The Beat Goes On

On The Water

Capt. Gregory Pilkington of

The Marlin and Sailfish are still on the bite, and now they are being joined by 30-130 pound Yellowfin Tuna out by Roca Corbatena. Could life get any better?


Big game season usually starts winding down in mid-December, so if you have big fish on your mind, now is the time to get out on the water.

We’ve been finding the fish about 8 miles west of Roca Corbatena. They aren’t too hard to find as they are mixed in amongst the large pods of dolphins. Just look for flocks of diving birds and you will find Marlin, Sailfish, Yellowfin Tuna and Dorado (Mahi-mahi).


Despite being one of the best Blue and Black Marlin fisheries in the world, the waters off of Puerto Vallarta are known as a top Yellowfin Tuna fishery.

The main reason for this is that Tuna brings a much higher amount at the market. And, unlike other more developed recreational fisheries like those in Panama, Guatemala or Costa Rica, local anglers haven’t realized the enormous economic value of catching and releasing Marlin and Sailfish yet.

While Yellowfin Tuna are one of the strongest fish pound for pound and taste delicious, they don’t put on the amazing display of acrobatics which avid destination billfish (marlin and sailfish) anglers will pay tens of thousands of dollars to chase. But, they do fight incredibly hard.

Yellowfin can be caught many ways. The most common way to catch Tuna is to tempt one with a live bait. This approach is by far the easiest method and therefore is a great way for novice anglers to get in on the action.

For the more advanced angler looking for more excitement and a bigger challenge, sight casting poppers or stickbaits to Tuna which are busting on the surface is incredible fun and gaining in popularity. There are few thrills in the fishing world which match witnessing a large Yellowfin explode onto a topwater lure.

Another thrilling method is to drop a weighted jig down to the tuna after they show up on the sounder/fish finder. Simply, drop the jig down below the level which they appear on the electronics and reel fast while pumping the rod up and down and get ready to hold on tight.


Nowadays a great photo holds more importance than ever. To get the perfect shot of your priced Yellowfin Tuna, don’t let the fish hit the deck after it’s gaffed. Kill and bleed the fish while it is still in the water and then rinse the fish down. Hold it in front of you and smile big.

As you can see in these photos, the difference is remarkable. The fish on the left was carelessly thrown onto the deck, while the one on the right was handled properly.