The visitor to Vallarta who believes that a bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work will have a great time angling in the deep waters of the 40-mile-wide Banderas Bay. Many sportsmen come in November for the world-class Puerto Vallarta International Sailfish and Marlin Tournament, but whatever the time of year some type of sport fish – from blue marlin and sailfish to giant yellow fin tuna and swordfish – will be available.
Cast a line from a luxury yacht for hire or from the 26- to 48-foot boats on hand to be chartered at marinas from Mismaloya in the south end of the Bahía to El Anclote in the north. But big boats aren’t the only choice for landing a big catch: Fish right from a sandy beach in a fast and flexible “panga.” These 22-foot-long open boats are what most Mexican fisherman use, and they’re the ones who often know the local waters best.
Rest assured that “catch and release” is practiced by all reputable companies in the bay, so what you won’t be able to eat will be returned to the sea. An added benefit to PV fishing is the chance to view humpback whales, manta rays and other exotic sea life while clasping your rod and reel.
Any charter will generally provide gear, bait, tackle and expertise at all levels, along with refreshments, but it’s no problem if you’re on your own. Just head for one of the specialized shops at or near your marina or ask a nearby fisherman.
In addition to fabulous deep sea sport fishing, Vallarta also boasts fresh water fishing in the local mountains. Bass can be found at nearby lake Cajon de Pena, where it’s possible to view birds and wildlife as well.
Whether casting from the shore or cruising the open sea, both the experienced and the novice will find that the incredible beauty of Banderas Bay, with its rivers and deep blue waters full of marine life, offers great fishing any time!