Well wrapping up the last couple days of our trip, it has been prett epic. We have been diving out of La Paz with Patrick Puhlman of http://bajaspearfishingadventures.com/. He has been extremely patient with us, continuing to rib him about pretty much everything.
After having enough of diving the Sea of Cortez we took a break and headed to the Pacific. We packed up the car and headed out kind of early from La Paz. The drive north took forever, many miles on dirt roads which had recently been washed out by the rain from the hurricane. Everything was green and the cows were fat and were quick to get out of the road when approached.
When we got to the beach the wind had picked up a bit and the surf was breaking. The water looked green and it looked like maybe not the best day to head out. It was overcast to top it off. The fisherman whose boat we were going out with seemed nice enough. Some other older fisherman came and laughed at us getting ready to go out. Dan decided that it looked like shit show and he wasn’t going to go. After some prodding he stuck to his guns and stayed. The surf looked so rough that I actuallly left the camera in the car with him.
After getting out a bit beyond the surf the seas were not that bad. It ended up Garett, Bernard and Patrick with me. Bernard said that we had to get a big fish to show Dan, or least that is what I think he said, bit a of language barrier there. He asked what Dan was going to do on the beach, I made a jerking off motion and he seemed to think that was pretty funny.
Victor our captain finally stopped the boat and said something in Spanish, Patrick translated “warm up” spot. We jumped into the green water, well almost everyone . Garett left his fins back that the luxury resort we were staying at. Luckily with two pairs of socks he was able to switch out with Patrick and Bernard. I started doing dives to the sand and not really seeing anything. The vis was maybe 15 feet. I wasn’t really seeing anything but I heard a gun going off so I swam that way. I found the rocks, they were loaded with life, small cuberas swirled around me, along with big yellow snapper. Bernard had shot a gulf grouper that was maybe 25# and he, like me had no idea what was coming. I dove and dove not really seeing anything, when out of the murk a 30ish pound grouper swam up to me, and sat there looking at me slowly fanning his pec fins. Then a school of cuberas came around me and spooked and made the grouper spook , but then after a second it came back and swam right in front of me. I shot him right behind the gill plate and a second later he was in the boat. If I had known what was going to happen next I never would have shot that baby.
The next spot was deeper maybe 60 feet but the vis opened up a bit when I hit bottom, like to around 25 feet. I landed in the sand and just laid there, groupers just surrounded me. There must have been a dozen all over 30# a couple looked close to 50 or 60#. I dove again and again surrounded by groupers each time. Bernard shot one or two groupers then he said there was no sport in it and took off his gear and stayed in the boat. I kept diving with Garett and Patrick. We were laughing and wishing we had brought the cameras.
I dove and kept seeing grouper to 50# all over the place. Then finally on one dive to the sand I saw this huge silhouette in the murk. It was a broomtail and it started walking away from me. I lined up and shot it. I could not stop it underwater and fought it from the surface, it fought hard for a bit and then was in the boat. The fish had to weigh around 65-70#. We kept diving and I saw more grouper that were as big as the broomtail if not a little bit bigger. I saw two gulf groupers that were definitely bigger, but I figured I had shot enough. I dove again and again with Garett and Patrick. Garret ended up shooting two groupers around 40-45 pounds. Patrick shot a 20# barred pargo.
When we made it back to the beach the look on Dan’s face was priceless. After some discussion we decided we would come back for the groupers once the wind died down.
While we waited for the wind to die, we tried to do a trip to the islands near La Paz but the wind switched directions while we were out there so we ended up diving the shallow coves again which kind of sucked but was fun anyway. I put the gun down and took some photos which was pretty fun. After shooting that big grouper and diving on the cuberas up north my kill gene was kind of sedated. Garett and Dan shot some decent sized cabrilla groupers to around 20#, some barred pargo and some other odds and ends. I took photos of various sea creatures and then finally at the end I shot a decent barred pargo in a cave which took a bit of effort to get out.
Finally after a day or two the wind died and we loaded up the 4×4 for the trip to the Pacific. When we got to the beach the water looked flat and blue. Without much fanfare we were off. The vis was much better today and the seas were flat. We hit the first shallow spot and I jumped in with the camera , trying to get some good photos of the dozens of 8# cuberas swimming all over. Dan jumped in and smoked a couple barred pargo right off the bat. After a bit of diving shallow we moved out to this one ledge that was pretty ridiculous. I said I wasn’t going to shoot a grouper unless is was way bigger then the one I had already shot. I dove repeatedly with Patrick and just watched groupers mill around in front of me. I saw one broomtail that was a little bigger then the other one I shot but I did not pursue it. I just dove and dove and looked at the fish. I goproed some stuff but the screw that holds it in place gave out and it would not stay where i put it. so I lost patience with it and left it in the boat. Sort of kicking myself for that now. I actually dove for a minute with camera just taking photos of groupers.
Dan and Garett both got groupers to around 60# and Patrick broke down and shot a Broomtail that was around the same size as the one I shot earlier. I shot a little pargo , not sure why, I think he looked at me wrong or something.
All and all the big groupers took almost no skill to shoot. Many times in the past I had seen photos of people with these big groupers and was kind of impressed but now I am not so sure. Either way it was fun and since we had come this far, we decided to give it one more shot. I wanted to get one over 100# and it seemed like the time to do it. So on my last day here we are going to go even further north in search of bigger fish.