In Search of Sabalitos in Mexico

Produced and narrated by Joseph Daniel, filmed and edited by Joseph Daniel and Michael Grasseschi, 2011 – The search for any one species of fish can become an obsession with some anglers. This is especially true with tarpon, and a group of guys from Colorado who call themselves the "Tarpoonicators.” Finding new places to fish for the silver king is part of the fun, and when they heard the rumor of a virtually untouched sabalito (baby tarpon) fishery accessed out a sleepy little Mexican fishing village at the northern edge of the Yucatan Peninsula it was too tempting to ignore. It didn't hurt that this incredible estuary was an aquatic bird preserve and virtually untouched by tourism. In fact San Felipe was a welcome return to old Mexico, with a rich culture that would startle and delight.

The Tarpoonicators have been chasing tarpon together for over 30 years, long enough that they've started to bury a few of their own. In Search of Sabalitos bears witness to another burial at sea of one of their favorite members. It's a sad and poignant moment but the group decides the best way to pay homage to their fallen comrade is to "go fishing.” And fishing they go as the baby tarpon action heats up to white hot. But it's not all just sabalitos; the big boys are arriving and suddenly 100-pound+ tarpon are everywhere!