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Mexico Fishing Report

Puerto Vallarta looking to spring forward with a good bite

BY ROBIN WADE/WON Staff WriterPublished: Apr 06, 2012

PUERTO VALLARTA — Sunday all of Mexico joined in and moved their clocks forward, and with any luck, Puerto Vallarta (PV) will spring forward into the fishing season and hopefully begin to see sailfish and dorado as well this month.

“For the last few years dorado took their time finding Puerto Vallarta and did not show up until mid July so we’re just happy to have these gold and sapphire colored blue plate specials swimming in our world famous fishing grounds now,” Stan Gabruk of Master Baiter´s Sportfishing and Tackle said. “The other good news is that sailfish have shown up again in the Golden Triangle. This is the area between El Morro, Corbeteña and El Banco. Along with the sailfish there have been some striped marlin released as well. It may be a little early in the season to talk of any frenzies but we are happy that dorado are showing early. High season for fishing begins now and there is no turning back until next January.”

Gabruk said for the last few weeks PV has had to deal with dirty green water which of course fish are not fond of and means they won’t take bait. “One reason is they may not see it, the other is this water leaves a bad taste in their mouth for sure,” Gabruk said. “That was last week, as of Sunday we still had some green water, but it was ‘clean green’ as my crew call it,” he said. “The fish seem to be okay with it and by that I mean fish will see and take baits in this emerald water. So it looks like the currents have pushed out the bad stuff and we can focus on the fish and not the conditions, although they are always a factor. We may see more dirty water in the season as is normal, but for now it feels like we’re going to move into summer earlier than I expected.”

“The area just a few miles south of the Marietta Islands has had sailfish swimming on the surface, jumping and lounging in the sun,” Gabruk said. “As they do this you can toss baits at them although many times they will ignore them. But right now one out of three may take bait, so it will be work for sure, but is it really work? Striped marlin are also hanging out in the area so if you’re heading to Corbeteña you may want to troll to The Rock from El Morro. For now the sailfish bite has been happening around 1:00 in the afternoon so plan your day accordingly like I plan our fishing trips.”

“The area around Corbeteña is alive with action once more,” Gabruk said. “For the most part these are dorado in the 30-pound range and the numbers have been decent. So go for it, they taste great and are taking lures and google eyes in the clean green water. We should start seeing sailfish and striped marlin in this area as well so be ready for some serious strikes.”  

Gabruk said Punta Mita Point and the Sayulita Reef at Anclote have seen roosterfish in the 25- to 40-pound range sporadically, so keep an eye on this area. “The bite has not really been reliable enough yet to suggest hitting this area, the water temperatures are still on the cold side at 74 degrees, but it looks to be warm enough now for summer species to start moving in,” he said.
“The Tres Maria Islands this past week was a mixed bag,” Gabruk said. “The southern island Juanita was jammed full of 60- to 80-pound yellowfin tuna for the most part. But there were reports from the same day of the main prison island being empty of yellowfin.”

“Bait is available, but not abundant at the fishing grounds so make bait when you can,” Gabruk said. “You can still purchase bait from the boats by the fuel dock in the morning. Bonito and google eyes for now are working as well as anything else so have your bag of tricks handy and some bait; anything can happen from this point forward.”
In other Mexico fishing action:   

— CANCUN TO COZUMEL: Reporting for the Marina El Cid Fleet, Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said that while it was a little slower week on charters, the fishing remained strong through the week and anglers that elected to fish the longer days had good opportunities at sailfish.  

The overall catch report for a total of 18 charters included 8 sailfish, 3 king mackerel, 7 blackfin tuna, 10 bonito, 4 Atlantic barracuda, 9 dorado, 1 Spanish mackerel, 6 triggerfish, 3 snapper and 7 grouper or a combined species of 10 fish.

— IXTAPA-ZIHUATANEJO: The blue water is just off the beach and holding lots of gamefish but with cooler water temperatures, they slash at the trolled baits and then leave.

“This is probably due to the cooler water current bringing cooler water loving bait species, namely squid,” fly fishing guide Ed Kunze said. “The fish are feeding down below, come back up to the surface to warm up a little, and instinct takes over when a well presented trolled bait comes past. They are attacking the baits, but not eating them.”

“The main action has been the light line and fly rod inshore fishing,” Kunze said. “The cooler water has brought in the good eating sierra in abundant quantities; there are lots of jack crevalle, and a tonnage of black skipjack, and chulas (a light meat and good eating tuna with teeth).”

“The Roger Myer family fished with Mecate on the Aqua Azul, and almost got worn out fighting fish,” Kunze said. “They got 40 fish of five different species. Rob and his wife, from Corvallis, OR, fished with Mecate the next day and did a repeat.”

Reporting for the Independent Sportfishing Fleet, Capt. Temo Verboonen said some windy days brought some green, cooler water through during the early week and then left the area, returning the fish bite at about 8 miles from the entrance to the bay.  

“Once the cooler, off-colored water moved out, the marlin, sailfish and dorado popped back up but this time, much closer to the entrance of the bay,” Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said. “We had lots of sea life activity in the fish bite zone with dolphin, birds, bait and of course, good fishing, too.”  

“The inshore action picked back up considerably with schools of big jacks biting at Morros de Potosi and Guamilule, next to Barra de Potosi,” Edwards said. “The sierra and the chulas are striking well at plugs and poppers.”

— MAZATLAN: While anglers had a decent week of fishing, the problem some days was getting out; there was heavy surf so the marina was closed. It started at noon one day and the marina was not opened until the next day. The marina’s mouth, unfortunately, was not built correctly so even if it’s super calm outside if there is surf (specially coming from the south) the marina can be closed.

Tadeo Hernández, fleet Manager for the Bibi Fleet reports fishing in Mazatlan continued to be very good for striped marlin with a catch success rate around 60 percent. “Sailfish were spotted in larger numbers every week and dorado and shark fishing was also good,” he said. “We even spotted a broadbill swordfish which is great, although as usual it was hard to make it bite.”

“The highlight of the week for us was a 51-pound, 4-foot, 7-inch dorado caught by Jessica and Kevin Manz aboard the Paty C,” Hernández said. “It was caught on a lure which had only a few minutes in the water. They also caught a striped marlin and a shortfin mako shark.”

 Hernández said inshore fishing also continues to be good for snapper, perch (mojarra), grunts and jack crevalle.

Reporting for the Aries Sportfishing Fleet, Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said the offshore action for billfish reflected a 50 percent catch rate for the sportfishing cruisers but said most of the boats did have a few good opportunities at a billfish.  

“The inshore bite for the super pangas reflected a good bite on corvina, with an average size of 10 to 15 pounds and even a black snook wound up in the mixed bag catch; a nice fish at about 20 pounds,” Edwards said.

“The overall catch report for 10 offshore charters included 5 stripers and 2 mako sharks and the inshore super panga action for 8 charters included 1 black snook, 21 corvina, 122 big red snapper, 34 perch and 19 jack crevalle,’ Edwards said.  

“According to Geronimo Cevallos, the Aries Sportfishing Fleet Manager, the corvina bite is typical for March and April in the inshore waters and provides terrific action for the inshore anglers with a terrific fish that closely resembles and tastes like a white seabass,” Edwards said.

a nice fish
A NICE MIX OF FISH — Here's a nice 17-pound corvina and a 24-pound black snook, along with the happy angler, Jon Eaton who fished on the Aries Sportfishing Fleet’s Anzuelo III out of Mazatlan. The snook was caught in the same area as the corvina, not very far outside the Marina El Cid. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CORTEZ YACHT CHARTERS

— SAN CARLOS (SONORA): Things are warming up here but of course that can also mean the water is turning over in some areas.

“With yellowtail, it always seems like the bite after the low tide is worth waiting for,” Bryan Replogle of Team Margarita Sportfishing said. “My friends waited and both boats landed 6 to 9 nice fish to 20 pounds. Otherwise, the fishing has been pretty slow.”

“There were plenty of good golden spotted seabass for us the other day from 2 to 4 pounds and a lot of yellowtail were coming up a few days ago, but for the most part they were difficult to catch, with many being smaller fish in the mix,” Replogle said. “The fish are very boat shy, possibly learning to dive before the trawlers come through.”

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