PUERTO VALLARTA — The recently boated 427.9-pound yellowfin tuna on the boat Journeyman on a trip reportedly to the Baja’s Lower Banks out of Puerta Vallarta hit the internet like wildfire this past week. But the fish could have been the world record for the biggest on a rod and reel didn’t make it into the books. It was also about the only “news” here since the waters here are still in transition.
For a detailed account of the event, check out the WONews column by Pat McDonell, Editorial Director of Western Outdoors Publications at Wonews.com and look under his blogs. There’s a photo there as well.
“For the last six weeks or so I have been talking about how we’re in a transitional period as the water temperatures have not gotten warmer yet and the water is still a clear green color,” Gabruk said. “The fishing has not improved to any noticeable degree, with the exception of the one tuna. With tourism slowing down as it normally does after the Easter holidays, there are few boats going out so making calls as to where to go, what is biting and what time the bite is happening is almost impossible to predict or even speculate about. Welcome to spring fishing here in Puerto Vallarta.”
Gabruk said if there are any fish to be had; the Tres Maria Islands has been one of the few areas where you’ll find them. “But with the Tres Maria Islands being so far away and expensive, this option for most people is not reasonable. The Marietta Islands and points north of San Pancho have sailfish and dorado but this has by no means been a hot spot for fish,” he said.
“With the water temperatures lingering at just a little above ‘cold’ this is not helping fishing conditions,” Gabruk said. “And with cool air in the mornings, we know that we can expect to have the cold water for a little longer, since weather patterns always follow water temperatures. This may be frustrating but it is not unusual. Around this time of the year we all watch the calendar, waiting for warmer days and with it warmer water temperatures. Hopefully as we enter the month of May, we will at least see the dorado move back in.”
Gabruk said north, near Guyavitos there are still sailfish and dorado. “Like last week, the number of boats heading out is low at best and there are very few reports from this area. But the water is normally on the warm side here and this area gives you your best opportunity to catch some arm burning action.”
“El Banco and Corbeteña are both the same as last week and for the same reasons, I would suggest staying away until there is news of improvements,” Gabruk said. “Jack crevalle and with some luck, dorado, can be found in these area, but don’t hold your breath. For now your fuel dollar would be better spent elsewhere.”
“As we inch towards summer, things will change, the water temperatures will rise and the warmwater species will move in again,” Gabruk said. “This of course, will all depend on the waters warming up and the bait moving back in.”
In other Mexico fishing action:
— CANCUN TO COZUMEL: Puerto Morelos could be renamed the “Caribbean Fun Fishing Center,” with blue water action just a few minutes outside the entrance to the Marina El Cid.
“The weekly bite action for this area experiences is incredibly different from our other areas and typically spans at least a dozen species in every catch report,” Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said.
“Now, as we move into the white marlin season, we add them to the spectrum,” Edwards said. “The overall catches for Puerto Morelos for 21 charters included a 13 fish mixed bag report that included 3 white marlin, 6 sailfish, 16 dorado, 6 Atlantic barracuda, 4 king mackerel, 2 wahoo, 7 bonito, 3 Spanish mackerel, 1 grouper, 1 snapper, 3 amberjack, 2 triggerfish and 1 jack crevalle.”
— IXTAPA-ZIHUATANEJO: Cooler, off-colored waters were a problem here as well.
“Capt. Temo Verboonen reported another week of slower than normal fishing for the offshore waters, (within the 25 to 30 mile range) primarily due to the cooler water conditions and the off-colored, greenish water,” fleet representative Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said.
“The big game fish, such as marlin, sailfish, dorado, tuna are, for the most part, staying outside the 1000-Fathom curve and beyond the 50-mile mark, making it out of reach for most of the boats,” Edwards said. “However, the inshore fishing did pick up this past week and there were some much better reports reflected in the catches of sierra and jack crevalle. The inshore fishing is different day by day and often, even during the same day, causing the skippers to explore different areas.”
Fly fishing expert and guide Ed Kunze said Cheva, from the panga Dos Hermanos II, came by his house to give him a report. “He had gone 25 miles out to clean water and only had one strike on a striped marlin on a trolled lure,” Kunze said. “That was it for the day. The blue 80-degree water is at 30 miles, with the first 5 miles close to the beach being below 70 degrees. I have never seen that before.”
“Adolfo, on the panga Dos Hermanos fished with Ted Vickerman with several jack crevalle on the inshore at Troncones and a little off the beach for several sierra but that was it. We too, are in transition.”
— MAZATLAN: The fleet continues to report very good striper action starting at about 15 miles south of the Marina El Cid and continuing outbound from that area, as the water temperatures remain favorable for the area.
“The Aries II was high boat for the week and reported a 5 striper day that was followed by a 3 striper day,” Larry Edwards said. “According to Ms. Kitcia Ceja, the reporter for the Aries Sportfishing Fleet, the action was good for all of the boats and multiple opportunities were available throughout the fishing week.”
The overall offshore catches for 16 charters included 17 stripers with 8 releases, 2 sailfish, 4 dorado and 1 mako shark. The inshore fishing report for 5 charters included good red snapper action with 59 snapper, 31 grouper, 1 triggerfish, 1 perch, 1 barracuda, 2 corvina and a single sailfish taken aboard the Anzuelo III.
— SAN CARLOS (SONORA): The action is starting to heat up here, as the waters do.
“We had our 1st Annual Ironman competition in San Carlos Saturday,” Bryan Replogle of Team Margarita Sport Fishing and SC Aquatic Adventures said. “The self proclaimed jigging king of the area proved his worth by taking the crown. Craig Collins caught and released 15 yellowtail over Jerry Anderson’s 13 and my friend Tim Baerris and I both had 10. Eleven anglers caught (and released -some) 78 fish. At times half of the anglers were hooked up.”
“We had an epic bite at times and were begging for mercy in the end,” Replogle said. “The fishing is red hot all around the island for 12- to 30-pound yellowtail. The pangas are pulling in close to a 100 a day on live bait.”
“We caught tons of calico earlier in the week,” Replogle said. “One even went to 11 pounds. Lots of marlin are swimming in and one should be caught any day now. We should see dorado any day and are waiting for the first reports of tuna. A sailfish was even seen in close.”
“I headed to Lake Oviachic for three days,” Replogle said. “But we had motor problems and couldn't get up the lake, where they are catching fish to 11 pounds. We caught a hundred a day though to 5 pounds on Shad Raps and plastics. The fish are up shallow and very aggressive. Jumped in the water and it felt a perfect 77 and 78 degrees. There is a big tournament on May 4-6th there, I’ll be eager to know the results.”
Jon Hilderbrand from Will-Yums Adventures reported that the wind has finally died down a bit but said the west-northwest winds are keeping the warm water away. “We were out scouting our local reef, looking for any early signs and found lots of small sargasso but nothing underneath,” he said. “The water is turning to crystal clear blue, so it’s only a matter of time before we see dorado. There’s lots of small baitfish with birds hitting them but nothing underneath yet.”
“Bottomfishing has been good when we can get out,” Hilderbrand said. “There has been some nice calico and the small grouper.”
For more Mexico fishing reports visit: www.bajafisherman.com
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SAN CARLOS YELLOWTIAL ACTION PICKING UP WITH WARMING WATERS — JJ Busse from Boulder, CO caught a nice 23 pounder, while most are waiting for the waters to warm up. PHOTO COURTESY OF WILL-YUMS ADVENTURES