Thursday, February 22, 2018

Salty feet - Pata Salada

Guess I fit that , old salt. so where should I start ? The parade or the snook harvest ? I know....how's about MP's finger....Yikes, it was ugly Howard.
It was frightening and this pic taken the next day doesn't really tell the story of how dramatic the situation was. She snagged it on rivet or something coming down the stairs of the bus. It's a hard jerk and the finger begins to swell immediately. But we're 5 minutes from home so we hustle to get soapy water or oil on it and it won't come off. She hustles to Adrieanna's house and luckily the retired nurse is home.  I go looking for good cutters and return to find the string trick being done which is essentially a tourniquet that compresses the swelling to try and get the ring off....the finger by now is the size of two and looks like a sausage, entirely dark purple. Adrianna and I decide  almost at the same time it's gotta go and it's gotta go NOW. It was so swelled that without the string compression I couldn't have gotten the side cutters safely on it.... It's hard and I can't cut it...MP is tough and Adrianna says hurry. My adrenalin kicks in and snap, it's cut but I have to find another pair of pliers to open it up which we finally do and instantly the finger changes color and MP says she has feeling on the tip. Onto the ice and then it's gone from purple to white. The circulation was cut off for about 15 minutes I'd guess. I think the trip to a hospital would have been to slow and who knows....So then it was ice on 15 minutes , ice off for 15 minutes for 7 hours and magnum doses of Arnica. We could tell it was going to be alright but she still has a little tingling. Mucho Gracias Adrianna, you're an angel. One thing I know about life is this....you can't worry about what didn't happen. Jeff was relieved, very happy.
For surf fisherman here in Mazatlan besides catching the Guyo the Robalo is about as good as it gets. I've had a remarkable run of luck with those guys, this week I caught one every morning for three mornings in a row. Wow....hitting the trifecta.  Tom Welle and his crew arrived so we have at least 8 people on the beach with me and Ern, nadda no pescado. I have people to the left and right of me when just as I finish my retrieve I actually see the Snook take my Mirro Lure. Then the very next wave pushed it past me and leaves it high and dry up the beach with the hook having fallen out. It was so quick the first thing I heard is " where'd that come from"...Mucho suerte.

The very next morning Ern gives me the ole ' get here fast ' signal. I hustle down the beach and stab my rod into the sand and get ready with my gaff hook. Luckily Ern has this fish on his bigger set up and although it took 10 minutes we finally get a look at him....it's not the 20 pound Robalo we were hoping for but what a dandy Toro....And Ernie, congratulations, you've finally passed the fish pose portion of the guide exam. Perfect form, proper display, include the gear, smile...and yes, as you can tell from the background Team X is ALWAYS the first on the beach every morning.
This Toro I caught yesterday was kind of fun. I was all alone and wanted a picture. I kept him on the line until a gal walking up the beach got close so then I grabbed him and asked her to take a picture. She was talking on the cell phone and she just smiled grabbed the camera and snapped the pic continuing to walk and talk... I hope she heard the thank you. MP calls that my ' Oh' face.
I love this pic, a close up of old slimey.  He's got a green bucktail in his mouth and is seconds from getting on with his life. I was so inspired by the creativity of this shot that I posed a sun up shot with my favorite lure... I think I'm kinda into the flow of this beach deal.
Fat Tuesday found us where we've been every Fat Tuesday for the last 10 years. This year with the theme and the new widening of the Malecon it was the best and most comfortable parade of all. Today my internet is cooperating so I'm going to cut the chatter and just show you the scene. I hope you pick up on the vibe. And of course there's a lot of fish and  Pacifico always leads the parade. What's better than a Pacifico fish eh ?
 These gals were pretty far up in the air, no worries.
 This guy found the saltiest feet he could.
And of course the Pacifico girls were smiling.
My favorite floats. They had the illuminated versions at the end of the parade and they were spectacular. Some of them had huge generators in tow. I have a pic of the street scene on this 4-pack to give you a feel for the crowd and all. And I have to say....there was not one single bit of politics or political statements here at all, none....just fun.



I've got 1976 Gibson Paul in my collection. It's one of my favorites because it has this ' honest wear ' that is unbelievable. I bought it from a working musician in the Valley named Wes Hamrick and he being a friend of Hobo Jim's like I am he wanted me to have it. When I play this guitar it's like magic, I wonder about where it's been, who's it sung with and who's it been sung with too. Wes had it for 10 years so a large portion of it's life is a mystery that seems to open up when I play it. this Gibson has been refretted , has new a bridge and tuners as well as pots and well it's just got personality.
So that's what I was thinking as I shared the parade route with this musician and his stand up bass. The instrument was personalized with Mexican colors and his name. He carried the bass just like it was part of his body and I bet he plays it the same. I got to wondering just how many weddings and who they might have been and...well, it's just part of the magic of music. Music that's thriving in Mazatlan Sinaloa Mexico.




Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Interview

Finally the staff here at Mile 14 was granted the long awaited interview with Sophie, the official mascot of LaMarina. She is a happy Dogerson ( part dog, part person ) who has been left with another person while her real person went to the USA for an emergency. She was candid, bright and engaging and we thank her for giving us a behind the scene glimpse of life as a professional mascot.

Mile 14 : Sophie , we're so excited to be able to talk you today that I don't even know where to start so I'll just say I'm sorry that you're here with somebody else and your person is gone, all of us at Mile 14 hope everything will be O.K.

Sophie : Well thanks for the nice thought. I am missing my person and it'd be a lot easier of a separation if I could go on the Nicoderm patches. But they tell me  this fur is a problem so I've got to soldier on....you don't smoke do ya ?

Mile 14 : No sorry, we don't smoke....but I do have a serious licorice habit do you...

Sophie : Na Na Na, let's just move on, I'm fine.

Mile 14 : OK, so whats the biggest part of your job, how does it all work ?

Sophie : Look at me as the most advanced comfort dog you'll ever meet. My degree is in Humanine Behavior.

Mile 14 : Wow, and where did you go to school for this specialized field of study ?

Sophie : Cal - Barkley

Mile 14: oh, of course....

Sophie : You speak very good dogerson, where did you pick it up ?

Mile 14 :  I used to do shanghai work for a restaurant in Bangkok.

Sophie :  You know  I don't like the direction this interview is taking....

Mile 14 : Sorry, lets get back to the job.

Sophie : It's simple , being a mascot is just about being nice , really nice....and isn't that just about the easiest thing in the world to be ? you remember the line in Jerry McQuire ' you can't love anybody unless you love everybody '....that's me.

Mile 14 : Wow... no wonder I was so excited to do this interview. So whats next in your career ?

Sophie : I'm working to get 200,000 reads on my blog so I can monetize it and make some serious cash.

Mile 14 : And with all you do you're a blogger as well ?

Sophie : yup, looks to me like any idiot can do it

Mile 14:  ya know I don't like the direction this interview is taking....

Sophie :  I hope you have enough I really need to get back to my dogerson dreams.... I was chasing this brand new BMW and.......

Mile 14 : O.K. Sophie, thanks for your time and keep up the good work, we all appreciate it.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Ground Hog Day

It's weird. When you get fully emerged in Mexico every day seems kinda the same,,, and it's nice. The weather is almost the same every day and although the days go slow they seem to accumulate quickly, I think maybe that's more of a function of the ageing process rather than of Mexico. So what'd I do important this week ?....ahhh.....well.... I got a haircut and....jeez, lets just get onto those pesky fish.
Tony snapped that pic for me early one morning this week. I had been throwing metal for distance next to my friend Willy when I spotted a disturbance right next to the shore. I quickly changed to my little feather jig and instantly had him...pretty good if I don't say so myself. This kind of fishing a a bite or two can be a good day so Ern kinda hit the mother lode the other day. Me and Lockwood met him at the Mar Rosa and these three guys fish hard for 2 to 3 hours to get 3 bites.... and Ernie gets all three of them. This pic is the lastr of seven that I took with a big suggestion to Ernie....SMILE.... and he did.
I got a great pic of one of my fishing buddies. These guys are bold. I got this pic believe it or not with no tele photo, I just walked up on him and snapped it then he walked away. I gotta tell ya the truth...I talk to the birds when I'm fishing. I think most of us do actually.
It's a great week in Mazatlan. Carnaval starts, the 3rd largest in the world. This year the theme is ' Pata Salada' which means ' Salty Feet' . This a term you hear a lot in beach side cities. It;s used to tell people you know what you're doing....pata salada amigo... I've been around or I know what I'm doing because I have salty feet....I'm an old salt etc, Denny Zargoza's fishing team is Pata Salada...and they are for sure. I love the music and found a huge guitar player. And I recently learned something , it seems all these wonderful statues that are created every year are modeled after actual people that live or have lived in Mazatlan. mmmmmm...maybe this one is me.
These giant sculptures are called ' Montgotes ' and depict famous people / things that were born in Mazatlan so I guess that rules famous gringo fishermen out. But they are unique to the city, unigue to us and the Carnaval.
We eat a lot of Pollo, and I mean a lot. It's so fresh here and MP and I are trying to get away from the scorched red meat deal. So whenever you buy a fresh chicken you might not get the guts with it but you always get the feet and MP finally discovered why.  It seems to be the secret to making a good chicken soup base. Being a fan of the Menudo like I am I'm always amazed at how clean and  flavorable the broth's are here in Mazatlan. I took this pic of MP making a nice chicken noodle for us.
And as we bid a fond a do to another slumbering week at Mile 5414 let me tell you how the usual sunset goes....not a cloud in the sky....watch, watch , watch,,,,,finally a flash, is it green ? might be, might be  that you've snow blinded yourself staring or it could be real so then we tell 10 minutes of green flash stories and go have supper. Well this one broke the model. It looked like the clouds would kobscure any hope and then the horizen lifted and the sun danced around the sky lasting really late into the evening. I t was the best ' rebound ' yet...Mucho gracias Mazatlan. Hope you all come back and see parade float pics and with any luck maybe a fish or so....😎🎡🎸


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Pesca se Orilla

Shore fishing for us northerners. It's the biggest surf fishing tournament in Sinaloa and a qualifier for the Mexico Championship....and the fishing staff at Mile 14 was there...in fact we were the only Americans there, what a great couple of days.
My neighbor Dan Stewart who fishes about as hard as anybody I've ever met invited me to team up and maybe put some Mazatlan gringo's on the board. My interest wasn't in winning anything because that never happens....did I ever tell you about leading the Kenai Classic by about 3 King salmon worth of inches after the first day just to be given only 2 fishermen the next day by the organizers ????.....well that's another story. But what my interest was is simple and always the same, see old friends and meet new ones and see how it all works. We thought the event was Sunday only and a rules meeting on Saturday. We drove out to Oceanica about 7 miles north of us only to find out that after the rules everybody could fish from 3:00 to 6:00. Yikes it was blowing 25 onshore and just about as miserable  a three hour stretch as I've ever been through. Because of the wind you throw extra hard and I was whooped guy when I hit the sack to get up at 4:30 a.m. to do 6 hours. The wind had stopped , it was a bluebird day.  Here's a pic I took at the tents at 5:30 a.m. an hour before light. We sang the National anthem and had a priest bless the event and prayed for safety and then the siren went off on the ambulance and the chase was on...
When it got light this was how it looked to the south. You'll notice the guy close's to me has a hand line. Of course I had a bit of a technological edge with a Lami Glass rod and a brand new Shimano Stradic reel....we caught the same amount of nothing.
There was 3 Km. stretch of beach open for the tourney. Our strategy was to fish the rocks that we know well in front of the old Betty Ford clinic and fish ultra hard for the first 3 hours as we knew that with high tide at 7:00 this deal would be won or lost by about 9:30. It was apparent that there were few fish around and sure enough by about 10:00 people were moving.....these guys walked by with the tourney shirts on real interested in something,
Well they spotted something most of us had never seen....in fact they spotted something that people like me  who routinely wade and swim in the ocean don't need to see. He was a little excited so we had a friend tell him what they told me when I asked about turning in a one pound Toro I had caught in the wind on the first day...the man said " do not embarrass yourself by taking that to the weigh in station ".
I know that doesn't look like much so I took a close up. Man oh man he had some teeth and what about that weird body shape. The guy took him home and I don't even wanna know what happened to it. Enlarge this pic and look at his head...oh my....
So ten o'clock comes around it's obvious we're pounding salt so I decide to do what I always did when things were dicey in my other life as a construction hound or wood butcher which everr you prefer....I called a safety meeting. Here's Dan, we woke up so refreshed and kinda needed it.
At noon the siren goes off and I decide to walk 3/4 a mile down to tournament headquarters for the awards. This is how the scene looked from the beach. Even though we only saw one fish and a snake caught I expected with about 200 anglers spread out there was going to be some harvest and of course there was. The organizers there were so good to us Americano's and waved for the pic. 
So here's the pic of all the winners. Largest Toro to the right a nice Pargo, a couple of Corvina and at the far right the winning Robalo. Now about that Robalo....Instead of telling the story in another paragraph I'm posting the pic of MY Robalo right below the winner. MMMM.....ya notice that fish is a winner, only if I had caught him in the tourney and not the same morning on our own beach....It's a classic maxim of mine in life, ' when your ship comes in, you'll be at the airport',
You're only as good as your last fish is what we say in the guide business. I'm used to failure. But these guys from Team Rapala in Puerto Valartta seemed a little disappointed with no catch and having come so far. They were fun and we laughed, For guys like us that make a life out of fishing one little skunk job really only lowers your all around average by less than .04 percent...no worries,
So the awrds were given and then the real 'bite' hits....It's time for all the door prizes. They had TONS of stuff. Rods and reels, lures, gift certificates for food, pliers, gaff hooks and back packs, it was amazing. They had enough for everybody win at least one thing and low and behold I finally get called....a Mobil 1 key chain....my friend Sergio Tirado won a fishermans fanny pack and TWO Mirro Lures. It ain't fair. I don't why but the crowd cheered when I got the key chain, Did someone tell them I'm a chronic loser ? Here's the scene.
Then the superest ultra wonderfully cool thing happened.  Our friend Alex from the Evinrude dealership had donated a really good Okuma surf outfit for a special raffle to raise money for travel of the winner to the next tourney. Of course Dan and I shot the locks off our wallets and had a dog in the hunt. Well they pulled the name out of the hat and Alex got this huge smile. He was so enthused for this young guy who was about as excited as he'd ever been in his 10 years. In Mexico people love old folks and kids....what a cool way to end the day.
Here's a last pic....Me and my friend Indio hanging out at tournament headquarters. Indio is the long distance cast champ around here and a great friend. We're talking fishing of course, using spainglish and hand signs for most things and Google Translate for the fine points. Thanks for a great event Mazatlan, we'll see ya'all next year. 😎

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Patience

For a guy who instant gratification is not fast enough for that is a hard thing to learn. But I've got my steady TelMex internet that is training me on the art of patience....and oh...Take a Taps Bus to Puerto Valartta if you really want to test your old waiting patiently gene. I'll be searching for a new bus company on our next adventure. the first leg was 1 1/2 hours late but leaving PV the other day we were on time with a bus that kept the temp at about 62 degrees ( which we had coats and new would happen ) but when were an hour out of Mazatlan the heat went on and we smoldered at 28 celcius, about 85 to us americano's. Oh well, the food is excellent at the stop over in Tepic and the best part ???? we got where we  were going. All I can say is that Mexican travel is ahhhh , a little different.
The Hotel Nadia with only 9 rooms is ultra cool. Although the rooms are small they have a wonderful roof top terrace that is FULL of #+*** kids....Yup, it's my role in life to be surrounded by rude people I guess. The Nadia is no place for kids. The roof top pool is  really just a soaking pool and it's cold. The hot tub is luke warm and big enough for 2 or 3 people.....so the family that took over the place and ' friends' of the owner kinda ruined it for everybody else including us. I would have been horrified for my kids running around a 4 story Mexican Hotel but these people were just oblivious. This family was there for 2 weeks , not fair to the guests and especially not fair to their own kids that should have been at a resort with a warm kiddy pool they would actually get in and events for the youngsters....oh well.....some people.....
P.V. is a smaller city than Mazatlan with more tourist and less beach. The jungle is a plus as Maz is kind of more desert like. We got up to the botanical gardens again and the river is just amazing. Unlike what we see in Maz the water is cool and clear, I drank it and wish I'd had my swimsuit along, wading around was second best.

Here in Mazatlan it looks to me like the Mahi Mahi is the hardest of the offshore fish to find and catch. I see them hanging at El Cid Marina of course but usually just a few and usually the weigh less than 20 pounds, So...I was duly impressed with this catch that I came across at of all places a restaurant . These guys were net caught and it made me wonder just how much Mahi Mahi that place can sell....It's the same old story ....The guys with the nets get the wheat and the guys with the hooks get the chaff.
Of course I had my eye out for surf fishing but there just didn't seem to be enough open space right around P.V.. I 'm sure the little secluded coves and sandy beaches north of town are full of fish it's just a different lay out than Mazatlan. I actually went an entire week without fishing or playing the guitar...It was a hand holder for sure....But I did notice this guy on our walk one morning. It reminded me of when I first got into Rooster Fish right up the beach from here in front of a huge building and I was so impressed that we had this kind of bite right in town that I mentioned it to one of the guys and they said " Jeff, the fish don't know there's a city here".
So a hand holder it was....here's me and my #1 on the pier. I asked a young Mexican gal in my best Spainish ' a tomar o imagenes por favor '. She took the camera and in perfect english said " sure , would you like it horizontal or vertical ".mmmmm....Time for the hot tip. The google Translate app is by far the best I've come across. It never fails and when it's talked to unlike Siri it gets it right. Just the other day I down loaded for a cab driver as we headed for the bus station. He was thrilled and so was MP when we went to talking back and forth when the phone as he drove ...." Jeff you're encouraging that guy to text and drive ".....mmmm, guess I was.
Now if this blog post seems a bit disjointed it's because it is. It's taken me 3 days of being booted of Blogger for slow connection and trying use my phone for hotspot and it's struggle getting the pics to load. But as the Ill fated French climber in the movie The Eiger Sanction stated, ' we will continue with dignity '....and it's amazing,,,we found some love on a manhole cover of all places.


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Fishing good is living good....

Besides the usual joy of the chase, the adrenalin of the bite and the fact that I've made a ton of money selling fishing trips there's always this....that's some darn good food. I've been trying to stay off of the knee I hyper extended a bit so that we can hike as usual in Puerto Vallarta next week so my fishing this last week was mostly just dreaming. But the last few days I decided to test the knee and our reliable spot at Mar Rosa sponsored 5 of us to this dinner. All Alaskan's, us and Mike and Cathy Sheets from Admiralty Island a new friend Becky from Juneau...it was kinda nice to talk Alaska politics which although screwed up makes some other political arena's seem like a love in. The Sheets live right above our favorite restaurant so as I trucked down the beach I yelled at Mike and as we stood talking Becky took this shot, pretty cool huh ? Enlarge it and check out the sand on my feet etc,,,,a little into it wouldn't ya say ?
So last night we meet in the dining hall for snapper entero and let me tell you....the crunch of the skin combined with the sweetness of the Snapper with just a dip of garlic butter would make a Bulldog break his chain,
The day before with cabin fever setting in we road tripped to the shrimp ladies for the biggest head on cameron's we could find. I had this idea that they would have nice rich tamale like the lobster do between the head and tail. Well they do, but not much . We got 8 of them and marinated in olive oil and garlic with fresh basil...oh baby, it's 7 bucks worth of shrimp. So now all you guys in Slowdotna that see me every morning at the gym and then walking 5 miles in the afternoon to lose 10 pounds pre Mazatlan know why....it's just living good.
Even though Batman had Robin to help with  a pic I elected to use the timer on the camera instead. I had just asked Ernie to snap a few with my cell phone and he held the little virtual button down until it had taken 18 identical shots,,, and look...no finger over the lens.
So after laying off for 5 days I had a great morning and never twisted my knee. It's the curse of the King family, bad knee's. Both my brother and sister have had replacement surgery. My dad and grandpa could hardly walk as they got older so I have my work cut out for me to avoid the surgery...build muscle mass, keep active, body weight down....Oh, in one day I caught the two snapper, lost a snapper , caught a jug and used my knot making skills to put two little campions on one line with the drop line loup figureing heck, if there's little toro's that will only take little bait why not catch two at once.
So me and the launch lady are off to P.V. on Monday for a get away from our getaway . I scored reservations at the small highly popular Boutique Hotel Nadia. We'll have super with our old friend Roger Langford and hike as far as we can....I'll keep a keen eye ( how's that eh ?) out for interesting things for all of you that follows life here at Mile 14....Hope ya comeback now....😎🎸🎸