PUERTO VALLARTA — Puerto Vallarta’s water temperatures are a perfect 82 degrees (rising nicely) and as blue as you’ll ever get with bait moving in daily in massive amounts. Fish and the fishing are right on track for a great season!
“El Banco and Corbeteña have come alive, with yellowfin tuna, larger dorado in the 30- to 40-pound range, cubera snapper, rainbow runners, amberjack and the possibility of a marlin,” Stan Gabruk of Master Baiter’s Sportfishing and Tackle said. “The yellowfin tuna are in the 150-pound range so far and are looking for your bait. But it’s hard to make one area seem better than another, when there are fish at all of our favorite locations.”
“All and all the fishing is great because the conditions are perfect,” Gabruk said. “The stage is set with baby bonito and skipjack tuna everywhere; the favorite bait for just about every species. If you can make these for bait, then you may just find Moby Dick in the bay right now.”
“We’ve also seem some unusual things happening, with sailfish moving into the shore areas and taking baits as fast as they can find them,” Gabruk said. “We have 70-pound sailfish chasing baby bonito and baby skipjack tuna practically to the shore. A 4-hour trip right now is a great value and the time requirements are minimal. Dorado are running 15 to 20 pounds here, not monsters but great tasting.”
Gabruk said if you decide you need more than eight hours to get your fix, Cabo Corrientes has 50-pound football tuna, pompano and if you go into the bay you have bonito and dorado. “Eight hours is what you’ll need for these points but well worth the time,” he said. “If you go in the other direction you’ll also find sailfish and dorado, a little larger in the 20- to 25-pound range. Striped marlin are out towards El Banco, but the water is warming up a little too much for stripers to stay around.”
“The Marietta Islands are on the slow side frankly and with fish in as close as they are, there is not much reason to head out 28 miles to get what you can in front of Marina Vallarta,” Gabruk said. “Still, those venturing out will once more find sailfish, dorado, skipjack tuna, bonito, snapper, pompano and the list goes on. It’s hard to call the Marietta Islands as super special place right now when there are so many fish to choose from and closer in as well.”
In other Mexico fishing action:
— CANCUN TO COZUMEL: Add blue marlin (to 300 pounds) to the list of species being caught here right now and you’ll see why Cancun is a popular fishing destination.
“The Dave Fellows charter group, fishing aboard the Mojito, landed the week's biggest blue marlin, a 300 pounder, that took four anglers to land over a span of more than an hour,” Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said. “It was the biggest of the 4 blue marlin landed this past week.”
“Overall, the fishing in this area continues to offer fun and excitement for the anglers, that included a 13 fish mixed bag variety for the 29 charters fished by the fleet,” Edwards said.
The overall catches included 4 blue marlin, 4 white marlin, 3 sailfish, 6 wahoo, 2 Atlantic barracuda, 25 dorado, 7 bonito, 1 blackfin tuna, 1 rainbow runner, 2 amberjack, 8 triggerfish, 7 snappers and 8 groupers.
— IXTAPA-ZIHUATANEJO: With the blue water hugging the coast about 2 miles off the beach and the surface temperatures reading as warm as 85 degrees, the conditions are ideal for sailfish and dorado, but, they are not here.
“Even the commercial pangeros, making runs of 40 miles or more, are not finding many fish,” IGFA representative and fly fishing guide Ed Kunze said. “These are the guys not paid a guaranteed day on the water by a client, but who must catch fish or they do not have fuel money to go out again tomorrow. I much prefer to fish in an area where there are a couple of commercial pangeros than in an area with four to six sport boats.”
“However, the rooster fishing is excellent right now,” Kunze said. “Adolfo, on the panga Dos Hermanos, told me there are huge numbers of fish down south near Petatlan in the area he has been fishing. And, from the amount of roosters we raised one day last week (20) with a short run to the north, you can bet they are all up and down the coast. Each boat is averaging at least 4 nice roosters a day, plus several smaller jack crevalle.”
Larry Edwards, reporting for the Independent Sportfishing Fleet, said the full moon exacted its toll on the fishing and diminished the offshore bite for billfish and the few bigger dorado that had started to make their presence shown. “Capt. Temo Verboonen said there were still good signs of big gamefish throughout the area but they were not cooperating with the anglers very well and resulted in a short-bite syndrome. It would seem like the fish were night feeding in the light of the moon and shying from the baits and lures during the daylight hours.”
“But Temo reported excellent opportunities right now for the roosterfish and that bite was still going strong and didn't seem to be affected by the full moon phase at all,” Edwards said. “The inshore areas were producing good catches on the roosterfish, bonito, jack crevalle and grouper.”
— MAZATLAN: The water temperatures are up and as predicted, the dorado counts spiraled upwards with the warming sea temperatures.
“Most of the influx of dorado are smaller fish, in the 10- to 15-pound range, but unquestionably have provided great action for the light line anglers on the super pangas and cruisers,” Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said.
“What we are currently lacking in this area is the typical billfish numbers that tend to arrive with the annual influx of dorado,” Edwards said. “So far, the billfish have delayed their arrival and I would suppose it is related to the off-colored, clean green waters that extends out beyond the reach of the normal fishing day ranges.”
This past week included a total of 11 days offshore charters that resulted in 65 dorado for their efforts, while the inshore super pangas, reporting in for just 2 days fished had 1 sailfish and 11 dorado.
— SAN CARLOS (SONORA): It looks like the area is finally seeing a few fish coming their way, more billfish than dorado but that’s a start.
“We had a half day charter out, looking for the current and blue/green line and it was loaded with billfish,” Jon Hilderbrand of Will-Yums Adventures said. “They counted at least 20, but with so much bait in the water they were very fussy. Instead, the Capt. and anglers saw a very different site; a very large dorado, swimming right beside them. It was one huge bull and as they turned across, the bull made a bee-line and hit the inside lure. But once hooked he went ballistic and threw the hook.”
We had one our first tournaments of the summer, Rescate tournament with a few more boats this year 21 to be exact,” Hilderbrand said. “The first day ended with only 11 billfish being caught and released and only one weighable dorado. The second day was a bit better for weather; not quite as windy and most of the boats were getting fish. And it seems everyone went north this time. With 19 billfish released and again one weighable dorado the winners for this year were Telemon, Krypronite and Sea Horse.”
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NETTERS MISSED A FEW — Each year as more illegal netting of dorado are being shipped to U.S. restaurants in mislabeled containers, fewer dorado are seen in the San Carlos area. Luckily for Jim Busse of Boulder, CO and mate Omar Segura, they haven’t managed to clean them all out….yet. PHOTO COURTESY OF WILL-YUMS ADVENTURES