On The Water: Marlin, Sailfish, Tuna, Dorado, and Roosterfish On the Move

The dog days of summer are upon us and that means great fishing, calm seas and no crowds. The only problem is picking a target species and locating them.

Take black and blue marlin, for example. One day they are near Roca Corbatena (30 miles offshore) and the next near El Banco (40 miles offshore). The same with the tuna. And, for some unknown reason, the dorado are noticeable by their absence.

Best Bet For The Serious Angler

Now is the time to head offshore and target big marlin at the world-famous grounds of Roca Corbatena and El Banco. These fish are currently averaging over 400 pounds. This requires a lot of patience and a bit of luck. Sure, you might get one in the first few hours fishing, but if you want an outstanding chance of catching that fish of a lifetime, I’d suggest fishing at least two full days on a top boat.

Best Bet For The Weekend Warriors and Casual Anglers

Head around the corner from Cabo Corrientes and spend the morning chasing a prized roosterfish up the beach. Then shoot just a short distance offshore in the afternoon and you could add a sailfish, marlin, dorado or tuna. This is a region few people ever visit and even without the exceptional fishing, it would be the highlight of most people’s holiday. This coast lined with spectacular deserted beaches is as breathtaking as any place on the planet.

Note: This past week an elusive cat species similar to a puma called a Jaguarundi was caught on camera playing on this beach—way cool!

Best Bet For Those Just Wanting To Get On The Water

Now that we are finally seeing some rain, the water temperatures in the bay are starting to cool down a bit. That should mean dorado and sailfish in Banderas Bay. These brilliantly coloured fish are perfectly sized for children and novice anglers and put on an amazing show. For some reason, they are still scarce but that could and should change as the rains become more consistent. Combine this trip with a stopover at Yelapa for a beachside lunch and an easy hike to the waterfall. We guarantee this will be one of the best days of your life.

Conservation Corner—Keep ‘em in the water!

If you are going to keep a fish for dinner it doesn’t really matter how you treat it. Great tasting local fish include dorado (those over 10 pounds), tuna, and many of the reef fish. Marlin, sailfish, and roosterfish, however, are such a prized catch that they are released in most places in the world. Studies show that the economic value of a sustainable recreational billfish fishery far outweighs the price realized for a dead fish to the local community.

We encourage you to insist that your crew only use circle hooks when using live baits as the fish is almost always hooked in the side of the mouth. This allows for a quick and easy release. Traditional J-hooks, often result in gut hooked fish which leads to increased mortality. Lastly, please don’t pull your marlin or sailfish out of the water for a ‘hero shot’ photo. Studies show that this increases the chance that the fish will not survive. Instead, lean over the side and send her back to make someone else’s dream come true.

Topless Tip

It’s the rainy season. If you are heading out of the bay, choose a boat with a good radar as we get some big thunderstorms this time of year. Your family’s safety should be your number one factor in choosing a boat and crew. A boat with radar can maneuver around these storms much easier than a boat without radar.

By Capt. Gregory Pilkington


Capt. Greg operates the sportfishing boat TOPLESS II out of Marina Riviera Nayarit at La Cruz.