During the summer of 1971, all of our new friends in Phoenix were excited about Mazatlan, Mexico. At the time a quaint old town (now over 1,000,000 inhabitants) located on the mainland directly across the mouth El Golfo from Cabo San Lucas. Their excitement was because you could catch the Ferrocarril Del Norte (Iron Horse Of The North), ie Train, in Nogales, Mexico, right across the border from Nogales, Arizona. Then a 12 hour, plus or minus, overnight trip deposited the travellers in Mazatlan. Shopping and partying were the “sports” of most, but for me it was the fishing.

At the time, the only charter service was Bill Heimpel Star Fleet, or Flota Mazatlan. They had 26 to 32 foot cabin boats as shown in the background of the photograph. The boats were seaworthy and reliable, the Captains put you on the fish, with only one drawback, you had to keep all fish caught. Those not claimed, including the Sailfish, were given or sold to the locals. My last visit in 1983 was almost all catch and release.

My first trip out with Flota Mazatlan resulted in probably 15 Sails raised, 7 landed and 5 returned to the dock. The Picture shows two of them. I have caught Sails, Dolphin (not Flipper), White Marlin and raised a large Blue Marlin and lost it. I was on a boat that landed a 150 pound Blue. I made 8 trips down and always wanted to try the “small fishing”, but the excellent fare offshore and the fantastic hunting available lured me away.

More to come on Mazatlan!