March Trip Report

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Escrito por dwbesq desde (?) el día jueves, 26 de marzo, 2009 a las 13:23:34 horas :


We were in Z for a week starting March 14, 2009. It was another in a line of annual trips for me and my son. However, this was the first trip to Z for my wife and daughter. Historically, its been a male only fishing trip with my son and/or my brother with the first being many years ago. It was, in my opinion, my best week in Z yet.

We often travel first class as a family and I was concerned about my wife not feeling and appreciating both the edge and the pace of Z, let alone the accommodations. I shouldn't have worried. She is an anxious person who was very concerned about safety. Those fears disappeared the moment she arrived and she never felt fear or apprehension the entire time we were there, and we did travel a fair distance from the coast into Z.

My 13 year old daughter also made her first trip, and I now feel I've done my part in introducing her to this special place.

Anyway, she loves to fish and boated two sailfish in two days, so she will be back, much to the chagrin of my 16 year old son, who first arrived three years ago and seemed intent on keeping her away until it became inevitable.

So, the whole family now gets it, and we will do what we can to keep it our secret. If only I could keep the waiters from looking at my daughter that way that only a father would object to. We did, however, get more attention in prior years and her brother, being 6'2 and about 270# kept them from being a problem, though, just by his presence.

So, the Hotel Irma keeps getting better and better. I've stayed elsewhere, but always on Madera, and have been pleased every time. However, the Hotel Irma fits a unique niche on Madera that only Hotel Brisas Del Mar can also lay claim to; clean and large beachfront hotels with fall-back restaurants and pools. It was more secure than in years past. The gate to beach closed early; about 6pm. All other gates in front including the front doors were locked with chains no later than 1100pm or so. The restaurant seems much improved and busier, but I only ate there once. The entire place is always clean, and was suprisingly busy. However, everything is quiet again by 900pm, so take your late night parties elsewhere. If there are security issues on Playa Madera, I didn't see them, and in speaking with former hosts at Villas Miramar, they said they hadnít seen much of a problem either. FYI-the Irma has Wi-Fi in the lobby.

Every day was started with a walk down to La Casa Cafť. Great coffee and breakfasts, and when you are there when it opens at 800am, you have time to talk to the staff and Lorna. By 930am it gets much busier. It also has Wi-Fi, with a code from Lorna.

We're usually not sit on the beach for a day people, but we found the hours melting away one day at Paty's on La Ropa, and the same at Otilla's on Playa Los Gatos, where my daughter had me out snorkeling, which is something we both hope we'll do again. Swam at Playa La Ropa, Playa Madera, and Playa Los Gatos. Water seemed clear at each, with plenty of others swimming, and without odor or illness at any locat1on.

We ate a little more upscale than years past thanks to my wife, and her desire to remain near Paseo del Pescador later in the evening. I don't regret it, but missed theother less expensive venues Iíve visited previously. In town, we ate at Capricho's, which still remains my choice for more expensive dining. Daniel's was very good, as was Casa Marina, Casa Elvira's a little less so in my opinion, just as Porto de Mare, and we skipped Casa Arcadia and Ta Taís this year.

La Sirena Gorda has the best fish tacos in town, and is my stop during siesta after fishing. Don't argue with me on this. I won't entertain it. Although, the sunday evening taco stands might be my favorite (I know, Rob, don't eat there-but we all enjoyed it and I survived another year). I guess I don't know which are the best, unless I'm eating them at the time. It doesn't matter.

Il Mare on the cliff was nice, but for Italian, it didn't seem to measure up to the prices, and the Mahi Mahi was really only fine. Service, however, was excellent, and the view is beautiful, especially if you aren't staying at one of the hotels with a similar view. Patyís on La Ropa remains my favorite place to make camp. Pleasant service without pressure, and a locat1on making each end of the beach a stroll at best.

We didn't have a bad meal anywhere, although I think the difference between those that were excellent and those that were not is increasing. I usually had whole grilled garlic Red Snapper, which almost everyone has on their menu, but this still might not be a fair assessment, so I'm not making direct comparisons.

We fished the Vamonos II with Rene Morales for two days, and brought 5 sailfish to the boat, releasing 3. The Captain and mate made the long runs to blue water when it was called for, and we always left around 615am, returning around 230pm, for a full day. There might have been a little tension between me and the mate on the releases, but I know my tips covered everyone on that. The other two which were kept didnít stand a chance.

My son and I fished a third day for Marlin on the panga El Rene, and while we raised one, didn't hook up. Fished with large caught live bait, and two sailfish rigs on the outriggers, with Captain Rene Morales again, and mate, who both worked hard work from both but no fish. Its fishing. Tipped big each time. Absolutely stunning and fairly calm days anywhere from 5-25 miles out. Can't miss with the Vamonos II, and while the El Rene doesn't measure up to Francisco's Huntress, which Iíve fished previously, its a worthwhile panga with an excellent Captain. He's only had it for about 4 months, and will Captain his panga first before the Vamonos II. The Vamonos fleet is owned by his brother. Speaking of which, his brother Jaime is a class act, and I was glad we were able to speak again this year on the pier.

We would spend a lot of time at the pier talking with Captains and others. Booking a boat in advance takes the pressure off, but I encourage anyone to always keep a day open to try another boat. I've never been disappointed by any of them, and each has its own charm. In the end, until the Vamonos fleet hits a dry spell for me, I'll be back. The Whiskey Water is now a Gran Jefe boat, and I understand Pepino, the former Whiskey captain, is now a commercial fisherman. Thatís the way it is, changes, but rarely dramatic.

Iím convinced now that anyone who thinks they want their fish mounted just lacks information. I watched the Grayís Taxidermy rep working the pier every day, and he was pretty forthcoming about the fact that a replica is preferred. Iíve always felt that those advocating release should make a better effort to educate those new to fishing at the pier before they left, rather than upon their return. Iím sorry to say, however, that I saw some pretty meager tips being passed over to the Captains at the pier, and that I understand the economic conflict that plays out daily on this issue.

This is now way too long. But I should mention that I saw the sun set every day. I saw it rise over the mountains every morning. I slept like a rock on a bed that felt like one. I smiled and tipped like my life depended on it. And maybe most importantly, due to the benevolence and careful stewardship of the Zihua locals, I was able to share my most favorite place with the people who matter the most to me. Oh, I almost forgot to mention; I exhaled, if only for a week.


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