PUERTO VALLARTA — With yellowfin tuna at El Banco and marlin moving into Corbeteña, the summer fishing is just starting up off Puerto Vallarta.
“This past week we’ve seen blue and black marlin move into our deep water locations of El Banco and Corbeteña,” Stan Gabruk of Master Baiter’s Sportfishing and Tackle said. “With favorable water temperatures, available bait and crystal clear, sapphire blue water, fishing conditions are about as good as they can get. It’s still a little early in the season to find monster yellowfin tuna hanging around the rock, but their smaller cousins are here and running anywhere from 60 to 150 pounds and that’s not bad!”
“Some days El Banco was the place to be, others it was Corbeteña,” Gabruk said. “But these two locations are about 25 miles apart so they’re close enough for the available gamefish to travel between easily. The area between these two world famous locations is also fertile with sailfish, marlin and yellowfin. And there are peaks, valleys and channels, between the two of them when it comes to bottom conditions. Many a tournament winning fish has been boated in this stretch, so pay attention to what is happening out there and if you see birds diving, break out the gear.”
“Yellowfin tuna in the 60- to 150-pound range are all over these locations,” Gabruk said. “A few miles off El Banco you’ll find bigger yellowfin tuna. So take plenty of chorra for bait (20-pound skipjack, bonito). We’re seeing an increase in the numbers of marlin and have seen several boated by the few boats heading out this way.”
“Right now a 12-hour day to El Banco is producing well,” Gabruk said. “The only thing is that you don’t know what size you’ll get but getting fish here is a no brainer. Sailfish, cubera snapper and larger dorado are possible at any given moment with several other species as well including rainbow runners. So if you are thinking of heading out to these deep water locations now would be a good time to head out.”
Gabruk said the Marietta Islands are still seeing sailfish, conaco snapper to 25 pounds, bonito, skipjack tuna, needlefish and pompano to 30 pounds and the list goes on. “The fishing has been good, but there are times when the points are better. But the good news is you will catch smaller gamefish with the outside chance of sailfish.”
“Punta Mita is also doing well,” Gabruk said. “We had clients with small children, about seven-years-old, who caught several smaller dorado and bonito; which was just what the doctor ordered for smaller anglers. Heading out on a heading of 300 to 320 you will run into sailfish and marlin another 10 miles out from the point. Dorado in this area could be bigger, but they are there and with a little luck you’ll also run into some roosterfish around the reef.”
In the bay, Gabruk said smaller dorado, skipjack tuna, bonito and needlefish are picking up in numbers. “Robalo are in front of the river mouths and up the river near Nuevo Vallarta,” he said. “Four hours can be a challenge for fish right now and you’ll be better off with six-hour trips in the bay if you’re looking for smaller fish. The good news is the conditions are improving daily.”
“Last week the strange northern current in the bay pushed the red tide in and the fish in front of it out of the bay, leaving it a little sparse for fish,” Gabruk said. “But those who made it to the points or just around the corners found abundant fish. So don’t lock yourself into a four-hour trip when six hours or $50 more on a super panga can make the difference between catching or not.”
“The trash line is a daily thing now with some pretty heavy rains in the evenings,” Gabruk said. “Remember as a side note to keep your wits about you in the bay, as logs, stumps and other debris can be found floating just a few inches below the surface. In this case speed kills and there is no excuse if you go flying across the bay and you hit something, so be careful.”
THE SUMMER SEASON IS HEATING UP! — It’s still a little early in the season for monster yellowfin tuna, but their smaller cousins are here and running anywhere from 60 to 150 pounds. PHOTO COURTESY OF MASTER BAITER’S SPORTFISHING AND TACKLE
In other Mexico fishing action:
— IXTAPA-ZIHUATANEJO: The heavy rains from the previous week are gone and we are now back into a decent weather pattern here; with a bit of rain at night and warm and clear days. However, last week’s rain did push the blue water out to about the 15-mile mark and cooled down the inshore areas a bit with the heavy flow of waters from the rivers.
“The blue water current is strong again this year as it was last year and quickly corrected itself to just a few 100 yards off the beach though,” fly-fishing guide and IGFA representative for the area, Ed Kunze said.
“Weed lines are developing well and the dorado are starting to move in,” Kunze said. “But, many of the dorado are being taken by the inshore fishermen, working less than a half mile off the beach.”
“The sailfish, tuna and marlin bite still remains slow,” Kunze said. “When the smaller yellowfin tuna do show, they breeze in and are soon gone. It is more or less a matter of being in the right place at the right time kind of thing.”
“Adolfo, on the panga Dos Hermanos, with his French clients fished every day this past week for roosters,” Kunze said. And they did well on roosters, jack crevalle and even a few dorado.”
— MAZATLAN: Fishing this past week continued to inch its way up with a better offshore and inshore bite.
“Fishing was great for dorado and good for yellowfin tuna, sailfish and even some striped marlin were caught which is very odd for late June,” Tadeo Hernández Kelly said, reporting for the Bibi Fleet. “Possible, they were left behind from the main school of marlin. Both ballyhoo and lures worked well for them.”
“Inshore, bottomfishing has been great for spotted rose snapper, red snapper, triggerfish and white seabass using shrimp,” Hernández said.
“The other good news was that the water temperature is holding at 85 degrees and there were no port closures during the past week.”
— SAN CARLOS (SONORA): The fishing just seems to keep getting better here as the water is clearing up and the fish are all over.
“One friend said they had 11 dorado kept that averaged 30 pounds,” Bryan Replogle of Team Margarita Sport Fishing and SC Aquatic Adventures said. “And good numbers of sailfish and marlin were all over. The largest I heard of this past week was 350 pounds. And a lot of 50-plus-pound dorado were also caught.”
“There were also a few reports of wahoo, with one that I know of landed,” Replogle said. “A few 15- to 20-pound yellowfin were caught, but there has been no real run yet.”
“It sounds like the fishing is better closer to this side now, but the currents are ripping and the sargasso and a couple dead whales are moving around,” Replogle said. “One boat tried San Pedro to no avail for yellowtail, but the pangas are probably still finding them. There are still no reports of sierra in close. Water temperatures are in the low 80s now, with blue water at about 16 miles out.”
Replogle said there are tons of flying fish and turtles out there. “In close, there are a lot of ballyhoo and sardine. Sailfish and small dorado are also in close and around the first current breaks at 5 to 7 miles out. There are fish around the reef off of San Pedro, as well as all over the outside along weedlines, current breaks and the color changes. There are also plenty of boats fishing on the nice days as it is nicer on the water and hot on land and it’s better to be out fishing anyway!”
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