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Kayak fishing like the Pericú

Southern Baja resort brings back the spirit of early natives

The heart of the Pericú hunting grounds
The heart of the Pericú hunting grounds

As European explorers made their way northward along the eastern Pacific, the natives at the southernmost portion of Baja were the Pericú. The Pericú had little, if any, interaction with other tribes. Their isolation left them no immunity to the diseases that came with Hernan Cortez, and the Pericú were extinct by the early 18th century.

The skulls of the Pericú found in the East Cape region burial sites suggested that they were trans-Pacific immigrants. That the Pericú were one of the few aboriginal groups in the Californias to utilize double-bladed paddles and watercraft somewhat more advanced than the simple tule ‘balsa’ most costal tribes used suggested a long kinship with the sea.

When modern day kayak fishing was in its infancy, anglers paddled plastic sit-on-top kayaks further offshore aiming to be the ‘first’; the first to catch an amberjack, the first to land a wahoo. But I feel modern day offshore kayak anglers share a kinship with the seafaring Pericú. It takes physical ability and love of being on the water to target large gamefish from a vessel that is 60 or so pounds of plastic.

The excitement of the sport has spurred the growth of kayak fishing. One kayak fishing club, East Cape Water Sports, is hosting a tournament in the heart of the Pericú’s hunting grounds; the East Cape of Baja Sur. Hotel Palmas de Cortes, located on the beach in Los Barriles, is hosting the event this Saturday and Sunday. Entry fee is 1,500 pesos (about $78, the top three fish pay 20,000, 6,000 and 3,000 pesos, and here are rental kayaks available at the resort.

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The heart of the Pericú hunting grounds
The heart of the Pericú hunting grounds

As European explorers made their way northward along the eastern Pacific, the natives at the southernmost portion of Baja were the Pericú. The Pericú had little, if any, interaction with other tribes. Their isolation left them no immunity to the diseases that came with Hernan Cortez, and the Pericú were extinct by the early 18th century.

The skulls of the Pericú found in the East Cape region burial sites suggested that they were trans-Pacific immigrants. That the Pericú were one of the few aboriginal groups in the Californias to utilize double-bladed paddles and watercraft somewhat more advanced than the simple tule ‘balsa’ most costal tribes used suggested a long kinship with the sea.

When modern day kayak fishing was in its infancy, anglers paddled plastic sit-on-top kayaks further offshore aiming to be the ‘first’; the first to catch an amberjack, the first to land a wahoo. But I feel modern day offshore kayak anglers share a kinship with the seafaring Pericú. It takes physical ability and love of being on the water to target large gamefish from a vessel that is 60 or so pounds of plastic.

The excitement of the sport has spurred the growth of kayak fishing. One kayak fishing club, East Cape Water Sports, is hosting a tournament in the heart of the Pericú’s hunting grounds; the East Cape of Baja Sur. Hotel Palmas de Cortes, located on the beach in Los Barriles, is hosting the event this Saturday and Sunday. Entry fee is 1,500 pesos (about $78, the top three fish pay 20,000, 6,000 and 3,000 pesos, and here are rental kayaks available at the resort.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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