Tuesday, January 25, 2011


That might not look like much to you but thats one pretty darn good day of fishing for Team X. This morning Slah and Ern took the 4-wheeler out and Jason and I drove out in Jay's Nissan, as cold as its been the car ride is just more civilised and I'm still a bit congested in the lungs. You don't get to what we call 'two bridges' by accident, its out the Maxipista 10 miles, then back around a mile to a turn out near an emergency phone then through the woods on a maise of one lane roads and walla, you're there. We park the car and Jason jogs to warm up, its maybe a quarter mile up the beach and I can see Slah has a fish on already, corvina 1. So we get set and Jason hooks up on his favorite plastic on the first cast, corvina 2. Incredible, Ernies got one on as soon as he gaffs for Jason, corvina 3. Three casts later he has covina 4 on the beach and not long after that the Ernster lands corvina 5 while Jason loses a really nice one in the surf. After a while Jay catches corvina 6 and Ern catches about the biggest Seirra I've ever seen, a real beauty. Then we settle back into a morning of fishing thats more like what we're all more used to.....

Whats happened here is something every fisherman knows, I call it momentum. ' Objects in motion tend to stay in motion' , its basic physics that more practicaly means that when things are going good they keep going good.....the flop side of course we know all to well . So for the last few weeks Ernie's had a hard time getting the tug, well, today he transfered that moe-joe to you know who. Moe-Joe transference...I like it, what a great fishing phenomena. It ain't the first and I certainly hope not the last time that I have fish repel syndrome and you know....I had a great day, great!

I have a pic of the boys in the line up. Its like choreography, we fish next to some rocks and so everybody actually fishes the same water. But with guys that fish this good they could all stand toe to heal and not get tangled, they cast and watch, wait a sec then cast again....no problems ever.
The next pic I printed large because its pretty incredible. The power of the surf is amazing and people get knocked over and rolled around routinely...but not Jason. This guys athleticism is incredible, he goes out with the surf to cast for max distance then pieroits back to high ground resisting water up to his hips rushing back down the beach. Jason is a retired Pro Beach Volleyball player and to watch him fish must be a bit like it was to watch him play volleyball. He's a 100% guy for sure and Team X was lucky to find him.
This next pic is the catch all shined up for show. All month long we've been kind of 'oneing' or 'twoing' them to death so it was nice to see them stacked up. And, I figure we can do better tommorrow, afterall....objects in motion tend to........

As for me, well who needs a tug on the line when you're with good buddies, in Mexico, with nobody in sight and surrounded by nature. The last two pics are critters that live in the saltwater estuary that we fish along. Its always crowded with egrets and spoonbills and oyster catchers and Herons. If you click on the pic I think you'll be impressed. But today was the first reptile we've seen. As Jay and I waited for Slah and Ern to arrive we watched this guy lay around trying to warm up like the rest of us, then he sauntered into the water and did that 'down periscope' deal I've see on t.v. Yup, I got to see my first ever wild living, bona fido, look him in the eye, saltwater Croc. Great day man.
But hey Ern.... I want the Moe-Joe tommorrow.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Man Down

I've been laid up for a few days with a Boone and Crockett quality chest cold. We've been getting up way before sun up to fish and I guess I've finally worn down some. By Mazatlan standards its been cold here and we've had ocean layer after ocean layer leaving a heavy fog into the late morning. But you know me, I might be sick but I ain't dead and even though I might have this cold it beats being cold....know what I mean? So, what better time than a sick day to go through my pics and find a few outstanding ones for my friends, like the one at the top of a couple really good friends of mine.
Now the next pic just jumped out at me few mornings back. The fog was thick and I knew Juan and another guy were fishing close by but I couldn't see them. So as soon as I could I snapped this pic and caught Juan in mid cast. Cool. This kind of pic is going to cost me another camera some day. As you can see they're on the beach and I'm in the surf. When the day comes where I can cast like him I'll be high and dry also.

I know its not much but 2 pics will have to do it. I'm a little tired...but don't worry. Even though I've run a temp MP says its just a cold and I have all the best meds. Broncolina, Tabcin Noche,Guaifenesina and some good ole Chicken Noodle soup.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

In Search of Antiquiety

Today our team took a hit. Diva and our friends Chris and Orlon Valan had to jump the jet back to america. So as a unique way to celebrate out time together we decided on a road trip 50 miles north of here to make sense of the oldest signs of man in this area, the Petroglyphs at Los Labradas. I had been there before so I new this wasn't no tourist trap. Its genuine - call an anthropoligist, 2000 B.C. , hand carved rock, and lots of it. Theories abound on why ancient man would take time from his busy schedule of hunting, gathering and procreateing to slice up rocks in the middle of nowhere...or maybe it was somewhere then....or it could have been a spiritual retreat or maybe just a really old art studio. But it's certainly cool and only in Mexico can you climb on them, fish off them or whatever. The shapes all have meaning, the round is said to be weather and hurricanes, the stick people speak for themselves and the animals illustrate sustainance. I printed a pic with my fishing rod to give perspective. All in all it seems that our forefathers in this area used the place as a sort of rallying point, a place to find your way with messages to help. It must be working, I'm finding my way just dandy. And when I need a rallying point I couldn't have pick a prettier place to have one. The 2nd pic is the beach and rocks with the carving. Its just us, nature and an ancient puzzle.

The bunch of us spent a couple hours climbing on rocks and discovering shapes and sizes. We did a little tidal pooling and you know me, I had to fish some. A few years back we discovered the most scenic restraunt I've personally ever seen. Its called ' Mirador"' in the tiny town of Pixtala which is at the end of a long hard cobble, back and truck jarring dirt road. But as you can see from the next pick, its flat worth the effort to get there. The pic is our friends Chris and Orlon right after we'd dined on shrimp and crab. These two are a great couple and to explain there absense today in the best way would be to say....the energy level here is not the same as it was. Orlon is a farmer in Minnestoa and Chris works at MSU.
As exciting as the day was I went to bed at 8:00. I've had 3 days off the fishing and Slah and the Ernst are picking me up at 5:30....hell of a vacation eh?. We stop and get our newest team member, my friend Jason Potts and we're off on the Maxipista to fish Black Rock at sun up. We fish the semi lite hour and Jason loses a really nice fish in the surf but with no other bites we move on to a new place. Presto, Jason catches a nice Corvina on a plastic swimfish and Ern finally hits on a metal lure. I can't get a bite but I do some serious casting. Finally me and Jay decide we're about done up, its 10:30 and my arm is starting to ache. We sit in the sand and do what guys like us do....talk fishing and Slah comes and grabs my rod. He loves this rod, everyone agrees that that I finally have the 'perfect' set up for medium weight and distance casting. The rod came from my friend Don Simone in North Kenai Alaska and the reel is a new Shimano Stradic 4000. So , Slah in no time hooks a Corvina and I wade the surf and grab it for him. He says " Jeff, with this rod I could fish all day"..... I say "cool...get after it, you do the work and I'll lend ExCaliber", the name we've given through the years to a handful of enchanted fishing rods.

Friday, January 14, 2011

From the Faro to Las Isla

Max and Skye only have few days left so we decide that fishing has to take a day off ( I actually fished to keep my record intact but close to home) and tour the south part of town. Afterall, those kids want to do it all and we have the 2nd tallest natural light house in World. Its a total of 350 steps with another switchback trail elevation rise of another 400 feet or so. Its impressive and just one of things you do here in Mazatlan. Years ago we ran into Jason Moore from Anchorage's KTUU Channel 2, he had run the steps to the Faro and even in the shape he is the sweat was rolling off him like a 200 degree sauna. So the first pic is from the road, it might not look like much to you but we're just a few blocks away from a cardio workout. The next pic is the crew from the switchback, about a quarter of the way up. Then the next pic a nice canadian women took for us at the top. The pic after that expains it all well, off to the right is our next destination, Stone Island that it in true Mexican fashion is not really an island at all. It just seems like one I guess.

We start down the trail and MP has this theory that going down is harder than going up. It might be for her but this kid was plain happy doing the downhill, in fact its so much easier you can actually talk on the way. About a third of the way down and at about eye level I run into this graffitti tree. When it comes to initialing your love for someone I've always been a wet concrete guy but I have to admit this is the perfect place for Pedro loves Lupita. I started to carve but decide with all the construction around here I'd just wait for some perfectly setting concrete. I have one in front of the Mayan Palace at the bus stop that I did in 2002....JK + MP ALASKA est: 1978....just an old softy ain't I?

So we come off the mountain and for 25 pesos we jump the boat to cross the harbor to Stone Island., Isla LaPiedra. If theres a perfect place in the world for doing nothing, this is it. Mainly because theres nothing there accept coconuts, palapa restraunts and Pacifico beer. Its kind of a story in contrast, on the north of the harbor is the bustling city and a 5 minute boat ride puts you on the isla...Its weird. Even though its a cruise ship day, in fact three of those monsters were in port, once you get to the island life slows down. We go to our favorite place, restraunt Pele and meet our old friend Rudy. The Faro burned enough calories that I have garlic shrimp, Max and MP chicken and Skye has tamales, vegetarian style....and of course....you got it, Pacifico beer. The last pic is our friend Skye adapting to life on the Isla, laid back with a fresh coconut. Until I came here I thought coconut was dry and chewy, nope, its sweet. You drink the juice then Rudy machete's the meat out and with a little red chili sauce its absolutely good enough to make a bulldog break his chain.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Fam

Some of you might remember that we have our kids here so I figured I better post a pic just so everyone else in the fam knows all is well. On the right is Sam, lovingly refered to by us as ' ocha, ocha'. Sam jumped the jet yesterday and is home safe and sound in Anchorage. His 8 day Mazatlan adventure was a bit on the nocturnal side but we weren't concerned, he's a rational 28 year old and got to running around with a friend of ours that knows this town well.

On the left is Max and Skye. Now those two have been busy and I figure by the time they're done they might have just done it all. They've both displayed bigger Kahones than me and have gone para sailing. They went zip lining, salsa dancing, Joes Oyster Bar, tequila factory, well you get the idea... Max even mentioned snorkeling so I had to to remind him of the part where he doesn't swim so good. Mazatlan water is great for fishing, bad for swimming.

Smack dab in the middle of that pic is us.... as you can plainly see MP's maternal juices are at full flow, she's just goofy happy around her kids. Now that look on my face is pretty easy to interpret, it simply says...."man, how come those guys always order the most expensive thing on the menu ???"

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Having lived in the frozen North for the last 35 years I'm embarrassed to say that I've never been to a professional sporting event. So when Max's girlfriend Skye wanted to go to what was to be the last Mazatlan Venados game of the year I said, "we're in".
The Mexican league is big Ju-Ju here. Mazatlan just 3 years ago won the whole shebang and then went on to the Carribean World Series and beat the Dominican Republic in what is the best magor league baseball next to ours, you know, the Yankees. I was impressed at the speed of the game. T.V. doesn't do it justice, these guys throw fast, run fast and do alot of scratching and spitting. Plus theres a decided american influence, each team is allowed so many gringos and our team the Venados includes a famous baseball name, Tim Raines Jr. The first pic is the scene from our seats, we're surounded by baseball fanatics, beer at the end of the aisle and just about any junk food you'd like. As you know from past blogs, Pacifico Beer runs Mazatlan. I'm surprised that you can't can't just get it piped into your house. So the next pic is me and my friend-lover-counseler-critic making fun with the Pacifico girl. I really only wanted the picture but she refused unless I took a baseball bat, guess she had a quota.
Now this last pic may look strange to you, I've never seen anything like that either. The game is partially sponsored by a radio station and these are radio-lites or something. Its what I love about Mexico , everything is wonderfuly extreme, lots of colorful pageantry, lots of promotion, lots of fun.....just like I aspire to be. It was a great night. Oh....Cullican put us out of the playoffs 5 to 3. Like my other team the Mariners they have no pitching. But they made up with it by not hitting....

Thursday, January 6, 2011

8 Kilo's or so

Well things are going just ducky here at Mile 14 south. As you might remember one of my goals for this year was to catch a 20 pound Corvina. So in total Forrest Gumpian style I caught him right off the bat this morning. Done deal. Its a Corvina of the orange type that are bigger and solitary where as the other smaller Corvina are school fish. This guy is gorgeous, if he's not 20 pounds he's close enough for me. I don't think a guy can reasonably expect to catch one nicer.
Yesterday I wore myself out with Team Slah and the Ern. I casted for hours with no fish but Slah caught 3 nice Corvina so we know they're around. Well last night we were at the Baseball game with the kids untill late so this morning I decided to skip the 5:30 am pick up with the 15 mile 4-wheeler ride. So at 6:30 I jump the number 2 bus and get off at what I call Roosterville. Its just getting light and I assemble the big rod for long distance, tie my leader direct to the braid and clip on a 2 1/2 ounce Krocodile. Its nearing high tide and the surf break is pretty far out but it looks promising. As always I take a half power practice cast just to make sure everything is right and then I lean back and let the next one breath. It hits the water at least 100 yards out and immediately I have a bite, I rear back. Missed him, so I keep a slow retreive and feel the bite again. I set the hook a second time, no fish. By now the Kroc is getting into the foamy white water and I feel a bit of something different like slack so I reel hard and set...the fights on. These guys fight good but I have to say not like Roosterfish that I'm so crazy about. 10 minutes later and one good run he's on the beach. Walla. A Mexican family has watched the whole thing and I feel like a golfer with his gallery along side. They ask to take pictures and of course its all good....no worries....have fun....flaky fresh Corvina fried with Panko tonight.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Every Day Life

I had never been in Mexico for Christmas before and I was a bit afraid we might miss that old time Christmas feeling. But as you can see, this place was certainly in the spirit. The first tree is Mazatlans official tree, a bit more subdued than last years but still pretty cool. The bottle tree was at Restraunt Las Brisas. I understand that their staff took it on as a project and donated many hours and a full morning of not feeling well to0 the effort. The can tree was right here at LaMarina. Some college students here for Christmas decided Jose's bar needed a tree. This might not be M.I.T. quality but it shows our young people are thinking.

Always on the lookout for the unusual the pic below is some fellows I spotted on their daily commute to work. The harbor here is continuely being dredged and these guys make it happen. Everyday they must attached these out flow pipes to the machine and place them just right to get the material high and dry. So why not save time by just staying close to your work.

The next pic to the right in the sign in our dentists office. I really suggest you click on it to enlarge because I'm betting you've never really thought of the mouth quite like this. When you think about it you'll see that ol Francisco is a wise man so I have taken his message to heart. Anymore I'm one teeth brushing and flossing son of a gun .

The last pic is Ern and Slah, our fishing team. We're having fresh fish for supper tonight but Slah is the sponsor. watching him fish is pure magic. He says we're a 'team' and I guess we are. But on this team Slah is the starting pitcher, bats in the four hole and fields shorstop. Oh, and he's a hell of a coach.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I'm Back....

Well its been a long week and I've felt terrible for not blogging, soooo much has happened. But it seems that my computer had a virus that really liked Mexico and went nuts. So, I send the laptop off to my new friend Cesar Gonzalez Mera at AZTECH computer services and it comes back better than new. He completely cleaned the hard drive and then reinstalled everything with even better and more up to date programs, and all that work for 1200 peso. Man, I'm impressed.

I have to run off in a minute so here's the short version of this last week, I'll blog a good story soon....

MP's seeing the dentist, Francisco is putting a crown on a failed filling.
Our boys, Max and Sam are here with Skye, Max's girlfriend. They're happy, we're happy and the place they're staying is fantastic.
I've caught mucho pescado, even a 'manta, well, kind of snagged him.
All our friends are here.
People just looooove Hobo Jim's Iditarod song.
Ain't been sick.
We've eaten enough shrimp that I think its turning my skin orange.
Alaska could learn some from Mazatlans Cell Phone system.
Did you know that the very best refried beans are made with lard?....yup, true story.