I have meet many friends through the internet, even friends in Mexico where I love to fish for salty critters. Searching the internet for fishing from a boat in the Puerto Penasco area lead me to Ed Arriola. I sent a little e-mail to him and so my journey began.
Ed owns the "Manta Rae" a 24' Sea Ray and a 25' panga, the "Alexis", named after his daughter. My interest also lies inshore from the Panga and I relayed this to Ed hoping to make my dream come true.
On an adventure in the area, I happened on a ship and crew, the Manta Rae. We talked about getting me a ride the next Sunday at 5a for sierra mackeral. After some chit chat and a handshake along with a little dirt kicking, I was set. "Don't worry Adan" said Ed, "just be here next Domingo at cinco." and that is just what I did. All week I was on fire with anticipation of catching a Sierra in Puerto Penasco. I took my ten and twelve weights out a couple of times, screwing with the reels, looking at the colorful feathers, just dreaming...
Finally Friday rolls around and with my two friends, S.Brooks and Dan, we rolled across the border about eleven, found a hotel and started our weekend. Fishing the beaches as a warm up, I would see a panga going by working a net. I hate nets but it is necessary for the locals eat and make their money. Oh well, at least I will be putting my money toward a little different aspect of panga fishing.
Sunday morning finally comes and we are at the launch rubbing our eyes, wondering if we forgot anything before we board the panga Alexis. "Chino" (Captain Juan Alatorre) is there to help us board and sets things up with "Tito" our guide. Tito is a panga savy guide from Cabo San Lucas. Although Tito only knew one word in english "seaweed" it worked out just fine with hand signals. We shoved off in a little bit of wind in the early morning light.
Lazy I was, can't believe it. I didn't even have any leaders made. In my box was some Berkley "Big Game" mono spools in 50 - 40 - 30 - 20lb. Jointing the rods, screwing the reels on and threading guides with the shooting sinking head. The fly line loop was in my teeth. I ripped off lengths of mono and built a 40/30/20/40shock tippet leader really quick for the twelve weight and tapered leader in 15lb tip and a 30lb shock tippet for the ten. With the rods rigged I tossed over the twelve fly and gave it to Dan, "Here Dan, hold on to this." Dan doesn't fish, he just likes my trips for the adventure. He ends up catching all kinds of fish though as I always hand him the rod.
Sierra from a Panga
Pretty much right off Tito is shaking his hand at some boils, pointing going "seaweed." Dan says "Fish On!" and Tito slows the Alexis while Dan winds and does a non-fisher bang up job of landing the first sierra. Nice job Dan, I wanted to catch the first one on that new 12-weight. Damn it! But, we laugh, Dan knows I am very happy for him and we are on search mode again for more sierra. There is a wind swell running and I am up on the bow platform scanning for signs. With the ten I am popping off shots to likely looking spots and we nail a bonito, pretty fish, a bullet, snap a picture.
Let one fly...
S.Brooks is gasping green and starts "chumming" for us. "Adam, good G~d mon, let me off!" S.Brooks whines. We had been partying at the Pink Cadillac last night and S.Brooks had a few and a few more. "Chum some more Brooks, I can't land you here" I am thinking to myself, "Sorry Brooks, the shore is too rocky here..." The waves were rolling now and it was time to go.
Our adventure lasted only two and a half hours. About an hour of motoring out and back with an hour and a half fishing. The mornings count was three sierra and one bonito. We had many strikes but this was the fish count landed in the panga. I can only imagine what we could have done with a no wind day and a little less partying the night before.
For an alternate adventure, try fishing from a Panga.