The Paradox, Dirty Water, and Dorado?

After over twenty years of writing this article, I decided to take some time off, travel a little, and recharge my batteries. I didn’t feel too guilty since this past month is considered the worst month (May) to do any business.

Another was that the fishing goes straight into the tank from about the first of May until mid-June. And it appears we’re still in a transition period.

Dirty water with clashing currents, rising water temperatures, Red Tide, and even some Algae blooms! Algae is very unusual for fishing in Puerto Vallarta. The good news is it’s starting to loosen up, and hopefully, we’ll be looking at blue water at all our fishing grounds very soon.

When you search Facebook and Instagram, you see many captains showing off their “catch.” The first question you should have, like I do, is when was this fish caught. So many of these captains and crews are playing games to make clients think that fishing is incredible, falsely.

For now, we do have fish, but there is nothing automatic about it. One issue is the water, it’s dirty. Now that’s a normal condition, but usually it doesn’t last a month.

So, even after my brief vacation, conditions have fluctuated a bit, but they’re still more or less the same.

One good thing is the breeding has slowed down. But there’s a ton of bait of every kind in the bay. Much of it is Baby Dorado under 8 lbs, Baby Bonito aka Bullets. Baby Tuna, we call them “bullets” as well. We won’t even mention the massive amounts of varied bait types.

So it’s hard to figure if it’s the dirty water, an overabundance of bait or is it about “finicky fish?” But it really doesn’t matter since we have no power to change any of this. So we’ll just do what we can!

Corbetena, usually our most consistent fishing area for the last few weeks, has been in the “doldrums.” Plagued by dirty water moving in and out, Jack Crevalles at 45 lbs has taken over the rock. There are also 60 to 80 lb Yellowfin Tuna running the area and Dorado in the 20 to 40 lb range, but there’s one problem. You can’t get a bait in front of a Dorado or Yellowfin Tuna as the Jack Crevalles are being very aggressive right now. It’s been like this for a while, but can’t last much longer.

Possible Sailfish and, for now, Striped Marlin. It seems like we should have exciting conditions at Corbetena, but when the frustration moves in, it’s best to change your ‘plan of attack’ and keep calm. This is supposed to be fun, remember?

Oh, El Banco has been all but ignored; there are no reports from this area. The only thing about El Banco is that the water gets clean about seven miles from the high spots. Not every day is horrible at Corbetena. Are you feeling lucky?

With all the pictures being posted this week on the social media pages, you’d think there was a Dorado Frenzy at Punta Nayarit. I know I got excited looking at some of these posts. When I called about where and when the story or the ‘gaslighting’ started.

FYI’ gas lighting’ is a polite way of saying “B.S.” The funny thing is that some do catch what they post. So you can’t believe all of it, and you can’t expect gaslighting all the time.

For now, if you hang closer to shore, there are spots north of Punta Nayarit. Start about seven miles off the point, then work north or out on a heading of 300 until you find blue water.

Roosterfish reports off Sayulita are iffy at best. With the dirty water and splotchy Red Tide, the further north the better.

Inside the bay is a frustration factor. Some days you can head out for a four-hour fishing trip with clients and just have all the arm-burning action you can ask for. The next day, nothing! It will drive you crazy, and it’s impossible to put suggestions on the table when conditions are moving all over the place.

A brief history of events: We had cold water, but it was not that cold for Bass and Grouper. Then the water warmed up a bit, chasing the Grouper and Snapper out of their hiding holes in the bay. Then, the dirty water got worse and then Red Tide joined the party. If that’s not enough, algae blooms, something I’ve never seen in our waters, turned up.

So let’s talk about what you’ve got in the bay for fishing at present. Starting with Jack Crevalles, of course. They’re everywhere in the bay, larger at 40 lbs, and if they see your bait, they’ll take it. Dirty water isn’t such a ‘death factor’ for Jack Crevalles.

For the moment ,if you’re looking for a bay fishing trip, you need to head to the north end of the bay, there are clear water spots full of fish looking for your bait. If you head to the south end, the logical end, I may add, you’ve got the conditions you’d want to avoid.

To continue the list of available species in the bay are Sierra Mackerels, tasty and smaller at 12 lb max size. Remember, all things count in large amounts and if you boat 30 of these, you’re eating well.

Bonito have been in and out, but for now, they have disappeared. Stay tuned this will change soon enough.

Oh, there are just tons of baby Dorado, under 8 lbs and they’re taking anything that looks ‘tasty.’ Please remember to enjoy the fight, then release them for another day. Don’t even keep one for ceviche.

For now, as we move into the summer fishing season, I’d focus my attention on the eight to twelve-hour trips. We’re coming into the time of the year when Blue Marlin, Sailfish, Dorado, maybe Black Marlin, and a host of other species will be moving into the area very soon.

With our regular smorgasbord of fish bait, there is ample reason for fish to ‘hang around’ and they will. So keep patient, this is just a lull before the storm, amigos. These conditions should all change for the better in the next few weeks.

For now, the bite is happening earlier, and you should be leaving the dock before sunup. We’re meeting now at 06:00 for a 07:00 bite! Water temperatures are at 81 to 82 degrees and will be steadily increasing in the coming weeks.

When it comes to bait to run, frankly there are Ballyhoo’s in the entire area along with Squid of an inch and a half long to three inches. As a favorite food for almost every species between Costa Rica to Cabo, it’s hard to know what they’re hitting unless you boat one to check its stomach contents. But the baby Bullets and the Bonito are stuffed with squid, so draw your own conclusions.

To leave this all on a positive note, it looks like we’re going to have large and plentiful Dorado if right now is any indication. Striped Marlin never left the area as we’re seeing Sailfish numbers picking up as they should. Tuna at Corbetena in mid-June is just a freak occurrence. So if there is anything to look to for indicators of things to come, these are it, amigos!!

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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