Mummies in Mexico
by Alan Luecke
(Kansas City, MO)
Spotlight Parrot Fish, immature
The annual winter trip with friends to Isla Mujeres, Mexico provided an opportunity for some saltwater keiryu fishing. Like many much anticipated fishing trips my careful planning went out the window almost immediately. I had hoped to split my time between long rods in the surf line and working the pilings on the dock where I caught the barracuda last year. The reality was days of 30+ mph winds, dangerous surf and a nice young woman from the ferry company that informed me there was "no pescar" on the dock.
Plan B-- back to the tide pools. It all worked out. I have a very special honey hole in the rocks that has never let me down. This year was no exception. I caught about twenty fish this trip, all but four were from this eight foot circle of foamy water, including seven species.
This was my first chance to try Mummy Worms in saltwater - they work. I loaded my bait jar with natural, green, pink and red Mummies plus the larger Isome sandworms. There was no hands down winner. Everything caught fish at about the same rate. After the first day I alternated Isome and red Mummies.
Large Isome Sandworms:
-- Messy to travel with (double bag), but effective.
-- Can be cut into small pieces for micros.
--More durable than Mummy Worms, but still get stolen.
--Clean and easy to handle and use.
--All colors effective, but red is highly visible in sight fishing situations.
--Comes apart when cut, difficult to go smaller than size 12 hook.
--Holds up to casting and waves, but can't stand many nibbles.
Before I was banished from the dock, I was really enjoying sight fishing the red Mummies ten to twelve feet deep in the clearwater. When it was micro time I cut a piece of Isome for a little candy on a size 26 Killer Bugger. I'm keeping both baits handy.
Once again the rod of the trip was the Kiyose 33SF. It is a good all around length and the stiff tip handled the BB shot and wind (mostly, kinda , sorta-- there was A LOT of wind).
I had a variety of hooks in my box, but found myself going back to the size 12 Wide-eyed hooks. They held the bait and the fish well. Also, the eye provides some stability in the fingers when threading on bait.
With my fishing restricted by weather and the law I decided to just enjoy catching the fish I'd become familiar with in years past. Much to my surprise I had and excellent new species week.
The week's fish: Horse-eye Jack (new member of the all name team), French Grunt, Tomtate Grunt, Sargent Major, Slippery Dick (current captain of the all name team), a as yet unidentified Mojarra(new), Spotlight Parrot Fish (new) and Bluehead Wrasse(new).
We've made plans for next January. I gotta find a new dock.
Walk softly and carry a long stick. - Teddy Roosevelt (almost)
Tenkara has no strict rules. Enjoy tenkara in your own way.
- Eiji Yamakawa
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin