By David Mandich
Puerto Vallarta – Big Game Fishing – Charter Boats – Marlin - Dental
One of the big attractions for many in coming to Puerto Vallarta is the great big game fishing. But fishing for the big ones is not cheap. A day on the water can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to thousands should you need bikini-clad Barbies to bait your hook, a/c and mirrors on the stateroom ceiling to make your experience memorable. Besides chartering a boat yourself, one can get their dentist to pay for the boat instead. More on this later.
Puerto Vallarta in Banderas Bay offers some of Mexico’s finest sportfishing, weather safe marinas, and a variety of fishing grounds ranging from open sea with a 2-mile deep trench, numerous islands, and isolated bays often accessible only by boat. Fishermen will never be bored fishing PV, and with over 322 days of sunshine – the fishing is good the year around. Big game commonly caught includes striped marlin, blue marlin, sailfish, mahi-mahi (Dorado), yellow fin tuna, whahoo, and others such as jack crevalle, roosterfish and snapper.
You haven’t lived (or died) until you’ve had a 500lb. marlin with blood in his eye and a nasty hook in his mouth, take aim at you and charge with his bill pointed right at your gut. More than one fisherman has been impaled, and more than one raging beast has thrown himself into the boat tossing everyone overboard in the process. Big Game fishing is one of the last macho blood sports around along with bull fighting and hunting lions with a spear in the African bush.
Female blue marlin can run over 1,000lbs – the record is 1,805 caught off Oahu Hawaii. Tackle shops in San Diego California sport mounted monster marlins in the 1,400lb range – caught hereabouts years ago. Sophisticated commercial and sport fishing have reduced the annual marlin count and their size, thus Catch and Release is promoted. Quickly take a picture and release Mr. Marlin so he can try to stick it to you another day is the idea.
Sometimes the boat crew will ask for the marlin saying they want to feed their families, give it to an orphanage, the church, the nice ladies at the cantina etc. - most often it gets sold to restaurants to be put in tacos. It’s a shame to see these beautiful marlin go to waste as they are not only endangered, but there are plenty of other non–endangered, better tasting fish such as dorado to be caught for consumption.
High season for marlin in Puerto Vallarta is June through October, however, you can catch marlin and other game fish out of PV year round as a general rule. Boat charters from simple 20-26 foot pangas (open power boats sans potties), basic sports fishing cruisers from 26-30 feet, to luxury yacht fishers 40′ and over are available for hire in both Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta marinas. Pangas are available in marinas and off many beaches if you are into the thrill of near-death experience surf launches.
Half-day fishing charters on 22-26 foot open pangas may run from $80-140, while trips on larger more comfortable boats (with bathrooms, galleys, bunks etc. may run $595 on up for full or half-days depending on the boat.
One of my favorite charter boats is the classic 45-foot Phillip Rhodes designed steel motorsailer Sylvester out of Nuevo Vallarta. Capitan Alicia Lorence has been operating surf charters, whale watching tours, sunset wine cruises and sport fishing trips for over 2 decades. The boat comes with lots of brass, sleeping quarters for 8, dual diesel engines etc. You can fish, sail, snorkel or rip surf breaks inaccessible by land to your heart’s content off this classic yacht. Capitan Alicia is a former Mexican tourism professional as well as a gourmet cook who will prepare your catch al gusto (1,000 lb. marlins excepted).
US Coast Guard type required safety inspections are lax or often non-existent in Mexico. Check the lifejackets, radio, and quality of the tackle onboard before you put your money down – keep reading and you’ll understand why…
I recently met a fellow taking a ‘Dental Vacation’ who told me a story of his going out fishing on an older 28-foot wooden cruiser. The boat came down hard off a swell, cracked, split open and sank. In about 5 minutes. The Mexican navy picked up their distress call and picked them up in about 25 minutes. No harm done – he got another charter gratis and the charter boat’s insurance company bought him a new $300 watch to replace the one he “didn’t lose.” How nice…
Fishing for dentures – You can fly free, stay free or even fish free in Puerto Vallarta or Cabo San Lucas in Baja with a new program by About Mexican Dentists.com. – The website features all Specialist Dentists who do dental implants, cosmetic dental makeovers, crowns etc. who have partnered with PV’s Westin Regina Raintree and Vallarta Escapes holiday villa rentals to offer patients free accommodations for 1-2 weeks, or free airfare, or even free fishing. The free fishing part isn’t mentioned on their website, but they told me that if you say you own your own jet, time-share or condo, they’ll get you that boat.
Find out more:
Fly Free or Stay Free Mexican Dental Vacations: www.aboutmexicandentists.com USA Toll Free: 1 877 476-8512
Holiday villas, condo, home sales and rentals: www.vallartaescapes.com Puerto Vallarta: 322-297-0139
Fishing, surf tours, whale watching, snorkeling, sunset cruises on Yacht Sylvester: www.amigosurfmexico.com Puerto Vallarta: 322 135-9172
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