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. 😎


  1. love your writing style......shot the locks off our wallet and had a dog in the hunt! Does this come from the tequila?