Tuesday, November 13, 2012

They Have No Idea What They Caught But They Are Happy About It!

San Antonio angler Joe Estrada tells a story about his catch of a lifetime — the big one that got away — only he didn’t really catch it and it didn’t really get away.
Estrada’s story launches on All Saint’s Day, the morning after Halloween, from the marina in Cabo San Lucas on the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula, Mexico.
“Me and my buddies were on vacation, fishing five days in a row,” said Estrada, owner of Estrada’s Carglass?. His fishing buddies were Greg Graham, a county probation officer, and Wayne Tauer, owner of the BoatShop?. “This was our fourth day. We were catching dorado (mahi-mahi) and tuna.”
This fourth morning was like the first three.
Their boat made it across the bay, around the famous Cabo Arch and about a mile out into the deep blue Pacific Ocean.
“It was about 7:30 in the morning. All the lines were out and we were trolling. Someone said, ‘There’s a big fish over there,’.” Estrada said. “It was floating on the surface, swimming in a circle, then it would dive down, then float back up to the surface.”
The captain and crew of the Dr. Pescado II? eased over to the fish.
Estrada grabbed his camera and started a video.
“Part of its tail was missing, like it had been hit by a marlin,” said Estrada, a Lanier High School graduate and father of three. “We gaffed it and tied it to the boat. It was big.”
The fish was big — 300 pounds big — and very odd looking.

Joe Estrada of San Antonio caughty a 300-pound Louvar off the coast on Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, last week.
What the anglers had come across was a louvar?, a rarely seen pelagic
fish that had not been reported in the waters off Cabo in more than two decades.
The louvar, which feeds on jellyfish, is tuna-shaped, with a rounded forehead, forked tail, small mouth and skin that is variously metallic blue, silvery gray and orange-copper in color.
“We were going to take it back into port and put it on ice,” Estrada said. “But if you go back in, your day is done. You cannot just go in and out of port.”
Not wanting to lose a day on the water, another boat was contacted and the louvar was transferred to it.
That was the last the group saw of the fish.
When the Dr. Pescador II returned to port that afternoon, “All that was left of the fish was a picture,” Estrada said. “That’s all we found, except we found out what it was, a louvar.”
Turns out the louvar are as good to eat as it is rare to catch.
“The guy on the dock said it had been cut up and the filets given away,” Estrada said. “I checked online and that’s when I saw the picture of our fish was all over the world. It was not my fish, it was our fish.”
So how did Estrada’s name become associated with the famous catch?
Technology gets the credit.
“We had a video of what happened. We used my phone to contact the blogs,” he said. “And then the blog editors contacted me back. The video went out. I was the one they talked to.”

Joe Estrada of San Antonio poses with a 300-pound Louvar caught off the coast on Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, last week.
The day was done but not the vacation.
As it turned out, the louvar wasn’t the only big one that got away on this trip.
“On the fifth day, we hooked 250-pound yellowfin tuna, fought it for nearly 3/61/27 hours and lost it at the gaff,” Estrada. “That’s the way it goes sometimes.”
“Yes. I’ll go back to Cabo,” he said. “It was great, but I sure wish I could have brought home some of that louvar.”
Ron Henry Strait is a freelance writer. Email ronhenrystrait@yahoo.com.

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