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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

More Fishing

September 16, 2005

The reason we went from Alacran to Quemado was to celebrate Jo's (Milagro) birthday. Lance, Jo's husband, secretly sent out emails and radio messages to other friends so we could have a surprise party on the beach. Of course Jo figured it out when all these boats that she hadn't seen in a long time started arriving in the bay, but we had a good party even though it wasn't much of a surprise. The men gathered up a bunch of wood and we set up a table on the beach for a potluck. Dinner was wonderful, as all potlucks are, and Nakia served brownies for Jo's birthday cake. We didn't have candles so I held a miniature butane lighter for Jo to blow out after we sang Happy Birthday to her. Cruising is all about improvising...

My main entertainment is fishing. Sometimes I get up early in the morning and troll along the shore to catch grouper and trigger fish, other times I wait for dusk and try for yellow tail and rooster fish along the beach. Well, one morning I went out looking for whatever I could catch, working in and out of the shore. I was catching a few fish, but mostly trigger fish which I wasn't interested in keeping and barracuda, which I wish would find some way to get themselves off the hook so I don't have to handle their slimy bodies. I was about ready to give up and go back to NAKIA when I hooked a pretty big fish, it started pulling line off the reel, and then far back behind the boat I saw a fish leap from the water. At first I thought I'd hooked a large yellow tail but it soon became clear that it was a dorado, hooked within 50 ft of shore! I fought it to the dinghy, identified it as a female, about 38-40 inches long. I don't like keeping female dorado, one female fish can make a lot of baby fish, so I decided to release it if I could. I finally got ahold of its tail and got the hook out and then went about the process of reviving it. When you fight large fish to exhaustion it can take a long time for them to recover, usually I hold the fish horizontally in the water and move it's tail back and forth like it's swimming. This is supposed to stimulate water flow over the gills and help it pump blood to weary muscles. The problem was that it wasn't working, this fish was not waking up. Not only that but a sea lion had noticed me and was swimming around under the dinghy just waiting for me to let go! I tried for another few minutes and finally came to the decision that either the sea lion could eat the dorado or I could, and I'd much rather I ate it. So off to NAKIA we went for a date with the fillet knife.

John and Linda