Friday, November 25, 2011

The Fishing Was Good!

Well here is one happy camper! Iain with his first fish. Yes it must be very difficult for a Scotsman to admit that he didn't learn to fly fish for salmon either in Scotland or Canada but it was great to see that ear to ear grin when the flashy dorados started homing in on our lures. We had pulled out of Turtle Bay at a leisurely hour for the 231 mile run south further down the Baja. A beautiful moonlit night and in the morning we were set to traverse The Ridge, a 100-fathom bank where fish congregate. The lures went out soon after dawn and then it got really busy. We had four lines out at one point and then cut down to two because it was hard to keep up. The zipping of those reels sent us into a frenzy of
activity pulling in the other lures while someone took on the next dorado. We had already caught a couple of smaller ones and also bonito but today's harvest was a 5-dorado bonanza including a couple of good bulls. I was trying to remember all the tips for processing these fish; I think the trick is to make a shallow incision around the whole side filet. Then pull the skin off from the head end. It is then easy to cut to the backbone and cut away the filet, with some tidying around the ribcage. I managed to get them prepared pdq on our stern filetting table before we anchored in Bahia Santa Maria for a well deserved night's rest.

The next day we had a short 29 mile run to Bahia Man O'War. There is a small friendly fishing village and they had organised a fish fry for us. Great tacos and plenty of Tecate Light Beer............oh well, you can't have everything. At least there was a lot of fish!
We also had our introduction to a Dinghy Poker Run. Yes, exactly, what is that?? Well it all boils down to running between three designated boats in the anchorage and answering Nautical Trivia questions. It just so turned out that our Number Two tender (aka "Prawnbasher") turned plenty of heads, it is not often you get a Portabote among the Nordhavn planing dinghy-ites. And we were lucky with the Trivia...........and, Iain is an expert poker player! Well, here we are with our winning grins at ending up with a Straight Flush and first prize, thank you to West Marine for the sponsorship. 

The next morning we were on our way again and the lines were out in the late afternoon over another fishing spot in the Baja Fishing Atlas..............this time I chose the biggest lures in the bag, what was going to try to eat these? Within an hour there was a huge zip from the starboard reel. I grabbed the rod and there he was, a long long way behind the boat, my first marlin. He looked big, although he was a way away, and he came again and again out of the water, dancing on his tail, trying to shake off the hook. Eventually I had brought him fairly close to the back of the boat. I had the reel on full drag but he wasn't ready for a clean release, he just dived powerfully right under the boat and was gone. I stowed the rods; we couldn't top that. We had a quiet evening under way. Our night watch routine is now well rehearsed; we leave the Admiral to the owl spot from 9pm to midnight; then me until 3am; Iain takes the watch through dawn until 6am. Through the night the FUBAR fleet of about 30 boats closed on the point at Cabo and we were taking care with speed and heading as the group bunched for the point. At dawn we suddenly met a lot of traffic! Every sportfisher in Cabo was pouring out of the harbour coming straight for us; the marlin rush hour was on. By 0745 we were in our slip moored against a long line of touristy restaurants and bars. Yes, it was time for a leisurely breakfast on the Malecon right behind the boat, followed by a couple of hours sleep.

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