Oso is one spoiled pup. Since we don’t have a fenced in yard, he has negotiated a three walks a day minimum on his latest canine contract. Every morning he is up with the sun, sometimes as early as five a.m., demanding at least an hour or more traversing one of the nearby beaches. One of my favorite walks is down to Playa Lagartillo for a quick dip at the Sandy beach before turning around to truck on back home.
For most of the mile and a half of beach between home and Lagartillo, there are very few people. Mostly fisherman at the boat “launch” or locals commuting by foot to one place or another. Along the way, Oso has his favorite tide pools, beachside stands of trees, and spots where he likes to eat grass. It’s also a good place for us to collect pieces of sea glass delivered daily with the changing tides.
Playa Lagartillo is a popular spot for the locals to come and throw a line in to catch fish. Most still use the traditional hand line – fishing monofilament wrapped around a carefully chosen piece of wood. A leaden fish shaped lure with feathers or some other type of bait with enough heft to spin overhead and launch out into the surf is most common. More and more, to the consternation of the purists, many younger locals are showing up with fishing poles.
When the sardines are running, they roil up near the shore in seething bait balls. Frenzied fish are leaping out of the water drawing frenzied fishermen who race each other down the beach to present their lure to the hotly feeding fish, mostly jacks and bonito. Whole groups of fishermen sprint to the surging sardines and line up, elbow to elbow. Amazingly, there’s rarely a crossed line or tangled up mess. A fun activity to watch until it’s time to beat the setting sun home after the evening walk.