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Casting for the big ones
Peter Kohlsaat
Wednesday, April 23, 1997

San Jose del Cabo, Mexico --

We were after fish as big as Timmy. We had the gaff. The big net. The big line.
"I kept thinking about the rumored Frenchman, who, upon hooking a small marlin in these same waters, was towed 25 miles out to sea, stubbornly refusing to give it up."
The big reels. The big 10-inch lures. The big cooler. And a fish as big as Timmy is a big fish - at least 5’4". The sun had just broken the horizon and unlike the day before, the water was as smooth as the inside of an oyster shell.

With a full tank of gas we pointed the little 14-foot white, aluminum boat towards Mazatlan, opened her up and watched as the shoreline of Los Frailes got smaller and smaller and longer and longer. I kept thinking about the rumored Frenchman, who, upon hooking a small marlin in these same waters, was towed 25 miles out to sea, stubbornly refusing to give it up. Fortunately for him, as the story goes, he came upon a yacht, was invited aboard where he continued the fight, eventually landing it. Don’t know if he ate it or what. Today I was prepared to put myself in position of having to rely on a passing yacht.

We drove around for a couple hours, looking for circling frigate birds or
schools of fish breaking the surface. We saw a whale. We saw a couple of floating coconuts. The sky was the deep blue of a Baja sky. The sun was dangerous. We were having much too good a time for guys not catching fish.

Then we caught fish.

Bingo bango. Two of them. Double hook-up. Black skipjacks. Barriletes. Little guys. Foot and a half long. Look like little tunas. Fight like tuna, powerful strike, boring down, down, displaying a distinctive low-frequency head shake about half-way up. Two fish on the line. Two fish in the net.

According to Neil Kelly and Gene Kira in their Baja Catch, Black skipjack is gruesome table fare; even Gene, who will usually eat any seafood in his path, refuses seconds on this one. They suggest trying to trick the cat into eating it. Then again, the Fishes of the Pacific Coast by Gar Goodson rates the eatin’ as "good." I figure any fish that’s "good" cooked at home is going to be "great" cooked over a campfire.

Fresh barrilete fried in olive oil, butter and garlic, onions, yellow peppers, a bit of dry white wine, sautéed mushrooms, over a bed of basmati rice. An iced bottle of vino blanco. An after-dinner dark rum. A couple Havana cigars. The comet Hale-Bopp filling up the immense northwest sky. According to Kohlsaat’s, Fishing As A Lifestyle, "Barritlete: it doesn’t get any better."

The website of cartoonist Peter Kohlsaat
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Travels with Zelda, OutWest '97
Kent is about fame, one of the most obvious goals society celebrates. Kent has achieved this benchmark by being the lead character in a marginally successful cartoon strip. This has allowed him an amount of marginal fame, just enough to be silly, like so many others.
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Cabo Shore Fishing Report '97
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Nice fish
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Casting for the big ones