Thursday, December 14, 2017

Snow day

Well at least we have the Mazatlan version of a snow day. Since we've been here it's gotten progressively cooler but really every day is quite the same....until now. It's raining and that makes for a stay at home day as the town floods a bit and you don't want to get stuck anywhere.....so whataya do on the snow day ? Well, you go fishing until you're just to wet and bored. It's been a fish less week., we talked about going to a new place but one of my friends put it this way...." there's just as many no fish here as there are over there "......We had a surf casters tourney on Sunday. 70 people , not a single slimey.... Yikes.....I got an idea. Let's have a couple beers and horse around with my new waterproof camera in the rain and the hot tub , great idea.
They say that your eyes are the window into your soul. Well, look into these eyes and you'll see a deliberate man with 64 years of experiences that he draws on to always be serious and direct, business like all the time of course. One thing I've learned about this ol life is that it ain't no dress rehearsal so you darn sure better take it serious...I mean, do you really  want to be remembered just as a joker ? Not me.....look into those eye's ....
I remember seeing Jimmy Buffet on TV onetime with Oprah . she asked him how he could write such sensitive love songs and then turn around and right such weird / trash like ' Why don't we get dru....' well all you Jimmy fans know what that song is. His answer was no surprise to me because he said " well Oprah sometimes I feel real sensitive and sometimes I feel real trashy".  Exact-a-mundo Jimmy, I know exactly how that deal works.  Sometimes people get the real 'smiley Jeff ' and sometimes they get the real '  frownie Jeff ' .
I don't know how it happened to me but you'd be surprised how many times in my professional life I've had to tell people that ' this is my serious face ' when giving them bad news like when Dick Hahn showed up on the wrong day. I don't get it.....all I was doing was telling Ollie and Annette the joys of walking around in the rain with just a swim suit on and....they just start laughing. C'mon you guys I was serious about that good for your skin part.
I see there was yet another weird blue guys vers the red guys election N.O.B. ( north of the border ) . Well around here this is as close to a red / blue deal as we get ....as you can see they seem to sell the same. 
I know everyone appreciates that things are waaaaay cheaper in Mexico and Mazatlan in particular. But the weird part is that the best values are where you find them and not always at the Freddies or Wal Mart store like back home. In fact I buy my cerveza at the Kiosko up the road where I get to on my bike. It's a junk food emporium like the Holiday Store in Slowdotna. The other day they had the life blood of Mazatlan ( Pacifico ) on sale 8 for 85 peso. Well the next day they had 8 for 84 peso. So I got 8 and refilled 4 Ballena's for exactly 170 peso, $ 9.50 worth of great beer.
I got a busy week coming up. Playing music on Saturday night, then our early a.m. hike and tour de buffet's Sunday morning and then a Pizza party and a Pro Baseball game. Do do some Christmas shopping and who knows, maybe even catch a fish,,,,,and I'm serious now, I hope you come back.














Thursday, December 7, 2017

Fishing team Zzzzzzzzzz's

That's what Team X seems to be morphing into. Once the proud leaders in fair chase and the ethic of mucho trabajo to produce fish is getting a bit sleepy. Fishing is sloooooow. Ernie's been here for 10 days now and is yet to catch a fish, any fish. Yikes, this morning me being the safety/ morale officer went to rally the troops and came across this scene.
Alejandro is a special assistant working as counselor to the Team....a very important position and holy moly.....He's ASLEEP.  Snoring like he's been watching a Mariner game. And then ....what in the world are we doing. Now we're in the coffee shop talkin fish. I'm not sure but I don't think anybody's ever caught a fish in the coffee shop. But me and Ernesto did benefit as a morale booster from a nice breakfast at Slah's restaurant Ara-Mex.
So.....there's only one thing to do, True leaders know to lead by example. So I get up earlier and walk farther and throw longer every morning and I'm even trying hard to talk less, that's a tough one. But you combine some work with some luck and walla, up jumps the holy grail for surf fisherman. This guy took a topwater way at the end of my cast. It was oh dark thirty and I just barely saw the splash but there was no doubt who he was. At first I thought a huge snapper as I was fishing the rocks and having lost one last week when he went right back down into the rocks I horsed this guy hard up and over the rocks and then in close to shore. But with my first good luck I saw silver and not red and new...my first Rooster in 3 years.😎 and yes, of course I released. The way things are going this year I sure can't chance effecting my moe-joe by killing a Roosterfish.
With the full moon last week we had one day with just the right surf at just the right time and just the right height in the morning. I caught this nice Robalo and as I held him for this pic I could see two more chasing sardines in the foamy white water on shore. So I'm optimistic that the fish are coming. The water is cooling which both the Robalo and Corvina like according to Alejandro....when he's not sleeping.
The fishing might be slow but the reptile bite is awesome. The other morning I fished right in front of this perfect nest and as the morning wore on and the people got to walking not a single person noticed it. Weird....I mean I ain't no Marlin Perkins but I am semi aware of mother nature. Finally I had a couple approach me to ask about the fishing and I pointed down and asked if the saw anything unusual....the gal said yup, it looked like somebody had been exercising there.
It's time to bore you with another sunrise photo. This a.m. it was spectacular. The light refracted off the water and sand, it reminded me a bit of the night  Chris and I got onto a hot Northern Lights bite while riding snowmachines near Mt. McKinley.
On Sunday I gave up the morning's fishing to to do Pacifico's Marathon of the Pacific. A world class event they close the 4 laner so me and MPeasy like to walk against the race so we get the runners meeting us and then after the turn at Cerritos point they then pass us again down the road a couple miles. We listen to the Banda's and mooch a few gatorade drinks and get our 10,000 steps in and then have breakfast at a real Mexican diner.... I had divorced eggs and MP loves the machaca.
Last year by this stage of the race the lead pack was about 7. This year it was just three guys, two of whom I assume were  Kenyan's and the other a smaller guy....they are all doing 5 minute miles, they are so light on their feet that you barely hear their feet hit the ground. They seem to float.
Mazatlan goes all out for this event....so the least I could do is wear my best clothes, yup, that thing around my neck is a collar.
Man oh man did we find a new favorite place to eat. The first night we discovered Tacquira Los
Chiles I had chicken taco's and one tripe. The Tripe as outstanding. It's deep fried like chicaroons so the texture is crunchy and the closest I could get to the taste would be like bacon. So MP ordered a Tripe Pa Pa Loco's ( crazy tater ) and it was soooo good. So we went back last night, picked up a couple cerveza at the OXXO store and ordered Pa pa Loco's. Mine was shrimp and just chuck loaded, Does that look good or what....about 12 bucks for our entire night out.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

War of the appliances

and we're losing. Remember when we just got here how pleasantly surprised I was when we got into the house and everything worked... Well, It's like that guy you bump into in Vegas that tells you he hit a Full House for  $1300.00 and the next part of the story starts with the ' but then ' as he tells you how the money disappeared. It's the ' but then ' that'll get ya. So the first war casualty was our wonderful water cooler that leaked 6 gallons into the house one evening and now it's our high tech washer / dryer combo deal that is gonna take some lettuce to replace. Basically things here on the salty warm just rust away, sometimes quickly. This deal is gonna cost 4 figures and do you know how much Pacifico beer that is.....mucho that's how much. And oh....it has to fit into that closet space where the plumbing is that's exactly 2.12 cubit's deep. Finding this thing here at Mile 5014 is gonna take magic.
So Ernie shows up and I go to his place that first morning to fish. We did our usual cast-retrieve-complain-cast-retrieve-yawn routine for several hours . Ern put's his Lamiglass away and I see a bit of a boil so I cast long and I have to say with outstanding accuracy and walla, hooked up. Now Ern tells me it's most likely just a Toro and low and behold that ' justa Toro ' turned into a nice snapper, my second consumable. Thanks for bringing me the luck Ernesto. and the second pic is ' justa' Toro....tricked that guy on a baby blue Line Stretcher lure, man I love the name of that lure.
For me the joy is in the chase...it never used to be that way but now I know the way. I cherish ALL parts of the chase so it was ultra cool the other day when these porpoises / dolphins came by and one chased fish right onto shore in front of me. I wish my pic were  that good but getting the shot is soooo difficult, you gotta be ready for the totally unexpected and who does that ? It was impressive. Now I've seen Spinner Dolphins and grew up on Flipper which I think was a Bottlenose variety  but this guy was HUGE, easily a 1000 pounder. At first I thought Killer Whale but I clearly saw the face so if any of you know whats the biggest Dolphin in the sea please let ol number 003 know, O.K. ?
MPeasy and I made our way up the beach 3 miles for Sunday breakfast and came across this sight. It's obvious that a Sea Turtle had waddled ashore last night and left eggs and then returned , the tracks were clear and just us noticed. It's amazing how durable mother nature is that people walk over the nest unbeknownst and I'll bet the occasional 4-wheeler or pick truck goes over and it doesn't hurt a thing. As we talked about just that the Tortuga watch man came along and noticed it and did nothing more than put a Vulture feather on it so he could find it again and monitor when they hatch.
The week before I saw the fruits of the turtle effort. I think these guys are supposed to hit the h2o at night just like their moms so these little guys were a little late . But as you can see, they were perfectly healthy and their were no birds picking them off like I've seen before...so if you haven't seen it before let me introduce you to the next generation.
Friday I made room in my schedule to play music for an Art sale so wish me luck...if ya don't put yourself out there you'll never know eh ?



Wednesday, November 22, 2017

P.O.A.

Prisoner of air conditioner. Even the locals agree, we're still waiting for the pleasant ' cool' winter months in Mazatlan Sinaloa Mexico. The temps have fallen from the 90's to the 80's but that darn humidity remains the same. I ain't complaining, well not to much, but we'd sure like to get out and do more things in the middle of the day but right now the routine is read a book, listen to the hum of that wonderful min split we have and then rally around the pool about 2:00 p.m.. We love to go downtown for cultural submersion but it's just to hot and it gets kind of confining .

So today marks our 2 week anniversary of MZT arrival, That means 14 days of fishing an hour before sunrise and then casting for at least 2 or 3 hours everyday and then mind you more casting whenever it feels right or I'm playing with a new rod and reel set up. The score ? Three Toro and one snapper. The snapper was a gift. I was talking with Alejandro and we were speculating about all the possibilities of why we seem to fishing on the Dead Sea when something jumped on my castmaster 3 feet from shore....we both laughed pretty good. Have any of you Kenai people ever not been able to catch a Humpy ? If that's happened to you then you know how the Pro's from Dover southern division are feeling.....it's a rough go. But what I tell my customers all the time when the fishing is slow is that means only one thing....it will get better...unless it stays the same of course.

 Now if you're reptile that 92 degrees Weather Underground tells you ' Feels like 127'  is just right. In fact it kinda energizes these guys. This one lives in the trees on the middle island of the 4 lane and he brought traffic to  stop as he explored the fast food store across the street. A nice man put his hand up to the traffic and he was so anxious to get home he ran faster than I've ever seen an Iguana run. I told the man " well done, nicely played"  and he just said that everybody just wants to live another day...
Sunday was the day we first had below 90 temps so me and MPeasy jumped the bus and rode to the end of the line down by the Faro. Then we hikes up and over the hill into Olas Altas and then onto North Beach and up to the Hotel Hacienda for breakfast buffet. Right now the exchange rate is at 18 peso to the dollar and the buffet with fresh squeezed O.J. and made to order omelets as well as menudo and my favorite beef lice was 119 peso a person, $12.50 for both of us....and oh, we were the only Americano's there and they took best care of us. My pacer app told me that morning we hiked 3.5 miles in 1 hour and 20 minutes...
I try to be optomistic. But this year it was so unusual that all our electronics were working so perfectly I kinda sensed something was due to go awry. Well ever since we got here our Telmex internet service into the condo has gone from high speed to snail pace. It's a lot like the old dial up days so doing this edition of Mile 14 has been painful and has taken two days...but hey, what else do I gotta due anyway. This morning as I fished I sensed something moving under my feet and got video of  30 or so freshly hatched sea turtles going to sea. I'd love to show you that video but that is waaaay beyond what we can do right now, sorry. They're just cuter than heck so I'll post it as soon as the Telmex guy comes and fixes it, He's suppose to be here sometime between tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. and February. Guess I'll just relax, have a Pacifico and watch the sunset.




Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The next best thing to fishing and catching is ????

Fishing and NOT catching of course.
I'll tell you what, if my Minnesota friends think they have to cast 10,000 times per Musky well then they're tailor made for the fishing here in the surf casting mecca of Mazatlan....this little Toro I finally caught yesterday morning only took 7800 casts. Yikes, I actually thought I had a snapper as I hooked him where a snapper should've been ( how's that for guide speak ? ) but when I got him to the shore it was a nice Toro but not what I call a ' consumable'. I really don't know what's going on, the fishing for me anyway is slower than I've ever seen it although people tell me it,s not bad and Stewart actually caught a nice Roosterfish yesterday.  One thing I see is that the beach is changing right now and washing all the sand away from the rocks which should help the fishing and clear up the water eventually. And it's hhhhhoooootttt out and my endurance is just now getting there....But hey, the joy is in the pursuit, here's a pic of my 1st, last and only fish so far.....and no Lockwood , it ain't a file pic,
The evenings here are just magic. Once it cools down to 80 or so and the sea breeze kicks in our deck is just fantastic. We've barbecued almost every night on our new Weber Q. This thing is amazing. MP bought it at the end of last season and I've never seen a grill work so well. It's one of my failings as I man, I'm a horrible barbecueist, I've ruined more 8 dollar steaks than anybody in the world....and chicken, forget about it. At home when I barbecue chicken MP pre- bakes the fat out in the oven and then asks, please just get it brown. Well the other night with the combo of ultra fresh Mexican pollo and the new barbie I cooked from scratch and walla....the best ever. No flare ups , no " give me the spray bottle"....Here's a sunset pick from our porch at Mile 5014.
Mazatlan is going through a building boom and I'm a thinking that we have actually made a good real estate deal buying in when we did, But ya never know around here what can happen and as far as owning on the beach through a bank trust you really have to wonder what you really own and what the future is ....but....thousands of Americans and Canadians do it so it must work. I kinda worry about USA-Mexican relations. Without getting too political I'll just say that anything could happen and have it effect me and MPeasy's little slice of paradise. Then there's this.....development just seems to be kitty wampus around here. Buildings are built in front of other killing there view. Buildings are put in with no new sewer capacity and it's added later. So how would you like to be the guy who bought these extra expensive end units in a very exclusive condo building just to see a new building squeezed onto a narrow lot that you never would have thought possible....and setbacks ? zoning ? nope. I took this pic out fishing the other morning and those two buildings are really really close and the new just kills those poor folks view. It's Mexico .
Just to build my karma and energy I'm ending this edition of Mile 14 with the last Guyo I caught from the beach. These guys are in the neighborhood and I'm going to get one. I brought down my rod building stuff and fixed the big Lamiglass that I need so from here on out I'm locked and loaded. When I catch I won't wait a week...as they say in the newspaper business we'll print a ' special edition'.....see ya then.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

It's so hot ....

I saw a dog chasing a cat and they were both walking. 10 minutes from the airport I asked Rueben to stop the cab for an 8 pack of Pacifico and when I left the cab my glasses instantly steamed and I stumbled into the store like I didn't need the Pacifico....And let me tell ya, it's wonderful to be here. At our house even though it's 90 degrees the ocean breeze blows through and it's really not bad, AND for the first time in a few years the air conditioner works and all our electronics are good to go. I'm typing this Mile 14 with the help of a new Telmex wireless router and the speed is incredible, sorry Alaska Communications.
How's that for a forecast ? Basically every day is the same, now that's something you don't see in Alaska where we say ' if you can't see the montains, it's raining . If you can see the mountains, it's going to rain.'

Thanks to my good buddy we got to enjoy the First class service with Alaska Airlines....they got it goin on.  Our flights were on time in a pleasant as it can be 18 hours our lives have changed. Looky here, they even wrap the real utensils with nice paper napkins.
I must be getting a bit older as for the first time in years I almost slept through my first morning to fish. We went out the night of our arrival and had shrimp tacos and ahhhhh,,,,Pacifico. Well I woke up in the morning and it was light. Yikes. That NEVER happens. So that fishing tide went poorly and this morning I kept my skunk intact. I might have caught a fish with more casts but you know me....I ran into an old friend and B.S.'d more than I fished.
So you know I'll be on the lookout for the stuff you just don't see in the 49th state like these ultra cool barbecue's on sale at the new Soriana store. I wish I had more to blog , I really need to keep this short as I have a lot to do....need to go get my guitar at Slah.s house, need to spool up the Stradic I brought for Alejandro, need to get over to Posada Branta Negroe and let Deb know we're in town, gotta get some smoked salmon to Gilberto, gotta.....well none of it is really earth changing or even too important AND it's a wonderful way to live. Hope ya come back...

Monday, October 30, 2017

'Just in case ' stuff

One week from tomorrow morning I'm going to role out of bed an hour before sunrise and put together the Daiwa Atrika travel surf rod that I'm taking and then I'll grab some of the ' extra stuff ' I brought along and go fish. My house in Mazatlan is looking an awful lot like mt garage in Alaska but ya know when you're a professional fisherman you gotta have THE stuff. In Maz I have about 10 different surf rods, some missing eyes and eye inserts as the heat in my closet melts the glue that holds the inserts in and when I open the case every year they fall out on the floor. So this year in my ' pile ' I also have my rod building supplies and my slow turner for doing a nice job on the farrel resin.
The Stradic is a gift for my friend Alejandro , I have a brand new one waiting there for me.  The Daiwa is for a loaner when any of you guys come down and want to go fishing, I gave last years loaner to our favorite bartender for a birthday present. And the nice Plueger Patriarch is my new # 1 back up in case I do something stupid and break my Stradic.....Then you see assorted bug dope, itch sticks, a new Kershaw fillet knife that I fetched out of the river just the other day and some cool Cabela's multi tools for gifts....

My friend Rafa runs the Surf fishing store in Mazatlan called Pesca Maz and he's for sure got ' the stuff'.... problem is that he sometimes runs out and sometimes things are sooooo expensive and sometimes I feel kinda bad for not buying it all from him so I make it up for it my being a kind of gringo liaison for him and send people there that I meet and want to fish....which is a lot. And of course me and the rest of Team X buy plenty of shirts , lead jig heads, the hottest color swim fish that you just gotta have and don't, you know the deal.
Those 3 things above for me are the essentials. Ya gotta have the Power Pro plane and simple, it's the best. Casts long, doesn't weather too badly and doesn't seem to air knot as much as some of the braided line. 20 pound for me is the ' do it all ' line but on my big outfit for the Roosterfish I have 30, Power Pro of course. I like the 1500 yard spool so I have plenty in case my friends don't and I've found that you always have your spool filled properly and you don't have to 'guess' at it when using backing like we do on big reels.That Mirro Lure Catch 5 shallow diver in 7/8 ounce caught all my Snook and Corvina last year as well as most of my Snappers. It's a 2 to 3  ft. diver , perfect for fishing the rocks in between tides and when It's high tide and those rocks are under 7 or 8 feet of water I use that 77 M in 1 and 1/4  ounce.
I can't resist a sale and Trusty Hardware has the best end of season deals known to man... I sure hope they're making money because we need them in this town. That 2 ounce P'Line Lazer Minnow is the long distance champ for me. When I see fish at the very extent of my casting range on goes the Lazer Minnow. The only problem with them is that the paint is gorgeously life like but not very durable, no problem, just buy more.... The Spro feather jigs were on sale for a buck and a half, we fish with them a lot and the home made ones in Mazatlan we call ' Pluma's '.  Speaking of homemade,  the small 1/8 to 5/8 jigs on the left there I tied up 3 dozen of.  These babies are killer when you see the water right at your feet get what I call 'nervous ' ....it's usually snook or snapper chasing the really really small sardines, sometimes you'll even see the mini sardines jumping....it's a Snook.  These little guys also work really good in the rocks and off jetties as they're so light they just swirl around and don't sink right into the rocks. Kinda rewarding to catch fish on your own crafted lures....

For only the second time in all the years I've written Mile 14 I have to mention our loss. Chris's brother and my friend Jim Fejes passed away unexpectedly last week....Alaska has lost an original. I've never met anybody as full of life as Jim. He was like a walking talking full time event. Born and raised in Alaska he had thousands of hours piloting Super Cubs. He was a master guide, a commercial fisherman, he ran a ' high fence' hunting operation in Texas, he refinanced my house when he was in the mortgage business. He raised some great kids and....well I loved that guy and I hope all of you Feje's find comfort... Happy landings Jim, R.I.P.