|Here we are at the beginning of another year…another blank page of beginnings. This one is a bit different if only by designation. A simple calendar miscalculation thousands of years ago left the world short a day every four years. So to correct the mistake an extra day was added to February every fourth year recognized throughout most of the world as "Leap Year."
Ironically, while the reason for adding this extra day to February was to align the human measurement of time more closely with nature, many folks assumed that meddling with the calendar might actually confuse the natural order of nature. For example, a person being born on leap day would allow one to only celebrate their birthday once every four years.
Many myths and traditions associated with the day grew out of this change in the measurement of time including some inane ones, mostly outdated, regarding women being permitted to propose to the man of their choice. However, just like the International press, I choose to select only the traditions that will fit in my article.
One Mexican tradition requires that a person compiles a list or a pile of all the negative items or things one had experienced or acquired in the past year, and then burn these lists/items in a bonfire.
I liked this idea, and it fit. We could begin the new leap year with a blank page, burn (or if you will, substitute the word, ignore) all of last year's Baja issues and enter 2012 with a clean slate. It was working for me…
Then on New Year's day the Mexican Government dropped the immigration bomb, sullying my clean slate with misunderstanding and uncertainty. While most of the new regulations deal with boats' (both sport and private) entry by sea into Mexican waters, delving further, the new regulation may have some impact on boats trailered into Mexico and imported yachts remaining in Baja permanently. The regulations do not clarify the effect this regulation will have on those boats. There is a press conference scheduled for Friday, Jan. 13, which is intended to clear up all the confusion.
Brandon Hayward, WON saltwater editor has done a great job of staying on top of developments regarding the new law and any new developments will be posted on his blog. If you have a vested interest in answers to this new regulation, this is probably the best place to watch for updated information: www.wonews.com
On another note, according to Robin Wade, WON, so far 2012 is delivering some better than average fishing in many parts of Baja.
In spite of seasonal north winds, she reports that Donnie Rea from Ventura just got back from a five day trip to L.A. Bay, where he met his buddy Dave Jenkins and filed this report: “After three great days, we ended up with over 50 yellowtail and around 40 sardinera,” according to Rea.
On Baja's west coast, she also confirmed that in the heart of the Viscaino coastal region that the yellowtail fishing had been extraordinary with larger sized yellowtail in the 40-pound class being reported.
On the mainland side where she also covers the west coast of Mexico the fishing has definitely come in with a roar. Puerto Vallarta is reporting excellent offshore action for yellowfin tuna, billfish and pargo as well as great inshore action for large roosterfish. Farther down the coast at Zihuatanejo good catches of roosters and jacks inshore and double digit sailfish with dorado mixed in have been common.
For all of her updated report visit www.bajafisherman.com where she publishes updated reports frequently.
So is the jump start for fishing in Baja and Mainland Mexico a result of the leap year meddling that might have confused natures natural order? Quién sabe!
While I was researching myths and traditions about Leap Year, I found pages and pages of material on Google from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Another item that did jump out at me that I chose to accept is the belief of some that a person born during a leap year is supposed to have a very lucky life. Turns out that both my wife, Yvonne, and I were both born in a leap year. We have both thought that we have lived charmed lives and were very lucky to have lived them together…and now we know why.
STAN STUTZKA and his buddy Lobo with 42 and 43 pounds of Bahia Asuncion yellowtail.