Krill, Red Tide, Spinner Dolphin, Yellowfin Tuna and How to Cope

This time of year is usually the best time to be here in Puerto Vallarta for world-class fishing. This year, however, we’re seeing some interesting challenges.

As you all know, we are in an El Niño year. Nobody really knows what that means; all we can do is look at what’s happening, analyze the situation, then make our best guess.

Frankly, there isn’t anything new about that, but when it’s an El Niño year, it’s hard to predict. We see Jack Crevalles moving into the bay with strange currents and dropping water temperatures.

This winter species will hang around in warmer water if the bait conditions are to their liking. In the last few days, we’ve seen Jack Crevalles picking up in numbers.

To the optimistic, this is all just a glitch in the fishing season. To the pessimist, it’s the end of the summer fishing season. I find it’s almost impossible to predict the future now that I dropped and cracked my crystal ball!

I’ve sent several boats out this week, and they’ve all come back with the same story: Find clean, green or warm bluewater, and you’ll catch fish. The obstacle here is finding it!

For now, it’s mostly red between Corbetena and El Banco.For the lucky, there are still Spinner Dolphins with Yellowfin Tuna Footballs north of Corbetena in the clean greenwater.

So, by now, you know the fishing is spotty and so is the red tide. It is a feast or famine situation in our deep water locations. One interesting secret is that there is a buoy about five miles due west of the rock of Corbetena. If you’re lucky enough to find it, there are Dorado, Tuna, Sailfish, and maybe Marlin.

It’s a bait ‘hot spot’ with the buoy. For now, this is the best call I can make in the entire area. In a situation like this, it’s best to have a full fuel tank and the ability to push some water and find fish.

You know, we deal with this situation every year, and in a few days, this will all change as the red tide moves out.

One nice thing is bait is still moving into the area in the form of Krill and Sardines! So, don’t be too pessimistic amigos; things always change quickly.

Being a ‘half-full glass’ type of guy, some positive news is that north of Sayulita, there are Sailfish, Blue-ish water and Dorado. It’s about the only place I can tell you where you have a chance to boat Dorado right now.

We will see Dorado around the point again, but it won’t be for a few days. Not too much going on in this area and it’s hard to put a positive spin from El Moro to Punta Mita. If you find yourself in this area, I’d point the boat towards El Banco where things could be different, but then again, that’s not an eight-hour distance.

I have had some positive reports about Rooster Fish north of Sayulita. With Sardines running the area, this could be the best fishing option we’re ‘not sure of.’ Go figure.

Inside the bay, what can I say? Same story in a different location. Some positive news with the cooling water, we are seeing Jack Crevalle action around La Cruz. There have also been some sailfish in this area.

Looking to the south end of the bay around Los Arcos, there are some spotty red tide areas, and let’s face it, the fishing will be challenging for the next day or two as we deal with this seasonal pain in the drain.

Still, Jack Crevalles don’t seem to mind dirty, cold, red water and will take bait if they see it. There were some reports of 30-pound Football Tuna off Yelapa, and frankly, that area has a strong chance of being clean and blue. No reports on this, just my gut telling me it’s the ignored fishing grounds with unforetold possibilities.

Find some structure, and you’ll find ‘reef’ fish like Snapper and Trigger Fish, which taste great. Bonito and Skip Jack Tuna are also running the area and are perfect for the younger fishing members of the family.

You’ve probably figured out that the fishing this past week was a ‘shock to the system’ for us all. Keep calm; it’s not the end of fishing in Puerto Vallarta.

By the next report, things will have settled down from the red tide event. Nothing in Puerto Vallarta stays the same for long in the world of fishing.

The bite hasn’t changed, so be where you want to be before 0800. Keep a positive attitude and be ready to move around the bay. If you can do that, you’ll find fish when others are empty-handed.Until next week, don’t forget to kiss your fish!


  • Stan Gobruk

    Master Baiter's Sportfishing & Tackle has been the premier sportfishing company in Marina Vallarta since 2000. As a World Billfishing Series (WBS) 2-time Marlin World Champion (2000 and 2001), we uniquely understand our client's needs with accurate fishing facts, creating realistic expectations of your day on the water. That's why our logo is: At Master Baiter's, "We Won't Jerk You Around!" Phone: +52-322-209-1128

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