The Poled Man and the Sea
I am always looking for a new, exciting adventure in Rocky Point and when I was recently asked by my buddy E.B. Baker to go deep sea fishing with two friends, Josh Weiss and Jonathan Kay, I thought what the heck, a half day out on the Sea of Cortez fishing sounds like an awesome time! So we loaded up some beers and munchies and drove down to Old Port. The entrance to start the experience is located on the right hand side as you are heading into Old Port, right next to where the boats are dry docked. I am not the avid fisherman, but I have always enjoyed the sport and the thought of wrestling in some big fish sounded very enticing.
We met up with Mike Garcia, our 71 year old Captain of the Nava II, and in short order we negotiated the trip for just $30 per person and had a tractor pull the panga boat down the ramp and into the sea. Mike is the coolest 71 year old guy who knows everything about the Sea of Cortez, fishing, bait and especially where to drop anchor and ultimately fish. Mike had several fishing poles to choose from and had all the bait ready for us as well. He spoke perfect English and was ready with some tips to get the big ones. Mike grew up in Rocky Point and when asked how he learned English so well, he replied, “from you Americans”. Funny guy!
Mike maneuvered the boat out of the harbor and into the open sea. We headed out past Sandy Beach, past Cholla Bay and were about 9 miles out to sea when Mike began trolling around with his depth finder looking for the shelf where the fish are known to hang out. After about 10 minutes, he seemed satisfied and dropped anchor. So we grabbed a pole which was baited with miscellaneous fish and squid. I was the first to cast my line and bait down to the bottom of the sea which is an easy task as you simply drop the line and let it roll down to the floor of the sea. Now, time for a CERVEZA! Well, that didn’t last long…less than ONE MINUTE into our fishing adventure, I was reeling in something pretty large. A boot perhaps, a Edsel hub cap perhaps? Wow, I was quite stunned as the pole was bending completely in half. After a few minutes of muscle power, I hoisted in the first of what would be a great afternoon for Captain Mike and the crew. My first fish was a trigger fish. I had not heard of this type of fish before and wondered if it was a worthy catch. Mike assured us that they are great- tasting, similar to flounder.
Josh was next to land a fish and EB and Jonathan joined in on the fun shortly after. In addition to the trigger fish, we caught sea bass, grouper and the funny “mother-in-law” fish supposedly aptly named for its very large mouth. Mike informed us that the mother-in-law fish did not taste great, so they were tossed back into the sea supposedly to keep doing what they do best. The sea was calm for the duration of the trip and we even took turns jumping into the sea and swimming around a bit. It was cool to see how buoyant you are in the Sea of Cortez due to its high salt content in Rocky Point’s part of the sea. During the trip, you could always see land, most notably the condo towers along Sandy Beach. On our way back, E.B. manned the outboard engine while Mike cut up the fish and deboned them and made them into filets and put them over ice. What a deal! As of this writing, I have not had the opportunity to try the fish yet but I know I will be darkening E.B.’s door once again with an appetite for our catch!
So, if you are looking for an awesome day with some friends, grab some beers, a cooler and a good spirit and head out for a fantastic day at sea! I promise the fun times will deliver…as they always do right here in Rocky Point. After all, today is the beginning of a new dream. I hope your dreams find you back home soon to the beautiful beaches of Rocky Point! Adios Amigos…see you at the beach! Marco