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Floriditos In Mexico Sept 2009

Page history last edited by Todd 14 years, 2 months ago










I know a very old man.  He is surely a centurion in many ways.  The man brought his young family to a deserted jungle many decades ago and they lived among the Garden of Eden.   Fruit dripped from trees.  Panthers, deer, wild pigs, and lizards walked among them.  The sea was boundless and the turtles on the twilight beaches were like boulder fields. They lived well and defended their land with guns and machetes.  I know this man.  I know his proud and respected adult children.  I know their children and the children of those children.  The old man now sits among them with honor.  His hair is gray, his creases are deep, and his walk is slow.  But his eyes are bright, his memories are deep, and mind is sharp.  What more could a man ask for?  What more could we ask from a man?  It’s truly my honor to be a part of this epic.  When I bring fishermen here they leave not having just caught fish but with a deeper sense of time and life.



The zipper just won’t behave on my small carry-on bag.  I’m stooped over struggling with the tiny pull tab while glazed airport travelers rush by me.  As I glance up, I see four ruddy faces waving at me from the distant food court.  The Floriditos have been waiting for me to arrive.  A neon sign might as well flash above them saying “Surf Fishermen”.  As I approach, they wipe greasy Chinese food off their paws and shake my hand.  Sometimes you just get good vibes.  These guys from The Florida Surfcasters Club are the real deal. After boarding the second leg of our flights I stared at their heads from ten rows behind.  This is going to be very interesting indeed.



The Floriditos are students of surf casting (even teachers are students).  They have studied with the best and certainly have done their homework regarding this week of specialized roosterfish fishing in Mexico.  Boy, these dudes can cast and they have high class rods.  Batson/Rainshadows, Breakaway LDXs, AFAWs, and Ian Golds, are riding in the ATV rod holders.  The lump in my throat grows as the typical dawn feeding frenzy does not materialize.  The sun gets high and higher and yet the fish don’t appear.  I’ve built these guys up to expect great things and now the sweat on my brow is not from the heat.  After a couple of hours of thrashing a prime spot it’s time to admit the fish are not in this spot.  I mumble stuff like “sorry….ahhh…they are usually here…ahhh…. don’t worry…ahhh we will find them”.  We bustle onto the ATVs and roar down the beach.   At nearly 40 miles an hour, I keep one eye on the surf and one eye on the beach ruts.  Bingo.  A small green jack leaps onto the sand with hungry boils just behind it.  More boils appear just outside the suds.  Crevalle.  The ten-thousand pound gorilla of the surf.  Bait fish would rather die on the beach than face their voracious appetites and piranha teeth.  I leap off the ATV and urge the Floriditos to move quickly.  Blam!  One hook up.  Blam!  Two hook ups.  Blam!  Three hook ups.  Blam!  Four hooks ups.  One fish is dropped quickly.  A second fish is dropped about 10 minutes into the fight.  The other two do not escape.  These guys don’t catch crevalle of this size at home.  They have tired arms and broad grins.  I’m feeling better.




We fish until early afternoon and catch just a few smaller crevalle.  My friend Juanito has come with us and this sums up his evaluation of the mornings fishing. 



It wasn’t an awesome morning but at least we broke the ice in terms of fish and getting to know each other.  The Floriditos are gracious and classy.  They have faith that I will find roosterfish for them.


ARGGH!  The next day is even more devoid.  We fish hard and travel far.   Chad saves the day with a single nice sierra.


(When you don't smile I turn your frown upside down with Photoshop - HAH!)


Roosterfish are called “The Ghosts Of The Coast” because they are here one day and gone the next.  It is invaluable to have local sources that will keep watch on the fishing and provide honest information.  It’s not easy to cultivate these sources and gain their trust.  I’ve worked hard at it for several years.  I have shared with them and they have shared with me.  It’s time to make this pay off and work my sources.  We travel to a small village and find my friends.  It is worth the trip.  Tomorrow will be a new day.


The country side north of the large resort city is an adventurers paradise.  The resort hamlets that cater to surfers like Punta Mita and Sayulita are nice but I’ve always gone beyond them and into less known regions.  Long beaches and rocky points punctuate the coastline but we are always careful not to go so far north as to get into the region of estuaries where there are swarms of vicious biting gnats.  Dawn finds us with new hopes.



The seconds tick by and long casts arc into the still shadowy water.  At last, a long rod arches and the fight of a rooster plays out.


The dinner bell rings!  Roosters are everywhere!  They are tearing up bait on the surface and packs of them are chasing our skipping lures.  The sea is spectacular with roosters surfing in almost every wave.



Everyone catches a bunch of fish.





And Steve Austin gets lunch!



I can’t be shown up so I best ‘em all (I’m wicked).



The next several days are full of long hours of hammering fish.  There is nothing like speed fishing on the surface with marauding fish in hot pursuit.  The tackle gets tested to the limit.  Steve Austin has brought a bunch of high class rods and I’m tickled to try them all out.  The consensus is (including mine) that the AFAW 12’ Universal is the top dog rooster stick for most guys.  It’s a real launcher with enough butt power to be in control when dealing with big fish.  It’s light enough to not be unduly fatiguing.  It’s an awesome long distance plugging rod.  Period.  The next step up from there, the Breakaway LDX, is for strong, in shape, and skilled casters.  It’s only got a few yards of distance over the AFAW Universal but it’s got a ton of fish fighting back bone.  You can really man handle things with this rod but you will only decrease your fishing effectiveness if you are not physically up to it.  The best really big gun is the AFAW Surf.  You are not going to be happy plugging with this rod unless you are very fit, skilled, and motivated.  For the FEW right guys though, this rod will send a plug out of sight and yet it’s weight and flex is within reason for very fit guys.   We also tried some Ian Golds rods.  They are essentially Zipplex rods.  These are wonderful rods but more suited to pendulum casting with bait.  Thanks Steve Austin!  You are a classy gentleman and a scholar.  Keep those awesome rods coming from over the pond.


Each day I can see the Floriditos slipping into to fold.  Smiles come easier and cares come harder.  The magic has once again prevailed.  At least 100 roosterfish and dozens of crevalle are landed. 









Only Steve, James, Chad, And Jerry will know the magic moments of splendid sun drenched days with fishing fantasies come true.  Perhaps when they are old men, they will sit with their children.  Their eyes will brighten, their minds will sharpen, and their memories of this week will flood upon them.  What more could a man ask for? - HPD




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