Puerto Vallarta, Mexico



Nov. 21, 2004, Stan Vath, Tinknocker, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Fishing Cruise Final Report:

Nov. 10, 2004, Wednesday: We took a panga ride in to the El Dorado restaurant for breakfast and it was great as usual. I did some emails at the Internet cafe in the same building. We left Punta Mita at 1200 hrs. and headed for El Banco for a last shot at some more big tuna. When we got there we found no life and 7 tuna seiners. We just kept rolling on to Baja. The seas were 3-5 feet and 10 knots of wind at this point. As we continued on into the night the wind picked up out of the north to 20 plus knots which was less than desirable but OK.

Nov. 11, 2004, Thursday: We headed straight from Puerto Vallarta to the Gorda Banks and found schmutzy water and no life. We trolled across them without a strike. Then we headed for Palmilla to anchor for the night. Wahoo and scallop fettuccini Alfredo was for dinner and it was awesome. This is also a great anchorage. 275 KM.

Nov. 12, 2004, Friday: We got up and headed for Cabo to fuel as we had heard over the VHF radio that prices were down on diesel. The diesel was $1.89/gal. USD which was quite a drop from 2 years ago. We topped off our tanks and headed out towards the Finger Banks as Cow Yellowfin Tuna had been reportedly been caught recently. When we rounded Cabo to the Pacific side the weather was pretty nice so we headed to the bank and spent the night fishing and doing wheel watches.

Nov. 13, 2004, Saturday: All that would be caught were 10-15 lb. Dorado. Don made 4 nice large squid and we put them on the kite and never got a bite all day. At 1400 hrs. and no life or tuna we headed to Mag Bay to make greenies and anchor. We arrived at 0200 hrs. We got a tank of greenies and still had a tank of Caballitos so we are in good shape. 140 KM.

Nov. 13, 2004, Sunday: We traded a Mexican Pangero a Rapala and 5 pieces of chicken for 9 lobsters. Guess what's for dinner? We headed up to Bahia Santa Maria and the weather was a little lumpy as Sandy had reported to me via satphone. This is an excellent anchorage so we are doing odd jobs on TINKNOCKER and everyone is doing a load of laundry to catch up. We transferred fuel, Bob has the cockpit spotless, Larry did a hatch leak repair, a tender rigging repair and we topped off our water. Dinner is Steak, Porkchops and Lobster. Don & I made 75 nice greenies after dinner to top off the slammer tank. 23 KM.

Nov. 15, 2004, Monday: We left Bahia Santa Maria at 0900 hrs. and headed for the Thetis Bank. There were no birds and little action but Skipjack. Don had to have the tubes full so we complied. He then sent one down and caught a big hammerhead shark. The first of the trip. At 1300 hrs. we headed up the ridge on the way to Turtle Bay. It was pretty sterile and we only had a Marlin strike.

Nov. 16, 2004, Tuesday: The weather was perfect the whole night and we picked up a couple School size yellowfin tuna just before Turtle Bay. Sushi tonight. The fuel barge tried to gouge me so I told him I didn't need any. He promptly sharpened his pencil and we cut a deal. Don and Bob are taking a panga taxi to go grocery shopping in the little town. 238 KM.

Nov. 17, 2004, Wednesday: We left Turtle Bay at 0600 hrs. and headed towards the south end of Cedros to fish the 5 fathom spot. It was full of lobster traps and sea lions so we didn't stay long. We moved on up to East Island at Benitos and the sea lion problem was worse. We caught whitefish and a 7 lb. calico bass. All released. Then it was on to Isla Jeronomo arriving at 0100 hrs. Thursday. The weather has been perfect. 142 KM.

Nov. 18, 2004, Thursday: We left Isla Jeronomo at 0630 hrs. and headed up the coast towards San Quintin. We fished some new water and found WFO Barracuda, huge Bonito and 20-25 lb. Yellowtail. Larry, Dennis and Don each caught a nice YT on the iron. We kept fishing meter marks and had a real mixed bag. Sandbass, Calico's, lingcod, Reds, Sculpin, Sugarbass, Chucklehead and more Bonito and Barracuda. We released all but a few for the galley. We then headed up to Isla San Martin but the wind was up and I just pointed the boat to San Diego at 1600 hrs. The weather was real sloppy from Isla San Martin to Punta Santo Tomas. Then it settled down and we had an OK ride the rest of the night. 206 KM.

Nov. 19, 2004, Friday: We arrived at the Customs dock in San Diego at 0800 hrs. and did the check-in. Don's wife Laura came down and picked up Don and Bob as they both live here. We headed out on our last leg of this adventure at 0900 hrs. and pointed TINKNOCKER to our home at Channel Islands Harbor. The seas were nice and no wind all the way home. There was moderate traffic in the shipping lanes and it kept us busy on the radar, which is sometimes good at the end of a long trip. Arrived at our home in Channel Islands Harbor at 2330 hrs. Tied up TINKNOCKER, went inside, lit a fire and had a glass of Cabernet with Sandy. 143 KM.

Nov. 20, 2004, Saturday: Today was an unloading and cleanup day. The amount of gear and supply's you need to do a trip like this is staggering. In a short conclusion, I am very satisfied with our first annual Puerto Vallarta "Show up and Wind" big game fishing adventure. The amount of trophy fish available there is incredible. We had personal bests for some of our anglers. They were 3 Yellowfin Tuna, 2 Pargo, 1 Wahoo and 1 big Dorado. There is a brutal learning curve in this different fishery and logistics can be trying at times. 80- 120 pound Yellowfin Tuna are very common and we released many. Sailfish and Dorado are also very common and I lost track of those releases. After paying our dues we did finally get a Cow, a 221 pound Yellowfin Tuna, and an almost Cow, a 192.6 pound Yellowfin Tuna, the last 2 days. We will start planing "Show up and Wind 2005" after New Year's.

(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.