Orca Bait returns to the Sea of Cortez; fish guffaw loudly

barato2

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just got back from another week in Mexico, fishing out of San Carlos, Sonora. The Admiral had to work, so I was solo again. This was going to be another one of the “fishing death camp” expeditions, where we live lean and fish so hard no one wants to go along. Even took the last of the freezer burned fish so I could use it for chum, as I was gonna bottom fish up a storm at night. this will be a long report, so gonna break it up into multiple installments.


here's the rig packed for travel. i even got nearly 24 mpg on fisrt leg of the trip by dropping my cruising speed to about 63.
[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010525.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010525.jpg[/URL][/IMG]

I had great hopes of filling the freezer with grouper, dorado and sierra, but it was not to be. Arrived Sunday May 26

[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010314.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010314.jpg[/URL][/IMG]


and set up the ‘bote for a short foray out of the harbor. Nowadays, I rent a slip at the “dinghy dock” of the marina for 25 pesos (about $2) a day...lets me have 24 hr access to the boat and get out at any tide, plus it has some degree of security. I usually leave the rods and stuff in the boat.....although my friend rags on me about this, I’ve never had anything stolen. My other friend Clint had been riding around with his 5hp outboard just sitting the in the bed of his truck for the last 2 weeks.....

Got a decent sierra, and a few small cudas that I tossed back on initial foray. [URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010321.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010321.jpg[/URL][/IMG]



I stealth camped at the marina for first couple of nights (makes it easy to get onto the water well before first light) but had to move elsewhere due to mosquitoes. Ended up camping at a deserted restaurant on a hill, up high to catch any breezes. [URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010408.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010408.jpg[/URL][/IMG]
artsy still life-ish pic with bougainvillea flower, rubber shark, and coffee, looking out over the estuary FROM MY CAMPING SPOT
[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010406.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010406.jpg[/URL][/IMG]

Cops came by to say “hi” every night, and to ask me nicely for some $ for coffee. Very much not a mordida situation.......no one was threatening anything or suggesting I had to help em, just asking nicely. In fact, before we got to this discussion, they’d reassured me that it was OK to camp there. Between this and the fact that I know these guys make about 50 pesos/day and usually have to buy their own ammo, I had no problem helping em out with 50-60 pesos each night.....plus, I figure encouraging cops to be friendly and alert is a good thing. Compare this with the approach I would have gotten from US cops, since I was technically trespassing.

TO BE CONTINUED.....5 PIC PER POST LIMIT
 

barato2

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Re: Orca Bait returns to the Sea of Cortez; fish guffaw loudly

Seas got really rough for most of week, and the majority of the bigger boats and charter operations stayed home; as my charter boat captain friend put it, “you don’t get much repeat business when their memories are of puking over the rail”. Two days I trolled my nalgas off for only a fish or 2 per day, mostly small bonito. I got one small female dorado of maybe 2#, and a 5 sec hookup on a marlin (I heard the reel screech but fish was off before I could grab rod; took me a moment to grasp the significance of those 2 big sickle shaped fins next to the lure.) Went out with another friend in his 17' Whaler one day; we made it 200 yds out of harbor mouth before he decided seas were too rough. So we returned to the harbor, and i went back out in the portabote. [URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010392.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010392.jpg[/URL][/IMG]

One evening I did hit a nonstop sierra bite just outside the mouth of the bahia; fish in the 3-7 lb range were hitting faster than I could unhook and whack em.....i was trolling 3 rods and had a 4th rigged, so I started rotating rods as needed. I was finally getting bit off a lot, since sierra (as with many species of mackerel) like to attack swivels....wire leaders are no help if they attack where the leader is tied to the line. The next day, I got some tiny black snap swivels and used the black nylon coated AFW 20 lb test wire to make up tie-on leaders for the rest of the week .....this wire ties like it was mono, so I just tied em directly to line with an Albright.[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010362.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010362.jpg[/URL][/IMG]

[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010364.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010364.jpg[/URL][/IMG]

To whatever extent I used to laugh at people who think PBs are flimsy and not good for big water, let me now escalate that to gales of unrestrained guffaws. This thing is SCARY seaworthy, and will take far more than your body will. Yes, you gotta get past being freaked out at the degree the hull flexes. But if I had a dollar for every time I had to just point it straight on into a 6-8' wall of water starting to break above me, and it just rode up and over like a cork, I could fund the next trip south. To avoid coming down hard as I get partially airborne coming off a swell, I find it works well to kick the tiller hard just as your CG hits crest, so the boat angles down the other side instead of launching.....the boat will take the pounding AFAIK, but I can’t. On bad days, it’s far easier to troll at an angle to or across the swells, rather than trying to go directly up or down swell. One time, I had one of those walls of water break over the top of me....every sailor’s nightmare......one a them “oh chit” moments when I looked up and saw there was no way it wasn’t going to break on top of me.....but most of the water actually went over the top of me and I only took maybe 3-4 gallons in the boat. Nothing my handy cutoff-juice-jug bilge pump couldn’t make short work of, although me and everything in the boat were as drenched as if we’d capsized. There’s a reason I don’t take any but the proven-saltwater-durable reels with me in the PB! The latest reports placed the dorado about 10 miles out on a 180 from harbor mouth so I was trolling about 10 miles off; once I got closer to shore on the way in, I usually switched out the squids for minnow plugs in hopes of finding some sierra or other inshore fish.

[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010353.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010353.jpg[/URL][/IMG][URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010388.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010388.jpg[/URL][/IMG]
 

barato2

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Re: Orca Bait returns to the Sea of Cortez; fish guffaw loudly

Here are a few pix of the PB doing her thing in big seas.


[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010391.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010391.jpg[/URL][/IMG]

[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010382.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010382.jpg[/URL][/IMG]



Nose pointed skyward


coming down with a bang![URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010354.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010354.jpg[/URL][/IMG]

Now, where IS that horizon?
[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010373.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010373.jpg[/URL][/IMG]
 

barato2

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Re: Orca Bait returns to the Sea of Cortez; fish guffaw loudly

here's the "bow pointed at the sky" pic
[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010350.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010350.jpg[/URL][/IMG]

[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010377.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010377.jpg[/URL][/IMG]

Saturday 6/1 was going to be my last day of fishing so I really pushed to get going early. I had two 6 gallon tanks of gas mostly full and was on the water well before first light, and trolling by dawn. Fortunately, the wind and big swells had laid down so I had a really nice day to fish.


[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010451.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010451.jpg[/URL][/IMG]Had been wanting to troll out around the island that sits 17 nm from harbor mouth; the island rises straight out of the abyss, and there’s a reef extending southeast from it.....about 450' deep, rising from a bottom in the realm of 1600'....which often is productive for pelagics. [URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010496.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010496.jpg[/URL][/IMG]

All the recent reports had been of “peanut” dorado of no more than 10# so I was rigged and trolling for those (20# test on large baitcasters and Penn #10s, mounted on basically bass sized rods.). My sonar was on the fritz due to too much salt water on the battery contacts, so I just followed the charter fleet out to where they were trolling (which I later learned was 22 miles out). Got my usual collection of strange looks from the guys on 40' sportfishermen.....
 

barato2

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Re: Orca Bait returns to the Sea of Cortez; fish guffaw loudly

A sight that makes every offshore fisherman’s pulse increase.....birds working.

[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010465.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010465.jpg[/URL][/IMG]

[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010470.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010470.jpg[/URL][/IMG]
Found myself the closest boat to several of these frenzies a couple of times, so I trolled around the outer edge. Turned out to be sailfish feeding frenzy, where a pack of them balls up the baitfish and systematically decimates em.......and it was right underneath me. Pretty cool seeing sails all lit up and on the feed.

Bingo! Never heard that reel sing in such a nice soprano tone before......Beverly Sills would be proud [URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010471.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010471.jpg[/URL][/IMG]

Oops....guess this isn’t a peanut dodo. [URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010474.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010474.jpg[/URL][/IMG]

Coming alongside......another “oh chit” moment when I realized I had an angry fish next to the boat that was 2/3 the length of the boat, and I had NO idea how one safely released a billfish. Fortunately the hook fell out just after I grabbed the bill, although it had stayed in place through lots of aerial flailing.[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010472.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010472.jpg[/URL][/IMG]

Right after release.....you can see the eye just below the rail of the boat and the bill off to upper left. I was bit busy to shoot pix until the fish was clear and looked like it would survive. I’d been pretty worried about the latter, since billfish sometimes die after extended fight on light tackle. [URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010473.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010473.jpg[/URL][/IMG]
 

barato2

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Re: Orca Bait returns to the Sea of Cortez; fish guffaw loudly

After this, I continued to troll around the area and had 3 more hookups on sails, but all gave themselves the ?long release?. All told, the various boats out there caught 183 sailfish that day....if there?s better billfishing anywhere in the world, I don?t know where it is. This was not normal bite; people are still talking about it as a day for the record books in terms of #s.

I got a few big skipjack (Mexican black skipjack tuna, loads of fun on light rod but nasty to eat) of 8-10 lbs but nothing I could put in the freezer. Ended up using that all purpose lure, the DPF (dead presidential figure) to catch a kilo of dorado filets already fileted and skinned.....80 pesos. What?s 2.2 lbs of mahi mahi go for at your local fish market?

Here are a few more random pix

sea caves in the end of the point..,..you can actually drive the portabote up INSIDE the larger one 9don't try this with a "real" boat...)[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010310.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010310.jpg[/URL][/IMG]

[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010318.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010318.jpg[/URL][/IMG]

calmer seas [URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010316.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010316.jpg[/URL][/IMG]


[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010344.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010344.jpg[/URL][/IMG]

Window rock....you can also drive a PB through the window at high tide (don't try this in a "real" boat...)
[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010327.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010327.jpg[/URL][/IMG]
 

barato2

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Re: Orca Bait returns to the Sea of Cortez; fish guffaw loudly

lunch one day....2 ceviche tostadas and 3 tacos de camaron plus 2 cokes, <$10.
[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010453.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010453.jpg[/URL][/IMG]


i kept expecting to see gun ports open and cannons appear on this one.....looks like a full time job for 3 people just keeping up with the sanding and varnishing.....but it shore is purty
[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010436.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010436.jpg[/URL][/IMG]

this pic nicely shows how the mountains come right down into the sea, and continue below water surface. the Sea of cortez is a trench between 2 tectonic plates....Baja is on a different plate than Mexico mainland, and the SOC is essentially the continuation of the San Andreas and other various faults in Alta California, and it gets to over 6000' deep

[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010357.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010357.jpg[/URL][/IMG]

[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010360.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010360.jpg[/URL][/IMG]
 

barato2

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Re: Orca Bait returns to the Sea of Cortez; fish guffaw loudly

a few pix of porpoises....if you think watching em surf the bow wave is cool in a "real" boat, you should try it in a 12' PB!
[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010478.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010478.jpg[/URL][/IMG]

Poseidon's Chariot, drawn by his team of dolphins:[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010505.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010505.jpg[/URL][/IMG]

[URL=http://s1221.photobucket.com/user/payasodelmar/media/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010504-1.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd462/payasodelmar/Mexico%20fishing%20trip%20May-June%202013/P1010504-1.jpg[/URL][/IMG]
 

GA_Boater

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Re: Orca Bait returns to the Sea of Cortez; fish guffaw loudly

Somehow I missed this float report, B2. This shows that PBs are real boats, for sure. Heavy seas, sailfish and dolphins pacing the boat. Good stuff and great pics.
 

stepperbill

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Re: Orca Bait returns to the Sea of Cortez; fish guffaw loudly

I'm Surprised you will go into the sea of cortez with a PB. Thats Crazy no insult either. Bravery is the word. I was in the delta when the wind came up and was gettin beat up. You go.

Bill:)
 

barato2

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Re: Orca Bait returns to the Sea of Cortez; fish guffaw loudly

no Q you get beat up, as you would in any 12' skiff. i was eating ibuprofen like candy many eves. but as i said, i think the boat will take more than i can......i've never been worried that i'd get home.
 

stepperbill

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Re: Orca Bait returns to the Sea of Cortez; fish guffaw loudly

no Q you get beat up, as you would in any 12' skiff. i was eating ibuprofen like candy many eves. but as i said, i think the boat will take more than i can......i've never been worried that i'd get home.

Like I said Im not gonna do it as I dont know where ya be located. Have fun
 

stepperbill

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Re: Orca Bait returns to the Sea of Cortez; fish guffaw loudly

Hey Barato arent you worried that the poundings will seperate the hull as its only stapled together?

Billy
 

barato2

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Re: Orca Bait returns to the Sea of Cortez; fish guffaw loudly

yup. that's my main fear, since i know i'll have motive power to get home and that boat literally can't sink (made almost 100% from materials with lower specific gravity than water).for that reason, i stay within a few miles of shore when the water is 75 degrees or below due to hypothermia concerns. this isn't a problem off Sonora, since when the water is that cool, the yellowtail and bonito are in near shore.

but after 5 years of such abuse, none of the staples even appear to have loosened up. i literally keep an eye on the seams when i'm offshore and would start trolling in if i ever saw anything that made me nervous.
 

stepperbill

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Re: Orca Bait returns to the Sea of Cortez; fish guffaw loudly

Yes I think it will hold up. I was beatin the hell out of mine. Runs good with the 9.9. I wondered if you were a sandy puppet at first but a picture is worth a 1000 words and after talkin to ya. I like it. You go. Hey all ya need is 2 - group 27 batterys with 4 high performance Bilge Pumps and a good motor.

Bill
 

barato2

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Re: Orca Bait returns to the Sea of Cortez; fish guffaw loudly

i'm afraid that for the PB, the bilge pumpage will continue to be the cut-down juice jug....works great, no moving parts, and it pumps faster the worse you need to get water out of the boat!

the 18' Starcraft i'm building is getting the grp 27s and 4000gph of pumpage, tho

the good motor......well, that will have to wait. i rebuilt this one, even used new block, a few years ago so i figure it's got a year or 10 yet afore it dies.
 
Joined
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Re: Orca Bait returns to the Sea of Cortez; fish guffaw loudly

Hey B the GF and I was checkin the pics last night again! The GF speak fluent spanish and she say that you sir are "Loco in the Cabasa" Not insult just that she said she aint going out there with you or me. Man when the goin gets tough Barato gets Goin! :laugh:

Jack
 
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