High Plains Drifter

Mexican roosterfish story and photos

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A man stands chest deep in the breaking surf twirling a simple line over his head. It"™s barely dawn and the sun is just peaking above the mountaintops behind. The beach sand is still pleasantly cool from the shadows of the night but soon the sun will cause it to scorch bare feet. The hombre twirls his bait faster and faster and lets it fly into the foaming waters. He backs out of the water and quickly feels the pull of hope. A great battle ensues and he runs up and down the steep sand bank tethered to something yet unseen. A tug of war between man and fish is played out as it has been forever. Slowly the man wins and the crest of a wave carries a large fish onto the beach. He lifts the heavy catch onto one shoulder and disappears over the bank. I am privileged to witness the timelessness of fishing.

 

I have returned again to Tehua in Mexico to surf fish this remote and wonderful place. This time I have brought my wife, son, and two SOL members who have come with me before. It"™s the height of the surf fishing season and we have come to test our will and tackle. Our will is to be tested by the humid heat and long trudges through loose deep sand. Our tackle will be tested by big roosterfish, jack crevelle, and snappers, which lie a long cast out to beyond the breakers.

 

My family"™s flight arrived about two hours after Qtiep"™s and Jim Perez"™s so we arranged to meet at a small town where the route turns from blacktop to rough pitted gravel/dirt. They were grabbing a fajita at a roadside restaurant and I blasted right past without seeing them. I"™m famous for driving past my turnoffs. Maybe it"™s a subconscious desire to explore. I turned the jeep around in a wandering Brahma cattle herd in the middle of the road and found the guys grinning and waving at me. It was great to see them again. We became friends for life on a previous trip and I think we know this is an adventure that will never truly end. Introductions and drinks were exchanged and we aimed the jeeps down the rough winding mountain road to the Pacific. It"™s about a two-hour drive through time to a simpler and infinitely less complicated life. Life here is focused on family, friends, animals and the land. The days are spent outdoors and the wants are few.

 

The small fishing pueblo of Tehua is always a welcome sight. I now have good friends there and we are mutually glad to see each other. Candelario runs a small two-room hotel and a seaside restaurant. He and his family also dive the waters for lobster, octopus, oysters, and fish. Cande, his sons Juan and Fernando, and his daughters Gabi and Rose are always eager to talk and hear of our daily adventures. They continue to be amazed at our surf fishing success. The ability to fish far from the shore while remaining on the beach is still a novelty to them.

 

We fished the southern beaches that evening knowing the fishing at sunset is not usually good. Mostly it was a tackle check and a calming of nerves before rising at dawn for the real thing. Sleep came with difficulty as it usually does until one is adjusted to the humid warm nights. The anticipation of the next day adds to the sleeplessness and I met Tiep outside at 2:30 AM. He and I talked of life, fish, and family. Friendship comes between us easily and I trust him and Jim as a brothers. A crashing tropical rain thrust itself over the mountain and the air became cooler so I went back to bed leaving Tiep to gaze across the dark water.

 

We arose before dawn for three days and fished until we could fish no more. It is now a blur of fine fishing, fabulous fresh seafood, and fantastic friends and family. My sorrow in leaving was compounded by the fact that my son leaves for college the day after we return. He is a part of me and I will miss him terribly. All this is tempered slightly by the knowledge that in five weeks I"™ll be back in Tehua with another group of fine fishermen. These pictures speak much louder than any words could. - HPD

 

 

 

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HPD, seems everytime you go down there, you got the beach all to yourself! Do the locals fish off the surf as well? Anyway, thanks for sharing another nice report. Looking forward to reading your September trip reports!

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HPD, seems everytime you go down there, you got the beach all to yourself! Do the locals fish off the surf as well? Anyway, thanks for sharing another nice report. Looking forward to reading your September trip reports!

 

 

The locals do very little beach fishing there. When they do, it's with hand lines only and they can't reach the outer surf zone. Mostly, the locals dive the off shore rocks using compressors and air hoses. They use gaff hooks to collect lobster, octopus, rays, and they chisel huge oysters. They collect a limited amount of fish. Yes, we have dozens and dozens of miles of beach to ourselves. It's heaven! - HPD

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HPD

Excellent photos & video!! Well done. I will be heading down to PV in late November for 2 weeks. Will let you know how we do. How do you compare Rangers with little neck popper? I get good distance from Rangers but like to try something new if I can get same distance!!

 

 

Rita

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HPD, were you sight casting to these fish or fishing holes/structure? When you say they were far out and in deeper water, how far and how deep? I can see how steep the beach is and was wondering if it continued like that.

 

thanks.

Ksjohnson likes this

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