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C.P.R. for FISH

C.P.R. for FISH

Originally Published the Week of Sept. 24, 2019 in Western Outdoor Publications

release-right-main

We had several pangas-slow trolling the shallow turquoise waters off Punta Arenas. White sands met the Sea of Cortez in colors worthy of any travel brochure.

 

We are in roosterfish land.

rooster Dave big one tags

 

The big kings of the beach in this area can range from 40-over-100-pounds.  We had already landed and released two 60-pound fish and were hoping for at least one more.

 

Two other guys in the panga 50 yards away suddenly started whooping.  They had a double strike and the boat was in pandemonium mode.

 

Both guys were on bent rods already moving and dancing around the stern of the panga trying to keep the lines tight and untangled.  The captain was alternately steering the boat; coaching the anglers; and trying to keep the deck cleared.

 

The big fish were tearing up the waters behind the boat.  We could hear the reels singing.

 

We needed to change our own baits so we stopped our panga and all of us watched the crazy activity in the other panga.  It made for some fun video. Time for a cold beer anyway.

 

In about 15 minutes both fish were simultaneously brought to the boat.  Everyone was high-fiving and whooping it up.  As they should!  Judging just by the dorsal fins of the submerged fish, they were legit 50-70 pound roosters.

 

This was confirmed as both fish were lifted into the panga.

One fish, was unceremoniously plopped on the deck. The other was dropped by the tired angler.  I could see the anglers and skipper jump as the fish thrashed.

 

Then, of course congratulatory photos.

 

This pose.  That pose.  Double pose.  Hold them this way.  Hold them that way.  Snap! Snap! Snap!  Your camera.  My camera.  Now with the captain.  You know how it goes.

 

Then, of course holding the fish up so we could see!  Of course, we gave them some sportsmanlike applause and thumbs-up.

 

Photos done, I could see everyone bending over and trying to unhook the fish.  It looked problematic, but ultimately, it was clear that hooks and lines were unhitched.

 

Then, both fish were lifted and heaved up and over the side in cannonball splats!  More high-fives, knuckle taps, and fist-bumping.

 

Good for them.

 

But, as we pulled away to start trolling again, I had to cringe about how the fish were handled.  No doubt, I’m glad the fish were released and the other anglers were well-intentioned.

 

I could only hope the fish survived.

 

There’s a right and a wrong way to C.P.R. a fish (Catch-Photo-Release).

wayne seibert rooster release 9-16

 

For one, time is of the essence. Actually, it’s the most important thing.

 

A fighting fish builds up lactic acid in their muscles just like any human who exercises strenuously.  The longer the fight, the more lactic acid builds up.  In fish, this can be lethal.

 

Once the fight is over, if you can do your photos and the release without taking the fish out’ve the water, all the better.  Once you pull the fish out’ve the water a bunch of things happen.

 

In the water, fish have neutral buoyancy.  When you take them out, gravity takes over and internal organs can be severely damages.

 

This is especially true if you hold the fish (as we have all done), with the head up and tail down.  It’s just not a natural position for the fish and all it’s innards.

 

Also, dropping the fish on the deck is a knucklehead move.

 

Fish need water to breathe.

 

So, for obvious reasons, once the fish is out’ve the water, it’s suffocating.  It’s just been fighting for it’s life and now it can’t breathe because you have a 10-minute photo session.

 

Imagine running several hundred-yard dashes as if an army of zombies was after you.  At the end of 10 minutes…15 minutes…an hour of running full-speed, someone pinches off your nose and mouth so you can’t breathe!

 

 

A couple of other pointers.

 

As mentioned, holding a fish vertically isn’t doing the fish much good.  How you hold it can further exacerbate the damage.

 

Holding it by the gill and probably damaging it’s breathing apparatus is a fail. So, is sticking your fingers in it’s eyeball sockets!  OUCH.

 

The fish also have a very important slime covering their bodies.

 

The more you touch it, the more that slime rubs off.  That coating is important in warding off infections.  Another reason why dropping it on the deck to wiggle and squirm is a bad move.

 

Removing the hooks properly is essential as well.

 

For your own protection, as well as the fish, use long nose plyers.  If all else fails, it might be better to just cut the line as close to the hook as you can rather than further injure the fish.

 

Better to get it back into the water faster.

 

Undoubtedly, there’s some controversy on this topic.

 

Some say that the hook will eventually cause an infection that kills the fish.  Others say that the hook will eventually rust out.  For that reason, some anglers use bronze hooks instead of stainless steel whenever they can.

 

People with bigger brains than mine might someday figure that one out.  Personally, I would just like to get the fish in the water and on-it’s-way ASAP.

 

Finally, for the actual release, be gentle.

 

Tossing it into the air like a pizza to come down in a big splat doesn’t cut it.

 

If you can,  gently get the fish moving back-and-forth in the water. This helps re-oxigenate it’s gills.  For a big fish slowly moving the boat forward while carefully holding the fish helps accelerate getting the fish back to normal and reviving it .

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: 

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.”

 

 

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OUTGUNNED BUT NOT OUTSMARTED

Dos pargos

OUTGUNNED BUT NOT OUTSMARTED

Originally Published the Week of June 3, 2019 in Western Outdoors Publications

I received quite a few e-mails about my last column that I entitled “ZING-POWIE FISH.”  It was about big monster fish that lurk in the rocks and reefs that basically eat your lunch, their lunch and break your heart…and sometimes your rod!

 

With the e-mails coming in, I got to thinking of some other species, like big tuna.

 

Here in La Paz, we’re getting 50-150 pound yellowfin tuna.  It’s one thing to hook a big beast like that sitting in a fighting chair in a big sportfisher with a 50W reel with a zillion yards of line.

 

It is quite another thing if you’re fishing, like we do here in La Paz, and many other places in Mexico…in a panga…with relatively light tackle.

 

Not only is your rod and reel lighter, but so is your line.  Additionally, the fish doesn’t have to contend with a 1-ton boat to pull around the ocean.  You just don’t have much leverage and it literally comes down to hand-to-hand combat in the sportfishing trenches.

There are some additional concerns with these ZING-POWIE fish or like the big tuna we have.  They are picky and they have great eyesight.

 

 

With big fish, your natural tendency is to use heavier line or stronger line like braid/ spectra.  Problem solved, right?

 

Well, spectra is very very visible.  Also, if you are fishing with live bait, spectra soaks up water and gets heavy.  So your bait does’t swim correctly so less chance of getting bit.

 

Heavy line is also visible.  Plus, again if you’re using small baits, the line is pretty heavy and your bait tires faster.

On top of that, these fish, especially the tuna, like smaller baits like sardines.  So, that means often using a hook the size of your fingernail… on fish the size of your living room coffee table.

Laura pargo big 9-18

So, small hook…small bait…light line…small boat…

 

Yikes!  It’s like going to war with a BB-gun.

 

So, back to my e-mails.  Folks want to catch these fish, but how do you tip the odds a bit more in your favor?

 

Well, I haven’t quite figured out all the angles yet, but I do have a few personal tips when you’re in situations like this and feel outgunned.

 

For one, fluorocarbon leaders.

 

Largely invisible underwater.  And, they are much more pliable than their were years ago.  Plus, even if your mainline might be light, you can put on a few feet of fluro that is heavier which will also help guard against sharp teeth.

Secondarily, I change my rod.

 

Because of the size of the baits or other conditions, I might be using very light line.  But this is one time, I don’t match my rod to the line class.

 

I might be fishing with 30-pound test, but I’m using a stout 80 to 100 pound stick.  If I get bit I want the fish to feel that heavy rod pulling right back!

 

A heavy rod makes the fish work that much harder and tire faster.  It also give me more leverage to put even more pressure on the fish.

 

To that end, my personal tuna rod and ZING-POWIE rod is about 5 feet long.  Basically, it’s a trolling rod although I only have a roller tip on it.

 

My foregrip extends 3/5 up the length of the rod.  This enables me to reach way high on the rod and really lean into a fish.

 

The last 2-3 feet of my rod has a fast taper and lots of backbone to really horse the fish and make it work or to help me pull it out’ve the rocks.  Also, a shorter rod is much easier on your back and arms than a long rod with a lot of spring in it.

 

Finally, my reel is also something I can do something about.

Pancho hooked up resize 4-19

I don’t need a huge reel with a mile of line on it.  If I’m fishing in the rocks, it’s not that deep and the big rock fish aren’t gonna go running off with 100 yards of line on burning runs. They take a little line and want to go back into their holes.

 

Big fish like the tuna will make blazing runs.  But, I find a reel with at least 300-350 yards of line is fine.  Being in a smaller boat…or even a big boat…you can always chase down the fish.  I have rarely ever seen anyone spooled.

 

So, a smaller reel is fine.  Or if I have braid/ spectra, I put that on the reel and top-shot it with at least 150 yards of mono.  The spectra enables me now to have all the line I could possibly want.

 

The most important aspect are the drags on the reel.  If you have a smaller reel, at least make sure the drags or in good working order and not sticky or worn.

 

Even better, many of the newly manufactured reels have huge drag systems or dual drag systems installed that have incredible stopping power. Those will help put the hurt on a fish!  Reels by Accurate, Avet, Shimano, Daiwa and Okuma come to mind.   Slightly more expensive, but well worth it.

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: 

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.”

 

 

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ZING-POWIE FISH!

ZING-POWIE FISH

Originally Published the Week of May 21, 2019 in Western Outdoor Publications

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

DOG-TOOTH SNAPPER…THEY GET ALOT BIGGER!

There are some things  we tangle with in life that we sort of lump into one big group.  It’s just easier.

 

All facial tissue gets called “KLEENEX.”

 

All whirlpool tubs are called “JACUZZIS.”

 

On the freeway, everyone who tailgates you is a “JERK.”  Everyone who blows by you at ultra speeds is “MORON.”  (or worse!)

 

As fishermen, in many places, we call all bottom fish “ROCKFISH.”

 

Conversely, there are those things in life that defy description or categorization.  In fact, there’s a group of fish here in Baja, that fall into that amorphous category and I call them like I see them.

 

They are the species I call “ZING-POWIE” fish!

 

So many folks come to to fish looking for the glamour species like marlin, tuna, wahoo and dorado.  The ZING-POWIE  fish are often overlooked.

 

That’s because it’s not generally perceived as “big game” or “deep sea” (I hate that term…yes, the sea is deep!) fishing.

 

Because the ZING-POWIE fish don’t live out there in the blue water.  They’re not out on the high seas.

 

ZING-POWIE  fish could be right in front of your hotel.  They live right in the rocks there by the shore. They inhabit reefs and shallow high spots.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cabrilla! Note the proximity of the rocks and shallow water.

 

You don’t need a giant sportfisher to get them.  You don’t need complicated gear to get them either.  Sophisticated state-of-the-art electronics can be left at home too.  You don’t need 20 satellites to find the honey holes.

 

It’s pretty simple.  Locals catch them in a tin boat with fishing line and a spark-plug for a sinker.  In fact, the good ones make a living off catching ZING-POWIE fish.

 

I call them ZING-POWIE  fish because that’s the sound it makes when you hook up one of these fish. And then lose it in the blink of an eye!

 

I’m referring to a group of fish that encompasses cabrilla (Mexican seabass), grouper, amberjack, barred pargo, mullet snapper, dog-tooth snapper and to some degree yellowtail and several other species.

MOOGIE pargo

The infamous pargo liso…mullet snapper!

 

They inhabit rocks and reefs and other structure.

 

Some can be monsters in the 50-100 pound range or larger.  But even the “smaller ones” can frustrate and challenge even the best anglers.

 

They’ll hit live bait and lures and when they hit, it’s like a freight train.  The water can be relatively shallow.  Often you can see the fish under your boat.

 

Their method of feeding is to ambush their prey with powerful lightning strikes then retreat back to the structure.  Snatch and go!

 

So, for the angler, there’s no time to react!

Jamie hooked up 8-17 pancho.jpg

PULL HARD!

 

You don’t let them “nibble.”  You don’t let them “take a little line.”  There’s barely time to set the hook!

 

Imagine that you are fishing only 20 feet of water.  You get hammered by something big.  In nano-seconds, it takes line.  Your rod also bends a few feet. You slam the brakes!

 

It’s already in the rocks.  You lose!  ZING-POWIE!  Your line snaps and your rod flies back in your face like a spring!  BOING!

 

That fish with all it’s power, has sharp teeth…powerful jaws…sharp gillplates…sharp scales…and he lives in razor sharp rocks and reefs.

 

And they have the power of a  pitbull on steroids and the tenacity of a German Shepherd hanging onto a burglar’s pant leg!

 

Before you even realize what happens, your line goes…ZING-POWIE!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

ALL TEETH, MUSCLE, ARMOR and POWER!

 

And it snaps!  Even before your captain can fire up the motor and hopefully pull the fish out’ve the rocks!

 

It’s a game that tests even experienced anglers.  If you use heavier line, the ZING-POWIE fish have sharp eyes.  You won’t get bit.  Forget braided line.  It is way too visible.

 

Lighter line gets you bit more often, but  that can be like going after an elephant with an air-rifle.  Of course, it’s Murphy’s Law that when you have your lightest gear is when an 80-pound amberjack strikes or a 150-pound grouper decides to chomp your bait!  ZING-POWIE!

 

But, even the smallest fish have the odds in their favor given their physical attributes and treacherous environment.  When I guide, I’ve often told clients, this will be both fun and frustrating.

 

If we get 3 out of 10 fish to the boat, that will be a good day!

 

The frustration in this type of fishing isn’t just losing the fish after getting jerked out’ve your socks.  It’s that often you can see the fish right under the boat or behind the boat in your chum line.

 

Pargo, for instance, when they spawn in the shallow waters looks like a Japanese koi pond on steroids.  Basically, 20-60 pound “red carp” that looks like an undulating carpet of copper and red.

 

As you chum them to the boat, waters explode with huge backs and wide tails blowing up the water.  One client said, “They look big enough to put a saddle on them!”

 

Fascinating to watch.

 

And then they hit your bait while you’re entranced with all the action.  With no warning.  No nibble.  Just a sucker-punch-in-the-gut and your reel screams  and your rod bends…and ZING-POWIE!

 

You’ve already lost the fish!  Oh, the agony!

 

I have clients who come year-after-year to pit themselves against the ZING-POWIE fish!  A new rod…a different reel…a new type of hooks…some new tactic they read about in a magazine!

 

This is the year, they will NOT be mastered by some stupid fish!

 

As one of my clients said after a fun but unsuccessful day, “It’s like playing a slot machine in Vegas.  It’s so tantalizing close.  The next quarter will surely bring success.”

Then he laughed…

 

“And in the end, the house always wins.”

 

“But, I can’t wait to give it another try tomorrow!”

 

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: 

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.”

 

 

 

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They Don’t Bite All the Time!

FRANK ANNETTE BROOKE tags 9-18

THEY DON’T ALWAYS BITE!

Originally Published The Week of May 5, 2019 in Western Outdoor Publications

A couple of years ago,  I was out on the water in one of our pangas guiding.  I had a number of clients on pangas that day fishing.

 

I liked being out there and I would often go from one panga to another y’know…just to see how they were doing…get a laugh…take a photo…talk a little smack.

 

I came up on Jerry and Janice.  Two of the nicest sweetest folks ever. Had been retired a few years.   They often fished with my fleet.

 

Janice was especially sweet.  She’s like everyone’s fairy godmother who would bake cookies and adopt cats.

 

Today was not a cookie and kitty day.

 

Janice  was in the stern hard bendo on a big tuna.  It was the kind of tuna that humbles strong men.

 

The strain was evident on Janice as she sat on the bench seat.  I mean, she was putting everything into it and at any moment, it looked like the rod would snap!

 

Her concentration was so fierce, she didn’t see us approaching.

 

Her husband Jerry was up at the bow.  Kinda casually dangling a rod and seemingly not putting much effort into it.  Looking off into the distance.

 

Not even paying much attention to his embattled wife in the stern of the small panga.

 

I asked my captain who was on the boat with them.  He was standing amidship (amid panga?) looking a bit helpless.

 

And he was not helping either Jerry or, more importantly, Janice.

 

What gives? He looked at me with a smile and shrug that said, “Not much I can do.  She’s on a fish!”

 

So, I asked Jerry if he was OK.

 

“Sure.  I’m just staying outta HER way!” he said rolling his eyes back towards his wife grunting and grinding in the stern.

 

What?

 

“I want to help her.  So, did our captain. She just barked and growled at both of us and told us to stay the ‘EF’ outta her way and leave her alone! “

 

“So, that’s what we’re doing.   I’m staying waaaaay up her in the bow before she bites me! I’ve never seen her like this.”

 

 

I couldn’t help but laugh.  I understand the sentiment!

 

We backed our panga away as well to give Janice lots of space.  She cast a slightly evil eye my way too.

 

I heard Jerry grumble under his breath, as husbands have been known to do, but I still heard him say,  “It’s like she’s possessed!”

 

Indeed, who was that woman in the stern and what did they do with our sweet loveable, Janice?

 

She eventually got her fish…all by herself after almost  fighting for 2 hours.  A big tuna and no one  was prouder than her…or all of us!

 

More and more of the ladies are out there on the water and I like the changing landscape…er sea-scape, if you will.

 

And they’re not just going out to watch everyone else fish.  They’re rocking the fish and refusing to sit on the sidelines or be catered to.  It’s awesome.

 

Grit and determination!

 

I once had a mom and her football-sized adult son on a panga.  The young man expressed aloud his amazement  that mom never passed off the rod;  gave up; or asked him for help.

 

She laughed at him and said, “I birth’d you, kiddo!  There’s not much a fish can do to me after that experience or a fish that I can’t handle!”

 

Point taken and adroitly articulated.

 

Gotta love it.

 

It’s good to see and great to get the attitude too.

 

And I think the ladies make not only good fishing buddies but good anglers as well.  My own mom didn’t fish with dad and I until she was in her 60’s.  She’d let us fish or, if she went  fishing with us, she was very content to just read a book.

 

Then, a trip to Alaska followed by a trip to the Sierras changed all that and she was literally hooked. She found what she’d been missing.  And then she was all-in!

 

I think the ladies are fast learners and much more patient than us guys.  They are very coachable in that respect.  And, they know fewer cuss-words when they’re frustrated…which is rarely.

 

Us guys think we can do it all.  We lack patience and basically think anything can be accomplished by brute force and strength and we will bend the world to our wills!

 

No smack talk against my own gender, but brute force doesn’t always work.

 

So, next time, your gal…wife, girlfriend, daughter or mom is on a fish, if she tells you she doesn’t need help, give her some space and smile.  And make sure to drop all the props on her when she lands the big one!

 

 

Even if it’s bigger than yours!   You’ll be glad you did.

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: 

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.”

 

 

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Tell Them Bring the Salad Next Time!

cs1_26_595_01

PEACE OFFERING or DID THE SPANISH GET PUNKED?

NEXT TIME TELL THEM TO BRING THE SALAD INSTEAD!

Originally Published the Week of March 14, 2018 in Western Outdoor News

I’m a fan of history and enjoy finding little obscure bits of historical trivia.  I recently came across a story about our own city of La Paz where we live.

 

If you ever have a chance to visit the city,  I hope you get  the opportunity to visit the city cathedral in the town square.  It’s not a big city.  The cathedral is not hard to find.

 

 

The first thing that will strike you is that it sure doesn’t look like your typical Spanish-style mission so common up-and-down the Baja and into California.

 

It is strikingly absent of the long sepia-colored arched breezeways and adobe walls usually associated with mission architecture.  On the contrary, the La Paz cathedral is kind of square and blocky-looking.

 

It has two atypical  massive bell towers that look more fortress-like than other mission churches.  Heavy stone blocks and concrete masonry have been described as “sober neo-classical” in design.  It doesn’t sound too exciting, but nonetheless, it’s a big church!

 

Indeed, it looks different because it is.

 

Most other missions were constructed by Spanish Jesuit missionaries and conquistadores in the 1600’s and 1700 hundreds.  La Paz didn’t complete it’s house of worship until the latter part of the 1800’s.

 

According to the history, when the Spanish first arrived, they didn’t come as benevolent emissaries of church and crown.  Actually, they showed up as violent buttheads and took a heavy brutal hand to the local indigenous population.  They had no problem applying armor, cannons and musket to get their point across.

 

The locals didn’t take kindly to it and battled back.  And won.  Booted the Spanish right out.

 

This happened again and again.  Something between 5 and 8 incursions by the Spanish were made in La Paz to set up a colony.  In each case, the locals either whupped up on the padres and their military escorts or simply made it difficult to for the Spanish colonists to sustain the outpost.

 

The natives would cut off water; damage crops; and made it impossible for supply trains and ships to replenish and re-inforce the beleaguered  colonists. Life in the New World was hard  and brutal enough let alone being harassed by belligerent tribes.

 

So, the Spanish would pack up and sail away.

 

At least until the next intrepid group of helmet-headed imperialists showed up.

 

According to the story, during one of these attempts, the Spanish thought they were making some headway with the locals.  Rather than attack, the tribesmen presented the Spanish with many loaves of native papaya bread.

 

A welcome gift and gesture indeed!  The Spanish were thrilled with this apparently peaceful overture.  So, thrilled that they decided to have a fiesta to celebrate the wondrous gift of the delicious bread. A bit like the colonists at the first Thankgiving.

 

It was during this fiesta that the Spanish found out that the natives had a special method to making their bread.

 

The natives loved papaya and would consume the entire fruit wasting nothing.  This included the skin, meat and seeds.  It was their traditional way.

 

So far so good.  The key words are “wasting nothing.”

 

The most interesting part was that the tribespeople would then gather up the “previously digested seeds.”  Use your imagination.

 

The seeds ground into the flour used to make this special “Baja Bread” …wasting nothing!

 

Upon hearing this, the Spanish pretty much choked and gagged in” mid-chew” thinking about the origins of their yummy bread.

 

They were mad. Fighting mad at what they perceived was a cruel and sinister joke.  No one was laughing.  The Spaniards thought they got punked big time.  Talk about a “party fail!”

 

And once again, hostilities broke out.  The Spanish had no sense of humor and much blood was spilled over breaking bread.

 

A peace offering misunderstood and gone awry?  Or a dastardly prank pulled on the Spanish masters and padres?

 

We will never know.

 

But the natives again rose up and pummeled the Spanish back to the mother country.

 

I love history.

 

That’s my story!

Jonathan signature

______________

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-international.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:

“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.”

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I SWEAR IT WAS THIS BIG

exaggeration

I SWEAR IT WAS THIS BIG! 

Originally Published the Week of January 3, 2018 in Western Outdoor Publications

 

“All fishermen are born honest…but they eventually grow out’ve it.”…Anonymous sign posted on a fishing shack

 

“Jonathan, come down quick, I’ve got a huge fish.  It could be a record!”

 

Over the several decades in the fishing business down here in Baja, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that.

 

There was a day and time when I’d go rushing over with camera, scale, and tape measure.  Hey, it’s Baja!

 

More world records pop out’ve Baja waters than any other place on the planet.  Line class and weight class records are set every year.

 

I used to stumble over myself sprinting over to the massive fish and beaming fisherman.  Couldn’t get there fast enough.

 

If it wasn’t a call for a “world record” it was a call to check out some no less massive creature from the deep.

 

I admit I’ve gotten older and slower through the years, but I don’t quite sprint over like I used to.   At least not with the same urgency!

 

I have not curbed my enthusiasm by any means.  If an angler is excited and thinks it’s a big fish, then by gosh, I’m excited about that big fish too!

 

But logically, not every fish is going to be a “world record.”  Logically, not every dorado is a “fifty-pound beast.”  Not every roosterfish or wahoo weighs 80 pounds!

 

But, if someone is excited about it, then it’s very likely the largest fish that proud angler has caught…or the first…or prettiest…  It really doesn’t matter.

 

It’s an important fish and I’m excited about it too.

And, despite jokes to the contrary, “size matters.”

 

Actually, it’s all that matters.  But, like we all know, size is relative.

 

I’ve gotten pretty good after all those years after handling thousands of fish.  I can  eye-ball the size of a fish and can give a pretty good estimate on size.

 

So, like I said, I don’t quite hustle down the beach with all available speed any longer.

 

I don’t want to bust anyone’s bubble or temper their excitement so I’ll “conveniently” say, “Darnit,  I forgot my scale, but that’s a dandy fish!”

 

I’ll give a generous estimate and I make sure I take a photo if at all possible with lots of well-deserved genuine high-fives…low-fives…knuckle-bumps and back-slapping.

 

The best part is listening to the stories of the great catch.  Having clients who return year-after-year, gives me a great opportunity to hear the story over and over.

 

Having our own restaurant and bar is also an excellent venue to hear the stories, especially as the beer and margaritas flow.

 

And sometimes, oh my…how the story and size change!

 

There’s the quote that goes, “May I catch a fish so big that I don’t have to lie about the size when I tell the story later.”

 

Fishermen are among the best story-tellers on the planet.   Ever since the first cave-dwellers came back from the hunt to share exploits around the fires with the rest of the tribe, story-telling is part of the excitement and fun.

 

But, y’know, there really ARE some fish that need to be put on the scale and remove all doubt.

 

We finally got a very expensive IGFA scale that will weigh fish up to 2000 pounds and has to be certified ever year.  It’s come in handy a time or two.

 

Now, I don’t suggest you go out and do that.  For years, I got along very well and still carry some inexpensive hand-held devices in my tackle bag.

 

One is a little battery-operated hand-scale.  A number of companies make them and, although there are still numerical scales, the digital ones are handier and seem more accurate.

 

They have a big hook on them to hang the fish and, will give you a pretty accurate read-out of the weight of a fish.  They’re pretty handy to weigh your luggage as well.

 

They come in several sizes, but for Baja purposes, I have the ones that have 50-pound limits.  It seems to cover most Baja fish.

 

While normally not certifiably accurate, I’ve actually had several of my devices sent in to check their accuracy.  They were all within ¼ to ½ pound of our expensive certified rig.   Surely close enough!

 

Great for settling debates among friends. Great to decide who wins the jackpot over the largest fish and will be buying drinks at the cantina that night.

 

For larger fish up to 100 pounds, there’s the boga-type grips that look like a handled tube with a claw on the end.  They’re a little pricier and spring loaded.

 

They’re also a bit heavier, since they’re made of steel, but also fit easily in a tackle bag.

 

Using the trigger on the device, the hooks grab a fish by the lips.  When lifted, the springs inside the tube give a read-out of the weight.

 

Works great on larger fish although if it’s a long fish like a wahoo or dorado and you’re short like me, you might need to stand on something so the fish is off the ground.

 

But, it’s also handy if you plan to release the fish.  By “lipping” the fish, you minimize harming it.  You weigh it.  You take a photo and you release the fish to fight another day.

 

But, now you know the truth!  What you do with it and how you tell the story is still up to you.

Honest!

That’s my story (Really!  Believe me!!!)

Jonathan signature

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-international.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
 
TAILHUNTER FISHING FLEET #1 Rated on Trip Advisor
TAILHUNTER RESTAURANT BAR Top 5 – Rated in La Paz on Trip Advisor
 
Now follow us on FACEBOOK TOO
 

U.S. Office: 8030 La Mesa, Suite #178, La Mesa CA  91942
Mexico Office: 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico
Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-53311
.
Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:
http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

“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.”

 

 

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Hear Me Now Believe Me Later

stormwarning

HERE ME NOW BELIEVE ME LATER

Originally Published the Week of Sept. 27, 2017 in Western Outdoor Publications

In my last column, I was tapping away on my laptop just about a week after Tropical Storm Lidia smacked Southern Baja right in the nose.   Three weeks later, a lot of us are still digging out to a greater or lesser degree, especially, Cabo San Lucas.

 

It never quite became a hurricane, but it didn’t have to.  It was just as deadly.  Just as damaging.

 

I have been writing this column over a decade.   I have often documented what it’s like going through one of these uber-storms.  By my last count, I think I’ve gone through 8 hurricanes now and numerous tropical storms and depressions.

 

Lately, Mother Nature sure seems to be tee-ing off on our part of the hemisphere with hurricanes, fires and earthquakes.  It’s awfully humbling.

 

So, here I sit again.

 

However, instead of writing post-storm, I’m writing waiting for the newest, latest weather aberration, “Norma” to come rumbling our way up the Baja peninsula.

 

It started as a blip of “intermittent showers” on the weather forecast.  Within 30 hours, it grew to a tropical storm.  Then, it grew to a hurricane.  And now, back to a tropical depression.  But, it’s still coming.

 

So say the forecasts.  In the crosshairs.

 

Given how Lidia treated us last month, Norma has every reason to cause bunched-up-underwear levels.  For those of us who live down here and deal with nature on a daily basis; and who work and run businesses here; it’s faced with no small measure of trepidation.

 

Maybe, the anxiety is enhanced by the fact that we are in the hospitality business.  Other people’s well-being amplifies the ominousness.   That’s just the way it is when you live in a resort area.  Bottom line, we have other people to look after.

 

Ask those poor folks in the Caribbean who are digging out from Hurricane Irma whose livlihoods are based on tourism…hotels…fishing…restaurants…etc.  We have extra people we must answer to and be responsible for.

 

So, sitting here, I’ve often written about the destructive results of these meteorlogical calamities.  The torrential rain…the wind that sounds like a freight train…the utter darkness…falling trees…buildings blown to bits…flooding…mud and rockslides.  No water or electricity for days or weeks.  It’s impossible to understate the immensity.

 

But, sitting here, the STOOPID sun is out!  Yea, it looks like a postcard.

 

There’s barely a ripple on the water.  A gentle breeze strokes the edges of the overhanging palapa roof.  It’s 92 degrees outside and kids are playing with a rubber tube on the beach.  Dad’s got a beer in hand.  Mom’s reading a book.

 

What’s wrong with this picture?

 

According to the weather reports, all heck should be breaking loose real soon.  The heavens are gonna tear open a new one. Armageddon 2.0 is on the way.  Noah get the ark ready!

 

The port captain has closed the marinas down for two days now.  All boat traffic including fishing, diving, whalewatching and touring vessels are prohibited from leaving the harbor.

 

But…but…but…there’s not a cloud in the sky right now!  C’mon, man!  Are you serious?

 

We have clients boxed up in their rooms chomping at the bits to fish.  That’s why they’re here.  Or they’re tying on a serious buzz at the pool bar.

 

I’ve seen this before.  Too many days of this and it could get fugly.

 

It’s one thing to explain to folks that they can’t go out and play when it’s the deluge.   The sky is falling.  The drain is open.  Even the fish are hiding as are all creatures great and small.

 

It’s an entirely different issue trying to ask folks to keep their patience when the sun is out and it looks like a perfectly good day to be out on the water.  But, some picky-ninny bureaucrat has closed the port and ruined all the fun.

 

It’s like Disneyland.  It’s the “happiest place on earth” until you’ve waited in line and the ride breaks down!

 

It’s not supposed to happen on YOUR turn.  On YOUR vacation.

 

None of us want it to happen either.  Believe me, if we could control the weather, we would!  I’d grow back my hair and be taller too.  But, it’s not gonna happen.

 

I don’t like it when we get told we can’t play.  It’s like getting a time-out as a kid.  Yea, I’m gonna pout too!  It looks perfectly fine to go romp in the sand box and play in the water.

 

But, I get it too.

 

And I have to remind myself and try to communicate that to my clients that safety is the pre-eminent aspect in play.

 

The fisherman sitting in his room or hanging out at the pool often cannot see the forest for the trees.  It might look calm in the bay.  The sun could be out, but outside it could be howling wind and giant waves.

 

Unseen rollers and breakers could be out there already.

 

I’ve seen the deadly result when folks ignore the warnings not to take the boat out or not to go into the surf. Mother Nature is an unforgiving witch when she’s angry and you disregard the signs.

 

Here’s the biggest rub.

 

Remember, you’re in Mexico.  If you get in trouble “out there” especially when there’s warnings posted, chances are you’re on your own.  There’s no other boats that were foolish enough to go out.  The Coastguard isn’t going to look for you.  There’s no vessel assist program.

 

Often attempts at rescue, the rescuer is also lost.  A double tragedy.

 

So for now, we’re just gonna heed the warnings and sit here in the sunshine.  And wait for the storm to hit.  We watch and wait for the impending storm clouds.  We will endeavor to keep calm and chive on.

 

It’s times like this that I really pray for even a little rain to start.  Bring on some clouds and thunder to justify keeping everyone on the beach.  PLEASE!  It’s better than sunshine.

 

In the meantime… Keep everyone close and pass the suntan lotion.  Keep the blender going too.  Hopefully, they’ll forget there’s not a cloud in the sky.

That’s my story!

Jonathan signature

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-international.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
 
TAILHUNTER FISHING FLEET #1 Rated on Trip Advisor
TAILHUNTER RESTAURANT BAR Top 5 – Rated in La Paz on Trip Advisor
 
Now follow us on FACEBOOK TOO
 

U.S. Office: 8030 La Mesa, Suite #178, La Mesa CA  91942
Mexico Office: 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico
Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-53311
.
Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:
http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

“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.”

 

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