He that has light within his own clear breast May sit in the centre, and enjoy bright day: But he that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts Benighted walks under the mid-day sun; Himself his own dungeon.
- Milton, English Poet (1608-1674)
Monthly Archives: August 2015
Outside of flagging down three hombres to help me carry my daughter like an Egyptian princess in her wheelchair 40 yards down the beach to reach the glass bottom boat ride, my favorite part of our Cabo vacation was definitely the fishing trip.
It was still dark when we arrived and the sun was just beginning to rise as we headed out of the harbor. It seemed like the boat had just barely got wet when Jesse got a tug and began a good ten minute battle reeling in a beautiful dorado.
I had read how the dorado changes color from a neon green or gold in the water to random processions of silver, blue, gold again or dark green when you bring them aboard, but it’s one thing to read about it, quite another to see it in person.
So right off the bat, Jesse was just beaming, “AH, the open water, I love it!” Yeah sure, the guy who just made his catch is laughing and cracking jokes and loving life, but I’m looking at Richie and I can tell he’s seething just the same as I am, we’re trying to keep it in check, but we’re both staring intently at the ocean and all we can think of is my fish is the next one out there and I’m going to get it so help me God.
It was a good hour before Richie got his bite, his dorado was just slightly smaller than Jesse’s fifteen pounder, but out of the three of us, Richie was by far the more experienced fisherman and he made quick work of it, reeling it in like a pro in maybe half the time it took Jesse.
After a good couple hours, we had made our way far down the coast and we began the return back from our half-day tour. Mentally, I began preparing myself for the possibility of being the only one to come back empty-handed and I began trying to remind myself that grown men are not allowed to feel sorry for themselves or sniffle and pout.
I finally got a bite, but the little thief had managed to help himself to a free sample of my bait. The next time I got a bite, the sucker managed to get the entire fish off my hook.
Now I was getting despondent, just trying to keep my facial expression in check, but then came the next bite. It was my first time fishing, but Richie was coaching me quite well, pull that fishing pole back and in the very next motion, start reeling in the slack you created with the pull. I did this and then did it again, but then I noticed there was very little resistance, in fact, I didn’t even need to pull back and fight it, I could just reel and reel and reel it in I did.
It was a tiny little fish, they call it a bonita and it was quite beautiful, but I felt ridiculous with my little fish comparing it to the 15- and 12-pound catches my friends had made – so I made a joke of it, posing for the photo with an aggro “HELL YEAH, MAN!” look on my face.
At least I’d caught something though, I told myself, but my friends were cool and they said don’t worry, next bite we get, that one’s yours as well.
It ended up being a beautiful dorado, somewhere between the size of Richie’s and Jesse’s. He put up a good fight, leaping up out of the water at least three times. It was a glorious thing bringing him aboard and in that moment, right there, my very first time out fishing and I was hooked. I’m already wondering where we can find fishing excursions here in So. Cal. that can compare to the fishing trip we had in Cabo.
Coming back to our Villa, we realized we had done things completely backwards – we waited to go out fishing until our last full day and now we had three dorados and a bonita sitting in ice in our kitchen sink and just a matter of hours before we left in the morning.
Well, even that part of it ended up beautifully. I’d been frequenting the gift shop at the resort regularly for a daily supply of beer and I told the lady there that we had some extra food we couldn’t bring home and I asked her if she was interested. She seemed not interested at all, but she asked, what do you have? I told her we had a dorado. You should have seen the way her face lighted up when I mentioned the word dorado! So I was very happy to give her my catch. (It also hit me pretty hard to imagine that all the people working at the resort were living right there at the Bay of Cortez and yet a fishing expedition or even fresh dorado at the market was like a luxury they couldn’t afford.)
Richie’s dorado went to the resort’s pool guy Paul who we had a lot of fun hanging out with and the final dorado worked out for everyone, because the sushi guy at the restaurant island in the middle of the pool was more than happy to take the bottom half of the fish in exchange for filleting the rest of the fish and making some sushi out of it.
Dorado sushi just an hour from having been swimming in the ocean – it was the best fish I’ve ever tasted.
Oh yeah, it was just my first time, but I can claim it with full sincerity: ¡Soy un pescador!