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Whew…this didn’t end well.

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Needed to refind my mojo, so snuck away to catch some open water fishing in the Pacific. Usually I rumble around Panama or Costa Rica. This year, ended up a little further north and went after Striped Marlin off the California Baja Sur.

Also decided to put spearfishing on the docket, which became an “uh-oh, what was I thinking” moment. But more on that in a few.

It was drizzly and a bit chilly as we turned the famous rocks at Cabo Harbor and headed north for the Golden Gate banks and the Tinaje Trough. Net, it’s an underwater highway and great pelagic fishing ground.

The morning was just a long, cold ride. Tried trolling, drifting, well, just about all the tricks. A lone dorado got the skunk out, but no marlin.

Early afternoon a sliver of sun broke through, then came the birds.

The deeper fish started to feed, driving the baitfish to the surface. The birds were having a feast…the marlin rose and just cut through surface bait balls like a knife through soft butter.  

The challenge was casting the direction of the moving bait balls and the surface marlin chasing them. Well, our boat, the Yahoo and a dozen others were in a free-for-all frenzy.

Boats maneuvering left, right, fast, slow…all in a tight area and it sure looking like the nautical version of a demolition derby was about to break out.

The bites were swift, hard with amazing surface fights.

Ten striped marlin later…a dog day turned bright. The story doesn’t end here, but a few shots to give you a feel for the marlin action (all catch/release). When I do head to that part of the Pacific, I charter with Pisces Sportfishing, who always do a good job.

The adventure got a bit more interesting.

Never tried spearfishing and decided it was a good time to give it a go. (It wasn’t).

Hired a private guide, rented all the equipment and settled in about 30 feet of water, Pacific side off a deserted coastline. Grey sky, chilly, winds up and surface water choppy, water temp is about 70, but hey I’ve got a wetsuit on, no problem, right?

Why is it the guides make it look so damn easy?

Here’s the math problem…surface to bottom is 30 feet, not scuba diving…snorkeling and free diving. No weight belts, which was probably good. Water visibility is poor, can’t see the bottom. Probably should have packed it in right then, but figured I had to at least try this once.


Ever heard of Aspiration Pneumonia?

It’s when in the process of taking in air, some of the Pacific Ocean gets sucked into the lungs. (there was faulty equipment, accompanied by an oops moment that was very costly).

Would love to regal you with a manly adventure, but not so. I’ve now become an expert on antibiotics and steroids. Amazing what you can buy OTC in a Mexican pharmacy.

Remember what they say: don’t drink the water…well, at the least don’t inhale the Pacific. Not good for the lungs. It's that pneumonia thing that can screw up a perfectly good trip.

Oh…one more, watch out for the local bait bandits. Pesky critters sneak right up on you.





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