Saturday, February 28, 2015

The unusual, weird and beautiful

Well to start don't usually see fish this beautiful. I was feeling kinda bad because I over slept and didn't meet Ern at the Holiday as planned. Well I caught a few toro and then I had the big tug. I was throwing my light outfit , 20 lb. Power Pro, 2 oz. Lazer Minnow from Trusty Hardware and fishing on a Stradic 4000 and my Fish Eagle Rod rated for 1/2 to 3 oz. I was a little under geared for this guy. Wow, 20 minutes later I pulled him from the surf and a new fishing friend snapped this series of pics.
And here he is on the beach awaiting some dentistry.
He's on his way for release
one last look see
and he's back in his natural element and a little revival
I'm telling him mucho gracias and pointing the way home....get going buddy.
For sports guys like us that fish there is the creme de la creme, the ultimate challenge in surf fishing.

But don't think I just screwed off the whole week fishing everyday, I found time to wander the planet and look for the unusual....ya know....things that I like. Like this VW Limo, I've always had a soft spot for bugs as me and my brother both owned them as kids....a blue one almost like that took me to north to Alaska....the adventure was on.
Ya gotta love the gardener that has the time, know how and desire to do this. If you're a tree lover (and who ain't)...( I said lover not hugger) it don't get to much better than this.
I don't know why but I think they're called 'Ape Hangers'...and this guys got it going on.
I don't know what ya'd do with them but why not have some life size paper mache people hanging around your house ?
Now I got a neighbor at Mile 14 ( hope ya ain't reading Oz) that went a little goofy when the local Electric Coop showed up and wanted to trim and cut trees that were close to the power lines. I learned my lesson in Mazatlan, they do that for a reason...and man I don't want my palm trees at home looking like this, no way.
The other night I was on countdown for this 'naval assist' sunseta. He was on a true bearing and I didn't even move.....pure magic.
Guitars are beautiful objects so my friend Kevin Olson new that I'd like this depiction. It tells the story, the music is like can make you reflect, it shines, it takes you away, it can contrast and change so much and sometimes you'll be blue.....But not today !
Hope everyone is having a great week.............JSK

Monday, February 23, 2015

Team Work

Like a successful Forbes top ten company or even a successful political career communication and transparency are keys to keeping the wheels on an elite fishing machine like Shark Team X....Now one of us and I'm not mentioning any names but his initials are Ernie Mills had a great morning after the day last week that we had our schamoozle. He got to the Holiday on Weds morning and caught a huge Yellow tail Corvina, legit 6 kilo. So when I hear about that I hustle over there the next morning and access the's a building tide and the rocks are covered by maybe only 2 feet of water, a very difficult formula for the preferred plastic so I settle on a shallow diving Mirro Lure and within 20 minutes I have this gorgeous creature.
So I get home knowing that we need a full mobilization of the Team and pretty much a max effort. I mean two good fish in two mornings with just me and the Ern....just think of the damage we can do with more power. So I call Slah and  guess what ??? he doesn't know about the fish, yikes. But no harm no foul, we settle into a war room mode and get the rally set for the next morning, all hands on deck. Here's a pic of the total effort, man , woman and child....and although I had the greatest time fishing and visiting with all my friends we caught nadda. Every one of us knows the deal....'ya shoulda been here yesterday' and it's always gonna be better tomorrow.
So Ern leaves at 8:00, I think he kinda new we were going to put him on K.P. duty if he kept hanging around and said one single more word about the nice fish he'd caught. I got home about 10:00 and as I was setting up my office for the days reading, writing and general b.s. I looked out and saw the Bonita's coming in.....they close on the shore and when the time was right I fired and caught this noble fish on about my 3rd cast. The problem is that these guys are so powerful that in the time it takes to wear him down and land him the rest of his school mates have moved on. It's just one per Skip Jack bite I guess. I was gonna let him go but my friend Antonio from El Cid sent the lifeguard a running so they got a nice fresh tuna supper.
When you catch a nice fish like that Corvina people just seem to be excited. So I made a some new friends and the fish becomes a loaner. This couple here had me i-phone them a few pics and I just figured I'd better get a couple could you not put those smiles on a blog entry.
Our favorite bartender and romantica singer Martin offered to prepare him for us that night and man was it good. We just laid it out with a little salad and some macaroni for anybody who wandered by, it must have fed 20 people. Martin used to work at restaurant's so he knows the way. He has this unique way of  'breaking' the fish into 3 connected pieces, he even splits the head right down the middle. Then like most things in Mexico it gets some lime juice and his special Zareanado sauce and into the fish basket and onto the outdoor grill...
So me and MP figured that if we were having fresh fish we might as well have some fresh music too. When I play we usually put a note on the board so the building knows to come if they want. But this night we decided it's be more for us and as people came and went all night it worked out great. Kind of like my fishing sometimes we like quality as much as quantity. Here's a a pic of our friends listening to Martin strum that black Takamine.
For me it was great. I got to play the love songs and message songs that I like so much. I'm not adverse to playing the party songs that I'm kind of known for but sometimes you just gotta slow down and breath a little. I played to some tables un amplified and then I cranked it up and played my favorites....even got in a nice up tempo copy of ' Born to be Wild'.....Thanks for a great night Martin and everybody......this is how I feel about it, being driven by the music.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

You win some, you lose some and....

some you shouldn't even have dressed out for.  I had a coach once who used to tell us that so this last week it lightened things up for Shark Team X as we went through the good, the bad and the ugly. Below is a pic of Friday's load. It was a phenomenal day. I personally caught at least a dozen Corvina and Slah had 2 gorgeous Pargo Colorado. We had at least 20 Corvina of the 'Chata' size as well as 3 or 4 large Corvina and a nice Robalo that 'T' caught.
Most of the guys had gone to the rocks to fish but I stayed on the beach as the week before we had found a new pattern in that it seemed the Corvina especially were orientating to the protection of the rocks without being right in them. They were obviously schooled up so I would walk 40 feet and cast, then walk 40 feet and cast and before long get a strike and then I'd catch or loose 3 or 4 in quick order before I'd start moving again. These Corvina are tricky buggers to land in that they have a very soft mouth which eventually gets a big hole in it and then when you have that  final part in timing the surf just ride to ride him up the beach with as little tension as possible. To have landed 12 to 15 like this I must have lost another 10 or 12 and had an encounter with something really big that was pretty much,,,,,here's the fish and the 'new penny' swim fish that did the damage. And thanks Slah for lending me the Pargo for a pic.
So with that day in the books anticipation was high as we headed for the spot Tuesday morning. I have to say I had some apprehension as we had very little firm beach to drive on with the tide building to a 7 am high. And sure enough we got the left front into some wet sand and it went right to the I'm no 4 X 4 expert but I did used to hang around with Woody Mahurin so I know a bit about getting into and out of  a jam. As McGiver like as our guys are this situation was different, no amount of digging, pushing, leveraging etc was going to get us out.  We needed a piece of equipment and lucky for us the worlds largest tomato farm is just 1/4 mile away. So Ramon and Slah call in the cavalry and Mexico is just like America...when you need help people are there for you and we were out in quick order. I'll say this, we had that Nissan Frontier truck stuck pretty good for the first time and that truck is one great piece of equipment, I would buy one for sure. It's reliable, the 4 x 4 capability is incredible and it's pretty darn comfortable. So  there's my pitch, if you need a new truck take a look at the Nissan, it's great.
We were right at the tip of the tide so I really don't think we were ever in danger of losing Ramon's truck but we certainly would have had a big job ahead of us once the surf receded  if it hadn't been for that John Deere tractor. In any case, one thing I know about life is this,,,,you can't worry about what didn't happen. So, we continued up the beach another mile or so and went fishing....and....what a difference a few days make. The Ern caught a Corvina and Ramon a Corvina and Slah  had a pargo but certainly not the day we had hoped for. But we got home safe and sound, no harm no foul....thanks for excitement guys.

For you boat guys check this deal out. I was at the Marina chatting with my buddy who is the harbormaster when I noticed a boat with quads. Well I've seen triples but this is my first set of 4...I can only imagine what that baby can do and how she must sound when all four are close to the red line...oh baby, that's some hardware there.
I got home from fishing just in time to take a nap and then off to the parade, after all it's fat Tuesday and we're in Mazatlan Mexico...who'sgonna miss that. Here's a pic of my running buddy sitting comfortably on a cement guard rail, ocean and sunseta to the back, parade to the front.
The theme for Carnaval 2015 was ' The dreams of Momo'.  Now I got no idea who Momo is but he /she  and guide # 003 are thinking a lot alike. It seems like old Momo is really into the fish and music and once I got over the part where Momo might be one of these intense ladies I got right in tune with the program. I'm really hoping this ain't Momo because if it is....well...she ain't very warm and inviting but maybe she's just all bark and no bite, who knows ? 
So old Momo has got it figured. Whether you've got a skull message or the Octopuses Garden going on as long as you've got a guitar it's all good. I guess I'm getting pretty good at Mexico because last night at the parade I was actually used to hearing 5 different loud bands at once...and I was liking it.
The loudest band of the night was this float. It actually hurt a bit just like the Bachman Turner Overdrive concert that me MPeasy went to on our first date. I yelled to this trombone player to give him the ' you got goin on' sign and he made eye contact and signaled we're musical buddies. See ya next year Amigo.
Talk about a beautiful spot. Some forward thinking engineer came up with the idea of using Palm trees for street lights. Unbelievable in the cool dept. The city took out those ugly old metal round poles like all the world has and planted these trees with lights wires, no glass shades....just a gorgeous feel and look. I snapped this pic as we walked along with our town leaving the parade.
So this what I'm trying to do and I think I'm getting close and I hope you are as well...what it really is is simple, freedom, that's what it is. One day at a time....see you next week, I hope you come back to Mile 14. I will.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The thin blue line

A few years back I met a cool guy here named O'neil who rumor control reports having opened up a restaurant in Playa Sur. Of course it's called the Playa Sur Cafe and we have absolutely no idea where it's at, luckily Mazatlan is only a city of 800,000 so it shouldn't be that hard to just look for it eh ? So this morning we decide to get our walk in on the Malecon and then find O'Neil and have some of those marvelous chaquilles we heard about. Well....after walking the entire length of Aquiles Serdan we came to the conclusion it wasn't on that street as I was so sure it was....But MP kept saying 'it's on the Blue Line, the blue line"....mmmm, well I didn't know we had a Blue Line and even if I did I wouldn't know where it was at or what it might look like. So imagine my shock when we actually stumbled upon the ' Blue Line'.
As you can see that IS without a doubt the ' Blue Line'. But what now ? We're confronted with the same situation I've bumped into my entire life....which way on the Blue Line, left or right ? I had this same predicament  in the wilderness of Alaska one time while looking for my boat on Tustemena ain't here so do we go up the lake or down the lake ???? And just like on the big lake on our search for the cafe we took the wrong way. But hey, we had a 50 / 50 chance and a couple can always use another 2 miles of exercise. And O'Neil....we finally found your wonderful spot on the Blue Line in Playa Sur.....I'm gonna talk with ya about that closed on Monday's deal O'Neil....

As you can tell, I'm feeling almost 100%  and it felt great to get out fishing with Team X yesterday. This place we go is what we call 'marbley' because it's fairly steep and the small rocks are like ball bearings. You really have to watch the surf as it's a gorgeous way. Here's a pic I took of Slah and Ramon on point after we had surrounded a school of Corvina. We caught a few and let me tell I was just soooo happy to be back in the game. Thanks guys it was a wonderful day in the outback.
Here's a pic of my new friend Tim Lockwood with one of the most noble fish I've ever captured. He's caught several of these Bonita ( Skipjack Tuna) in the last few days, some guys have the knack. I met Tim on the beach last year and he comes for several weeks every year. There's fishermen and then there's ' fisherman' and Tim is definitely one of us....he fishes hard, he has this wry understated humor and like the Pro's from Dover he knows the way....all smiles. Welcome to the team Tim...We might be the most misunderstood - multi national - sleepless - hopeful fishing team in Mazatlan....But you're gonna like us.....and oh.....nice fish buddy.
So in the viewer participation part of this deal could you guys help me out with a couple things that are bothering me ????? First off, just what the hell is that Blue Line for ? Yikes, craziest thing I've ever seen. It's just a stripe down the middle of a road that doesn't seem to start or stop and hows about the boat bollards it runs into ( I just made that word up, but it oughta stand for what those ship tie up deals are)....oh, if you know that let me know too !  Secondly, what day is it ?  ( that's a sign of a good life when you don't know the answer to that question)....but seriously, something big was going on today at the city hall. We bumped into the marching bands and the military, the pageantry was impressive....So really now, click on the little boxes below and help me out... I needs to know.

Monday, February 2, 2015

500 mil Amoxicillin, 2 to start and 3 a day for 5 days

That's how you get rid of pneumonia . At first we thought it was just the typical respiratory cold that us northerners get here so easily in this climate. We've had a week long stretch of ultra warm temps and overcast with rain and 100% humidity, the perfect formula for chest problems and well.... you know me, having run pretty hard my system was ready for a fall. I kinda have a history of pneumonia so I should have known. The difference between my chest problems and say the cold / bronchitis that MP has is that mine wasn't getting better and had severe fever, miserable fever for days. So here's a few things I learned that might help any of you venturing into this kind of place in life.

1. At the first sign of sneezing , runny nose, throat congestion start taking an antihistamine to try and dry things out. If not all that pollen etc. that is floating around creates the infection that can go to your lungs... A friend of mine with a medical background ( well that might be a stretch, he's a mortician ) put it this way " all those fluids in your body are like a petri dish, a place to grow bacteria so you have to use your Benadryl and dry it out".

2. Bring Mucinex with you. At the first sign of mucus this helps break it up so your body will get rid of it. Coughing is a good thing as long as it's a ' productive ' cough. Mucinex and expectorants are really important.

3. Contrary to what you here about prescription drug policy in Mexico you always could and still can get anything and I mean anything you want. The key of course is to know what you need and more importantly making sure it's that thing....So, bring with you anything you're not comfortable getting in Mexico. The longer you're here the better you get with the system which I have to say works great. Most pharmacies have a medical consultant or even a doctor on's a pic of my daily diet for the last 5 days. And one last thing about being sick if you'll humor me....when you bump into this like I have I just hope you have someone to help as wonderful as my own Nurse Ratchet, thanks for all the love MP, how's about a road trip to the Casino today ????
I know this ain't my usual chase the fish, kill the fish, eat the fish blog but just because I've been down doesn't mean we're not connected. The other morning I wobbled onto the beach just in time to pull this nice Robalo out of the surf for my friend Alejandro. As I walked up to him I noticed the tell tale flickering in the surf that signals the Robalo chasing sardines, really small sardines. Alejandro points and then casts his mirro lure and it's amazing, he catches the same fish. I only wish to be that good some day.... I'm still working with him though on posing those ' thrill of victory' pics.
The night I went down we had a pretty good Toro bite going. My friend Dan Stewart is an incredible fisherman. He's big and strong and comes from the 'big lure, big fish' school. He can chuck a 2 or 3 ounce top water about as good as anybody I know and to watch him fish....well, it's a thing of beauty, really.  I caught several Toro's that night but not like this one Danny worked for 10 minutes, I especially love the shot of him on the rocks...that's surf fishing baby...
Everyone in Mazatlan will agree that as far as condo buildings go, our is pretty unique. Most of them are simply rectangular buildings that run perpendicular to the beach. I took these shoots of the hallway a few sunsets back....if I were a church going guy I'd like the background of the alter to look like that.
So hey....sorry for the delay on this blog entry, I got a pretty good excuse. I'll get back up to speed here real soon and get back to doing what I do best...what ever that is. Carnaval is on the way and we're looking at another trip south so please come back to Mile 14, we'll have some fun.