Puerto Vallarta, Mexico



March 26, 2005, Josh Temple, Prime Time Adventures, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Fishing Report:

When I first read Hemingway's "The Old Man & The Sea" I had no idea of the mental toughness required of Santiago as he suffered through one of the worst droughts in offshore fishing history. The old man knew, as always, that sooner or later a bite would come, but to keep at it week after week without so much as a look from a fish must have taken an inner resolve that I am just recently beginning to fathom.

"Perhaps I should not have been a fisherman, but that was the thing that I was born for..." are words I have grown to live by. Old Santiago couldn't have been more astute in his assumption that regardless of how bad the fishing was, he was damn well getting up in the morning and going because that's what he was born to do.

Santiago was rewarded with the fish of ten lifetimes, only to have it unceremoniously ripped from his grasp. But the change of luck, albeit temporary, and the simple fact that he got the bite, renewed his vigor and no doubt provided the much needed fuel with which to venture again offshore.

It's with all this in mind that Trev and I struggle through this past week and a half of fishing.

This last week we have gone beyond the limits of what you can physically do to make a day of fishing a success. We have spent countless extra hours at night absolutely loading the boat's live wells with every piece of bait we can possibly catch.

We've gone out early, stayed late, and chummed till our arms are sore, wishing for something to happen.

I've gone to trolling lures for hours in order to cover extra miles searching for any fish that might be near the area, utilizing every gizmo and gadget on the boat to increase our chances of finding, enticing, fighting and landing a fish, just one fish!

The troll bite has been more effective than working the banks with live, dead, or chunked bait. In the last two days we've managed to eke out one sailfish, one dorado, and one small 200-pound black marlin that we lost during the bite as someone inadvertently pushed the drag off as the fish detonated on the lure, a big 14-inch Joe Yee super plunger. It was a pretty exciting moment given the way the last few weeks have played out, and it would have been really nice to catch and release that black, but c'est la vie.

Fish Gods bless the clients who have weathered the storm with us. Their expectations are as high as ours, and when you have that many people on the boat expecting one thing and getting another there is plenty of opportunity for complaining. Well, there's none of that going on, and believe me having anglers like that on board makes Trev and I want to work that much harder to pull something off for them.

It's times like this that make us all better fishermen.

We are finding fish in new spots and when the fishing is this tough and you're catching fish in areas you didn't think about before that's cause to take note.

We have two days to soak all of this in before it's back out there again. I am siding with Santiago and going to put my money on the fact that the Puerto Vallarta bite will turn on again, and when it does, look out!

(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.