Saturday, January 24, 2015

Robalo Quest......done...

The problem with setting goals is that it's kinda like doing construction....if you're persistent and really want it you eventually work yourself out of a job. Well, that's how I'm feeling today because yesterday late in the day as I decided to cruise north alone I felt a healthy tug right close to shore and just new that it was him....Bitter sweet really in that now the chase is over and for me the chase is everything. I pulled him onto the playa and for a second or two contemplated releasing him as I have lots of nice fresh fish to eat. But....I wanted the pic and he's my biggest so....I'll call my friends at New Wave taxidermy and get him sent to me when I get home. I guess one bright side is that although really nice he's not huge so the mount will be reasonable.
I know you've all heard me talk of one the leading principles in my life, momentum. I really believe in the ebbs and flows of  the randomness in this ol life. For me when things go well they continue and when things go bad ...well ... they get worse...but only for a while. So it was Tuesday morning that found me and Ernesto and my friend Tom Welle in front of the Holiday Inn. This place has some good rocks that hold fish and with high tide we've pulled off the impossible a few times there. Some people would think what in the heck do you expect to catch right here in the middle of the Gold Zone ????  Like my friend Chick said one time " don't take to much pride in out smarting a fish because their brains are the size of pin".....and lucky for us they don't know theres a big ol city here. Here's a pic of the scene and one of the gorgeous Yellow tail Corvina I wooed the crowd with. I told my Face Book friends that I bet I could end my momentum by going to the Casino but I ain't doing that.

So it was a pretty good week for Shark Team X's morale / safety and special projects officer. AND I even rested some as my Carpal Tunnel syndrome hit critical mass this last week. You just can't fish as hard as I do and expect the old body to not rebel in some shape or form. But the good news was that after I played music Saturday and couldn't even feel my fingers for the entire next day my friend Ilene offered to do this magic tape deal and with a few days of fishing only one hour each morning I'm on the road to recovery. I don't what this is called but if you need it, get it....and the beer helps to.
There's two things that have to happen on the day your maid comes. First you have to clean the house so  she doesn't know you're a slob and then you gotta be gone, outa here so she can turn up the music loud and raid the refrigerator I guess, now worries, it's all good. So with our friend Marge's Maid coming we did one of our favorite things, off to the Aquarium... I guess I'm just all about those ol Slimey's. I just love to watch my favorite fish the Toro's fly in formation like the Blue Angels, boy what a noble fish.
So I get MPeasy into the bird environment and she doesn't much like the smell, the noise or the guana laying all about. I made sure I had my camera ready when that big ol Goose came after her.... I was only joking when I said " hey, act like you're throwing food to them"....good pic eh ?
Maybe the best IS the best part is watching the kids. Ole Pele the seal gets the front rows every time and here in Mazatlan the kids are gamers, a few came back for seconds.
So we ended the trip with this pic I set the timer for, It occurred to me that in just one silly little picture there's the  thing's I most love in this old world. Accepting friends who know us as just the people they are attracted to, and that's enough. And counselor, lover, life guide and conscience. The fish, they've delivered me adventure, mystery, friends and finance...and did I tell you there was some really cool music playing in back ground ????/ what a place. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Right Stuff

Well I had the post below all done and then....I went fishing this morning. On my 3rd cast I caught a smaller Corvina and on the next cast this jumbo unit. I got him on a silver plastic swim jig and I have to say he fought nobly . Now he's not that 7 or 8 Kilo Robalo I want but we're getting way closer. So thanks my teammates for teaching me the info I share below and boy howdy, another great day with Shark Team X,

My friend Chris Fejes is headed to Cabo San Lucas for surf fishing in a few months and here at LaMarina I've been answering questions from my friend Jim Mullin about the surf so I thought maybe I'd do a quick primer on the gear that is unique to surf fishing. I know a lot of you might get bored with all this fish stuff but please bear with me and I'll get back to Jeff" s interpretation of the meaning of life and our place amongst the stars in the next entry....But I will start with the end results, me and my pard at Loco's happily awaiting a Robalo cooked entero.  As you can see he was a bit big for the pan and Javier had to behead him to fit, usually when they're served you get it all, eyeballs just a staring ya down. The fish is so crispy, served with garlic butter instead of tartar sauce....oh baby.....we ate half and Javier's family got the other.
Because we're land locked without the aid of a boat I think surf fishermen are more dependant on having quality gear, you really need the right stuff as distance and reliability are EVERYTHING. Here's my two main set up's, big and small. The big is a 11' Lamiglass Surf King rated for 2 to 4 ounce lures, it has 30 pound power pro on which in my opinion is the best....and most expensive at 30 bucks for 300 yards. The reel is Daiwa Saltiga that the guys at Trusty hardware almost gave away. It's made for the surf with an enclosed spool and a manual bail so as to avoid mid flight closures that result in really long cast but with no line attached to the lure.... I hate that.

The little is a Cabela's rod that my friend Don Simone gave me. I don't think it was real expensive but it is the perfect size and has proven it's durability over the last 5 seasons. It's 11' rated for 1/2 to 3 ounce lures, two is just perfect on it. The reel has 20 pound Power Pro and is a new Shimano Stradic that I start every season with and they are just great, but even as good a product it is it still starts to grind a bit and loose some smoothness by the time the season is over. after all that reels been cast and retrieved thousands and thousands of time. Both of these rods I can easily get 100 yards with and when I hit the swing just right I suppose we're getting 150 yards and maybe just a skoosh more. Unfortunately not all the gear stands up to this kind of use. For the second time in two years I have a broken Okuma 12' Cedros rod that I bought at trusty. I had thought about getting it warrantied again but whats the point really. They just break again in the same place and only after the first month on the surf.
The pictures below are the lures, what I call the three major food groups. The first are the plastic swim fish on the lead jig heads. I brought down 1500 of the plastics and we build our own jigs. These guys are by far the most popular in Mexico and will catch it all....robalo, corvina, pargo, toro, sierra...For distance and fishing the rocks we go heavy with 2 ouncers and on the sandy beach we go small with 1 ouncers or less....There's a bit of strategy involved with deciding which rod and lure combo to throw under which conditions. The light you can throw longer but the heavier sinks better and more distance of course....just depends on how you're feeling and how long you think it's going to take to either catch or cry uncle.
The metals cost some lettuce so we use these guys verrrrrry carefully. That 3 ounce castmaster Ernie gave me is a 12 dollar lure. The fish love them and for max distance you gotta go medal and heavier the better, We have Hopkins, Castmaster, Lazer Minnows, Krocodile and the cutest little home made deal I've ever seen....casts like a bullet. In Alaska if they only let you have one lure (which is probably just a regulation over sight from ADF+G) it would be a Pixie, in Mazatlan it would be the Krocodile.
The plugs are my favorite. It's just magic to watch a 3 ounce Ranger freely flying with an eventual splash down 125 yards out. and never mind the take when a you see the Toro or Rooster crash the lure and miss it but throwing it a foot in the sir only to get it good a second that's fishing. I also have steady performer in the red and white Mirro Lure that is a shallow diver that's good in the rocks. In this line up we have the Roberts in a Ranger and Whistler, Line Stretcher, Mirro Lures (two kinds) a Spook and a Bomber popper as well as Cabo Killer.
On Sunday we have a tradition where we walk the beach together 3 miles north to a restraunt to have Menudo. This last Sunday there were fish everywhere. I had the big rod and big tackle selection as I was thinking Rooster fish ( like I always am) but it was still fun to get into the toros and such a school of loco fish I've never seen. They have ultra soft mouths and spit the hook routinely. Several times I'd have 2 or 3 on during just one cast.....
It seems like the eatables, the Robalo and the Corvina the only way to find them is to fish for them. But this is what every surf fisherman loves to see and signals a great Toro on.
So it naturally takes me a while and MP is hungry and well it's not as much a fishing trip as it is a hand holder so we get on up to have breakfeast. Menudo for me and Majaca for MP watching the surfers and listening to this family play, what's better than kids singing early morning romantica with there dad ? And when we leave for a minute there I thought my old friend Roger Nelson was in I love this place.

Just as I'm wrapping up this blog post I got a call from /Shark Team X command post. Looks like tomorrow we're going to THE place again and maybe, just maybe I'll catch that walter Robalo I kinda need. I know one thing, my odds are 50 / 50....I either will or I won't. In either case I'll enjoy a gorgeous sun rise like this one and a day with friends fishing hard....

Friday, January 9, 2015

whats right with the world

As I sit here typing on Friday morning after my usual stroll with a pole in the back ground I hear CNN reporting on the terror in France,,,,sometimes I get this weird feeling, like I'm embarrassed to be a human being. How in world can people treat other people like this ? I always think in my life that if they were here with all I do I want my parents proud...what of these people's parents ? where were they??? or are they as evil and cruel and selfish and....I just don't get it. But I guess my job is what's right with the world...So here's a doublea pic of my favorite look see spot in my town of Mazatlan Mexico. It took some lettuce and certainly some effort to build this thing so it's good to know that others think like I do, it's worth it for sure.
We left our house at 8 am and took the Sabalo Centro to the end of the run and then walked the big hills into Olas Altas. A spectacular hike as you can see, After and hour hike we had a light breakfeast and then smelled our way to the bakery where I took this pic of a couple wonderful girls buying our daily bread....I think I'm getting kinda good at this pic taking deal, there's lots of unusual out there to find.
As you can imagine we eat loads of fish. In fact tonight we'll have a robalo I caught cooked entero (deep fried whole). And we get tons of shrimp and lobster but one thing you don't see much of here are clams. So when we were at the Juarez Market on Sunday morning I remember my friend Rick having told me of these wonderful clams that are only sold at the Market and only by one vendor so I searched her out and boy howdy were those good. Much like our steamers we cooked them in a white wine / garlic /cilantro / sea salt Being Mexico a lot of people would be scared of the clams with the paralytic shellfish thing they all scare you with in the states but me and MPeasy, well we figure if you scaredy chicken you'll miss a lot of life. So, bon appetite. Here's apic of the market scene and our clam connection...going to get more day after tomorrow.

When I was a kid I hated coconut. It was dry and just didn't do anything for the chocolate my mom sprinkled it on. Then I got to Alaska and would see those orbital brown coco's with the dry white meat and I'd wonder what in the heck people do with that . So here we found coco's helados....fresca. We order them everywhere for about a buck and a half. First you drink the sweet juice then slice the top off and with a sharpened spoon scrape out the meant that is soft, moist and oh soooo good. Here's a pic of me with one I opened here at the house. Gilberto the water taxi pilot gave it to me as a present. He likes me, calls me 'Peter'....the fisherman.
Of course I fish every morning and most afternoons. So after the run in my toe had with the earth I've been wearing these water socks that the Ernesto gave me. I might not be the smartest guy around but I'm smart enough to know that if I went on injured reserve twice in one season due to foot injuries I could get cut from Shark Team X...don't need that.
I took this pic of a Toro the other morning so all my team mates could see what to keep an eye out for. I had a Mirro Lure just like that one stolen from me about four days ago out front of the Torres Mazatlan. Admittedly I'd been lazy and had  not retied my leader and then the darn fish which just had to be a 20 pound Robalo got kinda stuck on that rocky shelf where they like to live and the line parted and off goes the fish, my 12 dollar lure and my good humor....that one bothered me. So Team X mates.....if the next huge Robalo you catch has that Mirro in it at least, at least let me have the lure...and maybe even the one he bites on, OK ????
So with my Robalo obsession simmering real good I decide to hike the beach yesterday evening at low tide. I can see some birds on the sardines which of course means toro but they're just to far out and with low tide I have to burn the lure over the rocks to keep from losing it. It's really a pretty hopeless effort but if nothing else I'm tenacious...or maybe just dumb but I gotta do something ya know. Well, I'm burning the castmaster at Mach speed over the rocks and I see and then feel the fish. He jumps, he runs and there's no doubt what he is....first he's a miracle, second he's a Robalo and third he's even a pretty nice one. WALLA,
So stand by, I'm feeling a little momentum and tomorrow we're going to where they live so I just might finally get Walter. I'll let ya know real soon.....


Friday, January 2, 2015

Sign Language

and the sign said everybody welcome in, kneel down and pray,
but then they passed the plate around at the end of it all,
and I didn't have a penny to pay.

So I got me a pen and a paper and I made out my own little sign,
I said thank you Lord , for thinking of me,
I'm alive and doin fine...........
                                             5 Man Electrical Band

Maybe it was my catholic / military upbringing but I've always had a problem with authority. I'm the guy who's always questioned that stuff with So many of you who follow Mile 14 know that one of my very least favorite things in this world are signs that tell you no, don't, leave, and in the case of the government signs on our Kenai River they could condense all the messages into a simple ' don't have fun here' .  Oh boy we ever have some signs on our River. Ya know when I saw this sign I figured that was the reason they put the new sonar on dry land when the project first guys like me wouldn't hit it....sorry, had to get a dig in.
So here in Mexico I've noticed a whole new sign philosophy. I'm not sure what it is and I don't even know what some of it means but I think the foundation is fun. Simple. We've been here exactly one month now and here's a few that jumped in front of my camera.  My favorite first, makes you want to be visit don't it ?
And our message to all in luminaries on New Years Eve....2015, here we come.