Ahhhhh Cabo........visions of tequila.......cerveza.......warm breezes.......dorado......tuna.........billfish.....alas, sometimes things do not work out quite as we imagine they should. My wife and I plus 4 other couples recently arrived in town just as tropical store Patricia was pounding the shit out of our hotel with buckets of rain and high winds..........setting the stage for five days of intermittent downpours, closed beaches, boarded up restaurants and gale force winds. The surf was kicking up so high it actually came up over the steps and spilled into the swimming pool at our hotel one night!!!! The port was closed. For several days. No fishing boats. No boats of any kind were allowed to go out. Those of you who have been to Cabo can imagine how weird it was to see NO watercraft of any kind out on the ocean. No fishing boats, no nothing......except the giant cruise ships. Upon Alpinetrout's recommendation, I had pre-booked a flyfishing trip with Baja Anglers. Grant Hartman is super professional and I called him two days before my fishing day to see what was up. As I watched the stormy seas from my hotel balcony, Grant told me the drill: "If they open the port, we fish. No matter how rough, we fish. If they close the port, we have no choice. We are cancelled". My day came, and I woke up at 5:30 AM to sheet lightning, thunder, howling winds that had the palm trees snapped over in 90 degree angles like flexed flyrods and ridiculously high waves pounding the shore. I called the concierge at 5:45 AM..... "Senor Meengo, thee harbor, she ees closed, mang! But we weel see you later for breakfast and your morning Bloody Mary special, of course, jesss?" "of course, jesss.....yes". Shit...........SHIT!!!!!!! Another day of drinking on the balcony and watching the storm. Later on, I popped into Grant's office and they gave me my deposit back in cash. Awesome, more party money! Grant deserves a mention for the professional and quick way he handled the refund process. I will definitely book with him again the next time I'm in town, hopefully with better weather. Then a break came. At 2:30 PM that same day, the weather got nice again. My buddy Mark was staying at a different hotel and he popped down to the marina. My other buddy Jim was bummed out. There is nothing worse than being unable to fish on vacation. Mark called me. "Dude! They just opened the port! And I found a guy who'll take us out in a little panga for a couple hours RIGHT NOW!!! Can you get down here?" I wasn't sure what to think, as I was standing around our pool looking out at the water off Medano Beach. Not one boat was in sight. "Are you serious? ....let's go!" I grabbed a couple flyrods, my gear bag and met Jim at the pool. We jumped in a taxi and went down to meet Mark. We still had not seen one single boat leave port! We met our panga captain, a Mexican pirate named Rafael who has cleaned probably 10 million fish for gringo anglers over the years. I always thought he was some homeless dude who wandered the docks cleaning fish for pesos, so I was surprised to see he would be our skipper for this short 3-hour trip. Ha...good times. Having spent a lot of time on pangas, I pretty much knew what to expect. I brought a beefy 16 wt rod to troll (since you never know what will hit and I wanted to be ready if something with a pointy face ate my fly) but kept my T14 head on it in case we came upon a tuna school and I needed to cast and get deep quickly. I also brought a 10 wt with an intermediate line to cast if the chance presented itself. I sat down and rigged up a pink/blue tuna feather tube fly on the big stick. This color combo has been really productive for me over the years, and if you have ever wanted to troll using a flyrod this would be a good choice for a lure as they are built for high speeds and will track straight with virtually no twist. I also Kreh-looped a 5" gray/white baitfish pattern to the 30 lb tippet on my 10 wt and sat down to have a beer as we left port. My buddies were stuck using the pool cues and crap reels supplied by the panga. These things had not seen grease since they were taken out of the box in 1954........typical panga sticks. I HATE using that crusty old shit! As we got a bit farther out on the Pacific side, I stripped line to let my feathers out in the wake on my big stick and had a savage hit .... This fish fought hard like all dorado and as I got him closer Rafael baited up a meat stick with a live baitfish. Mark had a fish on in 10 seconds. We both were hooked up in the back of the boat..... We wanted a couple mahi for dinner so I told Rafael to go ahead and stick mine. His innate pirateness came out as he swung his gaff like Ryan Howard and inflicted serious brain damage on my fish. Mark added to our upcoming Henry VIII-style feast……….. I then ran up to the bow and started casting my 10 wt while Mark fought and lost his fish. On my first cast, I had a savage hit, strip-struck hard and raised the tip as the enraged dorado took off for Easter Island...... I was able to stick a couple more before the school moved off…………… Unfortunately, Jim was chumming the fish the whole time. This trip came up very unexpectedly and he did not have his patch on......he's a trooper, we asked him if he wanted to go in and he wouldn't let us..........he even mustered a grin and a thumbs-up...what a guy. He did fight one fish for about 5 minutes before Uncle Ralph returned......poor bastard. He rallied later at the dinner table and ate and drank like a man going to the electric chair, just like the rest of us!! We killed a few for dinner and then released another 6 or 7. By now it was time to start heading back to Cabo so I set out my pink feathers again and nailed three of these guys to add to our dinner feast..... After the sierra, Rafael said "Meeengo, you are skipper now, I clean fish" and he set to work filleting our mahi and mackerel while I took over the wheel and enjoyed my 22nd beer of the day. Rafael popped two of our beers for himself as he skinned and steaked our dorado. The man knows his shit..... I would not want to piss him off and end up as chunk bait myself!! This was not a stunt photo…..I took the panga from the Pacific stretch between Pedregal and the notorious lighthouse to the point where you start to turn left around El Arco.....only in Mexico....only in Mexico...would the client steer the boat a fair distance toward port while the guide cleans fish and has a couple of my beers.......:rofl:.....good times. Every fish I caught was taken on these two patterns: The whole crew met up at The Medano that night for a fresh mahi/mackerel dinner that was out of this world. One of the best fresh mahi meals I've ever enjoyed......sashimi, grilled, blackened, deep fried...awesome stuff with several buckets of icy Modelo…… Two days later, everyone decided they wanted another fish dinner. The flyfishing guide had been booked solid for months so we ended up on a small cruiser. The crew knew squat about flyfishing so this would be a trolling-only day. I had a quick talk with Jesus. I told Jesus I wanted to troll with a flyrod. Jesus nodded. Jesus said he liked my pink feather, but he grew to love it when it ended up being the only thing that got ANY strikes the whole day!!! Nothing hit his big rubber skirted trolling jigs...Jesus was pissed. Jesus kept eyeballing my trolling fly with envy. It was weird seeing an envious Jesus. Within 2 minutes I had a tremendous hammering strike as we pulled up the Pacific side a ways out from El Arco and the day was off to a good start. This guy ran and ran and fought like he weighed a hundred pounds. He put a hell of a bend in my 16 wt!!!! I hooked another nice one a half hour later ..... After that a pack of smaller 12 to 15 pounders showed up to keep us entertained. It was awesome. This day was another good one....We caught 7 between us, killed two for dinner and released the rest. The deckhand, Paco, used his gaff in a sort of Guy-Harvey-release-tool-pirate-improv-style...he'd slide the gaff along the line, give it a quick half-wrap, slide it down to the fish's mouth, and then pop it real quick against the hook. The hook came right out every time. Freaky. I had never seen anyone do that before. That night we hooked up again at The Medano for another great fresh fish dinner with our ravenous gang of partying gypsies. Beer, rounds of tequila shots...more beer, great live music, good times..