Puerto Vallarta

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Fishing in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta fishing is the strongest contender for the best in the whole of Mexico’s Pacific. With its 3 legendary hotspots (El Moro, Corbetena and El Banco) and its prolific end-of-the-year Marlin seasons, PV never fails to deliver - even to the most demanding of anglers. Better yet, due to Vallarta’s resident Mahi Mahi population and ample Tuna fishing potential in the summer, this fishery is ready to please, 24/7, 365 days of the year!

Bored of the beaches? If you’re wondering what to do in Puerto Vallarta then get out on the water. The fishing here literally has something to please everyone - complete beginner or tournament-winning pro alike.

Known For

If you want to experience the sport fishing Puerto Vallarta is famous for, you don’t need to travel far from your hotel. The town looks out onto the expansive Banderas Bay, a 40-plus mile wide expanse of water that is home to light tackle legends such as Skipack, Mackerel, Mahi Mahi, Amberjack, Snapper, and - of course - the iconic Roosterfish.

Looking for something bigger? There are a host of destinations offshore that have earned notoriety all over the world as places where records can be made - and broken. The Marietas Islands 18 miles from Marina Vallarta and El Morro, a group of rock pinnacles 24 miles west of the Marina, are easily accessible on an eight hour trip. These are home to a great variety of pelagic fish, including Marlin, Sailfish, Tuna, Wahoo, and much more.

But that’s not all. Puerto Vallarta is one of the best places in the world to catch huge Yellowfin Tuna, as well as Blue, Black, and Striped Marlin (not to mention the Sailfish). And if you are on the lookout for a truly unforgettable fish, you will have to travel slightly further offshore to find the best deep sea fishing grounds.

The areas of Corbetena and ‘The Banks’ have some of the best fishing in Puerto Vallarta, and they are still accessible in a 10-12 hour trip. Corbetena is located 36 miles from the marina while The Banks are 50 miles offshore, but if you are on the lookout for a Grander Marlin or a 400 pound plus Tuna, these areas are a must. These offshore rocks and pinnacles make for some of the best Marlin fishing in Mexico, and should be on the bucket list of any serious traveling angler.

For those who prefer the serenity of freshwater fishing, the area around Puerto Vallarta does not disappoint. Whether you are fishing the local rivers for Snook, fighting endless Largemouth Bass in Lake Agua Milpa, or exploring Lake Cajon de Pena in the middle of the Sierra Madre mountains, you will have plenty to keep your hands full while your family relaxes on the beach.

Rules & Regulations

A valid Mexican Sport Fishing License is required before fishing in Mexican waters. Fishing licenses for all FishingBooker charters are either included in price or can be purchased from the charter operator or marina. Licenses can also be purchased online. You need to be at least 250 meters away from swimmers in order to practice sporfishing. The law prohibits the fileting of fish aboard the same charter from which it was caught.

Types of Fishing

Trolling with live bait (Skipjack Tuna is popular) for Marlin and Tuna is a must-do on any serious Puerto Vallarta fishing vacation.

Battling a hard-fighting Roosterfish is another opportunity you would be mad to pass up on light tackle, and can take place within just a mile or two of leaving the Marina.

Otherwise, try fly fishing for Snook in the local rivers or bait casting for Bass in the nearby lakes.

Whichever technique you go for, Puerto Vallarta has it all!

Puerto Vallarta
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Puerto Vallarta Fishing Seasons

January in Puerto Vallarta allows you to see this Mexican town at its best. Temperatures are pleasant int he mid 70s, there's very little rain, and Wahoo and Sailfish fishing is on fire. 

The winter is high tourist season thanks to the dry weather and comfortable temperatures, and February is no exception. Hotel prices are high, but don't let that get in the way: Dorado fishing is excellent.

Escape the crowds visiting Puerto Vallarta on Spring Break and head off to try fly fishing for Bass in the nearby lakes. Otherwise, make the most of the great fishing in Banderas Bay.

The crowds finally start to disperse and the hotels become cheaper. Inshore fishing in Banderas Bay remains excellent, with Mackerel causing mayhem on light tackle.

May is when the fishing really begins to get serious in Puerto Vallarta. Temperatures are between 70-80 degrees, crowds are low, and the Yellowfin Tuna has arrived. It doesn't get better than this.

The euphoric conditions of May continue into June, with offshore fishing paying dividends as the water temperatures rise. Target Tuna offshore or Roosterfish, Grouper, and Amberjack inshore.

July weather in Puerto Vallarta is hot, and so is Roosterfish fishing. While this spiky species is good all year round, July is arguably the best possible time to catch it. Tuna is still wrecking havoc offshore.

Forget about the hot weather and feel the sea breeze: this is the beginning of the high season for Billfish in Puerto Vallarta. Sailfish, Blue Marlin, and Black Marlin are all on fire.

With Striped Marlin joining the other behemoths being caught offshore, this is the best month for deep sea fishing in Puerto Vallarta. Add Tuna and Dorado to the mix, and you can't get better than this.

Offshore fishing remains insanely good, although as with September, anglers need to be aware of risk of cancellations due to tropical storms. Well, I guess you can't have everything.

The weather begins to stabilize and tourist season starts up anew. Say goodbye to hotel discounts, but say hello to huge prizes at the International Marlin and Sailfish Tournament.

Celebrate the holiday season in style, along with thousands of other people who have realized that the holidays are better without snowflakes. Could a Billfsih Grand Slam be the best Christmas present ever?

Puerto Vallarta Fishing Calendar

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Top Fishing Techniques in Puerto Vallarta

  1. Deep Sea Fishing
  2. Fly Fishing

Top Targeted Species in Puerto Vallarta

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)



Marlin (Blue)

Marlin (Blue)

Jack Crevalle

Jack Crevalle

Marlin (Black)

Marlin (Black)

Marlin (Striped)

Marlin (Striped)



Snapper (Cubera)

Snapper (Cubera)