Late Season Dorado and Striped Marlin

It seems like we’ve been in the ‘endless summer’ as summer species like Dorado, Sailfish, Striped Marlin, and Yellowfin Tuna are still hanging around. Right now, the fishing in Puerto Vallarta is surprisingly great! The farther out you go, the better your chances to boat that fantasy fish in Puerto Vallarta’s world-class fishing grounds.

Sooner or later, this has to end, and we’re seeing signs of ‘sputtering.’ If you read my articles regularly, you will remember we’ve been looking at water temperatures hovering at 73 degrees. There have been no changes at the deep-water fishing grounds of Corbetena and El Banco.

We have seen another two-degree drop in the bay this week, so change is here. For the next twenty minutes or so, the fishing will be fine. But from now on, those looking for summer species may be disappointed. What does this mean? Well, you better get on the water soon. The good news is the cold water species are moving into the bay!

Fishing is never an exact science; if you told me we’d be looking at 73-degree clean green water and, in the same sentence, talk about Marlin, Sailfish, Dorado, and Yellowfin Tuna, I’d say you were crazy. But in reality, that’s exactly what’s happening.

At El Banco, we’re seeing incredible fishing! Sailfish, large Dorado, Striped Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, and giant bait balls. If you’re serious about your fishing, El Banco is the place to be, but the farther north you go, the better the fishing.

In fact, from El Banco to Cleofus, the first of the Tres Maria Islands, the fishing gets better and better. It’s a 12-hour-duration trip to and from El Banco, but you’ll find Spinner Dolphin
everywhere running with 40 to over 60 lb Yellowfin Tuna.

If you’re off Cleofus, that’s a 15-hour day and well worth it, large Dorado are tournament-winning size and not just one or two. Yes, the water is clean green, and yes, it’s 73 degrees, but for some reason, anyone who visited this area came back happy.

Corbetena to the south is doing well also. It’s not as good as El Banco, but it’s a 10-hour duration, and while the action may be slower, it’s still great fishing here as well.

You’ll find even more Sailfish, Dorado to 40 lbs., Striped Marlin, and even a possible Blue Marlin at the rock. Bait is abundant in both of these areas with flying fish, Green Runners, Goggle Eyes, and, of course, Skip Jack Tunas.

The fishing at this level is in a limited time frame now, and when the warm water species finally pull out, those looking for them will be stuck waiting for next summer when it’s hot, humid, and a bit uncomfortable.

A great fishing alternative for the last few weeks has been the area from El Morro to just north of Punta Nayarit (aka Punta Mita). Sailfish and Dorado have been hanging around behind the rocks at El Morro. There is even a possibility of Rooster Fish for the super lucky.

Moving to Punta Mita, the fishing here is being hampered by the longliners, but Magnifico has been able to bring home the money fish. Dorado and Sailfish are primarily off the point, but the secret is still staying closer to shore.

Fertile fishing grounds are 8 to 12 miles off the Punta Mita point.

There could be some Rooster Fish north of Sayulita if you’ve got a mind to check it out.

Looking into the beautiful Bay of Banderas, the fishing is still great, but this week, we’ve finally seen the water temperature drop to a chilly 71 degrees. Now you can say this is bad, but I have clients just waiting to hear that the Sea Bass are moving back into the bay, and the commercial guys are already at their favorite fishing holes.

So we switch from summer to winter species just that fast. Even as the water in the bay has taken a dip, you can still find 25 lb Dorado around Los Arcos, but be warned, many are full of Krill and may only come and hit your bait in a game of tag.

Jack Crevalles are now picking up in numbers, especially in the Nuevo Vallarta area, but in fact, they’re all over the bay and running from 25 to 50 lbs.

Bonito are still at 15 lbs and great tasting. Sailfish are still seen, but I haven’t heard of any being boated in the last week or so. Skip Jack Tuna at about 12 lbs are large for this species and again, are great tasting.

Sierra Mackerels are a smaller breed of fish, but our Mackerels are the Sierra version that the Norwegians love so much, as do we all. Very flavorful and abundant, these great-tasting fish are worth your attention, even if they’re smaller.

Again, with water temperatures dropping, it won’t be long before my Bass fans come out of the woodwork. For family fishing, the bay is perfect.

Krill, the massive invasion of our bay by Krill is why the Whales vacation in PV. But Krill is also a favorite of many species and can get between you and the Dorado you’ve been dreaming of. But Krill isn’t the only bait in the area.

Flying fish, Green Runners, baby, or Bullet Skippies are fish attractors. So bait isn’t a problem, but the water temperatures will soon be under 73 degrees as we move into the winter fishing season. If heading out, remember the bite is early, and after about 11:30, things slow down considerably.

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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