01/05/11
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2  .  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
3.    Midges



Those That Know Me Asked For It, So All Of You, Know Me Or Not, Are
Going to Get It - Extreme, X Rated, Hard Core Fishing Tales

A Free Fishing Trip To Cozumel
I've done some pretty stupid things in my lifetime but one of the ones that got to me
the most was a free, all expense paid trip to Mexico. A friend talked me into going to
Cozumel Mexico to coach a local Mexican fishing team during a sailfish tournament.
My South Carolina friend, I'll just call Mr.T, was always trying to arrange fishing trips
for me in order that he could tag along, all expenses paid, of course. He finally
succeeded.

In the 1980's, I wrote several articles for "Sportfishing" magazine on offshore, big
game fishing. That, along with the fact I had 46 instructional videos on the subject,
made me an expert in the eyes of most saltwater anglers. I was constantly getting
invitations to fish with various people from just about all over the World. Mr. T keep
close very close contact on any of those inquires he could find out about. I rarely
took anyone up on the invitations, even though many of them were all expenses
paid. Some of them offered to pay me for my advise, critique, etc. Feeling sorry for
Mr. T,  if I thought he could help any of them out, I would provide him with the
contact information. I called or wrote them and advised I was not able to do
whatever it was they wanted and to let them know Mr. T (or one of my other friends)
would be in touch with them. In this case, Mr. T contacted the person and the results
is what this story is about.

Mr. T called me after he talked to one of these contacts from Texas to advise me
the man was willing to pay a fee for my services and all expenses for both of us to
come to Cozumel Mexico for five days to help his fishing team out during a
tournament. The man owned a major hotel in Cozumel that mostly catered to divers.
His main office was in Houston Texas where he arranged diving trips for people to
stay at his motel, use his dive boats and eat at his restaurant. He was a citizen of
Mexico and a green card Texas businessman.

Mr. T was unable to get anywhere on his own, so he started talking me into going on
the trip. I finally agreed to go based on what Mr. T was telling me without ever
talking to the man from Texas. The only thing I ask Mr. T to do was to make certain
we could video everything and for him, Mr. T, to run the camera. He had done a
very good job of that before on some local fishing trips. I refused to accept any
compensation from the man but I accepted his offer to pay all of our expenses. I
received round trip airline tickets sent via Federal Express for both Mr. T the next
day after agreeing to go.

When we arrived, the man meet us at the airport and took us to his motel to unpack
our luggage. Then he carried us to his home in Cozumel and to show us his fishing
gear. It was stored in a large warehouse or garage type building in hundreds of
large plastic boxes to keep the acorpions and other critters out. I don't think I had
ever seen that much terminal tackle outside of a tackle shop. It took about two hours
for him to show us what turned out to be the same thing everyone else uses.  I think
the purpose was to impress us that he was a serious angler. Then he took us to his
fishing boat to show it off and to introduce us to his three mates. It was a very nice
46 foot Bertram which I was very familiar with.

To get to the main story, everything he furnished, including his motel, restaurant,
rental jeep, and boat was very nice and we anticipated a very good trip. I did notice
not one boat from the United States or any other country other than Mexico had
entered the tournament. It was strictly a Mexican event held each year.

The first day of the three day tournament started out with the owner, who happened
to be his own boat captain, instructing me to rig the baits. I got the three mates
together and showed them how I preferred to rig a ballyhoo for sailfish. It was
exactly the same way they rigged them, so I proceeded to go up on the bridge as we
left Club Nautico de Cozumel Marina. I felt at home because I happened to know the
owner of the marina who also was the President of the Mexican Sportfishing
Association. Although he had a castle there on the island, his home was in Mexico
City.

Right off the bat the man set the stage for the entire trip by asking me why I didn't
rig all the baits. I explained it was the same way his mates did it. I could tell he was
upset that i didn't rig them all for some reason. Later, when he pulled back on the
engines and was ready to start fishing, he told me to put the lines out. I mentioned
that I thought we needed to run about three more miles nearer the Mexican
mainland. He replied to that by informing me that he was the captain and he would
decide where to fish and that my job was to work the deck. So, I tried to cooperate
and went back down and helped the mates set the lines. I thought maybe he knew
something I didn't about where to fish. When we finished, I went back up to try to
explain that the baits were not running right because the boat speed was way to
slow. He fired back telling me again, in more direct terms, that he would handle  the
boat, and I should handle the deck. Then I tired to explain to him that running the
baits correctly required a combination of the two things. He didn't get it.

To shorten the story, the baits ran horrible because he didn't know how to run the
boat. I tried nicely, over and over, to approach it differently and the idiot just always
let me know he was captain and I was head mate. Well, anyone that knows me,
knows that I don't get ordered around by anyone. In other words, we got into it in the
first hour of fishing. When Mr. T started rolling the camera, he told us to put the
camera up and pay attention to the baits. I told Mr. T to continue running the
camera. I also told the "captain" we were waisting time fishing the way we were
fishing and again tried my best to tell him what was wrong. I was beginning to think
the entire deal was that
he wanted to impress the other people in the
tournament with the fact he had two "American" mates
. I noticed that he was
always quick to show them all one of the articles I had written in Sportfishing
magazine that he always had nearby. The entire deal ended in a stall, with me
refusing to follow his orders and him refusing to accept any advice about how to
fish. Handling the boat is a very important part of the entire fishing process. I didn't
desire and wouldn't have run the boat other than to show him how. I just wanted him
to learn how to get the baits to run right. The three mates understood but were
afraid to speak up. They were very nice and helpful but they could only do so much.
We didn't catch a fish the first day when we should of caught as many as five or six.

The second day began with him introducing me to the Governor of Yucatan and the
Governor's daughter who would be fishing with us as a guest. She was a very nice,
21 year old, intelligent, beautiful girl, who was attending college at Southern Cal at
the time. I thought things might improve a little since she was along. The owner even
started the day out by asking me where I though we should run to fish. That was a
huge change. It didn't take long for us to get into it again; however, because he
refused to run the boat the right way again and gave me the same old speech about
he was captain and I was the head mate. I informed him he could do whatever he
pleased, but that we probably wouldn't catch a sailfish. I begin to wonder if he had
ever caught one. I just spent my time talking to the very interesting Governor's
daughter.

To shorten the long story, near the end of the day the guy began to get worried that
we were not going to catch a fish. He was worried about what the Governor might
think. He claimed he was feeling bad and said he would let me run the boat for a
while. He proceeded to go down in the cabin. I set the boat up right in relation to the
seas and adjusted the boat speed while the mates adjusted the baits the right way.
In about an hour he came back up and took over the wheel but didn't change
anything I was doing. I think it was his way of learning what he should be doing
without letting me know. Before I got down to the deck, we had three sailfish in the
baits. One of the mates grabbed a rod (the Mexicans don't have any rules regarding
the fishing) and set the hook on a sailfish. The Governor's daughter got in the
fighting chair and fought the sailfish. When the leader got near the stern, the mates
cut the leader because their boss ordered them to do that. He radioed it in and it
was counted as a caught sailfish for the tournament. She was very disappointed
and begin to complain to him that she wanted her picture made with the fish and
that they had cut it off ten feet from the boat. He didn't like it but he didn't dare say
much to the girl for fear of what she might tell her dad. He just said he was following
tournament rules.

Thirty minutes later, we hooked another very large sailfish. She found it for about
twenty minutes on the heavy #80 tackle. When it got near the boat within leaders
reach, the owner started yelling at the mates to cut it off. I told them not too and I
wired the fish up to the boat. He was yelling at me, actually cursing me, demanding
that I cut the fish off. I was trying to yell back at him and land the fish at the same
time. That wasn't good, turning towards him so he could hear me while wiring a very
green sailfish brought to the boat on heavy tackle. I got the fish up to the stern
without any help from the idiot captain's boat maneuvering, turning back and forth
from the fish to look at him so he could hear me, and the sailfish managed to jam
his/or her bill into my ribs. Blood shot out like I was going to bleed to death. It didn't
go through my ribs into my lung but it stuck between two of them for a few seconds
before popping back out. That isn't a good thing - a flopping sailfish trying to get
back into the water with the bill of the fish wedged between your ribs. The sailfish
was up on top of the coverboard of the stern jumping and it was all I could do to
hold onto it while I had the young lady come over and stand nearby so Mr. T could
get her picture with the fish. Mr. T took got some good video, including the accident,
and three stills of the sailfish. Although it didn't work very well, just before each still
shot, one of the mates would wipe the blood from my chest with a towel so the
picture didn't look gross. I released the sailfish still in very good shape and then just
about passed out from losing blood and what turned out to be one broken rib and
one cracked rib. I still have a scare to show for it.

All the time this was happening, rather than handle the boat right for landing a
sailfish, the captain was yelling and cursing at me for getting the sailfish up for the
lady's picture with her fish. Afterwards, she hugged my neck, helped me with the
bleeding, and cleaned my wound as best she could. That's the one and only time I
have ever been billed and it was due to that idiot. I hurt very bad but still continued
to function until we returned to the dock. She felt it was her fault but I insisted, that's
what we should have done. I sent her copies of the pictures and video about a
month later.

The third and final day I didn't show up for the event. I told Mr. T he could do as he
well pleased but that I was through dealing with the ....well, I can't really repeat what
I said, but you probably have a good idea. Instead of heading to the boat dock, I
headed to the airport where I was able to get them to change my ticket to leave the
island that morning. I had to return through Cancoon rather than directly to Miami
and pay extra above my "Free" ticket to do so, but I was very glad to leave. As soon
as I arrived home, I went straight to the doctor to get the needed shots and to see
just how much damage was done to my ribs. Mr. T stayed for the final day. I don't
know what happened to him. I refused his calls from then on and certainly didn't let
him set up any more fishing trips on my behalf.

Copyright 2010 James Marsh