Cabo 5/21/03 to 5/31/03


John (El Mackerele) Vallon

belated report created 4/2/05


Weather: upper 80's, low 70's night; blue, cloudless skies, little to no wind, afternoon breezes.

Water conditions: 68-72 degrees, blue water once past the green water from Cabo to San Jose.

Catch for 3 days of surf fishing: 3Roosterfish, all over 30-lbs each.


This was my first fishing trip after having the dreaded "heart by-pass" surgery on March 13, 2003. Prior to the trip, my brother and I went to the local soccer fields and practiced our casting. It was really painful for me to cast because my breastbone hadn't healed yet, and I was a little winded just walking out 100 yards to dig the sinker out of the mud. The practicing paid off, though; I was almost back to perfect health for the trip. My surgeon wasn't too happy about my choice to go, but hey, life is short.

We met up with Stephen Jansen and planned on a couple of days of fishing. He had an opening on the 23rd but we would be fishing with a couple of guys from Oregon, he told us. Stephen said they had only been surf fishing once before and that was with Stephen a year ago, so they were sort of inexperienced compared to Louis and I.

May 23, 5:30 AM. Stephen arrives at the hotel to pick us up. He said we will be going to the San Jose area to fish at Punta Gorda. Louis and I have been there many times before. After loading our gear and getting coffee, we headed for the Solmar Suites to pick up Arnie and his friend Greg. These two guys were crack ups. We told countless jokes all the way to the beach - I even heard some new ones! We arrived at Punta Gorda just before sunrise.

While getting our gear set up, I noticed that Arnie and Greg were using the exact same reels that Louis and I have, the Emblem-Z 5500A, which is the Lexus of fishing reels. They both had 11 foot rods to go with the reels. Apparently, they bought all new gear for this trip.

Stephen, Louis, and Greg headed for the rocky point while Arnie and I decided to fish right out in front in the surf. It was an incoming tide with fairly light surf and no wind, so it was easy enough to cast out past the breakers where the roosters usually hang out. On my second cast, I briefly had a small rooster on, but the hook pulled. The smaller fish are tough to hook because their mouth is too small to inhale the whole lure, especially the larger Rangers that I like to use. Arnie was using one of Stephens Cabo Killers that has a smaller treble hook arrangement.

It wasn't more than 5 minutes later, when Arnie got hooked up to an obviously large fish, the way it was pulling drag. I immediately got my XL-1 set up and started filming. Arnies drag was too lose so the fish took a lot of line on the first run. I yelled at the others to come down because when you hook one rooster, there are usually more, as they tend to school up to attack the bait. Arnie was getting back some line now but the fish wasn't showing any signs of giving up. Twice, Arnie got the fish just inside the breakers, only to have it peel off line again heading out to sea. On the third time Arnie got the fish inside the breakers, the fish would just go up and down, parallel to the beach, as if it was playing with Arnie.

Stephen and Greg showed up and we were all eager to get this fish on the beach. Stephen explained that we all needed to get the pictures taken quickly and get the fish released as soon as possible to maximize the chances of the fish's survival.

After about 30 minutes of the fight, the fish finally tired and Arnie was able to get it up to the beach. Arnie yelled at Stephen to go for it. Stephen ran out and grabbed the leader, then leaned over and grabbed the fishes tail and lifted it up out of the water. It was huge! We had no idea the fish was so large. Stephen struggled getting out of the water, and then dropped the fish as it wiggled. Stephen guessed the fish was 40-45 lbs. After getting the lure out, Arnie held the fish up for pictures then quickly released it in an out going wave. They had to bump the fish once, and then it took off and disappeared.

What a morning. I was so glad I was standing right next to Arnie with my video equipment. I new I had some really good footage documenting his first rooster fish - a huge one at that. On the way back to the hotels, Arnie kept trying to give me money for making him a VHS tape, but I refused. I told him that I would put something together just as soon as we got home. Arnie said they were staying a few days longer than us, so I told him he could expect the video at his home before he gets back from Cabo.

The rest of the trip was uneventful, at least from what I can recall at this late date. I did get the movie made and sent it to Arnie and a copy to Greg that arrived the day before they got home. I called Arnie in Oregon, and he was in the middle of watching the video for the third time. He was ecstatic with the results. They got the whole family to show up on the weekend for a barbecue and to watch the video. Everyone enjoyed it. I enjoyed making the movie, and again, I was so grateful just to be there at the right time to capture it for him.

Last fooled with 4/2/05