Friday, January 4, 2013

Big Fish at El Rancho

After all of my belly-aching about the hot and humid weather on the coast, it's finally bearable! A few weeks ago, we left Paracho (the guitar-town), and drove about 4 hours down to the coast. It was Scott's birthday, 12/12/12, and we were pleased to find a quiet camping spot right at the surf break, called "The Ranch". There was an old gringo living near the surf spot. He asked us to refrain from telling anybody about our free and peaceful camping spot.  He suggested we tell people it was scary and dangerous.  This is a common thing with most surf spots - everyone wants the waves and camping to themselves. Don't get me wrong, if I felt that this place was special or a huge secret, I would not mention it. But, it's in every surf guidebook and even has it's own entry on the various surf forecast websites.

Scary and dangerous camping at The Ranch

We stayed here for many days/nights, and when the waves were too small to surf, Scott turned into a paddleboard pescadero.  While the fishing boats trolled back and forth just outside of the surf and rocks without catching anything, Scott was able to fish right over the rocks.  On different days, he caught a 20-lb and 25-lb snapper.  We thought the first one was big until the next one.  The big one fed us for 3 days. Bringing in the big one did not come without incident.  He got tossed in the water 3 times, in the waves, and even broke the handle of the fishing pole in the process.

Mexican Barred Snapper and Pacific Dog Snapper (we think!)

In the end, we left this place because the vibe was too negative.  First, there was a brooding Alaskan fisherman who yelled at me because we ran over a hidden, wild watermelon on the public beach front. Then, there was the foul-mouthed family from New York/Florida that thinks their 20-year history of vacationing here gives them special wave privileges.  These guys pretty much ruined it for us.  It's sad that the meanest, most negative people we've encountered in the past 13 months in Mexico have been Americans. They are the real hazards at The Ranch.

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