Heather and I just got back from 5 days in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. We did lot's of cool stuff and I'll share pics in the next few days but I wanted to start with 2 of my favorites. I don't have a lot of experience with being out of the country and was really nervous the first time we went to Mexico but I was much more at ease this time (so much so that we actually took a cab into downtown Cabo one night to kick it). The language barrier is a big issue because I don't know much more Spanish than to be able to order a beer or Tequila and ask where the bathroom is. However, on our last night, we walked the beach and finally saw some locals fishing and I had to go check it out.
The deep sea fishing in Cabo is unreal but I really prefer to work when I'm fishing instead of just sitting in a chair drinking beer and waiting for a fish to hit a lure. I enjoy casting and presenting the lure in different ways to trigger a strike and I like covering a lot of water and glassing for fish that are feeding. These guys were using bait which I don't know that I could do but I thought it was cool that we talked about fishing for quite a while and shared many laughs. We did have to use a lot of hand signals to understand one another but they really impressed me. One of the four guys was using a 10 foot surf rod with a spinning reel and either really small crabs or shrimp as bait. During the day you can catch these little crabs as the surf brings them in but you have to be quick because they are super fast and the surf was incredibly violent. Not even locals go into shin deep water because of the undertow. The other 3 guys (including the kid standing next to me) were all fishing by hand. I've never seen anything like it but I totally dug it and I'll do it next time we're down there.
This is what the 3 were using. They made these with large diameter PVC pipe and a wooden dowel. The dowel is screwed in place from the outside of the pipe on each side and then they simply wrap super beefy monofilament around that. They run anywhere form 1 to 3 single hooks with a massive weight on the end. They get as close to the water in between breaks as possible and swing it over their head and heave it out. Then they essentially tight line fish and just feel with one finger. These guys had about a dozen fish (not sure what kind but I believe one was Tilapia) in a bucket anywhere form 14-18 inches. To keep from burning their finger, they have a finger glove for just the index finger that they hold the line with. I grabbed the kids finger to look at it and immediately knew what it was. Part of an inner tube that he cut down the middle and then stapled it so it was tight. Super simple. I was amazed. I use carbon rods and reels with crazy drag reels and this kid was getting it done and feeding his family for multiple days with stuff you could get from Home Depot.
As the sun set, we all sat there talking about fishing. They were curious about where we were from and we wanted to know more about them. This was a tough year for both Heather and myself. In the last few months I've been really down on people but I was really pumped to be able to talk to these guys (and I don't really like talking to people). When I shook their hands and said, "Gracias amigos", it was for more than just letting me check out their gear and pick their brains. Wish we had met earlier in the week. I would have loved to have fished with them.