Yellowfin Tuna at Corbeteña, El Banco Craps Out, Perfect October Fishing in PV!

Yellowfin Tuna at Corbeteña, El Banco Craps Out, Perfect October Fishing in PV! 

Written by Stan Gabruk of Master Baiter ´s Sportfishing and Tackle

I was hoping the few days after Hurricane Jove would push some much desired game fish to El Banco and it looked like this was going to be a jump start for this normally producing location. But his year El Banco has been anything but productive by any yard stick. T here were a few days after hurricane Jove passed by that were good, but that was short lived. Now the action is back at Corbeteña and what is happening now is the stuff finned fantasies are made of! Yellowfin Tuna, Blue Marlin, Big Dorado, Sailfish, Cubera Snappers, I mean the Rock is Rockin for sure. People always ask me when the best time to be in Puerto Vallarta is? My answer is always the same, NOW! That´s right amigos, you are looking at the best time of the year to catch a Bucket List, Monster Finned Fantasy in our world famous fishing grounds of Puerto Vallarta. Welcome to Tournament Season amigos, the game is on!

 Yellowfin Tuna @ Crobetena on Izak wCapt. Richard

Yellowfin Tuna @ Crobetena on Izak wCapt. Richard

Let´s just start with El Banco or The Bank as it is also commonly called. Now remember everything can change before I finish this article, but for my money, there is no reason to head out to El Banco, none. The fish you will find there are Sailfish, Maybe some Marlin, come Cubera Snappers (aka Dog Tooth Pargo) and football sized Yellowfin Tuna. Essentially the Footballs are bait for Corbeteña. For the next ten minutes (or so) heading to Corbeteña is your smartest move. There, I said it and I am sticking with it. Corbeteña Yes, El Banco, No. Enough Said. Update 10/19/ 2011 all of a sudden El Banco explodes with Yellowfin Tuna and larger Black Marlin. Like I said earlier in the article, before I could post it, things changed! Plenty of live bait and by that I mean full sized Chorra (any kind of bait including t he following), Skip Jack Tuna, Bonito and Sardines like nuts now!

Sailfish off Punta Mita Point

Sailfish off Punta Mita Point

 

Now Corbeteña has turned into the fishing ¨promise land¨ as late. Marlin is kinda sparse here right now, with most of the Marlin in the area between the rock and El Morro. Lots of Blue Marlin in the 500 lb range hanging out there looking for a live Skippie (aka SkipJack Tuna) or bullet Tuna / Bonito.  Dorado are huge with some in the 50lb range, Cubera Snappers are in the 60lb range, Sailfish are large and in tournament winning size ranges. Yellowfin tuna in the 160 lb range (several over 200lbs). I mean what more could you want for perfect fishing conditions? Plenty of bait, blue water, perfect water temperatures in the 84 degrees range. It is all coming together here and now. If you are heading out of the bay keep your ears open about El Banco, but plan on Corbeteña.

Both the points off Cabo Corrientes and Punta Mita are doing well with plenty of Dorado and nice sized Sailfish as you may expect for this time of the year. In fact normally we have a heavy season for Sailfish once the middle of October arrives. It´s just their pattern and many times these days with all the bait in the bay, they will come in and take advantage of the abundant bait fish. Between Cabo Corrientes and El Morro is fertile territory for these beauties. Which site is better, it depends on the day, so keep your ears on amigos.

The bay is insane with great fishing. Now four hour trips are producing well. But on a super panga for two more hours it will only cost you 50 bucks… and for six yours you can expect to limit out on everything. Yes I know nobody enforces the regulations yet, but you know what I mean. Remember to throw w the female Dorado back for obvious reasons. One dead female is like killing a small school of fish, remember that when you start keeping the females amigos.

I have been keeping a keen eye on the water temperatures as late and they are hanging in the area we would prefer in the 84 to 86 degree range. With NOAA declaring this another La Nina Year, very rare, we are expecting the same weather patterns as last year as well. But with a little luck it will be a mild la Nina year and we will see winter set in around normal. What does this mean to you if you are coming down in December and early January, well it means there should still be very large gamefish at the deep water fishing grounds. For the seasonal traveler or Holiday traveler this means you will have cool weather in PV and you will have hot fishing. I see this as a good thing since everyone wants to catch Moby Dick if they can. But remember Marlin at rare times will come into the bay, but almost never. You need longer distances to get larger fish in PV. Keep this in mind so you don´t get into some situation where you pay for something you would never have a chance to catch.

 

Thanks for reading. If you want to sign up for my weekly and biweekly post on my web site sign up for a subscription at: www.masterbaiters.wordpress.com and  you will receive a notice of when I post articles, pictures or other stuff you will want to know about…..

For those of you looking for local news, I suggest two different online places, One is: BanderasNews (dot) com and the other is PVMirror (dot)com … Both are outstanding publications that you can access online to receive the latest and greatest in Puerto Vallarta´s daily activities and news on Mexico.

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.

 

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Hurricane jova Fizzles, El Banco Comes to Life, Tournament Season Begins!

Hurricane jova Fizzles, El Banco Comes to Life, Tournament Season Begins !

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

We were under a Hurricane watch for what seemed like an eternity but Hurricane Jova passed us without any issues. Not so for Barra Navidad and Manzanillo who are south of Puerto Vallarta by about 150 miles. Now you may ask how this affected fishing in Puerto Vallarta and my answer would have to be favorably! In front of Hurricane Jova we saw every species we look for coming in closer in front of the storm in larger numbers.  The report may be a little short this week, but I am sure you understand.

 Dorado, Nathan Howard, Punta Mita

Dorado, Nathan Howard, Punta Mita

We had been watching two hurricanes, Jova and Irwin. Irwin is still spinning around, but is little more than a threat of rain and wind about Mid Mexico now on the west coast. Jova on the other hand had us wondering. Most of the time when Puerto Vallarta is threatened it is a series of tropical storms pushing one in the direction of the Mexican coast. Such was the case with Jova this past week and dominated my blog reports. Jova is gone now, short lived once it hit land. As you would expect we got a fair amount of rain which washed down the mountains of all sorts of organic materials like seeds, leaves, roots, bugs, you name it. Just what ¨they¨ like in the bay and these are the materials that form the trash line we speak so much about at this time of the year. So things have taken off to say the least in the bay these last few days with nice Football sized Tuna and tons of Dorado. Nothing fancy, just find your way on the bay and catch fish. Not much more complicated than that. The Football Yellowfin Tuna are running in the 40lb range, great for eating and the Dorado are in the 25lb range as well, large for the bay. There are also Roballo or Snook just stuffing themselves at the river mouth in dirty water, they don´t care. So if you are looking for a short trip, lots of ¨Table¨ fish then you don´t need to go any farther than the bay.

Looking for something a little larger in size, then Corbeteña is the place to start looking. With Marlin hovering between the Marietta islands and the Rock, anywhere past the Marietta or El Morro Island is fertile ground for a smaller Blue Marlin. If you find yourself looking for Yellowfin Tuna at the Rock, it turned a little funny out there after the storm. The Yellowfin moved out for a little while, but I am sure this is short lived and will return shortly like they always do. But there are larger Dorado in the 40lb range, Sailfish, Dog Tooth Pargo, aka Cubera Snappers, Marlin and with a little luck Yellowfin Tuna in the next day or so.

Dorado and Sailfish at Corbeteña

Dorado and Sailfish at Corbeteña

El Banco has for some reason sprung to life with Yellowfin Tuna, something that has been missing at this normal Yellowfin Tuna Heaven for sure. Sailfish in the Area as well and there is the chance of a Black Marlin for sure. While the Yellowfin Tuna are not Monsters for sure, still at 100 lbs upwards to 200 lbs can be worth your fuel dollar, finally! With plenty of bait in the water it may just pick up enough for the Pez Vela Tournament to be worthwhile this year.

The points of Punta Mita and Cabo Corrientes are still smoking with action, Dorado and Sailfish mostly. By the reefs at Punta Mita there is always the chance of Rooster Fish on a shinny lure or live Google Eye. Worth your time and money which ever location you choose to hit.

With the port only open a couple of days the sizes of fish are hard to  call or predict. We are still waiting to see people heading out to the fishing grounds. As far as sizes go, not enough reports to actually give sizes. But the fishing is happening and in a few days I will have a better feel for what is happening out there. But before the storm as everyone was nervous the fishing exploded as you can expect in the path of a Hurricane or even tropical storm. The trick here is to get your fishing days in as the pressure pushes the game fish in the direction of where you are at. This does not always work, it just depends, but with us here in Puerto Vallarta we found two storms pushing in our direction and that is when if you find yourself in the right place, you can enjoy the benefits as you cross your fingers hoping the Hurricane heads elsewhere.  

Mexican Footalls, YF Tuna that is, Good Eating!

Mexican Footalls, YF Tuna that is, Good Eating!

Keep an eye on my blog with a more detailed report for this week since the port has only been open for a few days (www.masterbaiters.wordpress.com)

The good news is the water temperatures are holding true even at 84 to 86 degrees with the oncoming of another La Nina year with colder than normal water temperatures circulating enevitable. Plenty of bait and blue water. But we are coming to an end of the rainy season and soon the trash line will be a thing of the past until next year. No worries amigos, fishing will hopefully remain great into January!  

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 Porn, Safe for your 12 yr old (10 04 2011)

Hey There….

 

FYI, I post a weekly fishing report on my web site that is different than my blog report. Subscribe to this blog and remember to c eck out my web page for different information weekly…..  Now it´s time for  me to post some more Fish Porn, Safe for Your 12 year old ……

Dorado at Corbeteña....

Dorado at Corbeteña....

 

 Lisa Frick Dorado in the bay

Lisa Frick Dorado in the bay

 

Sailfish, Rod Hewitt, Jason & Melissa Reiner, CaboCorr, Magnifico

Sailfish, Rod Hewitt, Jason & Melissa Reiner, CaboCorr, Magnifico

 

 Casey Hocker fishon1

Casey Hocker fishon1

 

 Casey Hocker caseytuna

Casey Hocker caseytuna

 

Yellowfin Footballs,  Michelle Stewart, El Banco, Animal House, I just like this pic!

Yellowfin Footballs, Michelle Stewart, El Banco, Animal House, I just like this pic!

 

First mate Lobo loading up the Flags.....

First mate Lobo loading up the Flags.....

 

 Sunrisepv Casey Hocker, 8 hrs, Cabo Corrientes

Sunrisepv Casey Hocker, 8 hrs, Cabo Corrientes

Now for some older photos we all love to look at ……..

This is the biggest tuna I have ever seen, circa 2004

This is the biggest tuna I have ever seen, circa 2004

 

Yelowfin  Tuna at the Dock

Yelowfin Tuna at the Dock

 

3 Monster YF and a six foot tall college student, circa 2002

3 Monster YF and a six foot tall college student, circa 2002

 

Zev and his huge Yellowfin Tuna, Marlin!

Zev and his huge Yellowfin Tuna, Marlin!

 

Ok, that is it for now… Remember my blog is different from my web page with different articles and information… Subscribe to my blog, I like seeing readers and I need or I should say I want more than three regular readers… You can also follow MasterBaiters on Tweeter…  Take care and enjoy your fish porn!

 

 

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.

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.

 

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….

 

Stan

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!