The winds of change are blowing in Banderas Bay. The next 14 days winds from the West and South West will warm the offshore waters that have long supported populations of pelagic fish such as tuna, billfish, mahi mahi and amberjack.
Last week saw significant improvements in fishing conditions both on and off shore. The water is clearer and warmer serving as important feeding grounds and migratory corridors for numerous species.
According to Captain Danny Gomez of Dhamar Sportfishing, the bite “has been getting better and better” with the water temperatures rising to around 78/79 degrees Fahrenheit. Last week he took a group of anglers from North Dakota off shore for a full day (8-12 hrs) trip and saw considerable success.
Using light tackle spinning gear they targeted Striped Marlin which are still enjoying the cooler waters approximately 13 miles Northwest of Punta Mita. The group experienced multiple hookups close to the surface, resulting in half a dozen “Stripies” being caught and released on live Goggle Eyes. They also landed a nice “school sized” Yellowfin live baiting a Goggle Eye along with a couple of stubborn Amberjacks (aka “reef donkeys”) on stick baits.
According to Danny, securing live bait was a bit of a challenge last week due to the moon phase and the larger and brighter “supermoon”. Nevertheless, Goggle Eyes, the preferred blue water bait, obtained prior to heading offshore produced the best results. Diamond Head Mullet caught with cast nets from the beach were also effective.
Apart from the good and improving offshore conditions there has also been some really good inshore fishing. There's a lot of Bonita, Skip Jack (Chora), Sierra Mackerel and Jack Crevalle (Toro) inside the Bay. El Moro, Southwest of the Marrieta Islands produced a nice Dogtooth Snapper that was prowling the rocky sea floor around 100 feet along with a tasty Colorado Snapper.
A variety of artificial lures such the Italian, custom made Jack Fin Pelagus 165s and the X-Rap Long Cast and Glidin’ Rap lures by Rapala along with sinking Stick Baits and Poppers attracted most of of the attention covering all three water zones - surface, sub surface and bottom.
With the warm, gentle waters transitioning both inside and outside the Bay along with a large increase in bait activity, its a good idea to head out prepared for almost anything. Danny said “it’s not uncommon this time of the year to come across a multitude of fish species ranging anywhere from 20 to 300 pounds”. Dhamar Sportfishing is predicting an “early summer” which means we could be seeing Blue and Black Marlin, Bull Dorado and Giant Tuna prowling the mid-ocean islands soon.