Man-O-War Put Daggers in the Days Fishing

by | May 15, 2019 | fly fishing in Mexico | 4 comments

flyfishing-bajaIt was another beautiful morning in Baja.  Granny and I packed it up and left Baja Joes and Gary Bulla for fishing around 8 AM.  We dragged our Yeti’s filled with coffee and finished them on the beach.  The sun was too low to spot roosterfish so we relaxed and took in the amazing desert scenery.


roosterfishingAt 9 when the sun got overhead enough to spot fish we grabbed the 9-weights and began a slow walk down the beach.  We couldn’t see my spot but shortly in we could.  There was a fleet of pangas chumming with live bait for roosters 100 yards off shore.  This was a huge bummer; however their bait was getting pushed to the beach.  I told Granny to make some blind casts in the area hoping for a lurking jack or a rooster.  I walked on and naturally, I was the one that spotted a hungry rooster.


roosterfishThe roosterfish was steaming along the beach coming directly at me.  There was no chance to get Granny in time so I casted.  I hit him dead on and five minutes later I landed a beautiful 15lber.


That was the first time I was ever bummed to land a roosterfish.  This was a dream roosterfish for my lady.  By the time we shot a couple pics and released the fish the pangas were literally drifting into the beach area we were fishing.  It was time to walk further.


Granny-houndfishWe saw very little the next hour other than giant Mexican houndfish.  I must admit, some of these giant needlefish are amazing and they put on a strong fight.  To add some excitement to our morning, I told Granny to cast to them.  They are extremely aggressive yet hard to hook.  She jumped a few then finally connected.  Ten jumps and a screaming run later she landed a three footer.


Granny was having a blast hooking the giant houndfish.  After she released her one she waded right back out in the waves for more.  Three strips after each cast she’d hook one then get four jumps and the long toothy gar-like fish would be off.  It was perfect fun – get the jumps but you don’t have to unhook them.  But suddenly Granny screamed in pain and ran up onto the beach.


man-o-warI’d just got myself situated to cast to a monster houndfish of my own.  I was knee deep as I turned to run to her aid.  Then wham!  I too felt extraordinary pain.  I ran from the water and looked down only to see a long snotty-like tentacle stuck to my right foot.  It was jellyfish.  Only these weren’t ordinary jellyfish, these were man-o-wars!


The pain of which the sting of a man-o-war delivers is indescribable.  And the thing about getting hit by a man-o-war jellyfish is that you never know what type of reaction you will have.  These stings have killed people.


man-o-warI was in so much pain that getting to Granny was a struggle.  Poor Granny wasn’t sure what happened to her and was in the sand writhing in pain.  She’d been hit in the soft skin behind her knee and it was already swelling and turning bright red.  In fear of what our reactions would be, we began a full on pursuit to return to the car.


Healthy, a return to our car was a 45 minute walk.  As we began the agonizing walk we experienced only pain and we were making good time.  But the fast walk also got our blood pumping which probably isn’t a good thing.  The pain no longer came only from our wounds but was creeping up our legs and into our hips and back.  Scary!


By the time we got to the car we were in pain nearly everywhere.  Any area not hurting was getting numb.  Finding medical help was definitely on my mind at this point but the only place I could think to go was Cabo.  Cabo was two hours away.  As a last resort to recover, we opted to bust out our camp chairs and sit idle.  Let the hearts slow down and limit the blood pumping poison through our bodies.  And thank God, it worked.


In less than ten minutes our symptoms weren’t getting any worse.  In fact our pain and numbness started to go away.  Everything was going to be ok.


We hardly noticed, but on our fight back to the car there were more beach fly anglers that arrived.  We were parked right on the edge of the beach so they had to walk past us.  We exchanged greetings and soon it was a full on visit.  It’s a small world of fly fishing.  One of them, Austin Kane, was familiar with Granny and I because he reads the blog and follows my Instagram and FB pages.  The other, Daniel Bragg is a guide for Kelly Galloup on the Madison River in Montana.


fish-bajaThat was it for our fishing today.  Granny and I are at about 75% recovered from our stings.  The predicament took a lot out of us.  After we felt good enough to move we drove to Los Barriles where we begin another chapter.  Our friend Gary Boyer spends all winter here and we’re going to fish with him the next two days.  Gary has a boat and in the morning we are staying out of the water and going to chase some milkfish on the fly.


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. Mike Dougherty

    Scary, so glad it turned out ok

  2. Jeff

    Thanks Mike. Yea man – that was a tough day behind the rod!

  3. Mark DeHaan

    Those suckers hurt. Not to mention the fear factor of where will this stop at?

    As you probably already know Jeff, vinegar really does help. I carried a small bottle on the boat. And don’t rub or touch the attached sticking tentacles. It makes them fire off. Also hot water can help. On a boat using the engine’s tell tail (pisser) for the hot water works great.

    Best wishes to you two heroes!

  4. Jeff

    Thank you Mark. I knew what we needed I just didn’t have it. From now on I will have a little vinegar on hand for all trips wading. This was my second time getting whacked. Thanks for reading the blog!

Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

Contact Jeff

I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!