Winter Water Temperatures, Lingering Summer Species, Striped Marlin Increasing

Well, here we are again, looking at the seasonal fishing reversals as winter species are moving in and our summer species of Dorado and Sailfish continue to linger.\\ With massive amounts of bait in the water, including the dominant Krill or Whale food, the fishing is still great. We’re on the tail end of summer species like Dorado and Yellowfin Tuna. All of this is normal for this time of the year.

But with El Niño, it’s hard to predict what’s going to happen next. The last El Niño year, we had Yellowfin Tuna at Corbetena into late February! Now that’s not a prediction, but with El Niño, anything is possible when it comes to fishing in Puerto Vallarta.

With drastically low water temperatures, it won’t be long before we’re looking at Sea Bass, Grouper, and Snappers moving into the area. But for now, we’re still boating Dorado and Marlin for those lucky enough to be in Puerto Vallarta’s world-famous fishing grounds.

We’re all preparing for the winter fishing season as we exit the holiday festivities, especially here in Vallarta. Corbetena this week has been surprising with Yellowfin Tuna at 80 lbs, Sailfish, and many Striped Marlin.

Striped Marlin, as a reminder, prefer cooler water temperatures than Blue and Black Marlin. They should hang around for a while before even they bug out.

Dorado, in the 25-pound range, are still in the area, but the numbers are noticeably dwindling. Water temperatures here are now between 72 and 74 degrees. This chilly water will support Yellowfin Tuna for the time being with the massive amounts of varied bait. The question is for how long?

The trips I sent out this way have been doing very well if a skilled captain is used. It’s times like this when your captain will make all the difference! One important detail is that most of the action this week was north of the rock, so keep this to yourself! Time is running out, though; if you’re looking to boat that bucket-list fish, you better get on it!

Surprisingly, Wahoo numbers increased this week compared to last. They came into the area between El Morro and the Marieta islands. They’ve been hovering over the reef between these two areas, ‘Anagados’ is the name, and I’m sure I butchered the spelling.

But Wahoo in the 40 – 80 lb range has been hitting bait for people who aren’t targeting this super good-tasting species. But you can. Now you troll at about 9 mph, which will eliminate most if not all, other species who won’t take anything moving that fast. So, you must have a crew prepared with wire leaders and specialized lures for this species. Having said that, it’s well worth an eight-hour trip targeting this mostly ignored species.

Also, there are still Sailfish from the back side of El Morro to the point of Punta Mita (Punta Nayarit). All the action off the point of Punta Nayarit has been fairly close in.

This week, people have boated Striped Marlin about four miles off the point. That is exactly where the Sailfish and Dorado have been hanging out. There are also nice-sized Jack Crevalles, Bonito in the 25 lb range, and large Skip Jack Tuna in the 8 lb range. It’s the biggest reason everything is off the point.

Inside the bay, it has been going back and forth. With massive amounts of whale food, aka Krill, running the area, it can be challenging.

If you’re in an area where there aren’t many Krill, then the Dorado are fair game! Bonito in the bay are large at 25 lbs. Remember, our Arctic Bonito is in the Tuna family, and frankly, this is what they use in Mexican tuna cans as Tuna. Jack Crevalles hit the Krill less and are always in the area. Especially as water temperatures drop.

Dorado are still in the bay but “smashing” baits. Smashing means a species will come and bump the bait, like playing tag almost, then turn away. There is nothing more frustrating.

Soon, these dropping water temperatures mean Grouper, Sea Bass and Snappers will be in the bay, and this will change the landscape.

There are still some rogue Sailfish in the bay and smaller Football Tuna near Yelapa. It’s all great family action and perfect for younger anglers.

As you can expect, we’re moving into the winter fishing season early this year. Once the water temperatures drop another two degrees, they zll all be here in the bay. You can also expect water temperatures to drop to 70 degrees in the next few weeks. It’s surprising to hit our ‘winter low’ temperature so early in the winter fishing season, but it’s all good; we have more options to review now.

The site is still between 08:00 and 11:00, so plan accordingly. And now you’re up to date!

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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