So tell Teresa in the El Faro Bar that Stan from Master Baiter’s said to come by and check out a sunset in the most romantic view and bar in Puerto Vallarta. You´ll be glad you did…

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. We work for your business which explains why seventy percent of my business at Master Baiter´s is return business! You work hard for your precious vacation, money is hard enough to come by, you don´t need to worry about the companies you are dealing with! 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 to Stan Gabruk.  Always ask to speak with Stan to insure product quality and to insure you are working with the true Master Baiter´s ® and not an imposter

 

Quickie Report: Very Brief to the Moment.. Spring fishing Up and Down

A friend of mine sent me an email asking what the action was like, he lives in the area so I did not go into much detail, but I realized after wrote him t his brief report, that it said it all with few words so until i finish my latest report, this is what is happening in a nut shell….

Ron , Started seeing some  Roosters of nice size …. 44 inches…    Milk Fish which are strong fighters and in the area which is unusual… Cubera and red snappers, needle fish are moving into the area so the water is warming up… Sailfish off El Banco and they´re right on time….  Gil Netters have surrounded  some areas around the Marietta Islands. It´s funny to hear  commercial fisherman complain about sports fisherman and at times carry guns…vice versa…. but it´s still basically illegal for the both of them to be there fishing in the first place!…..   Dorado near Sayulita but long liners are screwing things up again…. Some Jack Crevalls still …. Fishing is up and down, some days you hit the jack pot , others are tough at best…. Best fishing is still in the 8 hr range, but 4 and 6 hrs has small fish. Bite happening sometimes around 8 right now, but the late day bite is between 12 and 3… Now go get me some pictures to publish amigo!!

Stan

Quickie Report: El Morro Springs to Life With Rooster Fish

Quickie Report: El Morro Springs to Life With Rooster Fish

March 2, 2011

 

FuN, fUn, FuN... Small Gamefish, Plenty of Action!

FuN, fUn, FuN… Small Gamefish, Plenty of Action!

 

There are certain conditions and times of the year when those with some experience will remember and then take the time to check out from time to time. When we see the colder water start to go up in temperature and at the same time we see the water getting dirty we know the currents are changing. Currents don´t change overnight and it takes time for the water to change in temperature as well. So once this starts happening we can have as much as a week of great fishing in an area where few will venture. So you can imagine how those in the know will keep this area a secret as long as possible as it explodes with action that is relatively close in. The Rooster fish out there are taking baits of all sizes so there is no need to worry about presenting the correct sized bait for the time being. If surface trolling running poppers will work well as will the three and six inch silver diamond jigs. These fish are for the most part not picky and will hit anything that is splashy or shinny.

Off Sayulita, around the corner and up from Punta Mita the Rooster fish have fallen off a little. But the Dorado are picking up in numbers (nothing major for the moment), the Sierra Mackerals have gotten huge for the species of 25 to 35 lbs! Snappers are here as well around the rocks, but the primary players will be Mackerals, Jack Crevalls (larger at 340 lbs), Snappers, Pompano and Rooster Fish which are increasing in numbers.

The bay is full of bait, the water temperatures are up and down as is normal but they are creeping up. So this is all good news. As we move into March we should see the Sailfish coming back soon. Buy the middle to end of April we should see the Dorado come back. Last year it was July before we saw any size to the Dorado, but that was a La Nina year so looking back it wasn´t that surprising.

Jack Crevalls are still in the bay and picking up in numbers and size by the day. The six hour trips are worth their salt now since it gives you enough time to reach the far end of the bay in both directions which insures you have plenty of action. My boats heading out in the bay the last few days have been hooking into at least twenty fish a day! So while the fish may be winter sized, there are decent numbers out there so people are catching fish and having light tackle fun!

Looking around the area Barra to the north and Manzanillo to the south both have lots of Dorado (or Dolphin or Mahi Mahi), Sailfish, and even Marlin. The water temperatures there are a touch warmer, but the fact that Barra Navidad and Manzanillo are both north and south of us is a good indicator that the currents are moving. The simple fact that Puerto Vallarta is a little on the chilly side in comparison is of no concern since we are moving  into late winter now and shortly the gap will fill in with warmer water as well…. Stay tuned!

Just a reminder, Summer is coming and spring break happens in late April this year. If you are thinking of doing a Yellowfin Tuna or Marlin fishing trip this year (summer begins for monsters in mid July), remember early bookings will save you money. With the negative and bogus news of how Mexico is dangerous the prices and numbers of people visiting this summer will be down. This means you will save some serious cash if you book early and it looks like it will be an early summer this year. So start salting your pennies, nickels and dimes away for that fishing trip this year.

Just a reminder, the press in the states is blowing the situation with the narcos or drug cartels out of proportion. 60% of whatever you hear is happening in the places where it has always happened, nothing new is happening here! If the press would show real numbers / statistics on the drug cartel situation here in Mexico you would realize that sensationalized headlines sell news as they promote Obamas agenda to keep the tourism dollar in the states! To put it this way, If I was thinking of the United States as if it was size of how Mexico is perceived, would you not go to Los Angeles because somebody got shot in Florida? Well it’s just that stupid. There are not bands of Mexicans looking to kill tourist, there are not drug dealers with guns in the streets. The only way you will find trouble in Mexico is if you go looking for it. If you go into the slums of Detroit, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Houston, New  York, Los Angeles and the list goes on, looking for drugs then you will have the same situation. Mexico is statistically safer than Brazil! Mexico is not dangerous and no matter what, there will always be crime in every corner of the world, you can´t get around that. But if you are smart, you can take advantage of the bogus perception the press has created about Mexico! As the sheep run away from the nonexistent wolf, you can zig when they zag and get some great deals, in a safe place for the whole family and have Mexico pretty much to yourself! Like the Swine H1N1 lies they spewed all over the place creating the perception you would die in Mexico from this disease, the press has a chip on it’s shoulder when it comes to Mexico. Mexico is safer than most of the larger cities in America and you wouldn´t avoid New York or Baltimore which are statistically speaking more dangerous than Mexico. So be informed, see through the smoke and take advantage of an opportunity!

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

 

Rollercoaster Conditions, Rollercoaster Results, Yellowfin Possibilities

Rollercoaster Conditions, Rollercoaster Results, Yellowfin Possibilities

You´ve heard the old saying; ¨what goes up, must come down¨! When it comes to fishing, truer words were never spoken. With the rollercoaster conditions we´ve been seeing of  clean water, then dirty water, then warm currents, bait issues, strange tides, and no consistency it can make your head spin! While water temperatures have not changed much in the last week.

One thing we always want to know as fisherman is what it the bait fish situation. There are times when there is too much bait in the water. At those times it is impossible to get fish to pay attention to your bait, no matter how you are presenting it.. Other times there is not enough bait and the fish move on…  Right now we are a little heavy on bait, but other areas around the area are also heavy on bait. And when the ¨getting is good¨ why move on, it won´t be any ¨greener¨ down the road!

A Little Bit of Everything Out There

A Little Bit of Everything Out There

In the bay there is plenty of bait to attract fish, so that is not our problem right now. Our problem is getting them to come in our direction. Of course we will be waiting for them, but for now it´s best to focus on what is at hand and available.  So nobody should be expecting to catch Moby Dick inside 75 miles. If anyone tells you otherwise, walk away….

Like in recent weeks the big fish are still out 75 miles. Now that is really not that far, but when you´re looking at three hours of travel time one way, unless you are dedicated (fanatic) to boating a 200lb Yellowfin Tuna, then you will be settling for smaller game fish. But no worries, for those interested in some arm straining action! With Jack Crevalls in the 25lb range, African Pompano to 50lbs, Cubera Snappers if you’re lucky just off the reefs. Sierra Mackerals in the 10 to 30lb range with 15lbs being the average. There is a mix of smaller groupers, small Snappers and several others to choose from closer in. So if you hear the fishing is slow, this is what slow is when it comes to fishing in Puerto Vallarta!

Now I need to warn all of you out there about the Tres Maria Islands. I have been writing a lot about this location lately since there have been so many boats heading out to this protected area. One thing to remember when heading out this way, the limit is fifteen (15) miles. Any closer than that and you are risking being arrested and taken in. When you are on some of the popular bulletin boards on Puerto Vallarta you will see them all puffing their chest up about the Monster Yellowfin Tuna and then proceed to tell the world how cool they are as the guy in his living room is reading this crap. Now the Yellowfin Tuna are out there, but look at the Maximus. A newly operating long distance charter boat that can handle up to ten people was caught the other day with no insurance, no fishing licenses and a forged permit to fish the islands. Now this boat gets more than $1,500.00 per person for a three day trip. That is top dollar for anywhere, especially here in Mexico! The guys onboard all read their articles, they all believed this operation to be first class and they all found out that they got duped! The boat was too close to the PRISON ISLANDS withe phony documentation, then missing necessary documentation, the passengers were all mad as hell! One of the boats I warned you of previously, The Anna Maria was grabbed by the Navy and the captain Steven Torres was held for four days along with his boat. He was held for four days where they shaved his head and then they put him with the general population. This guy is promoting himself all over the place and he looks legit until you have an incident like this happen.  Take Care!

Now that you have that information under your belt, twenty to twenty five miles west of The Bank or El Banco, there are just herds of Yellowfin Tuna. It´s amazing how we have a current running by the islands that is really warm. This is an indication that the seasonal current changes are in flux. This also means an early summer, something most of us would welcome. If you are looking for Yellowfin Tuna and are willing to pay the price, you can have what you want and not get arrested in the process! Striped Marlin are nowhere to be found unless you are up north or south a hundred miles or so. But these fish move and they will find their way to pv SOON.

As has become normal, the Marietta Islands are still cooking with  Snappers in the 35lb range, the occasional Rooster Fish of 35 to 60lbs, Pompano to 50 lbs, Sierra Mackerals everywhere to 25 lbs., Jack Crevalls are plentiful, but in and out. For the most part this area has been one of the two 8 hr trip locations that are worth heading out to for the time being. There is a lot of small baby Mackerals in the water and it may be hard to turn a fishes head so bring your bag of tricks, you may need everything you own !

North of Punta Mita in the Sayulita area there have consistently been Rooster fish, but a whole lot more African Pompano and this area is probably the best bang for your fishing buck right now. A super panga can handle this destination nicely and save you a few bucks. Six inch rapallas with spoons about ten inches off the tail is working nicely. Now the color of the Rapalla is the question here. I suggest Yellow and black or black and purple if the water is dark in color. Snappers are also around the structured areas and may be a little on the small side, but they still taste great amigos!

As we approach March, we will see water temperatures creep up slowly, this is when we should start to see the Sailfish start to come back in to the area. Something to look forward to.  So if by chance you will be on a boat near the Gaviotas or San Pancho area, keep this in mind and bring the right equipment for the task!

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

Remember, if you have any questions or suggestions you can reach me at: www.MasterBaiters.com.mx or CatchFish@MasterBaiters.com.mx

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