Our destination was a small town about half-way down the Baja peninsula on the Sea of Cortez. I'd been there before. My companions included several older gentlemen, a few of them friends of my late father, from Los Angeles, New York, and London. Although the trip was a standard affair with saltwater rod and reel from a boat, I took a day to go spearfishing with a group of Italian spearos who were staying in town.
Blue Water Hunting
The Italians--tanned, slim, muscular, shaven-headed--were a friendly lot whose political and cultural sympathies probably coincided with mine. Four of us hired a boat and guide to take us out. A few miles out we stopped at a shark buoy. The captain threw out some chum to attract the fish. Our quarry included dorado (mahi-mahi), tuna, sea bass, sailfish, and marlin. We jumped in, suspended in the blue, in 300 ft. of water. After a few minutes the dorado appeared, darting about us like crazed little freight trains. Our team shot four; I nailed one. This is not my favourite type of spearfishing, because you just sort of hang there in the water, waiting for the prey to appear. It's a very passive way of fishing.
|Mexican reef inhabitants|
Next on our itinerary were the Baja reefs. This is what I'm used to. Stalking, hunting, and nailing the little motherfuckers. We could actually see the bottom--and the fish. May I be direct with you? I hate SCUBA diving. I dislike the restrictions imposed by a wetsuit, weightbelt, and tank. This is why I do not SCUBA dive. It's unnatural. I'm used to using a pair of board shorts, skin-diving fins, and a Hawaiian sling in the Bahamas. That's it. In Baja we dove around the reefs, encountering 15-25' ft deep spots, and nailing prime targets. I shot trigger fish, parrot fish, and small groupers. And more. This was more like it. This was Baja spearfishing at its best. The meat made superb ceviche, which we had prepared for us in one of the restaurants in town.
There's something about skin-diving that I could explain to you, but until you've experienced it you wouldn't understand.