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Fish Tales


Soaring with the Eagle


John Vallon, "El Mackerale", returns with a review of a new charter outfit in CSL ...


9/26/99, 1:30PM, I'm trolling over the inner and outer Gorda bank while I write this report.

Some of you may recall that last year my brother and I had become good friends with two local brothers. José "Chacho" Bojorquez, one of them, was at the time, captain of a privately owned 33-foot, tournament rigged Blackfin, the Curandero III. We fished this boat twice last year, including the Goldcup tournament. On my last trip to Cabo this past July, I ran into Chacho and he told me the boat had been sold and that the new owners were going to keep him on as captain. Over the past month or two, I have been in contact with one of the new owners, and we too have become sort of cyber-fishing buddies. James Lee really enjoys reading my fishing reports and thought it would helpful for his new charter business, Ocean Lure Sportfishing, if I would go fishing on their boat, as a guest, and do a report of the trip. The following is that report:

9/24/99 We get to the Eagle I the day before to get our gear stowed and to discuss the next two days of fishing with Chacho and meet his mate, Tony. The first thing that I noticed was the new name was on, and "Capt. Chacho" was added, in large black letters, to both sides of the flying bridge. Chacho is very proud of his boat and the new owners are lucky to have such a talented and well-known captain on the team Ocean Lure. "Everything is ready", Chacho tells us. "All the fishing equipment is new", he adds, as he shows us all the new "heavy stuff". The boat is equipped with all new two-speed Penn's and Tiagra's, with bent butts on everything over 80-pound class. Chacho also pointed to the new tuna tubes that he recently installed (the former owner took the old ones with him). I guess Chacho's wife has been helping out with the renovation also, as there's quite a bit of lace-stuff in the bathroom, sort of a Women's touch. I gave Chacho a bad time for that! Chacho brought out his lure collection and showed us the new ones. All totaled, I guess Chacho had around 50 of his favorites, including the new ones. It was decided that we would meet at 6:00 AM so that we could get to the Gorda Banks just before sunrise. Chacho said that there had been reports of widespread green and colder water, but the banks were reported as having warmer blue water. As part of the deal, we were going to supply are own lunches, drinks and ice, although on a regular charter this is all supplied. We told Chacho that we would pick up burritos at Rubens in the morning, and he said he would have his wife make up some of our favorite fish tacos to share with us.

9/25/99, weather conditions: Temperatures mid 70's at daybreak, middle to upper 90's afternoon, water 82.5 degrees, winds calm, light breeze in afternoon.

We arrive on time to find the Eagle I all ready to go. The cockpit looked like Melton International's tackle store! Chacho's killer spread consisted of 2 Penn 130's on the flat lines, 4 Tiagra's 80 wides on the short and long riggers, and a Penn 50STW on the stinger, all matched to custom rods. Finally we had two Penn 20's ready for pitch bait with several Penn 30STW's in the rocket launchers. Almost every rod holder had a rod in it. The lures were laid out, terminal tackle readily available in the cockpit compartments, and the bait tank was full of bait. In no time we were underway. After clearing with the Port Captain, the Eagle I cruised comfortably at 19 knots, reaching the edge of the outer Gorda bank, as planned, a few minutes before sunrise and under a full moon. Chacho likes to put the lures out at the 900-ft spot, which is just west of the high point, then troll towards the bank. We trolled easterly for about an hour before we reached the high spot. No more than 10 minutes of getting there, the left long-rigger popped and the new 80-wide Tiagra sounded off. This rod had one of the new lures, a Zuker 5.5 ZM Tiger. The giant blue came from the north, hit the lure, then greyhounds right through the rest of the pattern. We had 6 lines in the pattern so we were all busy bringing in lines. Fighting the fish from the rod holder, I started to wind in the rod next to me. As soon as all the lines were cleared, I moved the rod from the holder to the chair, while Chacho backed down on the fish. Tony positioned the gimbal while I carefully put the butt into it, stepped over the rod and sat down and started the fight. The fish looked big when it greyhounded, but nowhere near as big as the grander I had tangled with last month in Madeira. The fish had pulled off about 250 yards during its first run. The 80 wide had 100-lb test line, along with the 300-lb test leader on the lure. We got the leader in 16 minutes, but not before a few quick jumps at the boat. Tony did a great job leadering this very hot fish. We tagged the estimated 360-pound blue and released her unharmed. We were underway again by 10:35 AM. There were few boats at the banks. We saw some of them occasionally hooked up on small tunas, but we were after blues and didn't change our lures. Chacho tried real hard to put us into another marlin but the fish just weren't around. We changed lures several times and covered nearly 75 miles before calling it quits. It was a long day, but it beats any day at the office.

9/26/99, weather conditions: Same as yesterday except the wind was blowing moderately at 10-12 knots out of the northwest at daybreak.

Today, Chacho told us he wanted to target the Santa Maria Canyon in an area that has a high spot of 1200 feet and a steep drop-off to 4500 feet on the northeast side. Chacho showed me on the chart the area he was talking about. Chacho knows the structure in Cabo well and when to fish it. We headed out on a course of 110 degrees for 11 miles before putting the lures out. The water was very dirty and cold all the way from the marina, but had cleared up quite a bit when we arrived. The water temperature was still a bit cool at 79 degrees. We zigzagged the canyon, passing back and forth over the steep drop-off. After about an hour of trolling, Chacho suggested that we head back to the 900-foot spot and troll to the outer Gorda bank just as we did yesterday. So at 8:15 we brought in the lures and headed northeast. We arrived at 9:40AM and put the lures out. The water was much clearer and warmer here as it was yesterday. In no time we had the stinger pop and Louis battled a huge wahoo for 5 minutes before it cut through the 300-pound test leader. We reached the outer Gorda bank by 11:00AM and 15 minutes later Louis boats a small dorado weighing about 12 pounds. I asked Chacho if we could troll the dorado for a marlin. Both Chacho and Tony were a little puzzled, but agreed. We brought in all the rods and rigged the dorado on a 12/0 circle hook tied to one of the 130's. After we got the dorado positioned, Chacho put a live bait on the 30SW and dropped it back. It was immediately hit. Louis was still up, so he took the rod from Chacho. Line was peeling off while we brought in the dorado and put it in the tuna tube. I started to run the video waiting for a jump. Nothing happens. 20 minutes goes by, and still no clue. Chacho then suggests we have a shark. He was right, as the brown shark (species unknown to me) appears. Chacho and Tony wrestle the hook out of the shark and release it. By 11:35 AM we continue slow trolling the dorado and live bait. Just short of an hour later, we get another bite on the live bait. Louis again takes the rod from Chacho (sharks don't count towards a turn) and we pull the dorado in again. As before, the fish didn't jump and it turned out to be another shark. But this time, as we got the shark in close to the boat, we could see at least 4 other sharks around the boat. We continued to troll between the two high spots until 3:00 PM when we told Chacho to call it a day. That's quite a switch! Normally the captain tells the customer when it's time to bring in the lines and head back. Chacho and Tony worked hard for us and really wanted my brother to share in a marlin bite. Next time will be Louis's turn, Chacho promised us.

It was a pleasure to fish with Chacho again and on the new Eagle I. Tony is young, but he is one of the best mates that I have come across while fishing Cabo for the past 5 years. He speaks excellent English, has a great sense of humor, has the eyes of an Eagle, and will do whatever you ask, even if it is wrong. The new owners have gone through a lot to bring the fishing equipment up to tournament standards. When my brother and I fished the Goldcup last year, we had to bring our own array of Penn 2-speeds and custom rods. This will clearly be no longer necessary. We didn't even have to use our own billfish tags, Chacho had his own and gave us the card to fill out and mail in to the billfish foundation. I can't say enough about Chacho. If he really is 66 years old, as he says he is, he is in a lot better shape than I was when I was in my 40's. The next time you are in Cabo, stop by slip C12 and look at the Eagle I and chat with Chacho, then you decide.

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