Archive for the ‘first aid’ Category

Oh Say Can You See?

Oh Say Can You See?

Originally Published In Western Outdoor Publications the Week of April 12, 2017

I want to tell you a little story.

We just finished our 21st year on the road.  For 3 months of the year, we drive to a different fishing and hunting show around the country.


We sell the Baja.  Our Baja.  The sunshine.  The fishing.  The blue water.  Come put your toes in the sand and get away from it all.


Seattle…Denver…Portland…Boise…San Diego…Salt Lake City…it’s the life of a modern carnival worker.


We arrive in a city in our cargo van.   Set up our booth.  Talk to folks for 4 or 5 days. Break it all down.  Drive another 1000 miles or so to the next city.


Ready for the next show.  And on and on. See a lot of wonderful country.  Shake a lot of hands.  Talk to a lot of wonderful folks.


There’s a whole gaggle and rag-tag of other outfitters, guides, vendors, and show people who follow “the circuit.”


Several weeks ago at the show in Phoenix, my booth was surrounded by the usual outfitters.  One couple from Alaska.  Another from Colorado.  A guide from Canada.


But across the aisle from me, was a booth set up with chairs in a row.  The “kid” working the booth was selling electric back massagers.  Oh joy.


For two days, I watched the kid bust his butt working his booth and talking to people.  His booth was a favorite.


Everyone walking that show loved sitting in his chairs and getting a back massage.  Who wouldn’t?


But, I loved watching the kid work.


“C’mon in.  Put your feet up for a few minutes!” he would smile.


I say “kid” only because he was a lot younger than me. Medium height. Dark and swarthy with a neat mustache and beard. Good shape. Polo shirt Nike tennis shoes and hip black skinny jeans that I couldn’t wear even on my best days back then.


On the 3rd day of the show, a few minutes before they opened the doors to the public, he walked over to my booth and stuck out his hand with a big smile.


He introduced himself as Yama Nasrallah.


He said he had also been watching me working the past two days.  We struck up an easy conversation.


As vendors do, I told him I live in Mexico.


He told me he was from Afghanistan.


Over the next few minutes, he explained that he had come to the U.S. fifteen years ago.  He used to have businesses in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He moved with his mom, dad and brothers.


“When I came to America I could not speak or write any English.  I told myself the only way to get ahead is to learn English. So, I made myself study hard every night while I worked at whatever jobs I could get to support my family.”


“I still do not write English very well,” he grinned, “But I speak English pretty good and I still study every night…after work! I must be better!” he added enthusiastically in a slight accent.


Without prompting, he told me that hard work is the only way to get ahead and do good.  Too many people…even Americans (he laughed) expect things to be given to them.


But, he told me he works usually 7-days-a-week.  He does over 100 shows around the United States every year.


He now employed his two younger brothers and they were manning his other two booths at the same Phoenix show.  One sold soft bamboo sheets and pillows for camping.  The other sold a handy high-tech utility flashlight.


He had a warehouse in Salt Lake City.


I couldn’t help but grin and compliment him.


“Y’know, if you are lazy you won’t get anywhere.  I teach that to my young brothers.  They like to party too much,” he laughed.  “But hard work is how you earn respect.”


“Everyone thinks America is where life is good and things are free and you are entitled to anything you want.  That is not true.  America gives you opportunity and freedom to make choices.”


As the show would start in a few minutes and both of us had some things to get ready, he gave me a quick firm handshake, a smile and wished me a great day. He hustled back to his booth.


I walked back to my booth.


A few minutes later, just before the gates opened,  the show producers always play the Star Spangled Banner over the loudspeakers.


Most of the show people, vendors, outfitters and guides, stop what they are doing and face a nearby American flag.  Often several hundred vendors.


Hand over heart.  Hat over heart. Hands clasped behind back.  Old veterans often stand at attention and salute. No one takes a knee.  Some sing.


It’s a great way to start the day.  Like being in school again in some ways.


But, I’m always annoyed at someone who forgets.  Some folks don’t notice that everyone else is paying respect.  They keep writing.  Or talking.  Or chatting on their cell phones.


It makes me smirk. C’mon, put it on hold for a minute.


Toward the last part of the song, I glanced over at Yama, my new friend from Afghanistan.  Vendor of electric massagers, pillows and flashlights.


Straight as an arrow.


“Oh say does that star spangled…”


Hand over heart.


“…Banner yet wave…”


Shoulders back


“O’er the land of the free…”


Head high towards the huge American flag on the wall.


“And the home of the brave!” 


And when it all ended and all the outfitters were clapping and cheering, Yama, who can speak English, but can’t write English so well. . .


put two fingers to his lips and let out the loudest whistles.


And started pumping his fist in the air…


“U.S.A!  U.S.A!  U.S.A!”


I don’t think anyone else saw or heard.  I don’t think Yama cared. He didn’t look around. He got ready to work.  To earn respect.  To get ahead.


You go, Yama.


And that’s my story.

Jonathan signature

Jonathan Roldan’s

Tailhunter International



TAILHUNTER RESTAURANT BAR Top 5 – Rated in La Paz on Trip Advisor


Now follow us on FACEBOOK TOO


Website: www.tailhunter-international.com

U.S. Office: 8030 La Mesa, Suite #178, La Mesa CA  91942

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


from USA : 626-638-3383

from Mexico: 044-612-53311


Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report: 


Tailhunter YouTube Videoshttps://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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Your Negligence. My Emergency?


Your Negligence.  My Emergency?

Originally Published the Week of March 12, 2017 in Western Outdoor Publications

Over the last two months of being on the road and talking to hundreds of fishermen at these fishing and hunting shows,  there’s a lot of story-talking that goes on.  I mean, that’s part of the fun of fishing, hunting and the outdoors, right?  Talking smack.  Telling tales.  Mine-is-bigger-than-yours.  It’s a guy thing.


And it’s not all about fish, either.  Ever since we were kids, we showed off skinned knees and cut fingers; missing front teeth; and plaster-casted arms.  We wore them like badges of honor.


Mom might have hated it, but ripped blue-jeans weren’t a fashion statement.  It meant you played hardball with sticks and rocks not Barbie and Ken dolls.


Nothing against girls who played with dolls, but there was something about girls who could lace ‘em up and slide into homebase or didn’t mind a good game of football in the mud.


And so it is with fishermen.  You can’t take the kid out’ve the man.  Like Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw and Roy Scheider in the “Jaws” movie showing off their scars.


So typical.


“This scar is from when I tried to pull a hook barehanded out’ve a wahoo mouth!”


“Well see this scar?  It’s the operation from a tendon they had to repair when I was barefooted and tripped on an anchor chain reaching for a beer!”


“That is nothing.  Here is where a gaff went through my hand, when I tried to do a trick!”


There’s that joke about why women live longer than men.  Yes, we remain little boys deep inside.


Yea, “poop happens” as the saying goes.  And a lot of it is our own fault and could be avoided.


Usually, most of us are pretty careful.  But, fishing is a sport inherently rife with sharp things; slippery things; pointy things and simply an unforgiving Mother Nature.


There’s things I always carry with me on my Baja fishing trips.  There’s the obvious things geared towards prevention.  Like a good hat.  A windbreaker.  High-end sunscreen.  Sunglasses.  Or water (Duh!).


Prescription medications.


These are the things that even the most veteran anglers sometimes forget but missing any one of them can really crimp your day. Or a vacation.


But what about other things?


Use common sense.  For some individuals that’s asking a lot. You should know if you can fix it yourself or you need to run to the hospital.  Nothing I say here is a substitute for real medical opinions and knowledge, especially in a true emergency.




I once had several very well-respected surgeons fishing with me as part of a group.  One of their buddies who was an attorney cut his finger on a lure.


It was bloody, but not serious.  It was funny listening to them “go into conference” about the best procedure to fix the finger. Blah blah blah blah blah.  Three surgeons, mind you.


It took so long the attorney fisherman looked at me and rolled his eyes then started making jokes about “malpractice lawsuits.”


I pulled the attorney away from the group.  Splashed water on the cut.  Told him to hold it high and apply some pressure.  Pulled a band aid outta my tackle box and slapped it on.  Back to fishing for me and the attorney.


Silence from the “over-thinking” surgeons.   The doctors mouths dropped then they started laughing.


But seriously, even small cuts or punctures can be critical. Not because of the wound itself, but because of infection.  Especially, in Mexico, that can be an issue.  You don’t want thing going septic on you.


So, clean the wound as well as you can.  Water, even clean saltwater is good.


I always bring some mouthwash with me. One of those little travel sizes works.  It has alcohol.  (It’s also good to chase away onion breath from the lunch burritos).


Splash some on.  Beer or other alcohol works in a pinch as well.


I always have some assorted band aids.  Keeping the wound clean and covered is essential.  Keeping it dry is important too.  So, I bring some first-aid tape to wrap around the bandage.  I usually have some kids balloons as well to roll over a finger.  We once used a condom (whatever works!) and then taped that on.


My tackle box also includes something antiseptic like Neosporin or similar that helps healing and fights infection.  I also carry super glue.  It stings a bit, but it can help seal a cut really nicely almost like brushing on some new skin.


If gets a puncture from a fin, tooth or spine, especially something toxic like a scorpion fish, have a bucket handy or plastic tupperware.  Clean the wound and as well as possible. Immerse the body part in the bucket.  Obviously, pull out the barb or fin.


An old trick we used when I worked on boats commercially is to add some bleach to the water, but also some meat tenderizer.  The bleach helps cleanse.


Meat tenderizer breaks down proteins and helps draw out the venom.  Works good on insect bites as well, if you make a paste out’ve it and apply to the skin.


Also from the galley…if someone gets a mild burn, honey on the affected area then covered up works like a charm!


For jellyfish stings, obviously get the jellyfish of you.  Scrape with an edge like a credit card or even the edge of a knife or shaving razor.


Rinse in salt, not fresh, water.  A paste of baking soda and SALT water works as does white wine vinegar that can be diluted with salt water.  Ice can help swelling.


Get back to fishing, but once back to shore, don’t ignore the wound. Clean and dress it again.  And keep it clean so it doesn’t get infected.  Get to a doctor if you need to.  Or it gets worse.

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

 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

 Website: www.tailhunter-international.com

U.S. Office: 8030 La Mesa, Suite #178, La Mesa CA  91942

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


from USA : 626-638-3383

from Mexico: 044-612-53311


Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report: 


Tailhunter YouTube Videoshttps://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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