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Puerto Vallarta Fishing

Located on the southern Pacific Coast of Mexico, Puerto Vallarta is a predominantly seasonal fishing destination. Water temperatures here normally hover in the low 70s until late April, and then begin climbing to the high 80s in August. Yellowfin tuna season begins in June and continues into November, with fish up to 400 lbs caught here every year.

PV’s Bay of Banderas is the largest natural bay in the country. It is so large that Humpback Whales come here to bear their young, and the water teams with giant manta rays, sea turtles, and dolphins. Puerto Vallarta fishing is not as publicized as other hotspots in Mexico, but the peak seasons see a great deal of action for some of the most popular salt water fish species in the world. The Puerto Vallarta Sailfish Tournament is held here every November, and every December PV plays host to the World Billfish Championship.

One of the things that make Puerto Vallarta so unique is its diversity of fish species. This region has more offshore structure than any other part of Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Approximately 38 miles out from port lies a series of protruding rocks called the Roca Corbetena. Ten miles further out, a submerged high spot known as El Banco rises up from the ocean floor. Both rock formations feature sharp drop-offs and shallow reefs that attract huge numbers of resident fish species and migrating yellowfin, blue, and black marlin. If you come to Puerto Vallarta in search of any of these trophies, El Banco and Roca Corbetena are the places to be.

Pacific Sailfish are consistently “hot” throughout the year, with a peak season occurring between November and April where the action is pure adrenalin.

For other species, Puerto Vallarta fishing is highly seasonal, with predictable peak times for each sport fish occurring at variable times of the year. Beginning in September, black marlin, blue marlin, dorado, and wahoo begin to run. The following chart provides a quick frame of reference:

Pacific Sailfish Year Round – Peak, November – April

Blue Marlin August – November & March – April

Black Marlin August – November & March – April

Striped Marlin August – November & March – April

Dorado May -November

Yellowfin Tuna June – February

Wahoo October- March

Because of its warm water, Puerto Vallarta is not a consistent sport fishing hotspot for striped marlin. However, when temperatures suddenly drop after August, and hover in the low 70s the following spring, sporadic concentrations of striped marlin will be found off the PV shore.

Before planning a trip to Puerto Vallarta, it is always good to check online fishing reports to see what has been happening in the past two weeks. Local weather conditions of an unpredictable nature area always something the serious sport fisherman must also take into consideration.

If you are already in Puerto Vallarta, you can also call the local fishing charters to see what has been caught in the past 72 hours. Anglers can rent pangas at most of the beaches, and custom charter services are available that offer a wide range of price points, services, and amenities to tailor your day on the water to your preferences and your pocketbook.