Puerto Vallarta, Mexico



Oct. 29, 2004, Capt. Josh Temple, Prime Time Adventures, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Fishing Report:

Water temperatures continue to hover between 86.2 and 88.3 degrees, and the water is blue, blue, blue...even in the bay.

Predominant baits offshore of Puerto Vallarta continue to be fliers, squid, red crabs, and puffers, although we did see a good showing of what looked like mackerel that the tuna were gorging on. Skipjack are available and are a good idea for anglers looking to stay away from the acres of 100-pound tuna in search of something more.

Despite the full moon and lunar eclipse the fish are biting like mad and it's just the start of things to come for the next four months. This Puerto Vallarta fishing season is looking epic.

Here's a story from the other day, Oct. 27, 2004:

We made bait in the bay and fished a high spot that has no name.

After twiddling our thumbs over the weekend and earlier this week due to a tropical depression passing up the coast we NEEDED to go fishing.

Things don't go nasty down here often but when they do it's usually not good, five days of heavy southwesterlies that went to 45 and blew sand through closed doors and necessitated constant sweeping, which at least gave us something to do. Puerto Vallarta fishing charters got canceled and surfing was out, but we did get a lot of quality family time which was much needed. And my wife denies having anything to do with the storm.

Still, after five days of staring out windows hoping the endless parade of windswept rollers would cease trucking by, even my dog wanted me to go fishing.

When we finally got a Puerto Vallarta report that things were going to calm down, we hit the road at 4 p.m., and after stocking up on provisions headed for the boat to stow the gear and get bait. We were, as usual, beyond stoked and not entirely certain when we would return.

Catching bait is usually always good for a laugh and when you haven't been out in a while it's downright fun to bend a rod, and yours truly took home the honors for biggest caballito, thank you, it was a nice solid pound and a halfer.

After an hour we had 75 cabbies and were working on our microwaved Mister Noodles and headed offshore. The evening was beautiful and although there was a slight residual running, there was no wind and the moon was almost full. The music was on. Deckhand, Trev, and I were shooting the breeze and deckhand, Luiz, was already asleep; he takes napping to a whole new level.

Somewhere around 10 p.m., we arrived at the high spot and deployed two baits and started working the glow iron. Fish were breaking everywhere and we could hear boilers working around the boat. It took a scant 5 seconds to get hooked up and in the light of an almost full moon it was surreal fighting a skipjack to the boat. We sent back the skippie with a 14/0 lipring on one of the 50Ws and it didn't take long.

Trev grabbed the screaming 50W and waited patiently before pushing up the drag. The tuna felt the tension and took off, pinning Trev to the gunnel without a harness on, where he tried hard not to let go of the rod. I cleared the other lines first, making sure Trev took a solid beating before I helped him into the belt.

To make a 22-hour fishing story short, we fought those fish until Trev, who was the workhorse, gave out. I personally reeled in four. Trev caught 13, and Luiz caught over 40...winks. He slept all day!

The tuna averaged 125 pounds. Only a few were under 100, and some were pushing 180. A few were much bigger.

It was about 2:30 pm when I asked Trev if he'd had enough. He shrugged and suggested we go for a dorado or sailfish for the slam on the way in.

As he walked towards the balloon rod, I glanced at the bait and watched a 250 pounder perform a lazy barrel roll on the bait. "WAIT!!!!!!" I yelled to Trev as the balloon dipped, pulled a 360 and slammed the water with a THWACK! Game on.

Trev strapped in and hammered the drag to over strike, which is preset at 35 pounds. He took a beating but the fish took it worse. At 15 minutes, we had leader and I pulled so hard with my bare hands I could feel the 400-pound mono shrinking under the strain, but I couldn't move the fish.

The behemoth swam calmly upright 5 feet below the boat, glowing so purple that I had to second guess myself and believe it was a tuna and not a black marlin. As hard as I pulled, the fish just sat there and when it changed direction I had to dump the leader or risk breaking off the fish.

It took Trev another 15 mins to get the fish back to leader and again we had to dump it and watch the fish swim off. Finally, on the third time with less than 45 minutes on the fight clock, Luiz (he actually woke up) sank the flier into the belly of the beast. Trev's first giant hit the deck.

We quit fishing after that, despite bigger fish now breaking everywhere, because we weren't sure if we could release another fish like that without hurting it too much...and besides...how many do you really need in one day?!?! We headed for the barn.

At 76 inches x 51 inches, it taped out at 247, but since Stan on the Tinknocker was still out fishing and we couldn't get to the scale, we'll never know. Trev said he didn't care how much it weighed, but took great pain in measuring every detail for his museum fiberglass mount.

(See "Mexico Fishing News" online for current fishing reports, photos, weather, and water temperatures from Puerto Vallarta and other major Mexican sportfishing areas. Vacation travel articles, fishing maps and seasonal calendars, and fishing related information for Puerto Vallarta may be found at Mexfish.com's main Puerto Vallarta page.