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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

6/28/2011 - Fishing trip, part the first

Our friend Jay, on s/v Wind Raven, had invited us along on a fishing trip to nearby Isla Carmen. He had recently returned from doing the same with his friends Bill & Dale and knew where all the good spots were. When we asked what we could bring, he said, "Don't bring anything. I bought all this food and stuff for the last trip and those guys didn't hardly eat anything so I've still got lots of stuff." Well, that makes it pretty easy for us.

We dinghied over to Wind Raven at a little after 9:00 AM on Thursday, June 23. We tied our dinghy off to Jay's mooring ball to save it for our return. Otherwise, anyone who comes in can tie to any empty mooring ball they see and Jay would have to find a different ball when we got back. We loaded our stuff aboard and were underway by 10:00 AM.

The weather was excellent and a bit cooler outside of Puerto Escondido due to the breezes. Pto. Escondido, being almost land-locked, is a great hurricane hole but it also can tend to "protect" us from the cooling breezes blowing outside. We had a little bit of a breeze and hoisted the jib, but it wasn't enough to warrant shutting down the engine, so we motorsailed over to Bahia Marquer on the southwest end of Isla Carmen. Jay said that they had had real good luck catching trigger fish off the rock at the southern end of the bahia.

Once securely anchored (there were only 2 other boats in the bay and we didn't even notice one of them until we were already anchored - that's how much room there is), we launched the dinghy and Jay and I motored out around the corner to try to fish along the rocks just outside the south side of the bay. The plan was to cast our baited lures out and then work them back to the boat while drifting along the edge of the rocks. That was the plan. Now, if the wind is blowing from the north, say, is it too much to ask that it continue blowing from the north for the few minutes that it would take us to drift from the north end of the rocks to the south end? I ask, you, IS THAT TOO FREAKIN' MUCH TO ASK???" Well, the wind had other ideas, It didn't seem to matter what we did or where we stationed ourselves, by the time we cut the engine and started drifting, the wind had always shifted to the exact opposite direction that we wanted. Frustrating as this was, Jay did manage to catch an 18" needlefish which he landed and cut up for bait.

Finally, fed up with fighting the fluky winds, we decided to head back inside the bay and drift along the rocks. This is where we struck gold. In very short order, Jay had landed a very nice size trigger fish.

He downplayed it as "not that big" but it looked pretty freakin' big to me. It was probably about 2 lbs and put up a hell of a fight. Bait up with some more needle fish and cast again and WHAM! he had another nice size trigger fish on.

And what was I doing all this time? Well, I was learning to cast a baitcasting rig.

All of my fishing experience has been with spinning reels, which, in my humble opinion, are MUCH easier to use.

The problem, for me, with baitcasting reels is backlash:

So, I'd cast, get a bunch of backlash and then spend 5 minutes trying to unsnarl it before handing it to Jay who would have it all straightened out in about 15 seconds. Then I'd try again. During one of these periods, when my line was all boogered up on the reel, I actually hooked a trigger fish, and a decent-sized one at that. I did get him reeled in but, of course, by then the backlash was really a mess, having had new line wrapped tightly around it as I reeled the fish in.

After landing 3 trigger fish, we decided we had more than enough for dinner and headed back to Wind Raven. Once there, we filleted our fish and then I spent a half hour on the foredeck practicing casting. I did get a little better but I still think we'll opt for primarily spinning reels on Siempre Sabado. Who needs the grief?

Lulu cooked up trigger fish filets for dinner and we had macaroni salad and coleslaw on the side. Excellent eating. After watching a very funny video of Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show performing in Germany in the early 70's, we turned in with plans for catching dorado the next day.

PS: Like a big dummy I forgot to take my camera along on the trip so these photos are all from the internet. However, Jay had his camera so there will be a few actual pictures from the trip in later episodes.

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