Puerto Vallarta fishing trip, Start to Finish

Ever wonder what a day of fishing is like?  I’ll try to chronicle the experience form beginning to end  using a couple recent fishing trips by clients and staff at Puerto Vallarta Fishing Tours. Through the article I will reference 2 different trips on 2 different types of boats:

Trip 1: 3 friends that wanted a bit more luxury. these 3 rented a 38 ft Cabo for 6 hours.

Trip 2: 3 friends that just wanted to catch some good fish. They rented a 28 ft Super Panga.

There will be pictured from both trips and links to videos from both trips.

Why so early?

The day begins with a very early hotel pick up.  You are welcome to take a cab or an Uber but we can also come get you. A few factors determine how early you will be picked up when Puerto Vallarta fishing:

What Kind of fish do you want to catch?

 Fish inside the bay of Banderas tend to be smaller and the variety is likely going to be less.  If you are looking for Marlin, you need to go deep. The further out you go, the more likely to catch the big fish. Inside the bay may be a great trip for a family with kids, but serious fisherman will go further out.

What kind of Boat did you book?

This may not be obvious to everyone, but the bigger boats have bigger motors and can often go much faster. Trip 1 took a 38 ft  Cabo. Details here. Trip 2 took a 28 ft Super Panga. Details here. The travel time is much faster to get to the destination with the Cabo.

38 ft Cabo 7
28 ft Super Panga 1
The early bird catches the worm!

Or in this case, the early angler catches the fish.  It is well know that fish are more active as the sun comes up.  I recently took a diving trip on the great barrier reef on Australia, one of our dives was an early morning dive that got us in the water before the sun came up. The difference in activity was unbelievable.

Take a nap.

I do every time I go out fishing. something about the movement of the boat, the fresh air and the early morning start means that I cannot stay awake.  Our trip was on the Super Panga and I covered my head with a shirt and slept on the cushions in the front of the boat.  Trip 1, well, they new they wanted to sleep so they booked a boat with an air conditioned cabin that had a bed.

First Stops

Arriving at the dock.

If you have been picked up by one of our staff, you will have been filled in with all the details of the trip. If you took an Uber or a cab then you will meet one of our staff and they will give you the details and lead you to your boat and introduce you to your captain.

They will stay with you till you depart. Depending on the marina that you are being picked up in the details may be different or there may be a bit more of a walk to the boat.


About a kilometre out in the ocean there sits a boat that has a large stash of freshly caught bait fish. This will be your first stop in the ocean.  Your captain will grab a bunch of these fish for you to use. 


Heading out to deep sea.

32 ft Super Panga 5
The trip out.

During your meeting with the captain you can discuss what it tis that you want to catch.  He will give his thoughts on what kind of fish have been biting lately and you can give him your preferred goals.  Once decided he will take you out. The trip out could take anywhere from an one and a half to 2 and a half hours. This may seem like a long time but it goes by very quickly.

Drink lots of water and keep out of the sun, even though you do not feel the heat, the sun is still strong.

Eat a snack if you brought one or take a nap.

Let the Fun Begin


Typically the captain or crew will bait and set the lines but if you want to learn how, just ask.  Once the lines are in the water be ready, you will be called when there is a fish hooked.  This can come fast an often. 

On our trip we caught 5 Mahi-mahi. We caught 3 really quickly and then had a bit of a wait for the others.  

Trip 1 with the Cabo: I asked what kind of fish they caught and he said he couldn’t remember because it all happened so fast.  I know that htey caught some Jack Crevele.  I then asked how many?  “Too many to keep track of.”

On both trips, one of the crew made some fresh Ceviche on the boat which was one of the best things I have ever eaten.

Cindy and jack

The trip back

Reeling in fish can be hard work. Sit back, relax, or, do as I did and just sleep.

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