By Gene Kira, June 7, 2004, as orginally published in Western Outdoor News:
On May 29, in what just might be one of the more significant Mexican marine conservation stories of the year, Ramón Corral, Mexico’s minister of agriculture and fisheries (SAGARPA), came to Cabo San Lucas, was convinced to go fishing on a cruiser, and (thank God!) his daughter, Ana Lucia, caught a marlin, her first ever.
That anonymous Cabo striper, caught on the Solmar IV with Capt. Mario Arballo, might one day play a significant role in Mexico City, as its land-bound politicians slowly become aware that their country’s beautiful sea life can make money in more ways than being processed for direct human or animal consumption.
But what’s most significant to me about that fleeting, faraway marlin catch is that you can read about it only a few days later in Western Outdoor News, and that remarkable fact is the result of a fast-growing phenomenon I think of simply as “Mexico fishing reports.”
Beginning half a century ago, these reports from Baja and mainland Mexico have arrived by telegram, mail, phone, fax, and today, by email, and as costs have gone down and technology has become more available, we have finally arrived at the point where I can sit at my desk and have a real-time satellite email chat with someone as remote as Beto Lucero at Caleta San Francisquito.
During the last five years or so, this burgeoning flow of fishing information has allowed “Mexico fishing reports” to become an increasingly useful tool for planning trips, helping the sportfishing industry stay alive through shocks such as 9/11, and, in an admittedly still-inchoate way, of helping to get the word out and promote marine conservation in Mexico.
Is some misguided S.O.B. setting a gill net right on the beach at East Cape? Within a few hours, the news shoots out over the internet, sometimes even including photos of his boat. Admittedly, nobody in Mexico City except Profepa gives a damn, but noise is better than silence when it comes to effecting change, and the noise is getting louder each week.
It is truly remarkable how rapidly this e-information traffic has snowballed during just the last few years.
In an old report I compiled in January of 2001, there were 12 reporters represented, and 5 photos. Last week, the original, uncut version of my report contained 85 main reports and sidebars, and a total of 44 photos.
That represents an undeniable trend, an explosion of useful, near real-time information that cannot be ignored, and--after a long period of philosophical musings and soul searchings--I’ve finally decided the time has come to give it due justice.
This week, my Western Outdoor News title changes to Mexico Reports Editor, and I will begin devoting more time to this ever-accelerating flow of on-the-spot news, hopefully making the 3,300-word “weekly fishing report” a better and more current, useful, and valuable trip planning tool.
In a particularly appropriate bit of serendipity, the traditional title of Western Outdoor News Baja Editor, and the historic weekly Western Outdoor News Baja column, will pass to the very able hands Fred and Gloria Jones, icons of the legendary Vagabundos del Mar Boat and Travel Club, which Ray Cannon himself helped establish. Welcome aboard, Fred and Gloria! I’m sure ol’ Ray is smiling.
(Related Mexico articles and reports may be found at Mexfish.com's main Mexico information page. See weekly fishing news, photos, and reports from the major sportfishing vacation areas of Mexico including the Mexico area in "Mexico Fishing News.")