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CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Gary Graham's Blog



ROAD TREKKER /
WON News Column by Gary Graham

Gary Graham's published credits would fill many pages, two books on saltwater fly fishing, and hundreds of feature articles.

His  current leadership activities in the sportfishing community include: Avalon Tuna Club, member since the 1980s, San Diego Marlin Club, International Game Fish Association (IGFA), Baja California representative; Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF), certified fly casting instructor; Outdoor Writers of California, president; Outdoor Writers of America.

Gary Graham can be reached at: roadtrekker1@gmail.com

Baja, Del Mar-style
If you missed out at the Fred Hall Long Beach Show, many of the same Baja folks – from Ensenada to the tip of Baja – will be in colorful display booths eager to share the latest news about their respective locations.

I will be at the show all four days. Stop by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) booth next to Bill Boyce's booth by the front door and say hello.


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THE DEL MAR SHOW will have its usual Baja flavor at some pretty fun booths, over four days, March 26-29. WON PHOTOS BY GARY GRAHAM

The Mexican Tourism Board will be represented by:


Marina Coral from Ensenada, BCS, MX, Fito Espinoza;


Marina Puerto Los Cabos from San Jose del Cabo, BCS, MX, Enrique Fernandez;


Marina La Paz, BCS, MX, Malcolm Shroyer;


Marina Puerto Escondido, BCS, MX, Enrique Salcedo;


Marina El Cid, Mazatlan, MX, Geronimo Cevallos;


Marina Riviera Nayarit, Nayarit, MX, Rafael Alcantara;


Marina Vallarta and Opequimar, Jalisco, MX, Carlos Verjan.


Secretaria de Pesca y Acuacultura de B.C: http://www.bajacalifornia.gob.mx/portal/gobierno/dependencias/sepesca.jsp


Clark’s Outdoor Sporting Adventures


Clark’s Outdoor Sporting Adventures represents only hand-picked premier lodges in the best destinations in Baja … visited and endorsed by Roy Clark himself. Those include the Van Wormer Resorts and Pueblo Bonita in Los Cabos. Additionally, Clark hosts or co-hosts several tournaments. Visit their booth to learn about their 2015 Events.


Hotel Coral and Marina Discover an exclusive getaway in Baja California at Hotel Coral & Marina, only 75 miles south of San Diego. A 10-minute drive from Baja’s famous wine country, beautiful San Miguel Beach and vibrant downtown Ensenada, it is an oceanfront escape of unparalleled luxury, with Ensenada’s only World-Class Marina boasting 353 slips and shared access to the hotel’s five-star amenities. Cedros Adventures


Cedros Adventures, the first fishing resort established on Cedros Island, was founded by two tuna-spotting pilots, Adrian Ojeda and Tom Greene. Their vision created an American-style resort with attention to detail that has always been at the forefront.


Cedros Adventures offers three pangas modified with center-consoles, flat-surfaced platforms plus a 25-foot Mako center console boat, guided by professional captains with excellent knowledge of the local fishery. Cedros Adventures trips are all-inclusive (excluding gratuities and alcohol).


Cedros Outdoor Adventures


Cedros Outdoor Adventures U.S. Inc. is affiliated with Baja Islands Outfitters of Mexico. They offer the best of Baja with the highest service standards for the safe enjoyment of outdoor adventures.


Guests can enjoy the opportunity of visiting an exotic destination while pursuing a variety of outdoor activities: snorkeling, photography, hiking, mountain biking, animal and bird watching, fishing and eco tours; providing jobs for locals whenever possible, and helping to promote a diversified economy based on sustainable activities.


Cedros Outdoor Adventures offers $50 discounts to those who bring or pay their $600 deposits for the Cedros Island fishing trips of 2015. This is in addition to the $100 off on the regular price that they are offering to those who sign up before March 31. There are a limited number of these discounts.


Hotel Zam-Mar


Zam-Mar Cedros Fishing Destination Adventures can fly an individual traveler and groups to the island and have them fishing the same day. They offer fishing aboard 27- to 30-foot super pangas with lodging in the Hotel Zam-Mar. All meals included.


Rancho Leonero


In this land where mega-hotels with many rooms and much acreage are the benchmark by which hotels are judged, Rancho Leonero is an anomaly with its mere 34 rooms. Each is unique, in character with its own special view of surrounding rugged Baja Desert or shimmering Sea of Cortez; this hotel offers you a taste of Baja that you cannot experience in the hustle and bustle of larger hotels, where you become lost in the numbers. Here you can find your Baja home … a place you can return to year after year where you are treated as family.


Just far enough from Baja's tip inside the Sea of Cortez to offer you much calmer waters with little surf and limitless fishing opportunities that have intrigued visitors for years, Rancho boats target billfish and other offshore exotics. Dorado, roosterfish, sierra, bonito, skipjack and other middleweight species can often be hooked-up within minutes of departure from their pier. Drop by for their show specials.


Van Wormer Properties


Located in the East Cape region of Baja California Sur, and situated on Baja’s world-renowned Sea of Cortez, Hotels Palmas de Cortez, Playa del Sol and Villas de Cortez are known as some of the premier vacation and big game fishing spots in the world that consistently produce huge numbers of blue and striped marlin, sailfish, dorado, wahoo, yellowfin tuna, roosterfish and more.


A private dock is located in front of each resort, providing a quick and convenient way to board and depart on your fishing adventure. If phenomenal fishing, spectacular diving, kayaking, golfing or just relaxing poolside in the sunshine is for you, then you deserve the best the East Cape has to offer, which can be found at the Van Wormer Resorts.


They will be offering show specials that are the lowest rates of the year with up to 20% off on fishing packages. Visit their booth #223 during the show for more information.


Baja Bay of Dreams


Located at the pristine, practically undeveloped Bahia De Los Sueños, 35 miles Southeast of La Paz, B.C.S. They provide the ultimate aquatic-oriented outdoor adventure experience.


Guided by renowned fishermen Mike "Oso" McClune and Captain Adam Cargill, their 31-foot Ocean Master and 30-foot Ocean Runner center consoles with 35-plus-knot cruising speeds will get you to the south end of the island or anywhere else offshore, in minutes.


They also offer kayak rentals and guided kayak fishing excursions. Stand-up paddleboards, ATVs, camping gear and snorkeling equipment are also available to rent.


Accommodations are currently available in Agua Amarga, Las Ventanas and La Paz. Construction of the Baja Bay of Dreams Hotel and Muertos Sportfishing Center will be completed in 2016.


Baja Pirates Fishing Fleet


Baja Pirates boasts not only the largest fleet of owner/operated fishing boats in La Paz, but the only fleet of ALL-American-style fishing boats. They offer three-day to one-month vacations designed to satisfy every family member. Whether you are looking for conventional fishing, fly-fishing, spear fishing, snorkeling, diving, kayaking, golf or day tours in La Paz, Baja Pirates can arrange the perfect vacation package for your entire family.


Tailhunter International


Jonathan and Jill Roldan always draw a crowd looking for a quickie Baja fix to their festive palapa-covered booth. If you haven't visited them at the show before, you are in for a treat. They make it seem more like a party than a fishing show.


If you're looking for a Mexican vacation getaway alone, with someone special, or you just need to feel the warm sand underfoot and a bent rod in your hand, Tailhunter International is your answer. They will be on the main aisle just about in the middle of the middle! In a corner booth!


A few of my favorite things
While standing in the huge hall at the Long Beach Convention Center and Arena the night before the Fred Hall Boat Show’s Wednesday opening, I watch as the forklifts scurry in and out from the loading area through the cluttered aisles while dodging stacked boxes. This chaotic scene continues throughout the night and into the next morning as the rows and rows of over 600 exhibits take shape.

As the opening hour of 1 p.m. creeps closer, the anticipation of the eager exhibitors putting their finishing touches on their respective booths is hard to miss. Outside, a massive crowd of excited attendees form long lines, eagerly waiting for the gates to swing open.


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IT SHOULD BE well worth the wait however as Baermann promises the information in the book is exactly the same as he offers his clients during his 300 guiding days a year.

Finally allowed to enter, they grab one of the thousands of WON-produced official programs – as thick as the L.A. Times – then quickly flood the huge facility, filling the aisles. Like feeding fish pursuing baitballs, the frenzy will ebb and flow over the next five days until the weary exhibitors at last tear down their booths on Sunday night.


"The numbers of the first day’s crowd is definitely up from last year," smiled Terry Goodridge, exhibits manager, Western Outdoor Publications, as he sat near the front door.


In the first few days of the show, I walked the aisles and noted a few of my favorite things including some old and others new.


One of those in the new category was Rich Whitaker’s Bait Wraps. His intriguing motto "Bling to Fling" caught my eye as I walked past his booth. If, like me, you have a bucketful of old iron jigs that swim perfectly – in fact, they swim so well, numbers of fish were convinced they were the real thing and the paint has been chewed off. Well, Rich will refurb those old lures with new wraps in any color combination you like for a very reasonable price. Turnaround time is about six weeks. Just remove the rings and hooks and sand them down before sending to him. He even includes new hooks and rings. Plus, he has new lures for sale as well. Just search his name on Facebook.


foraveryreasonable
FOR A VERY reasonable price. Turnaround time is about six weeks.


Lynn Rose of Lynn Rose Tours has hosted the "East Cape Classic" with the motto "Catch a fish ... leave a legacy" for the past 25 years! She was in the same booth she's been in since the beginning.


Eddie Damalu, Van Wormer Resorts, said it best: “Lynn Rose has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to help the East Cape community. Much of the money raised by her tournaments benefited the town of Los Barriles, going directly to help build a library, parks, and senior centers as well as to purchase school buses and ambulances. For the past eight years, Lynn has also donated funds to the annual t-shirt and shoe “give-away” hosted by Casting 4 Soles in Los Barriles. This event helps over 3,000 people in need each year. The landscape of the East Cape would be much different if not for all the money raised by Lynn Rose and her East Cape Classic.”


Dennis Braid, Braid Products, was another exhibitor who was encouraged by the show’s turnout. "Our wholesale customers are ordering early and in quantity," Braid said. He showed me his newest lure, a Frantic Flyer that pops, darts and swims behind the boat while being trolled at any speed. It creates a great bubble trail, attractive to dorado, billfish and tuna and it can be rigged in a variety of ways … including my personal favorite – in front of a naked ballyhoo.


Additional personal favorites were several books that caught my interest. Some were introduced and another is promised to be out next year.


Captain Mark Wisch, holding court in the Pacific Edge booth, took time to tell me about his new book due to come out before next year's show. Aptly titled "Way Out West," which stemmed from a conversation he had with Mike Callan back in 1984 – an "El Niño" year when the big tuna and marlin were being caught in large numbers. Wisch had missed a trip with Callan and met them as they returned with an impressive catch of the big fish. When he asked Callan where the fish had been caught, Callan replied, "Out west, way out west!” With Wisch's vast bluewater experiences (over nearly four decades in Southern California waters), his newest book should be on your “must-read” list.


Lastly, in the book group is Lee Baermann's Fly Fishing the Surf. His new book of the same name was due to be delivered before the show, but was held up because of a port strike at Long Beach. It should be well worth the wait however as Baermann promises the information in the book is exactly the same as he offers his clients during his 300 guiding days a year.


Those are a few of my favorite things thus far. I still have three more days to walk the aisles and rub shoulders with some of the sport's most knowledgeable captains, crews and anglers … how awesome is that?


Interactive Tagging program deploys first satellite tag in roosterfish
JACO, Costa Rica — "Todd Flanders," the first roosterfish ever tagged with a satellite tag, was tagged last month, traveled 40 miles from the Río Tusubres mouth in Costa Rica to where the tag was retrieved after 15 days.

This history-making, Multi-Species Charter Boat Tagging program, developed over the past two years with the non-profit Gray Fishtag Research, Inc., was announced by Bill Dobbelaer, general manager of Gray Taxidermy, Pompano Beach, Fla.


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BILL DOBBELAER, DAVID Kerstetter and the rest of the crew at Los Sueños, Costa Rica.

The fully interactive tagging program will eventually link about 10,000 world-wide charter boat captains and mates who are currently representing Gray Taxidermy, allowing them to report their customer catches directly to the scientific community for review and study.


The program will be administered by Dr. David Kerstetter, Nova Southeastern University; Prof. Arthur Mariano, University of Miami; and Dr. Mitchell Roffer, Ph.D. Roffer’s Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service and Nova Southeastern University will manage the distribution of the data as it is collected from the field and recorded. Tags, applicators, data cards and support to all professional fishermen involved is available free to ensure an accurate and consistent data collection flow. The intent is to fund the effort through corporate sponsors and donations from interested parties, Dobbelaer said.


An interactive data base is available on their website [see below.] This program is expected to produce instant data for the scientific community and other interested parties.


The interactive program will connect professional fishermen with scientists looking for data, while at the same time introducing anglers catching the fish into the exciting and fascinating world of fish tracking. The program has been designed first and foremost to make conservation fun and interesting. The founders believe this is the only way to make the program work … by taking technology that often produces information that is of little use to the average angler and creating an exciting program on an interactive platform (mobile/web) for fishermen to use world-wide in the future, according to Dobbelaer.


historyinthe
HISTORY IN THE MAKING!!! The first ever Roosterfish Satellite Tagged!!! Jan. 22, 2015

This will allow the sponsors to take part in a program that links professional fishermen and scientists together and that not only provides viable catch and release data providing significant insights into the behavior of the various targeted species, but also produces scientific research on migration patterns, growth rates, size, and weight comparisons.


Four major marinas in Costa Rica are submitting daily data cards through the active customers, while some are logging the data together with their clients to provide near real-time data recovery information with the support system at each of the contributing marinas.


Advisor, Captain Bouncer Smith, Miami, FL is assisting in launching the program in Southeast Florida, while AFTCO, Santa Ana, Calif., has agreed to provide gold aluminum trademarked tag sticks for participants in that area.


“Another team is headed for the southernmost part of the East Coast study in the Cancun/Cozumel area and hopefully all of those areas will be operational within the next 30 days,” said Dobbelaer.


Their plan is to conduct a full study in Costa Rica as well as in Panama and to deploy four more satellite tags in roosterfish at the remaining Research Centers including Tropic Star.


Although Fishtag Research has received commitments from some of the largest manufacturers in the industry including Costa, AFTCO and Moldcraft, they are still seeking ideas on how to fund the completion of the roosterfish study in Costa Rica.


Dobbelaer and his team’s two-year collaborative effort is already making a difference in the International sport fishing community. Barely launched, the organization has assembled an impressive advisory panel of industry leaders – all game-changers in their own right, who recognize potential international possibilities that would combine recreational angling, sportfishing operations, scientists and researchers globally. This information would provide data that could assist world leaders in making the best possible decisions in order to preserve world-wide resources for generations to come.


For more information visit grayfishtagresearch.org





UPDATE: Gray Fishtag Research sees quick results


Quick results are coming in already with some interesting facts on fish movement


BY BILL DOBBELEAR

Special to Western Outdoor News


On Jan. 15, 2015 a team from Zancudo Lodge, one of our Central American Research Centers located about 12 to 14 miles east of Crocodile Bay, caught and tagged a small roosterfish in a place called Punta Blanco. Team member, Robert Eshee, named the fish “Rooster Lane” and released it back into the ocean.


One month later, on the weekend of Feb. 15, Todd Staley, the Manager of Crocodile Bay (another of our Research Centers) in Costa Rica, confirmed that his team caught a small roosterfish approximately five miles north of the Lodge off of Lindor Rock … and it had a pretty green Gray Fishtag in its shoulder! Our Gray Fishtag Research, Inc. tagging feed showed it was the same fish -- caught, named and tagged by Robert Eshee -- after which it had traveled across the bay and ended up five miles north of Crocodile Bay.


The number of fish tags being deployed is gratifying and the information on our website is improving every day, but to have a recovery this early is really special!


It confirms that roosterfish move around quite a bit; that fish was caught, tagged, released, and then migrated and was ready to eat again. It has also shown us that the fishermen are in no way hurting these fish and neither are the tags.


The angler who reported the tag was rewarded with a shiny new pair of Costa sunglasses and the original customer was called and congratulated; ultimately, the fish wins as well!


The team will be returning to Costa Rica next month to delve even deeper into the science.


The model of cooperative marinas/resorts and professional fishermen driving this effort is humbling and demonstrates the power of the cooperative program. The logistics of delivering the data successfully from fishermen to scientists and the real-time interactive support of the charter-boat clients logging their own catch is working. Everyone is delighted with the program and how it has evolved from concept to reality in such a short time.


The quality photos and voluntary videos pouring in are amazing to see. Check out the site as it is updated by the hour. Personally, my favorite part is the live tag feed and photos.


Bill Dobbelaer is general manager of Gray Taxidermy, Pompano Beach, Fla. For more details on the study, see http://grayfishtagresearch.org/fish-tagging-blog/


Grassroots memories
Often as I drive the roads on my many trips and side-trips through Baja, colorful vignettes of events become woven into my Playbook of Baja memories. Last August while at East Cape for the Bisbee ECO tournament, Clicerio Mercado, the Mexican Liaison for the Bisbee’s Tournaments, invited me to ride along with him and his wife, Maria del Carmen Ramirez, to Loreto to attend the final of a series of SEPESCA, BCS being held there -- the final fish-off of the winners of 22 sportfishing tournaments were held throughout Baja Sur during the spring and summer of 2014.

thethirtysix
THE THIRTY-SIX hour whirlwind trip was a treat, providing yet another glimpse of Baja's grassroots, adding more unforgettable memories to my personal Baja Playbook.

We left Los Barriles at zero-dark hundred beneath a larger-than-life full moon which was lighting our way, taking a shortcut to the right in San Antonio allowing us to avoid the winding road through Miraflores as well as the early morning traffic into La Paz, giving us a straight shot through La Paz. Soon we were pulling into El Cien for coffee.


The trip was uneventful until we came upon a massive road construction project. High up on the foothill of Sierra La Giganta Mountains, north of Juncalito just before Tripui at Puerto Escondido, huge yellow bulldozers clung like mountain goats to rock-strewn hills sending monstrous boulders crashing down in billowing clouds of dust. After a short delay, we were on our way, arriving in Loreto in the early afternoon.


After checking in at Oasis Hotel, owned by our friend Ana Gloria Benziger Davis, we headed to the Marina at the other end of the Malecón where a huge stage with banners and blue canopies marked our destination.


This was Sunday — the second day of the fishing tournament for the 120 teams who had qualified in the earlier events. The festive spirit of the families and spectators was contagious as they sought shade from the blistering Baja sun that was now high in the sky. Weary babies snoozed and small children pleaded with their parents for an ice cream treat from the cart with its candy-striped top. The mechanized spits of huge barbeques large enough for a side of beef, squealed irritatingly as they turned slowly over simmering coals.


Teams began to return and the crowd pushed and shoved at the edge of the seawall to steal a glimpse of the catches, flashing thumbs up if the fish was big and shaking their heads in disappointment at others that were too small.


Super pangas jockeyed for a spot to unload their catches or to let one of their team members off carrying a knife and a large chunks of their fresh catch, making a beeline for the table loaded with the necessary ingredients to prepare a batch of cerviche.


All afternoon the teams continued to bring their catches to the scale to confirm first that the fish was a qualifier and then hopefully that it was the largest weighed in. Shouts and catcalls echoed throughout the afternoon as weights were announced over the loudspeaker, roaring when the announcement was finally made that a fish was large enough to take over the lead.


Once the winners of the tournament had been determined, the crowd's attention turned to the tables of specialty food items, painstakingly prepared by the Chefs of local hotels and restaurants. Teams and spectators mingled, greeting old friends and making new acquaintances as they tasted their way down the line of tables sampling the delicious dishes.


Judging of the Chef's entries by local dignitaries followed; taking their places at the judging table, they sampled the entries, where they made their favorites known. Photographers and TV cameramen jostled in the crowd for a clear shot.


Meanwhile Mariachis began playing as the teams and their families and friends gathered at the decorated tables in front of the open-air stage. After more entertainment, the announcement of the tournament winners followed and the party continued into the night.


Once again we were up as the sun rose over the Sea of Cortez in its usual spectacular fashion. Our last stop of the trip was a roadside coffee stop on the main highway. We pulled off the highway alongside a red pickup and a 55-gallon drum with a makeshift grill containing several blackened kettles and a pot.


"I've been stopping here for years," Mercado assured me. "This is some of the best coffee, I've ever tasted in Baja," he commented thrusting a Styrofoam cup of steaming coffee toward me.


“Ah, better than Starbucks,” I agreed as I climbed in the back seat for the ride back to Los Barriles.


‘What Happened?’
September 30th, 1976: Lisa, a Cat 4 Hurricane with 140 mph winds hammered the tip of Baja. Devastation followed. Throughout the state, a variety of death tolls were reported, but officials estimated that 1,000 people had perished … not unlike last year's devastating Hurricane Odile.

Only a few days later in early October, Steve Chism, a gunsmith at Spiegel Gun shop in Oakland, and a few fishing buddies, arrived for his first visit to check out Baja's East Cape.


adecadelater
A DECADE LATER,
you might still find him reading one of his dog-eared paperbacks, or standing at his fence in front of his house on the main road through East Cape smoking a cigarette and watching the world pass him by.

Ray Cannon, another notable visitor, also arrived that week to Rancho Buena Vista to see the effects of Lisa first hand according to Gene Kira. It was one of his last columns for Western Outdoor News.


Liking what he saw, Chism returned repeatedly, before finally relocating to Buena Vista in 1980 to work as boat dispatcher for Jesus "Chuy" Valdez at the Hotel Buenavista Beach Resort (HBBR).


A self-described Sacramento River rat, born in Northern California in the small community of Antioch, Chism grew up in the small community of Port Chicago. He fondly recalls one of his early adventures in a 9-foot inflatable on the river with his nephew.


Departing from the Red Bluff Diversion Dam, their trip was filled with wonder. They drifted all the way to Knights Landing where they encountered some tidal effect forcing them to fire up their small outboard engine for the first time. Their plan had been to take the small boat out to the open ocean beyond the Golden Gate Bridge, but the strong winds and choppy waters caused them to end the fourteen day adventure when they reached Berkeley.


Chism settled easily into his new home 1,500 miles south of the sprawling city of Oakland where the closest thing to a traffic jam was a few skinny cows on the road or later, when he began renting tackle on the beach in front of the hotel, there might be burros blocking the path from the tackle cage to the portable pier at the water's edge.


His daily work routine began by greeting eager anglers, dispensing tackle and advice before they boarded their boat for a day’s fishing. Then after a little tackle repair and maintenance, he would drive his rusty, dusty suburban down one of the dirt roads, snaking off in one direction or another in search of anything that caught his eye – birds and wildlife, old artifacts or maybe even a fossil or three.


onearare
ONE, A RARE Blue-billed Ani, he discovered near the lagoons not far from the actor Scott Glenn’s home overlooking the beach.

Some of the treasures he found ended up on an old warped board held up by a couple of cement blocks at the front of his “office” in the Tackle Cage. After a mid-morning siesta, he might read one of the many used paperback books which he stored in a discarded plastic milk carton along with other dog-eared Bird and Fish ID books.


Latest finds on the old board elicited questions or comments from guests or locals who wandered by to chat. He always began his response with, "What happened …"


His local knowledge of the beaches, back country and arroyos and everything that resided in them grew as the years passed. His discoveries delighted and disappointed him at the same time because he couldn’t bring many of them back to the tackle cage.


One, a rare Blue-billed Ani, he discovered near the lagoons not far from the actor Scott Glenn’s home overlooking the beach. Racing back to his Tackle Cage, he retrieved his Bird I.D. book, and discovered that according to the book, the Blue-billed Ani had never been reported in Baja, just Mainland Mexico.


Each day he excitedly raced to the lagoon and searching with his binoculars he would find the single Ani that remained near the lagoon. Chism shared his discovery with Ann Hazard, whose father, Togo Hazard, brought his family frequently to Hotel Buenavista Beach Resort. During that glorious two weeks, he also invited others to see his bird. When the Blue-billed Ani moved on its memory was etched in Chism's mind forever.


By the late eighties, ATV's had arrived and Chism was the first to offer guided tours to the rugged backcountry, beach and arroyo to the guests of the hotel.


Another colorful Baja character, Jimmy Smith, was an early Baja pioneer and bush pilot with a vast knowledge of Baja lore, history and culture. Chism and Smith became lifelong friends who enjoyed their friendship to the fullest.


When folks asked Chism why they were such good friends, he replied, "I spend every day from early morning to late afternoon talking about fishing with guests. Smith doesn't know, nor does he give a hoot about fishing … making him the perfect companion for me."


Like his river adventure so long before, his days exploring East Cape backcountry were filled with wonder and awe.


When asked, he struggled with which backcountry wonder to describe first:


Beaches littered with small pinkish ribbonfish; huge oarfish as long as his old Suburban; the frequent turtles nests found on the beach. The time Marguerite E. Cascio Polster, a guest at HBBR, caught a 26-pound rainbow runner that Ted Bonney, the legendary manager of Rancho Buena Vista and an IGFA representative, weighed on the kitchen scale — a record that still remains in the record book all these years later.


With the help of the Valdez family, Chism gained Mexican Citizenship. Days turned to months, then years and decades and he was astounded when the time came for him to retire in 2005, forcing him once again to muse, "What happened?"


A decade later, you might still find him reading one of his dog-eared paperbacks, or standing at his fence in front of his house on the main road through East Cape smoking a cigarette and watching the world pass him by. But Chism still finds himself drawn to Baja's backcountry and often you will find him out beating the bushes with a couple of his buddies on ATV's. And that’s “What happened!"


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