Sonoma Squidheads caught lots of dorado
Fishing and hunting
(Steve Kyle, my fishing buddy and best correspondent, delivered a summary of his latest fishing odyssey to Loreto, Mexico, with a local group. Here is his report.)
An impressive group of talented anglers flew south to Loreto with me recently for the eighth annual Sonoma Squidhead Rendezvous. They included Les Vadasz, Kevin Jaggie, Les Thompson, Jim Powers, Dave Stollmayer, Wayne Schake and my friend Ken Ott, a physician from San Diego.
We stayed at Les and Linda Clark’s Las Cabañas de Loreto, producing an impressive fish count (more than 90 dorado to the boat), endless numbers of bad jokes, cigars smoked and bottles of beer consumed during daily poolside BS sessions.
First-timer Wayne Schake won the OMG Award after watching a 125-pound marlin demolish his fly, make two huge jumps, give him the fish equivalent of the “finger,” and simply swim away.
It didn't help that the instant the fish struck, Wayne stood frozen in place without moving a muscle to set the hook (we forgot to tell him about that part of the sport) as he watched the monster clear the water in its magnificent lunge toward freedom.
Another newbie, Les Thompson, won the “Saco de Arena” (sandbagger) award after catching every dorado that weighed more than 45 pounds, plus hooking a marlin and a gazillion smaller dorado – this all while protesting that he last held a fishing rod when he was “but a wee lad and just 12-years-old.” The committee fined him heavily.
Needing a new hip replacement but manning-up to the suffering, Jim “The Penguin” Powers shuffled his way through the pain by out-fishing everyone and hooking and landing the largest number of dorado for the week.
Meanwhile, Les Vadasz, who was skunked two days in row, led a magnificent 11th-hour “charge” toward redemption on the last day in a noble attempt to save his reputation as El Pescadero Supremo.
But as fate would have it, he failed miserably by breaking his rod on what he said was a “for-sure” world record dorado.
Kevin Jaggie and Dave Stollmayer managed to catch a manly number of dorado with a few mini porkers weighing in the high 20s.
On the first day, Les Vadasz and I had a double hook-up and after about 20 minutes, we each had our fish near the side of the boat when I called to our captain, Alberto, to grab the net. Just as he approached my side, my fish made a huge Michael Jordan style, shoulder high leap into the air where Alberto, without missing a beat, simply extended his arm and the fish fell into the net.
Then, taking two steps to his right, Alberto nonchalantly dipped the net into the water and scooped Les's fish on top of mine for a “twofer.” Nice.
Later the same day, Kevin told us that his boat's fish-holding tank was built off-center on the port side, which was so full after a full-day fishing that he, Thompson, and the captain, had to hold on to the starboard side just to keep the boat on an even keel so that they could make it back to town.
Ken Ott had the strangest tale of them all when. After hours of slow fishing and not having one fish come to his fly, he finally coaxed a little 10-pound dorado to make a grab. He was bringing it in when a huge dorado, estimated by the captain to be close to 60 pounds, attacked Ken’s fish and streaked off toward the horizon with Ken's line screaming off the reel with much shouting by all on board.
After one massive leap into the air, the monster dorado spit out what remained of the smaller fish and swam away.
Speechless for the fist time in his life, Ken reeled in his line and was left with a portion of his original fish that looked like a modest serving of sashimi.