Monday, November 26, 2018

It was a GREAT week, but....

 Shortly after I had a nice man behind us snap this pic of Mp and MPeasy at the Beisbol game at the brand new and impressive Venado Stadium I began to feel sick,  It was a replay of the time a few years back when I came home from fishing and MP had bought me a street tamale and when she asked the guy what kind it was he said " bif "... So I made rule, don't eat beef tamales and now I'm adding taco's El Pastor to that code, at least until I get a bit more acclimated to Mazatlan. It was horrible, by the 3rd inning I could feel and almost hear it grumbling, then my acid reflux kicked in and I new I was only an hour and 1/ 2 from launch time. Luckily Gill and Grace decided to go after the 7th inning stretch and I got home just in time to sell my first Buick...Now MP ate 1 of my 3 tacos so it was maybe more me than the food I guess, but then again she's the same girl that used to enjoy pre chewed gum she pried off the sidewalk.  So, a night of no sleep and fever followed by day of sleeping and aching then rehydrate and apologize for being such a soup, it's over.
 I'll bet you can buy shorts like this in the states  but it would just be too weird in Alaska . You know, if you're in a hurry to get that used up - I could care less part of your life.

Now the pic below is amazing. Here we also have a Black Friday kind of deal that they did a week before ours, as if things aren't cheap enough already.  It's called  Buen Fin and at the local grocery we had people filling up carts with liquor, on Buen Fin all liquor in the store was 3 for the price of  2. We were impressed to see one woman buy thousands of dollars of high end imported goods....and then we ran into this guy at Sams Club. Everyone knows this town is fueled by Pacifico Beer and I guess to a lesser extent Compadre Tequila, It's the low price brand that usually goes into Margaritas etc. It's not bad but Don Julio it ain' individual 1.75 lter bottle sells for 90 peso, about 5 bucks Americano....
Well if you made it this far you're probably ready for some fish eh....You guys that read this know that one of my goals has been to get a huge Pargo ( snapper). Well , I got the biggest of my life the other day and let me tell you this guy could pull. I was all alone, which I like and my first bite of the morning was really really strong. The Pargo are in the rocks and when one this size comes up to get the bait he just goes right back to where he was and he's impossible to land once under the rocks again....I've lost many that were to big to catch. BUT, this one, as soon as I new it was a fish and not the rocks I tightened and pulled hard and had him  right in front of me quickly, then loosen up and wait for the right wave to ride him up high and dry. It took 10 minutes. I almost just went home figuring how do you top that but I made a few more cast and hooked another, LARGE,,,,well this one I got out of the rocks but the riding the wave thing needs some practice. As one of my customers once said " sometimes it's good when the fish wins".
So maybe it's my year to get that 20 pound snapper. They get BIG and I'm wondering of we can handle one twice as big as this guy, hope to find out. I did get on the Robalo board, what he lacks in size he makes up in taste.
On Friday me and the newly reconstituted Team X'ers headed to our old stomping grounds at Puntas Negres .... it was to wet and the clay at the third point looked like you could get stuck real easy so we retreated to Oceanica....gorgeous as look north you see nothing and as you look south you see town. Some say it's on the edge of town, I say its on the edge paradise. Me and Daniel caught a few Toro and ran into some old friends so it was a great morning...In the world of fish bums Dan Stewart there has elite status, he builds his own lures, he's a boat guy, he's up EVERY morning....see ya in Alaska next summer Dan, them salmon ain't got a chance. Here's few pics from the morning.
I spotted this on the back of my friend Mario's Van... he's right , who needs one ?

Monday, November 19, 2018

"what did you do now " ?

I've heard that a lot in my life along with " what the heck were you thinking' ? we'll just jump right to Pro Guide Tip # 5 where in the hell you're going.
Trust me, that baby is a bit more purple than it looks and she was aching pretty good for a day or so,,,ahh...what we do for adventure.  And boy howdy, do we have warm water which means Roosterfish. I guess I'm about as close to gringo expert on these guys as anybody around here so it's no stretch when I say it's the most of them I've ever seen....but the vast majority of them are small kinda like the 'feeder kings' that we're removing from the world daily in Homer Alaska. People tell me that these size Guyo's are very good eating but I've been chasing them so long now and they are so rare and hard to catch in the surf that they all go back. So far I've caught 4 about this size and please ignore the story that starts with ' this is no kiddin',,,,,but...this is no kiddin I've hooked maybe 7 or 8 more and lost them all, one was an easy 30 pounds when he spit right in front of me.
 And of course the release, this is what you do when you want fish for the future, like salmon. A quick pic with the single hook removed and ol slimeys swims right of onto the future.
 That morning I caught and released three just about all identical. I had my 20 lb. set up and it was a great fight....maybe even the reason my $ 200.00 Plueger Patriarch broke the next day. But while it was still early I pulled off and walked to the rocks I like in hopes of a snapper for date night with MPeasy. I cast my mirrolure for a full hour and then sat down and had a breakfast bar and an mandarin orange. I gave it just two more casts then and walla....another snapper.
 I know you've seen this pic before but you still have to admit that is a gorgeous thing, MP had her favorite Coconut shrimp as well. Walt Larson used to tell me that eating well is living well.

 So we're off to a record start here at Mile 5014 for the 2018.19 season. Just last night at sunset I was anxious to try an 11' ft, Loomis salmon rod that all the guys like on the world famous. I cut the trigger off and put spinning eyes on it and man that thing makes a 2 ounce metal go global. I was just enjoying watching it fly when I saw panicked bait fish jumping in front of me so I took off the metal and put my home made little ' pluma' on and walla, the fight was on. As it hit right next to shore I thought Robalo but I'm no fish snob , I'll take a nice Jack any day.

We've enjoyed the shopping, everything is so different and even with all we know about Mazatlan we find new things. On our search for a basil plant we had to do pointsetta's ....and this was the small tent.
If we weren't dieting we would have bought this baby. Looks a little like Daryl Hannah eh ?
From our sunset to yours....Happy Thanksgiving from us here in Mexico. I'm still having a little trouble getting Mile 14 to press so please be patient and come back, I'll get this story line polished up real soon....

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Mechanical advantage

Let's get right to the fishin stuff eh ?  My regular readers know that I spent a year in mourning when I broke my Cablea's Fish Eagle 11 footer doing something Jethronian stupid. That rod was perfect for throwing long hours for up to 1  1/2 ounce as it was rated 1 - 3  ounce....which is hard to find with any length. It seems that all the rods rated for lighter lures are 10' or even just 9' , for distance length of the rod is everything, it's the mechanical advantage that comes with ' loading' the rod. Now that I'm not as strong as I used to be I really need more distance with less effort and 'Walla, thank you Trusty Hardware in Soldotna Alaska. They had this Rockaway Okuma 12 footer rated 1-4 ounce on season end sale and it's PERFECT. It's really a rod made for casting and not for the Halibut bait fishing that they do in Alaska chucking out a 8 ounce sinker to hold bottom in the tidal current of Cook Inlet. So you know me following the ' whats worth doing is worth overdoing' model I figured if I had to bring another bazooka rod case don't bring it with just one so if any of you Mazatlan guides need rods just holler...I got plenty.
My first morning to fish here in Mazatlan I did something I never do, I over slept. Yikes, that never happens but I did get my new rod rigged and ready so at sunset I made a tall orange and walked over to the jetty and on my third cast landed my first snapper of the 2018 season. Last year it took me 2 weeks to get an edible and this year it's ' duck soup ' as we say at Mile 14.
One of the business weirdisms here is that with some exceptions restaurants seem to come and go an awful lot. So MPeasy and I were impressed when we found this place that is all Mariscos for sure and a culinary report will be coming soon. They have absolutely every fish known to this part of the world and even a full sized alligator. I'd put more pics up but once again the technical staff is experiencing hyper slow internet and the pictures load soooooo slow that I'd miss out on all the pressing matters I need to attend to today.
Oh, oh,oh.....I got it !,,,Go into the settings on my cell phone camera and change the pixel settings so it can load faster with less data. I should have remembered why I use my first digital camera that is only 3 mega pixels when I take fishing photo's from my boat for Mile 14 on the world famous....I'll make a better blog entry real with just time for a couple pics, mmmm,mmmmm, I guess the weirdest thing I've seen so far is this.....
Even a boat guy like me has never seen a chromed anchor. I mean you gotta have some lettuce to want a gorgeous anchor. Gilberto said the guys at the marina were wondering what it cost to chrome an anchor and if anybody kinda snickered at the idea....well the beautiful people said 10,000 dollars and no. The Wine Down is home ported in Las Vegas, this guy is quite a just breeze down Lake Mead and then a short portage or trip through the locks at Hoover Damn and then over night in Lake Havasu because you weren't making very good time when you had to take down all the antenna's to go under the bridge at Bullhead City.....then  pretty uneventful passage to the  Sea of Cortez and Walla, Mazatlan here we come. Welcome you guys , we'll see ya around town.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The southern desk

Yup, the friendly staff here at Mile 14 is jumping the jet and will be in our Southern Bureau for the next 5 months or so. One of the unfair things in life is that you can get used to just about anything and as wonderful as fall is at Mile 14 of the Kenai River I don't have much to report, all quiet on the western front....except for the election that is. BUT, that will all change directly. I talked to Mazatlan yesterday and my semi reliable source Kenny says that the Roosterfish are really crashing the beach so you know me, hot pursuit to follow. I'll bet you an unguided fishing trip that I get one to post a pic of just like this guy from a few years back real soon.
Now you notice I have a knee brace on , that brings me to Pro Guide Tip # 4 : Accessorize with anything you have to do to get / stay / be healthy and active.... It's a hard job and hobbling around and complaining about your knee / back / shoulder / hip pain doesn't fit the image of a tough seasoned Alaska fishing guide. Never ever show weakness...SO, through the years here at Mile 14 we've created an inventory of just about everything you need when things get dicey. Here's pic of one drawers worth , and not only do I believe in compression braces I also have a huge variety of topical balms and depending on the ache or pain I use Thermacare heat pads, Caspacin, lidocane, aspercreme, arnica, naproxen, lagelty and marijuana or peyote cream...mmmmm....I might be a little hypochondriac, but I don't think so. And with all things in guiding you need redundancy, you have two knees so you need 5 knee braces, simple math.
Election day today so I'm just going to add this pic without statement, everybody knows where I stand. I took this on one of our walks , it was in front of a house in town that used to have an old boat with flowers growing in it for landscaping, that was cool but this is better.
I don't usually do this sort of thing but in retirement I'm feeling free as a bird...So for all my Alaska readers, PLEASE , get out and vote and Stand with Salmon and Vote YES on proposition #1. Without yet another long winded editorial I'll just say this...don't forget that When Frank the Bank came back to Alaska and decided to be Goverrnor ( wasn't it great the way he announced right after the election that he had no idea things were so bad so all his campaign promises were off the table ) one of the first things he did do was shut down the Habitat Division at the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. So that's from the right side of my brain, the left side tells me that all the $$$$$ that went into opposing Prop #1 tells you a lot....millions what are you guys planning that you can't just fill out a few forms and act like you care about one of the foundations of our State, Salmon...and oh by the way, they could use a little help right now.