Cabo trip, February 23, 2014. Let go the first marlin, keep the second. Betsy’s birthday February 28. Likes to get away from the rain. Cabo then later China. Yes. Car rental-horror story. Quote $52 for 6 days. Get to Cabo, shuttle to Payless car rental. All in for $500! For free if you do time share sales pitch. I don’t think so. We shuttle to town $16. Siesta Suites. comfortable, funk. Middle of town. Walk to everything. Crazy lobster for $10 special. 3 lobster tacos, 2 margaritas, 2 tequila shots. More margaritas at Cabo Wabo, too touristy. Dinner at Mi Casa. Carne asada, chicken enchilada. Hand rolled tortillas as we dined. Walk to marina. 1 block. Gauntlet of hawkers. Silver jewelry, toys, hats, time shares . . .
Whale watching. $25 each. We go 2 hrs. 18′ panga. 3 others. See lovers beach, where sea of Cortez meets Pacific Ocean. Then out where 10 other boats congregate. Breaching whales. Follow 2 or 3 whales at a time. Enormous. Boats are small. Whales are everywhere. Something catches my eye near the boat. Tiny fish jumping out of water. Something big streaking beneath. Marlin! Cap turns boat towards it. Throws out hand rigging to drag behind our boat. You will catch a marlin, cap says. But not today.
Cap pitches fishing for Tuesday. Betsy and I have 28′ fishing boat to ourselves with cap and mate. $300, plus $32 for 2 licenses, $15 for bait. Back at the dock 6:30 am. Dinner at Los Bariles, the barrels. Hawker lured us in as we walked by. Place was half full, while others close had long lines. Red snapper steamed. Tomatoes onions peppers, some of the best fish dinner . . . Ever.
Betsy was a trooper. 5:30 alarm. Walk to marina. Hundred plus fishermen clustered at boats. We find our cap. Pay. He is not our cap for this trip. He hands us off to mate Hernandez and cap Angel. 2 seats on back of boat. It’s all ours. We slip out of the harbor. Pass papers to harbor master then stop for live bait. Mate gears up 4 rigs. 3-4″ green and blue squid plugs. 5 minutes. Fish on. 2 fish on. Catch 8 in next hour. Mackerel and yellow tuna. 20″.
Are you ready for the big one. Rigs up 4. 2 on outrigger. 2 in front of us, at back of boat. 12-15″ blue and green squid plugs. 1 yellow. Live bait, 15″ mackerel hooked and held in water box to throw for marlin. 1/2 hour. Fish on! It’s a marlin. It’s a baby. It is 6′ long. Betsy says more like 5. Jumps out of water. Fights in air. 15mins to reel in. Mate brings on board to get hook out. At least 5′ stretched across deck. Beautiful fish. Baby marlin, throw it back. Attempted pic, and back it goes. Save no. 2 my thought. 2 hours later, no fish. Dragging tackle.
Hernandez puts up 3 flags for our catch, the blue marlin flag, T for tag and release, and blue fish on white flag for mackeral. Slipping into bay, Pablo slips up the back of the boat and sticks his head in the live bait box. Pablo the sealion. Pelicans too.
Next day was Todos Santos, artisty craftsy town about a 40 mile trip north on public bus, $15.
Get our obligatory local coffee cups to remember the trip, and back to Cabo on the bus.
Last 2 nights at fancy place, Casa Dorada, on the beach (first pic). Went swimming in the pool, swam up to the bar for drinks. Dinner and breakfast the next morning at a beach front restaurant. Shared a shuttle back to the airport with 3 friends, flying back to Minneapolis, where it had been 30 below. They get to Cabo often. We might be back ourselves. I could not believe I had caught my first marlin.