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Puerto Vallarta Fishing

March 11, 2019 by Justin

Puerto Vallarta fishing and the Banderas Bay is famous for world-class fishing because of the diverse variety of big fish and a good probability for big game catches. There are 5 main fishing areas in Banderas Bay: Islas Marietas, El Morro, El Faro, La Corbetena, and El Banco. 

Banderas Bay Fishing

Inside of the Banderas Bay, there is a huge variety of fish. You will frequently find Skipjack, Jack Crevalle, Sierra Mackerel, Pargo, Red Snapper, Grouper, Mahi Mahi and many other varieties to chose from. The bigger trophy fish generally prefer the cooler waters of the Pacific, but they can be found in the Banderas Bay. 

For the recreational fisherman who would just like to try fishing, this is a great destination.  You will probably catch fish in the bay, but the fish will not be as large, as the larger ones are not common. 

Puerto Vallarta fishing locations

La Corbetena – Puerto Vallarta fishing 

Corbetena is approximately 36 miles out from Puerto Vallarta in the Pacific Ocean. For many, this deep water fishing ground is the best in the region because it offers the best trophy fishing including huge Marlin (up to 1000 lbs), Sailfish, Tuna, Wahoo and Pargo. It takes about an hour and a half to get there and the average fishing trip takes about 10 hours in total.

Corbetena is suitable for serious fishermen, trophy fishing, Marlin and Sailfish, Wahoo and Tuna. Many of the fishing charters will highly recommend this location.


Marietas Islands – Puerto Vallarta fishing 

Marietas Islands is 18 miles off the coast of Puerto Vallarta and is also a very popular location for scuba diving. It is the starting point for big game fish and trophy fishing which include Marlin, Sailfish, Tuna, and Mahi Mahi. Generally the fish big game fish found here are not as large as fishing ground either away from shore but they sometimes can be. It takes about an hour to reach the Marietas islands and the average fishing trip will take 8 hours.

Las Marietas Islands is suitable for fishing enthusiasts who want good quality deep sea fishing within a reasonable time and distance or budget from Puerto Vallarta. Sightings of whales and dolphins are common from the boat. 


El Faro – Puerto Vallarta fishing 

El Faro is located 24 miles out in the far south of Banderas Bay.  For many fishing charters is it used as an alternative fishing location to Corbetena. Depending on conditions and the movement of big game fish in the Pacific Ocean, El Faro can offer better opportunities to catch Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, Tuna and Roosterfish. 

El Faro is suitable for serious fishermen, trophy fishing, Marlin and Sailfish, Wahoo and Tuna.  At certain times of the year, the fish tend to cluster here for a few weeks at a time so it’s best to consult the local specialists.


El Morro – Puerto Vallarta fishing 

El Morro is located 24 miles from Puerto Vallarta and is also another popular scuba diving location based around rock pinnacles. The rock formations attract large Tuna, Sailfish, Dorado and Yellowfish to name but a few. It takes over 90 minutes to get there and an average trip will take about 8 to 10 hours. Fishing charters Amy alternate El Morro with the Marietas Islands depending where they think the fish are biting.

El Morro is suitable for all fishermen and for those who want to experience deep sea fishing in an 8-hour trip.


The Banks – Puerto Vallarta fishing 

The Banks is 48 to 50 miles offshore and takes at least 2 hours to reach. The average fishing trip will take at least 12 hours. The Banks is the most celebrated fishing site in Puerto Vallarta because of the possibility of catching up to 1,000 lbs Marlin, 400 lbs Tuna or Sailfish, and other massive big game fish.  Depending on the charter you speak to, they might recommend this location. The waters can be rougher and more demanding that the other 4 locations but the rewards might also be greater.

The Banks is suitable for hardcore fishermen with experience in trophy fishing.


Types of Fish in Puerto Vallarta

Amber Jack

Mahi Mahi




Jack Crevalle

puerto vallarta fishing


Black Marlin


Blue Marlin

puerto vallarta fishing


Striped Marlin

puerto vallarta fishing



Red Snapper

puerto vallarta fishing


Rooster Fish









puerto vallarta fishing


General Information about Puerto Vallarta Fishing

What do you need to bring on your trip?

Don’t forget sunscreen, beer, hats, and a camera for your catch.


Do the Puerto Vallarta fishing charters speak English?

Yes, all the main charters will communicate in English.


How much does it cost to go fishing in Puerto Vallarta?

Locations outside the Banderas Bay (more than 35 miles) are more expensive. Those locations are trophy fishing locations.


Can I keep the fish that I catch?

You can choose to keep the fish or catch and release with most fishing charters. In Mexico, it is considered bad to sell any fish that you catch.


For more general information see our page Things to do in Puerto Vallarta

At the beginning of each year, for a few months, you can go Whale Watching in Puerto Vallarta

  • Choose a boat and date