The ocean area around Nayarit and the Bay of Banderas are fast becoming known for its superb fishing. Two world record catches have been accomplished in the area (blue marlin and wahoo) and more are waiting. Many deluxe fishing charter vessels are available for those seeking to spend the day, or several days, fishing the blue waters of the area for several species of ocean fishes. The calm, warm waters of the area beckon fishermen of the world. Available sport fishing charters can be found in Nuevo Vallarta, Bucerias, La Cruz, Punta Mita, Sayulita, San Francisco and Lo de Marcos. Boats from beach rental pangas to large fishing cruisers can be rented by the hour, half-day to all day. Some charter services offer overnight charters including all meals and sleeping accommodations. Typical fish found in these waters are as follows:
The The Striped Marlin is found off Nayarit from July until November. World record is 339 pounds and is an outstanding fighting fish, normally released by fishermen. It is a good eating fish.
The Blue Marlin can be found in the area from July to April, the best times are September thru February. Normal size is 150 to 500 pounds, the world record is 1402 pounds. This is a tremendous fighting fish which takes hours on specialized equipment to land. Good eating but commonly released by fishermen.
The Black Marlin is found in the area from July to February. The Black is the largest of the marlin family; the world record currently stands at a whopping 1560 pounds! This fish is highly prized by sport fishermen but its declining numbers are resulting in a catch-and-release policy by true sportsmen.
Sailfish are found closer to shore than the other billfish and are occasionally caught within the Bay of Banderas. This is an excellent fighting fish which is unsurpassed for its size in strength and spectacular leaps and runs. An excellent eating fish and ranges from 50 to 100 pounds normally. The world record is 221 pounds.
Several species of tuna can be found in Mexican waters but the favorite is the Yellowfin tuna. Also known as Ahi, this spectacular fighting fish is a favorite of fishermen and can be found served fresh at many local restaurants. It is one of the finest eating fares available. Yellowfin tuna range from a few pounds to almost 400 pounds. World record is 388 pounds. Special heavy-duty equipment is a must for these powerful brutes.
The Mexican Pargo is also known as Red Snapper. An excellent eating fish, it ranges from a few pounds to 40 pounds in this area. The world record is 50 pounds. Drifting and bait fishing are the most productive ways to catch these beautiful fish.
This furious fighting fish gives the fisherman a tremendous fight. It has terrific stamina, slashing moves, screaming runs and jumps. It is not a particularly good eating fish and is normally released. Normally found in the 10 to 30 pound range, but can be found up to 100 pounds in these waters. World record is 114 pounds.
An outstanding fighter, this beautiful fish is a great light tackle sport fish. Excellent eating, it is common at 1 to 3 pounds but can be found over 10 pounds. World record is 13 pounds.
Another of the snapper family, the blackspot snapper is normally found in 200 foot depths. An excellent eating fish, it ranges from 3 to 6 pounds, the world record is 7 pounds.
This tremendous fighter lives up to its name in fight and beauty. Related to the barracuda, this slim fish is best known for its frightening array of razor sharp teeth. Common at 10 to 50 pounds, it can reach over 200 pounds. World record stands at 158 pounds, the Bay of Banderas gave up a 221 pounder in 2004 but didn't qualify from record status due to the manner in which it was caught. Excellent eating fish.
The dorado, also known as a mahi-mahi or dolphin, is prolific in Mexican waters. It is the fastest growing of all ocean fishes, it reaches the world record weight of 87 pounds. 20 to 40 pounders are frequently caught around Nayarit waters. One of the best eating fish found in the ocean, it is also one of the most beautiful with brilliant blues, greens and yellow markings. Strong and acrobatic, this fighter is highly sought after and caught regularly September thru April.
The amberjack is also known as the Coronado. This excellent eating fish can be frequently caught at 5 to 20 pounds, the world record is 142 pounds. A tremendous fighting fish, it is best caught with live bait by drifting. Heavy tackle is a must.
Commonly found in the 50 pound range, this fighter has been caught up to 114 pounds. Usually caught over reefs and wrecks, it can also be caught by trolling. Season ranges from May to September. Warm weather drives them deeper.
The crevalle jack is a commonly caught sport fish in these waters. Normal range is 1 to 10 pounds but frequently caught in the 20 pound range. World record is 57 pounds. Poor eating but a favorite due to its enormous fight and pulling power. Frequently caught on light tackle. Can be found here most of the year.