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Primal Fishing in Mexico - The Man Dance Aug 2008

Page history last edited by Todd 13 years, 9 months ago





There is a dance that men do. It goes back to the origins of man. The dance springs from wildness, freedom, and primal power. When mountains have been crossed, elements have been braved, and the quarry has been captured…. men do the dance. They form a ring and turn their voices to the sky. The circle rotates as knees are lifted and feet beat the earth. Bold unison chants proclaim that in their collective power great and wonderful things can be accomplished. The dance solidifies dignity, pride, and self-worth. It solidifies bonds between men. It solidifies a moment in time. Such a thing happened in Mexico last week.

The day of the dance began very early. The pre-dawn velvet air was filled with sounds of frogs going to bed, birds waking up, and the white noise of nearby surf.



SOLer Sudsratt and his friend Scott sat sipping instant coffee on the balcony. Both were already my amigos from a spectacular fishing trip to this same location last year. They had been so captivated they each brought another companion. Sudsratt brought his fishing partner Jeff and Scott brought his brother Lance. The five of us stared into the ink hoping today would bring things similar to what happened yesterday. Large fish had tested our tackle, nerves, and abilities. There had been a three-hour surf-fishing melee of powering jacks and weltering roosterfish. It was the sort of thing you hesitate to expect again. We chatted aimlessly and joked about our good fortune to be here. Mostly the talk was to settle our nerves and distract us from our hopes. I drifted outside and groped the keys into the ATVs. The others soon joined me and we readied the weapons of fish war.



A quick glance revealed the eagerness in everyone’s eyes. We were thinking of the day before. Many big roosterfish and crevelle had been caught by Scott, Lance, and Jeff.







In particular Sudsratt had battled and beaten a huge trophy roosterfish. It was the stuff of dreams and fantasies. A huge explosion had engulfed his surface lure and his rod had strained at the first lunge. The battle had been dictated by the fish and Sudsratt was taken far up the beach and back again. A long last a fish entered the wash and despite being a bit exhausted from earlier fish I ran to the breaking waves. What I saw took what was left of my breath away! It was a HUGE roosterfish! I grabbed its tail but I could not drag it up the beach. Sudsratt hurried to my side and his eyes turned to saucers. The two of us managed to manhandle the big fish out of the waves reach. We quickly removed the plug and hurried a quick photo. Then, the two of us rushed it back to the water but despite our best efforts the fight had taken too much out of the fish and it expired. It was with mixed feelings that we took it back up the steep sand bank. I never weigh a live fish and I rarely weigh dead fish but there was a 100-pound scale in my ATV pack. We place the scale hook in the fishes jaw and both of us heaved upward. A 70-pound roosterfish is rarely caught from a boat. Only a small handful of 70-pound roosterfish have ever been caught from the beach. It was indeed a bit over 70-pounds. This fish will dwell in Sudsratt’s memory for the rest of his life.



The fish caused quite a stir back in the village and it did not go to waste. It fed the whole village that night. We stayed at our beach side abode and dined on fresh grilled crevelle, cocinero, and assorted others.



It was with these thoughts that we drove down the waking beach. We stationed ourselves at 100-yard intervals and immediately the fish were upon us. Big jacks and high-combed roosterfish mugged our skipping surface lures. It was non-stop sudden explosions, lengthy battles, quick beachings, and rapid releases.






All of us were in the thick of it except poor Sudsratt. He could not buy a fish. Had he used up all his mojo the day before? The jealous devil in Scott, Lance, Jeff, and I thought it was good and proper in consideration of the day before. Just as we were voicing our “serves you right” taunts Sudsratt’s Super Strike Little Neck Popper disappeared into an open manhole. That’s fine we thought. He can have a big crevelle if he wants but eventually we saw a flash of red and a gleam of teeth. An immense cubera snapper (pargo) rolled into the wash. Good Lord! I’ve caught several big cuberas up to 40-pounds but this was HUGE! There is no grab handle on a cubera. You can only bear hug it so I ran to the edge of the surf and wrapped my arms around the behemoth. Oufff! It was a wet, spiny, flopping, heavyweight. It slipped from my bear hug and a wave picked it up sending it up the sand slope. I knew that volumes of water would come rushing back down the slope along with the fish so I threw a flying body slam upon it. It was a low down, dirty, rolling, wrestling match in the surging wash. I finally got a full nelson hold on the pig and struggled to by feet. Sudsratt’s eyes were bugging out and together we man handled the brute to dry sand. It was deliriously huge!



Hate me if you will but few cubera will ever be released by me because they taste like the finest blend of chicken white meat and lobster. Sudsratt had a digital scale but he couldn’t lift the fish without resting it against his body. For an instant he pushed it into complete suspension and the read-out hit 50-pounds. Hours later (with a dried out fish) it weighed 48-pounds.

We returned to our beach side lodging a bit dazed from the previous events. We blubbered and giggled like little girls. That night we feasted on pounds and pounds of fresh grilled cubera.



We ate until we could eat no more. Our Mexican friends and their friends did the same. The guitars came out and it was a communal fiesta!



Then, the skies darkened and black clouds gathered. Lizards ran for the safety of trees as water poured from the heavens. It deluged. We stripped off our shirts and stood in the warm beating rain. As the lightning flashed and the thunder rolled it happened. We formed a circle and danced the man dance with total lack of inhibition. Mountains had been crossed, elements had been braved, and the quarry had been captured. It was a dance that men do.




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