31
Jul 17

Mahahual 2017 – The Report Part II – Things that went right

As with life, on any fishing trip there are things that go well and things that don’t. This part of the report is going to focus on the stuff that went right.

Sabalito for Dad

Key requirement of the trip was a tarpon, of any size, for my dad. This, guide Nick Denbow accomplished within an hour. He knew of a ditch, formerly a river and potentially a river again after a lot of rain, that had some penned up sabalito (baby tarpon). Dad got his baby tarpon on the first day. Success.

Dad’s First Sabalito

Tarpon in the Lake

Now… the first day my go-pro ran out of battery and my back-up didn’t have a SIM card… nice… so, I have no pics. I got some baby tarpon in one of the lakes with Nick. I was making some pretty good casts and we were getting some responses. I botched a few. I converted others. Nothing big, although bigger fish were around. It was a little unsteady standing up in the jon boat, something that proved much harder for my 75 year old dad.

Nacional Beach Club

Nacional Beach Club is a fine place to stay. AC in the room. Right on the beach. Good food. Evan, the care-taker, made ribs one night that were simply outstanding. Breakfast included. Cheaper than it seems like it should have been.

Nick Denbow

Nick, a Brit, is a fine guy to share a day fishing with. He’s really knowledgeable about… well… everything. Birds, wildlife, fish… Nick seems perfectly placed in Mahahual. This is just where he should be. He knew where the fish were going to be, even if they wouldn’t eat. I mean… he knew pretty much exactly where we’d find permit. Who can dial up a permit?

Nick with my trigger

Speaking of triggers

I got a trigger. That wasn’t on my radar, but I got a trigger. Fun fish to stalk. Kind of easy to find, if you get the habitat right. Harder to hook, but still… a cool fish. I hooked one more and had two other confirmed eats. Super interesting fish.

That same trigger

Food and Drink

Mahahual was a fine place for food and drink. Montezuma didn’t get his revenge on us (which makes sense, we’re Scandinavian by genetics). I had ice in my drink. I drank water provided by the hotel. I even ate a salad. All those things you might be warned away from. I did them all and I didn’t get sick. The food was tasty and cheap. I had no complaints.

Octopus tacos from Fernando’s.

Permit

Nick found permit. I found permit. Finding permit is hard. Getting them to eat is harder. Nick had a great saying about permit, “The permit you catch is easy.” That rings true. I didn’t find any easy permit. I did have one circle my fly and then give it a pass. On the day we looked for permit on the flat, in the jon boat no less, we saw at least 5, maybe 8. I got one cast in.  On my last day of fishing I saw 4 and had three shots. I didn’t get a follow, but I found them. So, that’s something.


07
Jul 17

Another fishing video… this time Mexico

This is three years old, but damn, it is really well done. This is fishing out of a place called Pesca Mahahual. I’ll be heading to Mahahual (although just the regular Mahahual, not Pesca Mahahual) here in a couple weeks, also with my dad. We are hoping to get into some tarpon (maybe getting my dad his first ever after a rather miserable failure a couple years back in the Keys).

Sooooo looking forward to it.


20
Jun 17

Some good news from Florida

It didn’t escape my notice that something good happened in Florida last month.

Here is that news, from the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust. 

Basically, this move should help with those horrid, toxic discharges from earlier this year.

And in case you are wondering why that matters…


25
Apr 17

120 Days – Beautiful Short Film about Florida Tarpon

Man… this hurts a little bit, but in a good way. My Florida trip would be starting soon, but my Florida trip isn’t happening now. The fish are going to be showing up… the big migratory fish, the 100+ pound fish. They’ll be taking the same routes they’ve been taking for thousands of years. This is what a lot of guys live for. I wish I was going to be there, but I’m not.

This little short film by YETI and Felt Soul is simply wonderful. You need to see this. If it doesn’t make you ache a little bit for Florida, I’d check your pulse.

 


22
Mar 17

Tarpon Genetics Reveal a Surprise

Martin tells me they also come in Men’s sizes.

The Bonefish & Tarpon Trust wrapped up their tarpon genetic program and the results are a bit surprising.

You know those tarpon in Florida? And the ones in Louisiana? And the ones in Mexico and the ones in Belize? Also, you know those tarpon in West Africa? They are all pretty much the same fish, genetically speaking. That’s pretty amazing. All those fish and all those places are basically the same fish, genetically speaking. The fish in West Africa are basically genetically indistinguishable from the fish in Florida.

Read BTT’s blog post about it here. Pretty interesting stuff.


08
Mar 17

Why you should book with an outfitter, Belize Edition

I’m going to Belize next month, as I think you all know.

I ended up not booking the trip through a booking agent although the price was almost identical and in the end, probably would have been completely equal. I didn’t have really good reasons NOT to book through an agent but part of my brain was thinking this wasn’t a real fishing trip, even if there was going to be 1-2 days of fishing.

So, I booked myself.

Fast forward to a couple days ago when my procrastinating brain figured “OK, let’s get the guides sorted out.” Well, there were no more guides available. Disaster. Scramble. “OH NOOOOO.”

Pretty sure if I had booked through a booking agent I would not have has the 24-36 hours of panic I just endured.

I found a guide. The trip is saved, but only just. It is Easter Weekend. People are booked well in advance. I had just let the details slip because I hardly have two seconds to rub together these days and I adopted a distinctly “Island time” mentality about this trip.

Mistake.

When and if I get to go with my daughter on some other exotic fishing trip I’m going to go through an agent… because, yeah, I’d like to not sweat the details.


03
Mar 17

Silver Kings chasing silver kings at El Pescador

I mean… come on. The awesome levels here are off the chart.


21
Feb 17

Silver Kings, Season 3, Episode 8, because… Florida.

For your viewing pleasure.

I’d be OK with this.

One of the anglers is Mark Richens. I got to meet him and stayed at his place back on my first FL tarpon trip. His home on Upper Matecumbe Key was once owned by Ted Williams. It is on the market and can be yours for only $4.2M.


23
Aug 16

Grab Bag from 30K Feet

I’m in the air right now on my way to New Orleans, where I’ll primarily be sweating, as well as doing some work. Fishing is not on the agenda, sadly.

So, a few things I’ve seen bouncing around to share with you good (I’m guessing here) people.

First. The Double Haul. Here’s a video about doing it. If you are at the beginning of your bonefishing journey, you really, really need to pick up this skill. It is key. I’ve seen otherwise great anglers fall apart in a boat with bonefish in front of them, the will to make it happen, but lacking the casting ability to cast into a 15 mph wind. Don’t let that be you.

Here’s a story about tarpon fishing in the Washington Post. I love to see our sport go mainstream.

That’s all for now.


09
Aug 16

Things on my mind: Tarpon

This video kills me… that big, nasty, beautiful, wonderful school of good sized tarpon and the shot goes begging… which is pretty much true to form.

Yeah, I’m thinking about tarpon and about next May when I’m going to make it back to Florida and back down to the Keys for a few days of tarponing, which is to say a few days of dodging storms and failing to see fish and fishing hard and maybe, if I’m lucky, getting a follow.

Tarpon are just cool. No way around it.