One of the best ways to enjoy your vacation in Puerto Vallarta is to go on a sport fishing trip on the Bay of Banderas, and the fall and winter season is the best time for fishing!
There are several fishing tour agencies in Puerto Vallarta. These tour agencies work with independent fishing boats, and have numerous different kinds of boats under contract. Booking your trip through one of these agencies will ensure that you will be on a very professional boat with a top-notch crew that speaks English, and has been vetted by the agency for safety, reliability and quality of the trip.
- Master Baiter’s Sportfishing and Tackle
- Charly’s Sport Fishing & Tours
- Mike’s Fishing Charters & Tours
- Puerto Vallarta Sport Fishing
The agency will arrange everything for you, and the boat will supply everything you need, including the fishing license, fishing rods, tackle, bait, drinking water, everything. The only thing you need to bring is sunblock, a hat for the sun, and you may want to consider wearing long sleeves, or dressing for the sun. You will only need to arrive at the marina and be ready for your tour!
Typically most fishing boats leave from the marina around 7:00 in the morning. You’ll need to take a taxi from Garza Blanca to the marina.
You can choose from different trips, different kinds of boats and different lengths of time. The length of time determines how far you will go and what kind of fish you’ll be looking for.
Inshore trips are between 4-6 hours. You’ll stay inside of the Bay of Banderas, closer to shore than some of the longer trips. These are great trips for beginners and you’ll find lots of smaller fish inside the bay, but finding a 500 pound Marlin will be unlikely.
Different kinds of boats are available for your trip, such as Super Pangas, Boston Whalers, Catamarans, and yachts. Each option offers a different experience. Super Pangas and Boston Whalers are the most affordable options, and the most basic kinds of fishing boats. They usually don’t have any indoor space except the toilet, and they are a rougher ride on the water. They have fighting chairs and can be an exciting experience! Catamarans and yachts are larger, nicer boats. They will have indoor cabin space and a more comfortable ride, and often other types of comforts like air conditioning.
Typically, the longer the trip, and the further from shore, the bigger the fish you can hunt for! Very large tuna, marlin, sailfish and others an be found at destinations outside of the Banderas Bay. These longer trips are typically for more experienced fishermen.
- Las Marietas Islands – 8 hour trip – Here it’s possible to find all the big game fish, such as marlin, sailfish, tuna, mahi mahi, wahoo, and more, however they tend to be a little less populated and smaller at this location.
- Corbetena – 10 hour trip – Corbetena is 36 miles from the Puerto Vallarta Marina. Here in the deep waters of the Pacific Ocean, you can find the biggest and the best trophy fish, including up to 1,000 pound marlin and sailfish, and up to 400 pound tuna, wahoo, bonita, pargo, and many more.
- El Banco (The Banks) – 14 hour trip – The most celebrated fishing site in Puerto Vallarta. Here you’ll find up to 1,000 pound marlin, 400 pound tuna or sailfish, and other huge catches. At 50 miles from shore, it’s a longer trip, with rougher waters.
Agencies also offer overnight trips and several-day charters dedicated to searching for larger fish such as Yellowfin Tuna.
Before you book your trip, check out the local fishing report! Stan Gabruk, the owner of Master Baiter’s, publishes a report on his website and in the local newspapers about what kinds of fish he is currently seeing in the Bay. As of October 4, he reported seeing large marlin and sailfish roaming from Corbetena to El Banco.
Take Home Your Catch
All of the agencies will fillet your catch, store it for shipment, and you can bring your catch home with you, ready to eat! You can pick it up from the agency on the way to the airport and take it home in a cooler on the plane. If you are interested in mounting your catch, some agencies also do taxidermy. You can fly home with your mounted catch, or they will ship it to you.
Ask the concierge at Garza Blanca to help you book your trip!