CHARTER TRIP ON THE SUPER PANGA BELLA DEL MAR
Feb. 24, 2005, Larry Sherman, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Fishing Trip Report:
My wife and I were in Puerto Vallarta last week, and I brought my surf casting gear in hopes of finding some roosterfish north of Punta Mita but had no luck.
I checked the fishing boats coming into the Puerto Vallarta Marina most afternoons and based on the catches I saw coming back to the dock (sailfish, yellowfin tuna, dorado (mahi-mahi) and one roosterfish) I opted to go out on one of the boats. Based on what I observed at the dock I chose Capt. Hector Arriaga. His boat is the Bella Del Mar, a center console 22 to 23 feet in length with twin 90 h.p. Merc four cycle engines and a T-top. The boat is almost new with just over 200 hours on the rig the day of my trip.
We bought some live goggle eyes on the way out of the Puerto Vallarta Marina but when we reached the Islas Las Tres Marietas I used my spinning outfit to cast for larger bait and caught a few bonita in the 4 to 5 pound range and a "green pepper" (green jack) of comparable size.
We tried trolling the larger baits around the rocks between the islands hoping for a large rooster but had no luck.
We decided to head out to Roca Corbetena to try our luck and found quite a few boats working that area. After a couple of hours of dragging baits, a striped marlin hit one of the smaller baits on one of the lighter rods. The striped marlin spent a good deal of the fight jumping and tail walking. This marlin, in the 100 pound range, was very aerobatic and I enjoyed catching my first billfish standup with relatively light tackle.
We continued fishing the area for several more hours and had another marlin hit one of the bonita with its bill but it didn't take the bait. A smaller bait was hit by what we believed to be a wahoo based on the slice on its side which looked as if it had be done by a razor.
We saw another Puerto Vallarta fishing boat catch a sailfish on a diamond jig while trying to catch some bait.
On the way back in we stopped at the rocks in the vicinity of the Marietas and I caught a California yellowtail and a huge jack crevalle in the 40 pound range on spinning tackle. I now know why these jacks are called "toros" as this guy definitely did not want to come to the surface. Obviously not a sought after species, but a blast to catch on light tackle. I enjoyed my day with Hector and his mate, and wife, Mony. They are knowledgeable about fishing at Puerto Vallarta (Hector has 28 years experience), work hard and are pleasant people to spend the day fishing with. I would recommend highly.
(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.