Living Large in Loreto, Mexico
June 24, 2018: Pre-flight is all confirmed and printed. Passport, Global Entry, drivers license, credit cards, and cash are all stashed in my shirt pocket wallet. Flight is at 5:00 a.m. tomorrow, which means we have to be temp-on the move at two-thirty. Our two ancient Simms roller bags are packed. They each weigh 16-pounds, so when they are packed with 34-pounds of stuff (50-pounds total each), (X2 -$2= 68-pounds payload total) they are barely legal. That would be with about 40-pounds of fishing gear and 28-pounds of less important items like clothes, shoes, toiletries, etc. This trip will be specifically for testing gear and recording the results. The rods that are going with us are: Sage SALT HD 1290-4, Loop Cross S1 F1190-4SW, Loop Cross S1 F1290-4SW, G. Loomis 1290-4 NRX, Beulah Opal 1190-4, Echo 1290-4 EPR, Echo3S-Ti 1290-4. Reels: Hatch 9+, Loop Opti, Sage Spectrum HD, Einarsson Invictus, Redington Behemoth, Echo Bravo.
Loreto International Airport
June 25, 2018: Leave PDX 5:00 a.m. = 59-degrees, arrive LAX 6:45 a.m. = 64-dgrees, arrive LTX 2:01 p.m. = 92-degrees. Checked into our pad for the first 5-days, called Hugo House. It is funky, but very Mexican and very cool with lots of tile, a great mattress on the bed, an outdoor dining room and lots of bright colors. Our suite has a complete kitchen, but we decide to go to La Palapa for dinner.
Mark sips an El Bandito Stout, while chowing down on a beef shiskabob. No doubt, Mexico has had a positive influence on North American cuisine.
Mark rigging rods under the light of a chandelier, on the table of the outdoor dining room, getting ready to fish.
Patty on the Loreto malecon waiting for our boat to come and meet us, while the sun is still below the horizon .
June 26, 2018: Zero! It isn't that often that we get our asses kicked, but it has happened before. Today The Ocean started out like a sheet of glass, but after the sun was fully up, a big tide running against a stiff breeze made for some rough water. We found a patch of Sargasso that held numbers of respectable size Dorado, but the water was so rough that casting was virtually impossible. So we came in early and explored Loreto.
June 27, 2018: We met our boat at 2:00 p.m. and fished until 9:00 at night. Today we found several large schools of small roosterfish from three to five pounds, which would have been a gas on 6-weight gear.
June 28, 2018: Today was a bust. It seems that the dorado have put a curse on us. There is so many bait fish of all kinds that the game fish are almost too well fed. It is amazing, there are schools of sardinas, ballyhoo, flying fish in a myriad of sizes nearly everywhere. What a change in the Sea of Cortez from the last couple of years when there was nearly no bait. So what are the dorado doing? We suspect that they are feeding in deep water on squid. Even though there are mats of Sargasso weed scattered on the surface there are no dorado to be found under them.
June 29, 2018: Small roosterfish again. These smaller Roosterfish are voracious feeders and you can almost watch them grow. Our fishing guide, Eulogio Davis Sanchez believes that Roosterfish may grow to twenty pounds in as little as one year. Whereas small Roosterfish are aggressive and naive, larger Roosterfish are perceptive, and may be very difficult to catch. we regularly see roosterfish in size ranges to fifty pounds, but the largest we have landed was estimated to be around twenty eight pounds. But we have hooked a couple of Roosterfish that were estimated to be over fifty pounds. The IGFA world record Roosterfish was 114-pounds, which was landed at La Paz, just south of where we are fishing around Loreto.
June 30, 2018: Today we moved from Hugo House to La Mision and meet up with our friends Max and Darleen Merlich. Hugo House was secluded on a little used side street. La Mision is arguably the best hotel in Loreto and is situate about half a block from the marina. Both hotels have their own brand of charisma. We have very much enjoyed our stays at both places.
If you are travelling in Mexico, there are several things that are different than in the U.S. Just walking around any town, be aware that all side walks are inconsistent in both width and elevations. Often holes for utilities are left uncovered, or covers may be unsupported. Be very careful how and where you step.
During our last trip, 4 out of 6 restaurants and one grocery store grossly inflated our bill hoping we wouldn't catch it. One taxi driver claimed to have given 100 pesos in change that had to be negotiated. A similar buyer beware philosophy might be encountered if you were anywhere else in the world. The good thing is that every smart phone has a calculator.
Mexicans are glad to take U.S. dollars as payment, but don't expect to get even exchange, even from Mexican banks. The published exchange was 19.95 pesos per dollar, but Banco Azteca gave me 18.50. No other bank would even give an exchange. The best that was given on the street was 17 to 1. Mexican ATMs are the best exchange rates, but not all will draw on U.S. banks. When you think about it, not many banks in the USA will exchange dollars for pesos, so Mexican citizens might have similar monetary problems vacationing in the U.S.
July 01, 2018: Didn't go out, but Max and Darlene did and they hit a number of small dorado.
Darlene with a nice dorado.
July 02, 2018: Went out alone. Went 5 for 8. Largest dorado landed was about 18-pounds. largest dorado lost was about 40-pounds.
July 03, 2018: Did a lot of running but found no dorados. Finally found a coupel of schools of Horse Eye Jacks nearly on the beach. Patty and I each landed one jack of about 5 .to 6 pounds
Patty with a Horse Eye Jack.
July 04, 2018: Went way off shore, The GPS said that we traveled a total of 84-miles. Found two weed mats and went 5 for 9.Patty laned 2. I landed 3. The largest was about 15-pounds. Patty lost a nice bull of around 30-pounds. Max & Darlene did about the same.
Max gets his turn in front of the camera.
July 05, 2018: Went way to the east, then south, then north. We might have been out forty miles. The Sea of Cortez was flat most of the day, but was empty of dorado. Then coming in, we found weeds in little clumps with gulls sitting on them and caught four small dorados five miles from camp. Patty landed 3, her largest about 10-pounds, I landed 1 small one about 4-pounds.
July 06, 2018: Hunted the shoreline for roosters and pargos. Found pargos in a little mangrove lined bay. Caught several apiece. There is so much bait everywhere that most of the fish that we rose were only slightly interested in our flies. This is a huge change for the Sea of Cortez, which has been a virtual desert at the lower end of the food chain for the last couple of years. Consequently the larger predator sport fish left for other places or starved to death, causing a crash in the sport fishing industry around Loreto. The masses of bait fish that we encountered this year signaled a big change at the bottom of the food chain. The Sea of Cortez is on the mend.
July 07, 2018: Our flight home was, as usual, smooth and easy. That is one of the things that makes Loreto, Mexico so appealing. It is easy to get to, and from.