Trip Report Day 7 - Dec. 21 to Jan 5

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Posted by David(in Bellingham) from ( on miércoles, enero 29, 2003 at 14:01:35 :

Day 7 –

Another day trying to find the tuna. I met Florian and Amado at the pier at 6:30.

We head straight out to the 30-mile mark following the birds out. Since we haven’t found the tuna yet, we start trolling out farther. Once we’re to about the 35-mile mark we notice that the birds that had been passing us on the way out this morning are now passing us going the other direction, heading back towards land. Amado says that this means the birds couldn’t find the tuna and are heading home. Based on this development, we decide to put out dead baits and lures and troll all the way back in.

We’ve got the dead baits on the outriggers and one flat lined rod out the back on light tackle w/ short leader’s set to try and pick up some Dorado. The other two rods out the back are heavier tackle w/ hawianna lures to try and raise some marlin.

Over the next couple of hours, we got 4 strikes, 3 on bait and 1 on a lure, all sailfish. I was doing all of my own hook sets, and hooked up 3 of the sailfish raised (all on the bait). All 3 that were hooked were brought to the boat. 2 were successfully released, but the 3rd had managed to wrap the leader under its gill plate on one of its spinning jumps and was bleeding pretty badly. We tried to revive it by holding its bill and working it back and forth next to the boat as we moved along, but after we released it, it starting loosing even more blood and died, so we circled back and pulled it onto the boat.

While I was fighting the sailfish, Amado and Florian were talking about me, that I don’t like to use the fighting chair. How I usually stand w/ the rod braced on my hip while I fight the fish. They said that was unusual. Later in the trip, we were talking about nicknames. Amado is nicknamed “The Frog”, main because of his height (he’s pretty short) and because his legs are pretty bowed from 30 years of standing up while driving a boat over the waves and swells. Amado decided that my nickname should be “Standing Bear” – Standing because I don’t like to use the chair and Bear because of my size (I weigh in at 275lb).

Later that day, we’d been trolling for a while since the last sailfish strike, and we’d changed out one of the lures for another dead-bait, when I saw a big fin break the surface quite a ways behind the boat. I pointed to it and asked Florian if he wanted to take this one (he’d been holding out trying to get a Dorado) Amado looked back and all of sudden he was scrambling to the back of the boat, grabbing the heavy tackle rod & reel and working the lure back and forth shouting “marlin, marlin”. At that point, enough of it came out of the water for me to see that it was a small (200-250lb) black marlin. Amado was trying to get it to hit the lure, but instead it took one of the dead baits. Amado set the hook on this one and handed me the rod. He said, “We’ll see what happens, you’ve got 30lb test mainline and a short leader, so you probably won’t land the fish.” That’s why Amado was trying to get the marlin the take the lure that was attached to the heavier gear.

For about 25-30 minute, the marlin stayed on the surface, jumping occasionally, but not really running hard. We were beginning to think we might have a chance, but then Mr. Marlin decided otherwise. First he dove deep, almost all the way to the bottom, taking almost all the line off of the Shimano TLD 25 reel, and then I could feel him rolling, wrapping the leader around his body several times until the lighter mainline was running along the side of his body. Next he shot up to the surface, I could barely reel fast enough to keep the line tight. He came shooting up out of the water, clearing the surface by a least 5-6 feet with each jump, and slapping the mainline repeatedly w/ his tail on each jump. On the third jump, his tail snapped the mainline, and I lost my first ever battle w/ a Marlin.

When we got back to Zihuat, I passed on another evening at Las Gatas because some friends of mine were arriving on the Alaska Air flight from San Francisco that afternoon and I had promised to meet them at the apartments. Mark and Kait showed up around 5:30, and we got them settled into the Sirena apartment at the same place I was staying. Their apartment was really nice. It has a full size kitchen that you could do some serious cooking in. The living room area has a couch, a table w/ chairs big enough to seat four people, a hammock, and A/C, the bedroom has two beds. The bathroom is off the bedroom. There’s a balcony off of the living room, next to the balcony from my apartment.

My friends both love fish, so we took some of the tuna I still had from yesterday and took it to Florian's for dinner. Florian prepared a plate of sashimi for each of us and got the cook at Paccalo’s to make some grilled tuna steaks for us. The food was great. There was no preparation fee, but we tipped the cook at Paccalo’s 50 pesos and ordered our drinks at Florian’s. Since it was my friends’ first night in town, we started to work our way to the beach, but we ended up stopping at Barracruda for a few drinks on the way. Freddie got us started on tequila shots, we each did two shots of Corrallejo, which is one of my favorite tequilas. We hung out for a while listening to the music, Barracruda’s a good place to stop if you want to take a break from the mariachi music that you hear all over town.

Eventually ended up at Casa de Arcadia on Playa Principal for beers on the beach (a bucket of Indios). Mark and Kait were actually hungry again at this point, so they ordered the camarillos (shrimp tacos), which were very good. For all of you salsa fiends out there, you should definitely stop in at this restaurant, their salsa is freshly made and, while I wouldn’t call it hot, it at least has a definite kick to it. At around 1:30, we decided to head for home since Mark and I would be fishing w/ Temo in the morning.

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