Con Suerte, Mi Amigo (With Luck My Friend) (part II)

  East Cape of Baja, CA

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The last day of my trip, I decided to rent a panga for panga support for a half a day....yeah right. I have never been able to hold myself to the promise of going back early! Anyway, I had Guillermo motor us down to a spot that was a haven for pargo and carbrilla. I could tell since I was using my fishfinder. The screen was full of decent sized fish. For someone who is used to fishing in San Diego County, and seeing a fish here and a fish there on the screen, this sight was something to behold.

At this location, swimbaits were the hot ticket. Pargo are very tricky, though, and they gobbled my only two before I could get them out of the rocks. I had brought down 10 # of jumbo squid and pinned a tentacle onto a 3/0. When the line got hit and I tightened down, I thought, here is my huge pargo! It was obviously a large fish and I had dreams of gaffing a huge Culmayudo, the Spanish word for big red snaggle toothed snapper. It towed me about 60 yards, and then as I got it closer to me, it was obviously something different. Not red, but silvery... a huge jack? No, it was..... a hammerhead shark! It thrashed around me and I called Guillermo over to take some pictures.

Sharks have been over- fished terribly in the Sea of Cortez and I wanted to release it, but not before we got some neat photos. I had him hand me the camera, and I took some while it circled me, and then I shoved the camera underwater and took several more. It seemed like a pretty tame shark that just wanted to get on with its day. It was hooked on the side of its, uh, hammer, and I cut the line as close to it as I felt safe. On the way back, we zoomed along the shoreline in search of jumping baitfish. I managed to land one more rooster, just in the nick of time, and after Guillermo took several photos, we left for the launch.

Although this last day was interesting, I felt a much deeper sense of satisfaction with the day when I had no panga support. None of the fish were over 18 pounds, but I worked my tail off just to get to where the fish were, and any fish landed after the first jack were just icing on the cake. What else is there to say? I have spent days trolling that same stretch with nary a nibble to show for it. But, of course, delightful experiences are also possible there, just a mile up the beach ........con suerte!


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