Jim "Tug" Tuggle
“I didn’t think a fish could possibly jump that high! It looks like it was dropped out of an airplane!” “It’s not a fish, Tug. It’s a dolphin,” my wife Susan smugly corrected me with a smile. “Okay, but you know what I mean. Terry, did you get a picture of that? Please tell me that you did!” Terry Sheely, one of my fishing partners every year at Hotel Palmas de Cortez, had his camera glued to his eye and was feverishly clicking away at the spectacle of dolphins jumping in every direction, some clearing a height of an Olympic pole vaulter. “I think I did,” was Terry’s grinning reply, and then his eye was stuck back on his camera only to be pulled away by the ratcheting click of the drag of his Penn fishing reel. Fish on!
We were on our 12th annual Amigos trip to Hotel Palmas de Cortez in Los Barilles, California Baja Sur, Mexico, where the desert meets the sea, the land of palm trees, sunshine, great hospitality and fish – lots of fish. Every year at this world class fishing paradise has been different for me, and this year it was more of the same: different! It was the year of the tuna. Yellowfin style. Not too big, but just right for our light tackle – if you call thirty pound line light tackle.
Trolling across the blue of the Sea of Cortez, we hadn’t yet hooked up a marlin, but we expected to do just that. Our skipper picked up the mic on the radio, had a conversation with another captain of the resort fishing fleet, and then ordered us to reel up our gear. He had just received word of a school of tuna about a half hour’s run to the east. The marlin gear was stowed, the boat’s diesel roared, and we headed toward the sun. The fishing that soon followed was some of the most exciting of my life.
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