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Puerto Vallarta Fishing Report for October 9, 2008 - October 13, 2008



This past week I had the privilege of joining Paul Nakamura’s annual Punta de Mita Cow Roundup Trip. We left LAX on Alaska to PVR where we were met by Efren, our local caretaker and chef for the next five days. We loaded our gear into the van, picked up our rental cars and after a quick trip to Costco (yes they have one there now) were off to our condos north at Punta Mita.

After we arrived we organized our gear and encountered an electrical black out which also cuts out the electrical water pumps. Not to worry, we put on our reels by candle light and enjoyed a barbecued dinner of authentic carne asada, rice and beans with fresh guacamole.

Amber Jack

Ah yes, real Mexico! The next morning, we awoke at 0445, made our lunches, packed our ice chests full of drinks and were off to the marina where we met our boat captains. Since last year, they have put in a real concrete boat ramp, which made it easier to lug all our gear thru the water onto our awaiting pangas. We headed out, stopped to load up on goggle eyes (similar to a cabilito) and powered out into the grey light towards Roca Corveteña.. We found some breezing bullet tuna on the way out and loaded 10 aboard for bait. When we reached our destination, we fly lined a couple of bullet tuna. I was shortly hooked up with a 70 pound amber jack which fights as hard as any yellowtail or tuna similar in size. Shortly thereafter, Bob Haffey, my fishing partner, hooked up on a large fish. He fought it hard for 45 minutes to find out it was a 200 pound shark. It finally broke off, and we continued on. Throughout the day, we caught tuna to 52 pounds and I had a 50 pound class bull dorado pull the hook just feet from the boat. We worked our way towards shore at dark, unloaded, and went back to the condo for a wonderful fresh barbecued tuna.

Amber Jack

Day two, we again went out, this time I fished with Tim Ziegler. We fished hard for the day, picking up a few tuna, Tim got one in the 70 pound class on a goggle eye. Bob Haffey pulled in a hundred pound plus as well as his boat mate Jim.

Day three was defiantly the most exciting day of our trip. It started out as usual, but, shortly after arriving at the rock, we hooked into a school of Jack Crevalle working below a flock of crashing birds. It then began to rain very hard, soaking us all to the bone, but shortly thereafter, we were blessed with warm sunshine and calm sea conditions again . There was a large log floating on the north side of the rock with 20 to 30 boobies all jockying for a spot on it. We were the second boat in and as soon as I lobbed a bait in, it got pulvarized by a crashing 100 pound class yellowfin tuna. It took my Penn 16VSX down about three quarters of the way before I got it turned around to the boat. Meanwhile, three more boats joined the party and everone that had a line in the water got bit for the next hour. I would say the fish count from this one log was in the neighborhood of fifty fish from 30 pound schoolies to fish just under a hundred. My big fish died on the way up and just two feet from gaff, the leader wore through on the hook as I watched this beautiful fish sink down backwards. As soon as I got another line in the water, I was hooked up again this time landing a nice 75.5 pound yellowfin. My boat partner Dave then brought up a real nice 71 pounder tail wrapped.

Amber Jack

After all of that excitement, everyone branched out, Bob Haffey picked up another nice fish around 84.5 pounds and I pulled a really nice Pargo (dog tooth snapper) of 35.2 pounds from fishing a chunk of skip jack tuna. We then tried using skippy chunks for the rest of the afternoon without much success and headed home to the marina where we lined up most of the tuna for a group shot as it started to rain again.

We then cleaned up and went on a dining experience at Casa de Mita, one of Mexico’s premier boutique hotels, and enjoyed the house speciality marganita and dined on surf and turf which consisted of filet mignons and dorado. A nice treat after three long days on the water.

The next day we headed back to PVR and caught our plane home. We didn’t see any of the larger cows this trip, but everyone had a great time pulling on really nice fish and putting great fishing into the memory banks.

FUN FACTS: The trip to Puerto Vallarta is about two and a half hours from Los Angeles and runs around $450 +/- round trip. There are several hotels and condos available in Punta de Mita which is about 20 miles north of Puerto Vallarta. There are two main panga operators that work out the marina and can be contacted at their web site . Gear wise, if you bring your own, you will need at least a 50 wide fishing 100 pound mono or better, and it is nice to bring a 16VSX spooled with 80 pound spectra. on a heavy bait stick such as a Seeker 6470H. We used 80 pound fluoro for leader, I would recommend bringing along 100, 130, 150, and 200. Almost everything is live bait fishing and hooks needed vary from trip to trip, but 10/0 Owner Mutus or Offshore, 9/0 and 10/0 7691s, Eagle Claw 2004/2005s in 8/0 or 9/0. Some guys bring along poppers or Ranger jigs. If you do, make sure to re hook them with some nice 4x Owners. For more information, you can contact Ed at Baja Fish Gear (310) 517-9897or visit the following links:

Amber Jack


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