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Night Of The Iguana Sept 2008

Page history last edited by Todd 14 years, 5 months ago



Our small group of surf fishermen are veterans of this trip to the wild Mexican Pacific. They are some of my best friends and we met on previous Mexican surf fishing adventures. This was a wild and crazy fivesome. Hardly a day had passed before Airnuts and SurfnHorns turned their ATV into the star ship Enterprise and SurfnHorns officially switched his name to Captain Kirk. Qtiep and Jim were atypically off their rockers. If a tree house had been available I think these guys would have stayed there instead of the hotel. So, Airnuts is chasing Captain Kirk around with an iguana like a grade school boy chasing a little girl with a dead rat.



Qtiep is foraging the hillside for weird menu items



and Jim is reveling in the delights of Mexican cookies and sugar cane.



The local Mexicans are looking us like we are un poco loco. Did I forget to mention these guys are hotshot roosterfish slayers??? The whole week was OUTSTANDING! Let's go back to before the Night of the Iguanas.


We all ate some fried scorpions the night before. They taste like.......chicken. Why did we do that? I can only say craziness went viral!



Now, I've been awoken in the night by something crawling down my arm. Maybe it's payback time and it's all I can do to not panic, swat, and scream like a little girl. Self-control is born out of self-preservation. It seems an eternity before the creature works its way down my arm and jumps off my fingertips. Instantly, I bolt from the sheets and slam on the lights. Nada is seen on the bed. I gingerly lift the pillow and a grinning snickering beetle stares at me. I'm glad he thinks it is funny 'cause I didn't! I go back to sleep thinking of big fish and ignoring things that go creeping in the night


The next morning I stumble out of bed and find the group on the tile balcony making coffee and readying the war equipment. LDXs, Rainshadow 1387s + 1386s, Breakaway Omegas, and several other long-distance plugging rods are being strung up. Through the experience of many big fish battles and torn up terminal tackle the guys are tying 80# Breakaway Fast Links on their 50 - 60 pound mono leaders. At least 300 yards of 30-50 pound braid is mandatory. They are debating the merits of their various high-speed spinning reels. Daiwa Emblem Pros, Tica GX Scepters, Mitchell Nautils, and Shimano Sustains are being dry spun like kids bikes. There's a nervous undertone to all the bravado and good-natured trash talking. Really big and vicious fish can humble all of your confidence in a flash. We gobble down some energy/sports bars and descend the stairs. Our chariots await. I turn the keys and each ATV rumbles to life with headlights piercing the darkness.



Airnuts is telling Captain Kirk to hurry up 'cause the star ship is leaving. Qtiep and Jim are trying to get their game faces on but it's tough to do because everyone is flicking each other from behind to try to see how high they will jump (remember scorpions?). We finally get settled and head single file down the still dark beach. After a few kilometers the ATVs slow and the keys are turned off. The sky is barely cracking dawn over the mountains behind us. We speak in hushed whispers and bustle around finally getting serious. The fish gauntlet spreads about 100 yards apart.



We know the first fish to appear will be gorilla crevalles and they will show up in a bull rush. The guys cast for about 20 minutes with nada to show for it. Then, the sun peeks over the horizon and all heck breaks loose! Big boils churn in the surf. Baitfish flee for their lives. Four rods bend over with drags smoking.





WHOO HOO echoes down the shoreline! These guys are pros but hulking crevalles (Mexicans call 'em toros) cannot be controlled. They must wear themselves out and their immense stamina sets you up for a long arm stretching fight. One by one the toros come out of the ocean.



One by one the guys immediately hook up on the next cast. The toro melee lasts for an hour and then they disappear as suddenly as they had arrived.




It would have been enough for a whole days worth of success but we are drooling because we know soon the marauding roosterfish will show up with their hackles raised.


The Fiesta Five saddle up and fly down the beach in formation. The high green mountains are to our right, the sands are at our feet, the mighty Pacific is at our left, and the wind is in our hair. It's an incredible feeling of freedom. Miles and miles of coastline are ours alone. We pull up to a broad freshwater lagoon.



Only a few dozen yards of sand bank separates the freshwater from the saltwater. Rain in the mountains has been swelling the river leading to the lagoon nightly. The water in the lagoon is much higher than the ocean and clean fresh water filtered by the sand seeps through into the ocean. It's a fish magnet. We space ourselves and it's a race to see who can launch their lure first. Pearl and red Line Stretchers arc through the sky. Silver Tsunami TS Poppers are catapulted. Roberts Whistlers hiss through the air. Yellow Super Strike Little Neck Poppers are blurry streaks. Bails snap shut and everyone cranks their reels in a lather. The lures zoom across the surface throwing spray and trailing bubbles. Then, someone yells the word guaranteed to unhinge everyone. ROOSTERFISH!! I glance over and a tall warriors dorsal comb is hot on the trail of someones lure. He cranks faster because he knows slowing down will cause the fish to turn away. The rooster cuts back and forth trying to corral the fleeing bait. It's only inches behind and nipping.



Airnuts yells, "Bite it! Bite it!" and just before the race runs in to the dry sand the rooster engulfs the lure. The fish wheels around in a shower of spray and peels off drag. I glance to my right and left and Qtiep is yelling "ROOSTER". Jim is reeling like mad with a broad grin on his face and Captain Kirk is putting the hammer down on a big one.



The only thing more electric than catching a roosterfish is being in the middle of an attacking bunch of them. There is more action than can be taken in. Everyone has a fish chasing, a fish on, or fish sighted.




Roosterfish are awesome! If crevalle are the hulking gorillas of the surf then roosterfish are the tigers of the waves. Their tall variegated combs slice through the surface like razors as they chase bait and lures. Their black racing stripes signal speed and agility. They have exceptional vision and are very intelligent. They possess the air of an apex predator that commands respect and rules over water kingdoms. Roosters reach over 100 pounds but to land one over 50 pounds requires luck as well as skill. They only briefly come close to shore each day and it requires lots of fishing savvy to be in the right place at the right time. It is a privilege to catch one and an honor to do that with your feet on the sand. Beautiful, smart, strong, fast, and cagey. Sounds like someone’s old girl friend!!



The rooster invasion lasts for about and hour and one-half. Drags peeled and line drained from spools. Wind sprints down the beach make us suck air. Arms and backs ache. Tail grabbing dashes are made between man-eating waves. Fish are landed, fish are lost, and fish simply tease. It was what we had come for. A melee of incredible action with some of the best guys a person would want to share it with.






Afternoon finally approaches and the fish leave the shoreline. That is OK with us. Our fish lust has been slaked in the most gratifying way. We gulpe down Gatorade and jumpe on our gasoline powered steeds. Back at the hotel mounds of heuvos ranchero (salsa covered eggs layered with crispy tortillas) are served to us along with cold drinks. Some of us wander into the ocean and snorkel. Octopus, moray eels, and a host of fish greet us. Some of us fiddle with fishing gear. Jim eats more Mexican cookies.



  Hey boys! Let's do again next year!!



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