Feeds:
Posts
Comments
AIRPORT TESTING SITE

UPDATING COVID TESTING IN MEXICO

Originally Published the Week of Feb. 24, 2021 in Western Outdoor Publications

Since the new CDC rules went into effect about a month ago last January, Mexico has been doing it’s best to help international travelers comply.

In case you hadn’t heard, the new CDC rules went into effect January 26th.  It requires all international travelers flying into or back to the United States to show a negative Covid test result that was administered less than 72 hours prior to travel.

This only applies to airline passengers. It does not apply to boats, cars or other means of travel coming into the U.S.

You are not required to quarantine upon returning to the U.S.

You do not have to show a negative Covid test before entering Mexico.  You are not required to quarantine once you get to Mexico.

Even if you have been vaccinated or have had Covid, you must still show a negative test or have a medical waiver.

If you fly both in and out of a Mexican Airport like Tijuana, the test is not required.  That is a domestic flight and only international flights have the mandate.

With tourism such an essential part of the Mexican and Baja economy, and vital to recovery after Covid lockdowns were eased, there has been a mad dash get-up-to-speed for travelers. 

Mexico can ill-afford to deter or impede further travel.  So, the aim has been to make it as convenient and economical as possible to obtain the test.

According to the respective tourism boards, all of the hotels and timeshares in Cabo San Lucas have erected facilities or provide testing as a service to their guests. Costs appear to be minimal and many hotels are offering it free so check with your hotel.

As well, there are numerous laboratories now offering the service as well as all local hospitals.

At this time, the following destination airports have facilities:

Aguascalientes

Acapulco

Chuahua

Culiacan

Durango

Guadaljara

Hermosillo

La Paz

Leon

Los Cabos (Cabo San Lucas)

Los Mochis

Mazatlan

Mexicali

Mexico City

Monterrey

Morelia

Puerta Vallarta

San Luis Potosi

Tijuana

Tampico

Torreon

Zacatecas

Ixtapa/Zihuatenejo

Los-Cabos-Airport-Departures-Board-Plane-11

The basic antigen test takes about 15 minutes.  Cost varies at the airports about $25-65 dollars and results are provided in about an hour.

Airports are recommending giving yourself extra time to allow for this.  It’s first-come-first-served.  The airports are also open to walk-in visits from the general public.

Several airlines are also in discussion about erecting their own facilities and also developing apps so test results can be uploaded quickly.

Having spoken to several folks who have returned from Mexico travel, I’m told it’s the test where your nasal passages are swabbed.  Intrusive and uncomfortable, but not painful and it’s over quickly.

The persons I spoke to paid $40-65 dollars for the test.  Several got the tests prior to leaving.  Several got the tests at the airport.  Not surprisingly, private labs are more expensive.

Two of the travelers that I spoke to inquired at their respective hotels and said the staff wasn’t sure about the tests.  So, they went to an outside lab located not far from the hotel.  In both cases, later they found out from management that testing was available. 

So, I guess it depends who you ask.

Take note that smaller cities, such as La Paz which have a smaller tourist base and lower hotel occupancy than say, Puerto Vallarta or Cabo San Lucas, do not offer testing at hotels. 

As one official mentioned, certain cities just do not have the huge influx of  international travelers like other cities.  With hotel occupancy only at 10-30% in those smaller cities, it’s not economically feasible to have testing facilities at those hotels.

Nevertheless, it sounds like it’s coming together with little bumps here and there.

Easter Week and Spring Break are just a few months off.  These are the biggest travel period of the year in Mexico.  Contrary to popular thought, it’s not Thanksgiving or even Christmas.  

During Spring Break and Easter, Mexicans visiting relatives in the U.S. or vice versa as well as regular spring vacationers normally flood in and out of Mexico.

Not surprisingly, numbers will probably be somewhat subdued this year compared to other years, but nevertheless, Mexico will have to be ready for the influx.   Easter is the first week of April this year.

As we get closer, I have to think things will only get easier, more convenient and more economical. 

That’s my story!

signature June '18 two 1
______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

Website:

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942
Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

What Were THEY Thinking?

What Were THEY Thinking?

Originally Published the Week of Feb. 8, 2009 in Western Outoor Publications

I try not to be.

         But, I’m as guilty as anyone.

         And sometimes, I really just need to smack myself in the mouth and tell myself to shut up.

         If you live in Mexico or have visited Mexico, I would challenge almost anyone to deny it. 

Who hasn’t caught saying, “What were THEY thinking?” as it applies to things in Mexico.

         If you walk around, drive around, venture around, you see things.  You notice things and you may not say it out-loud, but I bet you’ve thought those exact words. 

         C’mon, admit it.

         You look at how a road is built in Mexico and you say it.

         You look at how a building is constructed and you say it.

         You notice how electrical wires are done.   Don’t even get me started on plumbing.

         Why did my waiter act like that?

         Why are stop signs and street lights like that?

         Why are the kids dressed like that?

         Doesn’t anyone look before they cross the street?

         Does anyone actually stop at stop signs?

         How can they eat like that?

          I can’t believe they are driving that!

         Why don’t they clean that all up?

         They are doing it all wrong.

         They all drive like idiots.

         And there’s that word.  “THEY.”

         Maybe it’s not directed at any one person, but it’s certainly applied to the general collective. 

         We may not mean anything personal by it, but I hear it all the time. I’m sure “THEY” hear it all the time.   This is especially true because we are in the tourism industry. 

         It’s easy to laugh.  It’s easy to shake our heads and grin or smirk.  It’s easy to think we could have done it better or more logical. Yea, we have it all solved.

 And I have to catch myself and stop all the time. 

         I try to imagine what we sound like.  I know how I’d feel if someone was always correcting me and telling me I could have done things differently or better.

         I know we must sound smug and arrogant and entitled.  Frankly, like a jerk.  Even if I’m not speaking with any condescension, I’d sound like a butthead… an A—hat.  And I’m sure I do.

         I deal with employees and associates, neighbors, and amigos every day.  And it’s so easy to blurt something out.  By my way of thinking,  it’s so obvious that something could have been done better.

Isn’t it obvious to any of YOU?  How can I be the only one that sees what’s wrong here?

         “Look what some idiot did.”  Hehehehe…don’t you guys agree?

         Or, “C’mon, Man. Why did YOU do it like that?”

         Yea, I’m sure they must think I’m a jerk.

         They smile and nod, but I can’t help thinking that I’m talking like another self-centered myopic American.

         It’s easy to condescend when we come from a country where there is a different culture.  Where the lowest U.S. educational level is still probably higher than the normal level of education is in Mexico. 

We’ve been exposed to more.  We’ve experienced more.  We toss $20 bills around not realizing that $20 is two or three days wages in Mexico.

         A country of plenty for most.  Compared to Mexico still struggling to handle the basics like water and electricity and transportation.

         We are often on vacation.  “THEY” are working.  No such thing as vacation.

         When I catch myself, I try to remind myself to applaud instead. 

         Most of my friends, employees and amigos are doing the best they can.  They make do with less than I do with more.  And, they appreciate it more.

         All things being equal, I know I could not have done better. 

They do a pretty good job of making the best with what they have and accomplish more day-to-day, than I do with my resources and opportunities.

         I don’t worry about how to get from place-to-place.

         I got food in the frig.

         I’m not living off Cup ‘o’ Noodles.

         If I run out’ve gas, I go get some.  I need some meat, I go get some at the store.

         I don’t worry about clean clothes.  Or how to stretch 10 pesos in my pocket to get through the next few days.

         If I get sick and need to lie on the couch, I can do that.  I have a couch. I can get to a doctor if I have to.

         I can take a day off work and not worry about losing my job or not having food for the family.

         My kids are healthy and have work.

         Even in these Covid days, I’m supposed to keep low, but I CAN leave if I want to.  I can go places.  I have choices.

         I don’t have 6 others living with me in two rooms.

         “THEY” have a lot going on and I have to catch myself and remember where I am and who I am.

That’s my story

signature June '18 two 1

Jonathan

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

Website:

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942
Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

MINE’S SO BIG

MINE’S SO BIG

Originally Published the Week of Jan. 20, 2021 in Western Outdoor Publications

 

Last week down here it was hard to believe it was the sunny Baja they project on all the tourism ads.

         Dang…It was 39 degrees one morning.  It was 36 degress another.  Frost on roofs and my car windshield.

         I found myself fumbling in our old ’92 Honda looking for the defroster and heater.  I had never used them and once I found them, I crossed my fingers hoping they worked. 

         Dust blew out, but thankfully, the heat came on.

         When it wasn’t cold it was windy.  Really windy.  And other days, it was both COLD and WINDY.

         It was just as well that we didn’t have anyone fishing.

         One later afternoon thankfully warmer than the morning, a group of local gringo fishermen came by our restaurant for some happy-hour beers and watch the sunset over the bay.

         I was able to sit a spell and join them.  As invariably happens with old fishermen like us, the talk turned to fishing.

         Smack talk and good laughs over some eyebrow raising tales and others that were genuinely interesting as the guys “alpha-dogged” each other with their stories.

         “The fish was the biggest…”

       “That trip was the best…” 

      “Well, let me tell you. You should have seen the time when I…

         I had a few of my own as well.  It’s a guy thing. You get the idea.  We are still the descendants of the hunter-gatherers who lived in caves and shared stories around the campfire.

         However, as the beer consumption increased and the sunlight diminished, the tenor of the stories changed. 

         More reflective.  More instrospective.  A different kind of bragging if you will.

         Guys would stare blankly at beer bottles and sotto voce talk about other deeper experiences.  It was almost like they were thinking out loud.  Almost more to themselves than their buddies.

asian-young-man-in-lonely-and-depressed-action-and-royalty-free-image-1026339258-1556566226

         There were pauses in the story-telling as they gathered thoughts or dredged up memories.  Or attempted to articulate how profoundly they had been affected.

         Think Captain Ahab, gripping his mug of grog… staring into the candle-flame… and talking about the “Great White Whale.”  The beast that not only eluded and endured his sharp harpoons, but turned the tables.

         It went on the attack smashing boats and fragile men into kindling and burning itself into Ahab’s tortured psyche.

         Or Hemingway’s old Santiago.  The old man who suddenly beholds an almost mythical fish on the end of his line and knows it’s the fish of his lifetime.

         “Man…I’ve never seen a fish do what this fish did…”

         “I couldn’t believe the power…”

         “I’m not sure what else I could have done.  Was it me?  Was it the gear?”

         “That was a fish that just wasn’t meant to be caught…”

         “We only got a glimpse of the fish and all of our mouths dropped…”

         I have never forgotten what Michael Jordan said about winning and losing. 

         To paraphrase, he said, “I’ve won many a game with a last second shot.  But, the ones I remember the most are the times my last-second shot missed. Those are the ones I never forget.  Those are the ones I lose sleep over.”

         If you fish long enough and fish enough, I think every fisherman has a fish or two they would like to have back.   It’s the fish that you wonder what you could have done differently.

         It might be decades old, but the memory is as vivid and as real as if it was yesterday.  And you will never have that moment again.

         It’s not like a fish ever comes back and says, “Let’s do two-outta-three!”

         If you haven’t fished much, you probably would never understand that connection. 

         You put bait on the line.  You put it in the water.  You get a bite.  You turn the handle of the reel and bring up the fish.  You take a picture.  What’s the big deal?

         In reality, we don’t catch every fish we hook. Fishing isn’t like that.

      Some get away and that’s the nature of the sport.  But every now and then, if you’re lucky, you hook that one fish you never forget and will always remember that it got away.

         And, in the end, fish come and go, but it’s the memories that stay with us.  And that’s really why we fish.  That’s what we have at the end of the day.

         Memories.

         It allows you to sit at the big boy table with no boring stories.  And a beer.

         And hopefully a sunset at the end of your fishing days.

     

That’s my story

 

Jonathan   

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________




Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International


Website:

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico


U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942


Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

LA NINA – The Little Girl Is Back for 2021?

Originally published the Week of Jan. 16, 2021 in Western Outdoor Publications

 

As many anglers who missed the 2020 season gear up to or are considering a return to fish Baja waters in 2021, there might be some insight in what to expect. 

         Will the tuna bite?  Will it be a big year of big dorado?  Where should I go for wahoo?  Is this a good year to chase marlin or big snapper?

         As one angler told me recently, “I don’t care what’s biting.  I just need to get out.  I need to be on the water!”

         That probably reflects the sentiments of many anglers suffering months of “covid fatigue” who desperately need a change of scenery from four-walls and relative levels of isolation. 

         It’s certainly indicative of the number of Americans booking to Mexico these days where tourism is surging and airlines are trying to keep up with the demand.

         Even though you might not really care what you catch, it’s still not a bad idea to have some inkling of what might be in store. 

            Personally, it DOES make a difference!  I like knowing if I have to prepare yoke up for a battle with a gorilla tuna or will it be a light-tackle grinner with school-sized dorado. 

            There’s never any guarantees when it comes to fishing, but like they say, “knowledge is power.”  And I like having as much of an edge as possible.

           I think we might be in for a really nice year of fishing.  I say that with a whisper so as not to jinx the whole thing.  Lord knows we can all use some positivity these days.

         However, if the scientists are to be believed, it looks like we’re in a “La Nina” cycle that will probably be with us through the spring.  They seem to think that’s a harbinger of good things.

         We had an El Nino season several years ago that was a disappointment for all intents and purposes.  It stunk as it was marked either with the lack of fish or by smaller fish caused by excessive warm ocean currents.

         During an El Nino, waters stay relatively warm.  That initially sounds good.  However, in effect, the colder deep waters don’t rise.  That’s not so good.

         In a nutshell, cold deep waters bring nutrients to the surface. 

         Nutrients feed the baitfish.  Baitfish feed the big fish. 

         No cool deep waters ultimately means a slack season. 

         Arguably during last El Nino several years ago, there was a marked absence of  the precious baitfish.  Consequently, there was a direct effect on the quality and quantity of sportfish.    Indeed, many of the sportfish that were caught were severely undersized from lack of a food source.

         I remember here in La Paz.  We had all the dorado we wanted all season. That is, if you liked catching 12-inch dorado all year!  It was like fishing for trout.

         With La Nina, the reverse is hypothetically true.

         Cooler waters will prevail early this year.  In the meantime,  warmer currents will blow towards the western Pacific bringing a heavy rainy season to Asian side of the Pacific Ocean.  

       Regretfully, that will conversely mean that eastern Pacific will experience a dry season.  Bad news for western U.S. states already beset by drought conditions and too many years of devastating fires. 

         But, for fishing, it could be an exciting year. 

         Baitstocks already seem to be up.  Mexican sardinia, anchovetas, caballitos, mackerel and others are evident. 

         This early in the year, it’s difficult to tell if the current Baja catches are left-over from last season or a vanguard of what we can expect for the coming year.  But there’s reason to be optimistic. 

It’s winter and yet, marlin, dorado, tuna, and wahoo are showing up in the catches along with dorado.

         Either the food source is keeping them here or the food source is bringing the sportfish in early.  Personally, I think it’s the former.  However for us anglers, the end result gives us something to hopefully look forward to.  

That’s my story!

signature June '18 two 1

Jonathan

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________




Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International


Website:

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico


U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942


Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

FIRST TIMER FAQ

FIRST TIMER FAQ

Originally Published the Week of Jan. 5, 2021 in Western Outdoor Publications

Tourist with thumb up

Anyone who is in the travel industry has endured quite a year.  We have run our fishing operation in La Paz now for over 25 years. 

Being in Mexico, with it’s pre-existing stereotypes didn’t help much either.  Having Covid restrictions was just a dog-pile on top none of us needed.

Our operation is fairly large, but ultimately, we’re a mom-and-pop business.  It’s just me and my wife, Jilly.  We wear a lot of hats.  Some of them at the same time.

I will readily admit, Jilly is the brains of the operation.  After working with me all these years, she would probably laughingly concur with that assessment.

But, I do have my moments!  And I do bring some modicum or skill to the table.

I handle a lot of the bookings and scheduling.  That’s been my forte.  The seller.  The closer.  Whatever you want to call me. 

I don’t look at it like sales.  To me, it’s simply inviting people to come play in my sandbox and enjoy some smiles down in Mexico.

It involves a lot of e-mails, calls and other social media.  Lots of back-and-forth.

 But, it’s fun and a great opportunity to get to know folks.  And we become friends, long before they ever actually arrive to visit.

But, lately, the inquiries have been changing. 

Mexico is becoming a go-to spot for vacations during the pandemic.  Even with the borders technically closed to “non-essential” traffic, that’s quite ambiguous and loosely defined. 

Mexico needs U.S. tourism.  They CRAVE American tourism and I’ve never heard of anyone being turned away.

In that regard, Mexico tourism, has been surging.  Airlines are adding routes to keep up with the demand.  Planes are full.

And why not? 

Mexico is close.  It’s easy.  It’s economical.  There’s no testing.  No quarantine.  It’s easy to return back home.   

To some people, it’s not even like going to a foreign country.  They have visited so often.  It’s a no-brainer escape for Americans edging to get out.

And for 2021,  I’m getting a lot of first-timers.

Not just first-timers to Mexico.

First time out of the U.S.  First time fishing.  First time salt-water fishing.  I have even gotten inquiries from folks who have never even seen the ocean!

Some actually do their due diligence about where they are going. 

Others?

I think they just throw a dart at the map and see where it sticks.  Or they hit the internet and willy-nilly pick a spot that has nice pictures of beaches and palm trees.

They often seem to know very little about where they are actually going!

For instance, just a few days ago, I had a call from a husband.  He already had his plane tickets to La Paz.

During a casual conversation, he asked me, “When we are in La Paz, do you think we’ll be able to go to dinner in Cancun?”

I had to think about how to answer that one.

When I told him Cancun was about 4,000 miles on the other side of the Mexico, he incredulously didn’t believe me at first.  He and his wife were really set on taking some time to visit Cancun. 

Twice this past week, I’ve had folks wanting me to book fishing in the morning in Loreto. In the afternoon, they want to fish in La Paz.

I had to explain that La Paz is 5 hours away by car from Loreto.

One guy said, “Really, it’s only 2 inches away from each other on the map!”

Late last year, we were walking some clients out to the beach to board the pangas to go fishing that morning.  The sun was just starting to come up.

One of the clients had never ever seen the ocean!

Mesmerized, he said, “Wow, it’s REALLY big!”

Then, he did something crazy in front of all of us.  He suddenly knelt down. He cupped a handful of ocean and drank it!

“HOLY C#@P, that’s freakin’ salty! Oh my gawd!” he spit, choked and sputtered.

I grabbed a some bottled water and handed it to him.  And continued laughing along with my captains and the guy’s buddies.

And then there is the mom who asks if there is a market near the hotel where they are staying.  She wants to buy bread.

Why?

She heard from friends that people get sick eating Mexican food and drinking the water.  So for her family, she was packing lunch meats and condiments to make sandwiches and lots of bottled water in their ice chests.

They planned to eat all their meals in their hotel room with their 2 kids.

I had a hard time proving the negative.  Mexico has great food and restaurants.

They come to visit in June.  Hopefully, I’ll have convinced her by then it’s OK to grab some tacos.

That’s my story!

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

Website:

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942
Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

ANOTHER COVID CASUALTY

ANOTHER COVID CASUALTY

Originally Published the Week of Dec. 22, 2020 in Western Outdoor Publications

Well, with the new year upon us, we can only hope for better things. 

         It feels especially strange for us because normally at this time, my wife and I are running around with our hair on fire.  Well…that is if I still had hair.  But metaphorically speaking, it’s pretty hectic.

         We’re usually packing our vehicle for 3 months on the road.  From January to March, we hit pretty much a sportsmans show every week.  These 3-5 days are huge events filled with thousands of sportsmen each day plus hundreds of vendors like us who own sportfishing fleets; or lodges; or guiding outfitters and so much more.

         The normal course of driving takes us through about 12-15 states each season and through some states several times. It’s like being carnival workers, which essentially that’s what we are.

We criss-cross the western U.S. often through snow, rain, fog and ice. Forests…mountains…endless miles of desert.

20200114_101739_HDR

 Lots of motels.  Countless truck-stops and Denny’s.  Late night pizza we shouldn’t be eating.  McDonald’s super-size box on the dashboard.  Starbucks stuck in the cup-holders.  Microwave burrito wrapper crumpled on the floorboard.

         But, we look forward to being “road warriors” and have been doing it almost three decades. 

         So, about this time, we’re packing up the booth; bags of winter clothes; thousands of brochures; t-shirts; hats; safety gear…all for being on the road basically through April.  If we forget something, it’s not like we can drive back to get it.

         But, this year, it’s not happening. 

         Like most events that draw thousands of people in close-proximity, Covid changed all that.

         Therefore, the shows that we do in Denver, Sacramento, Seattle, Boise, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Portland, Long Beach, San Diego and in other cities we visit…either have canceled or are in the process of being canceled.

         Sadly after 75 years,  that includes the big Fred Hall Shows in Southern California.

         There’s a few that are trying their best to hang in there.

         In addition to everyone being masked-up; I’ve heard talk of moving the vendor booths 6-feet apart.  I’ve heard suggestions that prospective customers can’t approach closer than 3-feet to a vendor.

         Some shows, like the giant Dallas Safari Club are making a go via “virtual reality” or “zoom” events and putting everything online. 

         I think that’s already called the “internet.” Novel for the events, but not exactly new.

         I have no doubt the producers of these shows are doing or did their darndest to have these events and bent over-backwards trying.  Trying to save their livlihoods like everyone else.

       On the other side, there’s many exhibitors who do nothing else except these shows.  All year long. Think of the folks who sell knife sharpeners; equipment; gadgets; clothing, jerky and toffee nuts. There’s the concession guys that sell beer and hot dogs and funnel  No shows.  No business.

       But, there’s a two-headed obstacle for the show producers to overcome.

       First, the state or local restrictions preventing or severely restricting gatherings.

      Second, for vendors like us,  it’s only economical to drive from one show to another. One every week or so.

     It makes no sense for us, and many of our fellow exhibitors, to fly or drive to one show.  Then, go all the way back home.  Wait a few weeks.  Then, load up and travel again to another show with all the gear, booths and equipment needed to display.

20190106_113204

         Additionally, even if the shows could be held, it’s not just the possibility someone working a booth might catch Covid.  For exhibitors, there’s huge insurance exposure. 

         For instance, a big manufacturer of say…firearms or fishing reels will pay staff members to man the booth at the show.  One of them comes back and tests positive or their relative or family member tests positive.  It gets traced back to the show, the liability exposure to the employer company could be huge.

         Further, folks really like coming to the shows.  It’s a party.  It’s a carnival. It’s the social aspect and the fun factor.

LB Rod Reel

         Personally, if I’m trusting my hunting vacation to a hunting guide in South Africa or Canada, I’d like to see the guy; chat them up; shake hands before I hand them thousands of dollars.

         I want to take a fishing trip in the deep dark jungles of the Amazon River or a the hinterlands on a hunting expedition in Russia…yea…I want to talk to a live person.

         Same with Mexico or South America or other places where English is not spoken.  I want be personally assured before I book. 

I want to know if the guy in the booth is the “real-deal” or even the real guy that I will see when I arrive.  Or is the guy just a rep or salesman that I will never see again?

         That’s also double-hard if we all have to wear masks or have to practice social distancing while trying to interact.  I understand the necessity.  It’s the new normal. 

         Anyway, the point being, if you’re waiting for the sportsmen’s shows, it’s gonna be a long wait.

         For those of you readers on the west coast, it’s a huge hit to have big shows in Portland, Sacramento and the gigantic Fred Hall Shows in Long Beach and San Diego not take place.

         Many of you book your vacations, charters, fishing and hunting trips at these shows.

         Don’t wait.  The shows aren’t happening.

         From what I’m seeing, bookings are already heavy for 2021 among many of the outfitters I’m talking with recently.  People are just anxious to get out.

         Many folks canceled their 2020 trips and are rapidly re-booking for the upcoming year.

Just over Christmas week alone, airlines set records for pandemic travel when over 1 million people per day flew.  Overall, records show a regular increase in jet passengers as people lose their hesitancy to climb aboard a plane. 

Airlines are adding more flights now to popular destinations to fill the need.

         If there’s any way sportsman and vacationers can get away, they will.  Vaccine or no vaccine.  As long as they can get away from home and get back home with minimal exposure, it appears folks are making the decision to bust it loose in 2021.

 

That’s our story!

signature June '18 two 1

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________ 

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

Website: 

http://www.tailhunter.com

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942

Phones: 
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBLvdHL_p4-OAu3HfiVzW0g

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

YOU’RE GOING TO…MEXICO?

YOU’RE GOING TO…MEXICO?

Originally Published the Week of Dec. 15, 2020 in Western Outdoor Publications

         Covid rates are surging on both sides of the border and hitting records. There is huge trepidation about the consequences of the holiday gatherings still to come.

         Subsequently, it’s no surprise that Mexico and the U.S. appear to be extending the travel ban along the border through January.  The ban has prohibited all non-essential travel since March. 

         Both governments, as well as health organizations (too many alphabetic acronyms to remember), are warning people in no uncertain terms about taking a trip south of the border, especially during the holidays.

         Northern Baja is still rated as “red” on high alert.  Southern Baja is in danger of going from “yellow” back to “orange.”

         But wait…what gives?

#5 CAbo airport waiting area

         The Cabo Airport is full of arriving visitors.

         Airlines are adding more flights to keep up with the demand.  Forget leaving that middle seat empty.  Flights are full and people are paying premium prices.

         The booze cruise is full.

         Tourism rates show 70-90% are Americans.  Last month, some figures showed an increase in tourism of almost 200% over the same time last month.

         Mexico reports that in the last two months almost 2 million visitors arrived in Cabo alone.  Other Mexican tourist destinations are seeing similar up-ticks.

         Charter boats are selling out.

         Restaurants and hotels are hiring back staff furloughed during the early days of quarantine.  Reservations are being recommended again.

         Our own Western Outdoor News Cabo Tuna Jackpot held last month, literally at a moment’s notice, drew 149 teams and over 600 anglers and almost 1000 participants in 2 months.  This, even with the fact that covid protocols prevented any banquets, cocktail parties, live music or huge award dinners!

         It would seem there’s a huge contradiction going on here.

         For one, let’s talk about that “border closure.”   The term “non-essential travel” does not apply to taking a plane, a boat or train to get across the border. 

         Fishing (lucky us!) has been deemed to be an essential activity. 

         So has visiting friends and family…shopping…checking on some property. 

         Wink! Wink!  There’s a lot of loopholes here. 

Frankly, the “mandate” to stay away is really more like a “strong suggestion.”  I don’t know of anyone that has been turned away from travel.

         If you’re travelling commercially, there’s a good chance your temperature will be taken.  You’ll have to probably fill out a form asking the usual questions about your health and proximity to anyone with the virus.  Or if you’ve had it.

         If I suddenly showed a temperature, I’d think twice about getting on a plane so it’s not a big deal.  I’ve flown three times in and out’ve Mexico in 2020.  I have yet to have anyone actually collect the form I was asked to fill out. 

         I did have someone at the airport verbally ask me how I felt.  I said “fine.”  He said, “Bienvenidos a Mexico!”

         I think people have just made a personal choice to travel.  Bottom line.

         They are either sick of being cooped-up (“quarantine fatigue”).  Or they know the risks and decide to travel anyway.  Or, going to Mexico is no more dangerous than eating at McDonalds back home or shopping at Target.

         For one thing, it’s surely easy to get to Mexico. 

         You don’t have to be tested to visit.  No papers to show.  You don’t have to quarantine to visit. 

         To many people, going to Mexico is no big deal on many levels.

         “I’ve been to Mexico so many times, it’s no different than my flying to Las Vegas from my home in Denver,” said Jerry who was waiting in line for his rental car.

         “It’s easy.  It’s familiar.  As long as I have internet, I can work.  Believe me it’s a lot easier working on my computer looking at the beach than from my office in Colorado.”

         I talked to Maribel in a restaurant in Todos Santos.   

         “I was thinking of Europe for the holidays and an extended vacation,” she chatted, “But what if there’s another lockdown in Italy or England or somewhere else.  I’m stuck a long way from home.  Mexico won’t keep me,” she went on.  “Easier to get home!” she laughed.

       Her friend, Monique added, “I was thinking of Alaska or Canada to visit friends and family, but I would have to show that I had been tested or visitors had to be quarantined for awhile.  Same with Hawaii.  Mexico was uber-convenient. Less fuss.”

      Daniele is a nurse in Florida.  Her husband Travis is a doctor.  Both work in a hospital with Covid patients.  They were down for the 2nd time this year to use their timeshare.

       I just had to ask them…”So, does the mask make a difference?”

     “Absolutely, yes it does!” responded Travis with no hesitation.  “But, I think if you just take normal common sense pre-cautions like you would for a cold or flu, you’re covering yourself.”

     “Frankly, we feel almost safer here in Mexico than walking around back home,” added his wife, Daniele.

     “Crowds have been down.  Hotels, beaches, restaurants and other tourist spots have a lot fewer people than normal.  I mean, hotels are only allowed 30 or 40% occupancy.  Everyone takes your temperature before you enter any building or activity and everyone gives you a squirt of anti-bacterial gel too. Mask wearing is just a given down here. I think the tourism sector is going out of their way to make sure tourists feel safe.”

         Feeling safe.  Just a matter of personal choice.  A lot of Americans seemingly have no problem with it.

That’s my story

 

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

Website:

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942
Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

REFRESHING AMBIVALENCE

REFRESHING AMBIVALENCE

Originally Published the Week of Dec. 4, 2020 in Western Outdoor Publications

After all the political, social, health and economic rancor and upheaval this past year in the U.S., I think I’ve reached that point of fatigue.

         Along with religion, those are generally just some topics I avoid talking about.  It seems especially true down here in Baja where most folks I come in contact with are here for vacations, not debate or argument.

         I would think most are trying to get AWAY from all of that back home.  The whole point of “vacation”, right?

         That being said, a good number of folks still seem anxious to engage in conversation.

         Usually, the red lights in my brain start flashing “DANGER! DANGER!”

         As quickly as I can, I try to turn the flow of words to something more palatable.

         But, some folks are so used to it coming from the U.S. that they still feel the need to bring it up.  It’s what everyone talks about “back home.”

Kinda like the A-type personality who runs a million-miles-an-hour at work.  Comes down here and it takes awhile for them to decompress and take it down a few notches.

         I get it. Unavoidable topics of conversation.  Hot topics of conversation. It’s what everyone is talking about.

         The problem is, it’s not conversation.  It’s not even debate.  It’s like that even among my only family members.

         If you agree with them, there’s not much else to say.  Or the other person will just talk and talk.  No real exchange of info.

         On the other hand, if you have a DIFFERENT opinion, you’re suddenly the “enemy” or an “idiot.” Conversation turns to argument with no one giving ground.

         No info is exchanged.  No one learns anything. 

No give-and-take.  Instead it becomes a mission to verbally batter and bludgeon the other person to back down and accept YOUR point-of-view.

         I usually do.  Back down, that is.

         I used to be a litigation attorney.  If I wanted to pull my verbal guns, yea…I guess I could.  But, what’s the point?  Restraint.

         No one really wants to listen to me anyway.  If we have the same point of view, then why keep talking? 

         If we differ, then why piss each other off?  I’ll keep my opinions to myself. And keep my friends and family.

         This is Baja.  Folks are supposed to be on vacation.  If you want debate jump on Facebook and say something controversial and, like I said, half will agree with you and the other half will tell you you’re dumber-than-dirt.

         In no uncertain terms.

         That’s why it was so refreshing to have one of my Mexican friends ask me a few weeks ago, “Who do you think will be your next American President?  Biden or Trump?”

         Oh no.  Here we go again.

         I didn’t want to start down that path or open a can of worms with my friend so I asked, “Does it matter to you as a Mexican citizen?”

         Instead of the usual hackle going up, he smiled and said, “Nope.  I was just making conversation.  It seems all Americans have strong opinions about it. Don’t you?”

         I shrugged.  Again, trying to nip things in the bud.

         I asked him disarmingly again, “Do YOU have an opinion?”

         And then he said something that put the biggest grin on my face. 

         He laughingly replied, “I don’t care.”

         A pause.

         I had to think about that.

         Are we allowed to say that anymore?  Are we allowed to think that anymore?

         Three simple words. 

         “I don’t care.”

         Maybe it’s simply not caring at all.  Ambivalence.  Fatigue.  Resignation.  Indifference.

         Whatever the reason, you NEVER hear anyone say “I don’t care.”

 It’s uh…sacrilegious!  It’s uh…blasphemous.  It’s Un-American.  It’s un-civilized, by gosh!!!

         I’m sure everyone cares.  I actualy do care. 

         But there are times when I just don’t care.  Or, at that particular moment, I don’t have the energy to care.  But, I’m afraid…hesitant… to say that to anyone. 

         I can’t be the only person who feels like that.

         A fishing clients says to me, “What do you think about all that unrest in the police force?  Or “How about them closing California again cuz of Covid?”

         What would I sound like if I said, “I don’t care.”

         Probably like a jerk.

         My Mexican friend explained to me.

         “Look, it might be different in the big cities than here in Baja.  It might be different if I were a big business owner. “

         “But, I’m a regular guy like you.  Nothing special.  I drive a delivery truck.”

         “To me, the only reason I asked about your elections is that’s all Americans seem to talk about and that’s what we see on the news on our TV’s about the U.S. But, I don’t think it affects me that much.  We got enough problems with our own politicians here in Mexico without worrying about YOUR politicians,” he laughed.

         “Mire, hombre…Look, amigo,” he elaborated.  “ Us Mexicans, we’ve been ruled by the Spanish, the French, the Germans. We had wars with America.  We have endured revolutions and corrupt politicians at every level.”

         “We now have this pandemic thing.  It’s a big problem.  Or, that’s what they tell us it is. Maybe it is.  Maybe it isn’t”

         “We Mexicans will endure.  We keep going.  We hear promises, but nothing really ultimately changes.  We move ahead.  Everything will pass and we will still be here.”

         “Honestly, I am more concerned with my next delivery in my truck and feeding my kids than who will be the next senator for our state or if the government is telling the truth about covid.  I care enough to wear my mask.  No big deal.”

         No big deal.

I think there’s an honest dignity in that.  Keep on-keeping on.  Stay the course.

         Just kinda nice to hear that once-in-awhile.

That’s my story!

Jonathan

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

Website:

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942
Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

FIND YOUR BEACH

FIND YOUR BEACH

 

Originally Published The Week of Nov. 25, 2020 in Western Outdoor Publications. 

             I pretty much wrote this week’s column lying flat on my back looking up at the sky.  Pretty unusual position for “word-smithing.”

         Most of the time, I write at my desk. Sitting up. 

           It’s in the middle of the night at the end of a long workday that usually starts about 4 a.m.  Or, if I’m “lazy” and couldn’t think of anything the night before, I scramble to compose something before the sun comes up and the day goes full-turbo!

         But, lying flat on my back, I’m looking at clouds drifting by as languidly as I was feeling. 

         Lying on the sand.

         On the beach.

         In the Baja sun.

         Some Kenny Chesney “No Shoes No Shirt No Problem” playing on Spotify competing with the rise-and-fall crescendo of surf as a soundtrack.

         And this week’s column just sort of wrote it self. It auto-composed in my head in about 5 minutes.

         I was just lying there on that warm sand felling really tired.  Not just tired. 

         “Old man tired.”  Big difference.

         I had just come off the water.  Nope.   For once, not fishing.  Not diving either.

         Surfing.  Yup.  That kind of surfing.  Like on a board.

       My wife, Jill, and I had spent the better part of the afternoon surfing and using muscles that we had not used in…well…years!  I think the last time I “surfed” Baja, I had been driving my dad’s Pinto station wagon.

       Me, and a bunch of underage high-school buds on a flyer across the border below Rosarito Beach with $20 between the three of us; a bag of Doritos; and 3 days to waste on the waves.

       Yea, it had been a long time.

         Surfing muscles are not the same as fishing muscles.  Not the same as SCUBA muscles.  And no matter how much Jill and I had lied to ourselves, we were not “in shape” to be paddling out…fighting waves…fighting the board.

         I grew up in Hawaii, but my “old man” muscles were B–tching me out so very badly. 

       “What were you thinking?”

       “Who were you trying to kid?”

                     Harsh reality found on a beach in Baja.

                     But, I gotta tell you, it was a good soreness.  And Jill and I had the biggest smiles on our faces as we lay splayed-out on the beach.  

                    No one talking.  No one needed to.

                   The sun rays warmed me from above and the hot sand warmed me from below.

                  It was like being a kid again and coming out’ve the pool and lying face-down on that warm cement without a care-in-the-world.  You know that feeling. 

                 Summer vacation. No school.  No homework. You had no place else to be except right then and there. Contentment.

                 And that was me.  Except I was lying looking up.

                 And I realized I had nowhere to be except right then and there. On that beach at that moment studying some dumb clouds.  No shoes. No shirt.  No problems.

                It finally just got to us.  Yea, we live and work in Baja. 

                 “Living the dream.” Right?

                  But, like everyone, no matter where you are, it’s been a tough year.  And this year, it seemed like we worked even harder-than-ever just trying to tread water like everyone else.

                 Being in the travel industry with our fishing fleets and restaurant, it was especially brutal.

                Surely, fewer clients and less business, but like I said, we seemed to work twice-as-hard just trying to keep what we had.  Working double to keep from sliding backwards even more. 

              Almost like surfing.  Paddle paddle paddle to get out.  Wave knocks you back. 

             Paddle paddle paddle to go a little further.  Another wave knocks you back again. 

            Just trying to get out past the white water to where that tasty curl tantalizes you with a rewarding ride back to the beach.  Paddle paddle paddle.  Can’t stop. Gotta get past that white water.

           Catch one or two, but mostly paddling paddling and more tiring paddling.

          Like life right now. 

         No days off and …UP-TO-HERE…with it all. 

         Covid…quarantine…restrictions…economy…politics…elections…unrest.  The “whitewater” of life, right? The cacaphony that never stops assaulting you.

         So, we just sort of folded shop.

        We never ever take time off.  But,it was time. 

         We didn’t tell any of our staff where we were going.  Basically told them, don’t burn down the building.  Don’t let anyone steal anything.  We’ll be in touch.

         In fact, I didn’t even tell my wife where we were going.

         I pretty much told her to grab some clothes for a few days.  Threw her and our rescue cat, my guitar,  and some gear in our Honda.  It’s the one with the busted air-conditioner and that overheats if I drive faster than 50mph and left.

         We drove. And drove.

And made a left off the highway down a dusty washboard dirt road.

         And found a beach.

         And it had some worn bungalow cabanas for rent.

         Our “rustic” cabana had holes in the palapa roof.

         Some lights didn’t work.  Others had those god-awful curly “economy” bulbs that save you 5 bucks over 100 years.

         A threadbare hammock tied between two palm trees.  It might have been a fishing net at one time.

         No TV.

         No disco.

         No nightclub.       

         No real restaurants to speak of.

         Perfection.

         I don’t even want to tell you the name of the beach because the area is begging for a paved road and some high-rise hotels that will come soon enough, I imagine.

         But for now, just miles of Baja beach.

         And there were some waves that just begged to be ridden.

         And an ice chest full of cold ones that needed some attention too.

         And 3 days extended into 5 days of sun, sand, surf, card-playing and just the very best kind of “social distancing” that we probably could all use right now.

         Might still be there if we didn’t run outta cat food.

         And lying on my back like a very tired beached sealion soaking up the rays and watching clouds moving left-to-right.

Smiling.

         And while we were gone, the world did not blow up.  Our business did not burn down.  The problems of the world were still there when we got back. 

         We did not miss a thing.

         But finding that little stretch of Baja beach made all the difference.

         For now.

         We brought that beach home with us in a manner of speaking.  I brought this essay that wrote itself.

         Like that beer commercial says, I hope you find your beach. 

         Somewhere. 

        If not on a stretch of sand.  Then a backyard.  A park. Or some space where you can close the door.

       Away from the madness.  Close your eyes. Shut off the sound. Take a breath. Find that beach and watch the clouds.

That’s my story!

Jonathan


______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________ 

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

Website: 

www.tailhunter-international.com

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942

Phones: 
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863

.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBLvdHL_p4-OAu3HfiVzW0g

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

YES THEY CAN!

 

YES, THEY CAN!

 

 

Originally Published the Week of Nov. 17, 2020 in Western Outdoor Publications

A week ago in Cabo San Lucas, I had the great pleasure of once again working at the 22nd Annual Cabo Tuna Jackpot Tournament produced by Western Outdoor News. 

         What an event it is. 

         This year, 150 national and international fishing teams gathered for two days of fishing.  Over one-million dollars of prize money in the pots!  About 700 folks from all over the world come to play.

         If you’ve never seen or participated in something like this, it’s a mind-boggling adrenaline rush to see all this energy, fishing talent, equipment and yes…money all charging out into the fishing grounds.

         There are jaw-dropping super yachts that should be seen on “Lives of the Rich & Famous.”  I believe the largest fishing vessel this year was 110’ mega cruiser that looked like a stream-lined cruise ship.

         We gawked and ooh’d and ahhh’d at the  gleaming 40, 50…70-foot battle-wagon sport-fishers.  Shining with teak decks and tinted glass windows sporting out-riggers and thousands of dollars of fishing rods-and-reels on deck and no doubt equally expensive electronics aboard as well.

sportfisher-1

         There were jet-boat sportfishers built for speed to the fishing grounds fast.  Imagine four or five 400-horsepower motors hanging off the transom.  They blew by like rocket ships.

         As one of my friends mentioned, “If you gotta ask how much it costs to gas-up one any of these hard-chargers, you simply can’t afford it.”

         As another 100-footer went by, another of our crew commented, “Sheesh…there are countries with navies that don’t have boats THAT big or THAT expensive!”

         Indeed, a lot of hardware out there!  Even if if you’re just “renting” the charter for a few days, it’s way above the my paygrade!

         But, in the middle of all the finery.  There they are. 

         And you can’t help but wanna shout or give a high-five to someone.  

         Yes, they are chugging along on 90-hp motors.  Bouncing around in the wakes of the big boy cruisers.

panga-santi

         It’s the local panga guys and the fishermen who swear by them. Simple rugged 24-foot ocean-going skiffs that are famous in Mexican waters.

         They cobbled together entry fees and gas money to play.  Often their client fishermen are roll-up-the-sleeves blue-collar guys. 

         Some beer in a tattered plastic ice chest.  Sack lunches and bait in the bait-well.  And they’re hot to go!

jr3pic18

         Do you remember Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea?  It’s the story of aging “Santiago” who’s best fishing days are behind him.  But he goes out every day to work the waters.  The young bucks don’t pay him much mind.

         But, all alone, he hooks and battles a legendary marlin in his little skiff.  

         If you have a line in the water, anything is possible.

         And when you see these guys in the pangas, you can’t help but root for them.  You gotta believe, they have a fighter’s chance.

Goliath beware!  David has that one stone in his sling.

         I wouldn’t hesitate to put a lot of panga skippers against anyone on a given day. 

sushi-time-cabo-panga-fishing2

Chances are they’ve worked these waters their whole lives. They have never fished anywhere else.  I once asked a panga captain if he had ever fished somewhere else beside his home territory.

He smiled.  Shook his head and said, “Why?”

 They know the waters, the currents, the little “nuances” that even high-technology cannot come close to finding.  Hometown advantage.  Nothing like local knowledge.

         Satellites are fine.  Technology has it’s place. 

But give me a guy who didn’t learn his trade by fishing for fun.  He learned his trade because he had to put food on the table for his family. 

Day in. Day out. 

         If he didn’t catch, the family didn’t eat.  Simple as that!

         In fact, he probably trained the young hot-shots that are now blazing by him in the big cruisers.  Chances are it’s one of his kids.  And he knowingly smiles.

         But, he’s probably forgotten more about fishing than the youngsters will ever know.  I’ve always been of the mind that if you don’t use it, you lose it.

         You might have mad sharp skills, but if you spend so much time relying on technology to do your thinking for you, the skills get dull.  It’s like forgetting how to multiply because now you have a calculator.

         They guy running the panga still relies on generations of knowledge.   I’ll ride with THAT guy!

         Frankly, I’d rather have a great captain on a so-so boat than a great boat with a so-so captain.  I don’t need 10 deckhands.  I don’t need an air-conditioned salon. 

         No doubt they are nice and good to have.  But, if I had to bare-bones fish, I’ll take old Santiago in his skiff.  His years of knowledge pitted against hi-tech fiberglass wonders is priceless.  

         Maybe a vanishing breed.  A vanishing style.

         The new age is upon us, but don’t throw out the old school just yet.

Like watching an old movie and seeing Cowboy Bob on his trusty horse getting the girl and catching the bad guy over the Fancy Dan in his horseless carriage.

         So, there they were amid all the big guns with names like “Liquid Gold” with owners from Wyoming. And the Florida team riding on “Tropical Chubasco” or the young turks from New York on “Bull Market.”

         We see “Pepe’s Panga” and there was “La Loca” and “Cazador” pulling right up along-side them.  Ready to charge.

         And sometimes win.  I’ve seen it.  The little pangas that could! .

         Hard not to root for them and cheer all the louder.

That’s my story!

 

Jonathan

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________ 

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

Website: 

www.tailhunter-international.com

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942

Phones: 
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBLvdHL_p4-OAu3HfiVzW0g

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”