Good Riddance Wind

February 1, 2011

Day 3

It was a cold night in our little hotel here in wherever the heck we are land. Our beds had some covers but not nearly enough for the cold temps we experienced. All night long I threatened to dig out my sleeping bag but I never did. Tonight will be a different story. The good news however, when we awoke it was calm.

Being that the temps were in the upper 40°s again, we took our sweet time getting going. Although I got up before 6, I didn’t think of waking up Sammy and Grant until after 7. Then we took our time and had a nice breakfast at the same place we ate at last night. Like a few turtles, we sat and drank coffee until the sun warmed us enough to make a move for the surf.

Today we had a guest join us fishing, the hotel owner’s son Tom. These folks are gringos and have been visiting Baja forever. Tom is a hardcore bait caster that fishes almost exclusively for halibut. Tom fishes everyday but rarely gets far from the hotel to fish so it was a treat for him to hop in with us for a little adventure.

All I can tell you is we drove north for almost 2 hours. The road was terrible at best. Dust, sharp rocks, sand and areas washed out from hurricanes make roads unthinkable for your average. And unfortunately we cracked a radiator hose. Fluid was leaking all over and we had to pour several of our drinking water bottles in to the radiator so we wouldn’t overheat. Then by miracle we went by an oasis where we filled up the now empty water bottles and topped off the radiator so we could make it to our fishing spot.

It wasn’t until about 11 AM that we finally got to our spot. I say our spot but it was simply a location Tom knew about and Grant saw on Google Earth a few days earlier. My best description would be an incredible rock finger sticking straight out into the middle of the surf. We observed the out of place geographical structure from a cliff above where remarkably, a pickup hung off the edge. Not to far from this rock fingertip, herds of porpoise swam by. There had to be a lot of fish here.

It was a good hike down from the cliff to get to the rock finger. Once down there the rock finger was basically some incredibly-hard-to-walk-on lava. It was lined with barnacles, seaweed, scurrying crabs and other creatures. On one side the surf annihilated the rock formation while we had calm on the other. Sammy and I stuck with the exact rigs we used yesterday and began pummeling the water. Tom thought a particular spot looked good for halibut and he started casting and retrieving a white jig while Grant spincast the beach route and was quickly hooked up to something that got away.

The unique spot didn’t take long to produce fish. I quickly landed about five consecutive queen fish. To be honest, I only knew what they were because I’ve caught queen fish at Christmas Island. I never thought about catching them in Baja. Then I nailed a few corvinas. Meanwhile, Sammy was having no luck at all and Tom was catching corvina and a type of croaker.

We fished here for a couple hours and decided begin driving and fishing our way back. We climbed up the rock cliff and hopped back in the truck only to find we were leaking radiator fluid at a faster rate than we expected. Although it killed us mentally, Grant felt it was best we make it back to the village of our hotel and find someone to fix the leak. Sammy and I were extremely bummed but nothing we could do. That is other than reach to the cooler and have several Pacificos apiece on the 2 hour drive back.

It was probably 3 by the time we limped back into what most still wouldn’t consider civilization. Sure enough our radiator was nearly on empty. The great thing about being in Baja though, something like this is not only a simple fix but it gets done pronto and doesn’t cost much. We were on our way in about 45 minutes.

We went to one of Tom’s favorite spots. This cool place was only about a 20 minute drive from the village. It was one of Tom’s favorite halibut places because it was rocky formation place amongst the beach with a small estuary river near. The rocks protected an area of sand bottom and which in turn are great places for halibut. Unfortunately this particular place is great during a low tide and our radiator hose deal made us late. The tide was incoming at a very fast speed and the rocks and the protected areas for halibut covered up fast and in no time it was hard to reach the hot spots with a fly.

Luckily, as we tried to get our flies to the halibut sand but couldn’t reach, one spot of water screaming in with the tide like a furious river there were fish. Every cast we made produced a shortfin corvina. Sammy and Grant literally stood in the same place and landed 20 of them. Then Tom landed our one halibut for the day and he generously kept it so we could have the local restaurant cook it up for us.

It was an exciting drive back to the hotel. Grant decided to take the beach as it would save us about 30 minutes over driving through the desert. However, the tide was rolling in so if we got stuck in the sand he could lose his truck. Nonetheless, time is time and we went for it and although tricky and hair-raising in a few spots, we made it. Best of all, Toms halibut was about as delicious as a fresh fish dinner could be!

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