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TROUBLESHOOTING – DON’T LEAVE FISH TO FIND FISH

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TROUBLESHOOTING YOUR FISHING – DON’T LEAVE FISH TO FIND FISH

Originally Published the Week of April 28, 2021 in Western Outdoor Publications

 

How does that saying go?

         “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

         I would like to throw out a challenger:

         “Nothing worse than a grumpy fisherman when everyone else is catching fish except him.”

         I know from experience.  I have been in the path of such a demon and it can be like watching one of those disaster movies where the huge apocalyptic tidal wave is coming.  There’s no escape.  Climbing the tallest tree or building isn’t gonna save you.

         Running a couple of fishing fleets here in Baja, I get the reports from my captains before they get back to the beach.  Everyone has caught lots of fish.  Everyone had a great time.

         Except one boat.  And the one guy.

         And it’s the guy who calls himself the “expert.”  He’s fished everywhere and caught everything and he’s done it all.

         And my captain gives me the code word on the radio “caliente” meaning, they’re coming in hot.  The client is NOT happy.

         Oh no.  Not like I can run away.  I know I’m gonna either get an earful of what went wrong ( it’s never the angler’s fault).  Or, I’ll get the silent Clint Eastwood squint of the pissed-off fisherman.

         Nothing like someone who’s upset and when you ask them what’s wrong, you get a brusque, “I’m fine!”

         Well…alrighty then…we’ll just walk to the other side of the room and give you some space!

         Before trying to figure out what went wrong I always chat with my captain.  I don’t like asking questions that I don’t already know the answer to. 

         Was the bait bad?  Was the guy simply unlucky?  Did he actually hook fish, but they broke off ?  That’s not bad fishing.  That’s simply bad catching. 

         Did he have a tackle box full of bananas?

         Often, one I hear is that the client just kept moving around too much and kept telling my captain he wanted to move.   Even when the fish were biting.

         The client wanted bigger fish. 

         Or he wanted a different species…then another type…then another type to cross of his bucket list.

         Or he simply had read too much and wanted to try all the “famous” spots he read about.

         For whatever reason, the client was like a waterbug scooting from spot-to-spot-to-spot.   Even when the fish were biting.  Even when other boats were catching fish. 

         That spot just wasn’t up to his expectations and in a version of “grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side” wanted to keep moving…and moving again.

         When I am finally able to confront the angler, it’s really hard to tell them to just stop racing all over the ocean.  Especially, if it’s an angler that attests to knowing more than my captain or me about fishing.

         However, I learned long ago when working as a deckhand and also as a fishing guide “Don’t leave fish to find fish.”

         There’s only a finite number of hours in a fishing day.

         If the fish are biting where you are, you probably shouldn’t pull up and go looking for a different spot.  At least give your current spot time to produce whatever it’s going to produce. 

         Sure, you might find a better spot.  But, there’s a good chance you might not.  And you’ll be wasting time and bait and gas chasing around.

         While everyone else is hooking fish and having a good time!

        

        

That’s my story!

signature transparent JR 4-21

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.”

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PRESENTATION IS A GAME CHANGER

PRESENTATION IS A GAME CHANGER

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

Presentation is a simple concept explain.  How something looks, feels or even acts has a lot to do with how that subject is perceived.

         Perfect examples.

         Two hamburgers.  Same meat.  Same cook.  They both taste the same.

 But, one is served on white table cloth with nice silver.  There’s a nice garnished sprig of parsley and the plate is shiny white ceramic. 

         The other burger comes in a greasy wrapper. 

         Most folks would be more inclined towards the nicely packaged burger, even though personally, I’d probably grab the one in the greasy wrapper that’s all messy.  But, that’s just me.  

         But, that wrapper registers an impression in my little brain that the one in the greasy wrapper is gonna taste better.

         Possibly a better example:

         The young man that comes to pick up my daughter for the evening at the movies.  For the first time. First date.

         Torn jeans…dirty fingernails…way too many piercings and a dragon tattoo up his arm.  And honks for her to come out.

         Danger! Danger!  Not with MY daughter!

         Or the young man shows up on time. Calls me “sir.” Holds the door open for my girl and he’s nicely dressed.

         In both scenarios, it’s the same kid.  If my daughter is going out with him, I’m sure he’s probably a sweet kid and nice guy despite first impressions.  Clothes aren’t everything. 

         I didn’t exactly look like a prize at that age either. 

         And the dad writing this article has a piercing and several tattoos! 

The nicely dressed kid does get bonus points for calling me “Sir.”

         But, first impressions are important.  There’s no getting around it. 

fish bait

         Fish are a lot like that too.  Presentation is everything.

         Some folks think if they have a lure in the water or if they have a bait on a hook in the water, the fish will jump all over it.  And they can’t figure out why they’re not getting bit.

         Or how come the guy next to them is getting hits left-and-right.

         There’s the old saying that, “20% of the fishermen catch 80% of the fish.”

         There’s a reason.  Much of that has to do with presentation and the impression it makes on the targeted fish.

         Imagine that “Mr. Fish” has a whole bunch of choices down there. 

Why should he bite you?  What makes your bait stand out and gets his brain neurons saying, “Eat! Eat! Eat!”

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         Let’s talk about live bait for the moment.

         How is it acting?  Lively? Lethargic? Plain dead?  

         Take dorado fore example.  Dorado, are like cats.  Fast moving lively things put them into attack mode.  The livelier the bait the better. 

         By contrast tuna can be notoriously lazy and love picking up dead bait or barely lively bait.  It’s like they don’t wanna chase anything. 

That’s why chunk bait is so effective.  Just a big mass of dead and dying bait dumped into the drift. One chunk has a hook in it.

         Speaking of hooks…How you rig (“pin”) your bait on a hook can have a massive effect. 

         For one, generally, match your hook to the size of the bait.  Don’t match your hook to the size of the fish you’re chasing. 

         For instance, if using a 6-inch sardine or anchovy, jabbing a 10/0 hook in it is going to kill the bait, even if you’re chasing 100-pound fish.  That’s not doing you any favors. 

Simple logic.

         Likewise, if your line is very heavy, your bait is gonna tire out faster and you’re not even going to know it.  Your line is way out there and you have no clue that your poor little bait is half-dead floating where you can’t see it.   

         And you wonder why your buddy keeps hooking fish!

         A lot of anglers also don’t know that you can actually control how your bait swims. 

         Pinch-off or cut off a bit of tailfin and your bait will swim erratically.  Often, this is a great attractant for gamefish who like to grab injured bait that can’t escape.

       Darwin’s theory.  Culling the herd. It sets your bait out from the rest of the bait in the water.

        Try these next time. 

       If you pin your bait on the bottom-side behind the dorsal fin, you bait will tend to swim directly away from the boat and down.

      If you hook your bait on the top-side behind the dorsal fin, your bait will tend to also swim straight out, but will stay on the surface.

     If you put the hook through the right collar, the bait will swim to the right.  Through the left collar and the fish will swim to the left. 

     Handy to know for those baits that continually want to swim under the boat or if you’re on a boat and you can’t get around someone or something.

     If how “food” looks and acts is important, consider how something “smells” also affects attractiveness just like smelling a steak on the grill.

     When I was first learning to fish as a kid, my old Japanese uncle taught me to keep the bait as fresh as possible.

     Don’t touch the bait with hands that touched food or something oily.  Or suntan lotion. 

     He was a smoker and never ever touched his bait with the hand holding his cigarette. 

     If you do have stuff on your hands, wash it off then put some fish slime or dead bait on your hands to cover up the fragrance of soap or other detergent.

     Presentation makes a difference.  First impressions are a game changer.

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.”

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ON SECOND THOUGHT…

ON SECOND THOUGHT…

Originally Published the Week of April 4, 2021 in Western Outdoor Publications

Back in the day…state of the art. (Shudder)

          There was a time, many decades ago when I worked as a deckhand on sportfishing boats, when there would be an audible groan when someone walked on board with a spinning reel.

         If you don’t know, there’s basically two kinds of reels.  Everything else is a variation of those two reels.

         There’s a “conventional reel” that looks kind of like a barrel-shape on top of the rod. 

conventional reel

         Then, there’s the “spinning reel” that goes under the rod and looks like…well…a spinning reel.  It’s not easy to describe. 

         A lot of fishermen started out as kids with a spinning rod fishing in lakes and streams.  Great reels, no doubt. Easy to learn.  Easy to use.

         My own first was a black Mitchell Garcia (remember those?) with 4-pound-test line that my dad had attached to a K-Mart fishing rod.  (Remember when K-Mart ruled?).

         But, as far as many of us saltwater fishermen were concerned, spinning reels should stay in lakes and stream. 

         In fact, many of us called them “coffee grinders” outwardly or at least under-our-breaths.  This was due to the big handle you would “grind” when retrieving line or fighting a fish. 

         “Coffee grinder” was not a complimentary title.  Anglers who brought them out on boats weren’t held in high esteem either.

         Justly or unjustly,  it marked that person as someone to avoid.  You stayed away from them.  You fished as far away from them as possible.

         You’d just as soon fish next to a guy who picked his nose than a guy with a spinning reel.  It was that bad.

         There was a good chance that if that fisherman had a coffee-grinder reel, they weren’t very good fishermen.  Additionally, the reels themselves had a hard time controlling fish.

         The reels often weren’t very good.  Poor engineering .  Poor components. 

Ultimately, they were just overblown and oversized freshwater reels.  I’ve seen these reels seize up or break. I’ve seen big fish just blow these reels apart. 

         A novice fisherman with a reel and equipment that doesn’t do much to control a fish is a bad combination.

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         Chances are they’re gonna tangle you which wastes a lot of time and gear.  It will always happen at the worst time.  And they won’t know how to untangle things.  It’s now YOUR problem. 

         Additionally, because of the gear and inexperience, they can’t control their fish during the fight .  That means, not only are they tangling you, but they have a good chance of cutting your line…especially if your line is taught as you also fight a fish!  Adios fish! Seee-yaaaa!!

         DANGER! DANGER!!!  STAY AWAY FROM ME!!! RUN AWAY!!! GO FISH ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BOAT!!!

         This was years ago.  And all things considered, I knew there had been many improvements.  However, old prejudices die hard and old dogs don’t learn new tricks very well.

         The only reason I mention it is because over the last few years, I’m seeing more and more of these spinning reels showing up on fishing boats in Baja.  With the exception of trolling or the biggest of big fish, they seem to be working well.

         The technology has improved. 

         They are lighter and stronger alloys. 

         They have better line capacity and are able to hold larger line classes.

         They cast as smoothe as silk and even a novice can learn to handle one very easily and quickly.  Certainly it’s a lot faster and initially more comfortable than a conventional reel set up.

         They also have reversible handles so both left-and-right handed anglers are comfortable and “bait runner” innovations that allow baits to free-swim more naturally than the predecessor reels and more like conventional reels.

         First and foremost, the drag systems are so much more improved.  They can really put the brakes on some of the biggest and most powerful fish most anglers will encounter.  That includes tuna, marlin, giant roosterfish and others.

          Frankly, they look like something a starship trooper would would use in a Star Wars movie.

saltwater-spinning

         I know a lot of these innovations have actually been around for a bit, but well…like I said…I’m old school.  And more spinning reels are catching my eye.

         And folks are doing well with them.  Even veteran fishermen are finding a spot for them in their arsenal.

Kristina Ainsworth yellowtail tags 3-21

         I’m not giving up my conventional gear, but I stopped making fun of anglers with coffee-grinders and looking sideways at them with a wink or raised eyebrow.

         Always room to learn at least one new trick, although sometimes I’m a slow learner.

 

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.”

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DON’T DO AS I DO

DON’T DO AS I DO

Originally Published the Week of March 28, 2021 in Western Outdoor Publications

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           I’ve done many “how to” articles and magazine columns over the years.  So has everyone else. 

         However, I can’t think if I have ever done an article about things you should NOT do when fishing in Mexico. After 30 years and thousands of clients, I’ve seen a thing or two and maybe I have a little insight for you.

         I’m also getting a lot of inquiries from folks who plan to go fishing for the first time in Mexico as well in 2021.

         A lot of it might just be common sense and/ or common courtesy.

         Here’s some things that I’ve been told by my captains or other employees and friends who are in the tourist industry.

         Here you go…

         Don’t be afraid to speak Spanish.  It’s appreciated. 

         By the same token, don’t assume that people don’t understand what you’re saying in English.  I’ve witnessed some embarrassing moments and have had a few of my own where I said something and thought the other person didn’t understand.  

         Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know.  Believe me, it’s way better than the person who shows up and tells you they know EVERYTHING or they are the BEST at everything. 

      Blah…blah…blah.  My brain shuts down.  Words are coming out of your mouth, but all I’m really hearing is Charlie Brown’s teacher.  Waaa-waaa-waaah!

         Don’t act like you could do it better or you know someone who can do it better.  It comes off as condescending.  People are doing the best they can.  Walk a mile in their shoes before you tell someone they’re doing it wrong.

         Don’t be afraid to overtip.  Don’t show money then be chintzy. 

         At minimum wage in Mexico, a person earns maybe $8-10 dollar PER DAY.  That’s PER DAY.  For an 8-12 hour day.

         If you can afford to be on vacation, you definitely make more than that.   

        He doesn’t need to hear how much you own/ earn/ make.  Doesn’t need to see your big wad of cash, then you tip like it’s painful.

          And for Pete’s sake…you’re not doing anyone any favors by giving them three of your junk fish (like bonito or mackerel) that you were gonna throw away anyway instead of cash.

         The man has to feed his kids and put gas in the boat so be fair.

         Don’t overindulge in the party then ruin it for everyone.  You’re not the only one on vacation.  Respect that other people are also trying to enjoy themselves, including members of your family, friends, etc. 

         Everyone loves to party, but you getting plastered and causing a scene or throwing up really is a buzz kill for everyone who is with you or is near you.

         Don’t be afraid to share.   You got extra?  Spread it around?  Offer. 

        Got an extra burrito in your box lunch or an extra Coke or beer?  Offer.  It’s great good-will and, even if gratefully turned down, it shows you’re an OK person.

          In fact, purposely bring or buy extra food for your captain and crew!

         Here’s one not many folks think about. Don’t lose or break gear. 

        It happens.  We all know it.  It’s part of fishing.  But, offer to replace it or buy new ones.  Gear and tackle are incredibly expensive in Mexico. 

      Where we are in La Paz, a Rapala is $35 dollars.  Good hooks run 50 cents each.  It adds up. A small leader spool or fluorocarbon costs $40.

         You gave him a $50 tip is great.  But wait.  You also lost 2 of his $40 lures and bird-nested about 30 dollars worth of line.  C’mon man.

         While you’re at it.  Don’t belittle the man’s boat; his gear or his tackle.  Bring your own next time.  Most guys I know or work with take a lot of pride in their belongings. 

         At least the ones I work with.  They do a lot with a little and make the best with what they have.  Like having someone come to your house or ride in your car then tell you it needs improvement.  It’s insulting.

         In all honesty, none of the things above apply to 99% of our visitors.  God love ya.  Most tourists are gems and so much above is common sense and just being decent and courteous.

         Frankly, the biggest “DON’T” that I ever talk to people about is not to forget who you are and where you come from.

         If you’re reading this, chances are you’re American.  Don’t forget that.  You’re being watched carefully.  In many ways, you’re down here “representing.”

         For all the good as well as all the bad.  Don’t leave a lasting bad impression.

         In almost 30 years in Mexico and thousands of friends and clients, I can only think of a handful who crossed the line. Egregiously.

       But, I never forgot them!  Others probably never forgot either.  Not a good memory to leave when you go home. 

      The best thing you can ever do, no matter where you travel.  Don’t ever forget “please,” “thank you,” and your smile.

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.”

Read Full Post »

THE BEST LURE

THE BEST LURE

Originally published the Week of March 21, 2021 in Western Outdoor Publications

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          Y’know, say what you will about fishing, but sometimes you have the most profound and interesting conversations when the fish aren’t biting. 

         I have a friend.  You don’t know his name, but you’ve probably heard or seen his product. Or you have used it.

         He’s a fun hard-core East Coast angler. 

         Years ago, he came back to his home in Massachusetts from a day fifishing and was sitting at his kitchen table drinking beers.  He started fiddling with his plastic lures and decided on a whim to modify some. 

         He tested them and they worked. He went back to the kitchen table and more beers and modified them s’more.  They worked even better. 

         He then started pouring his own molds and started marketing them. Sales went viral.

         They went so well that Walmart or K-Mart or someone like that paid him mega millions for the rights.  And then it went the route of “As seen on TV.”

         And that’s where you probably heard of the famous “Helicopter Lures.” Just a goofy piece of twirly-colored-rubber with a hook that catches fish and made millions for my buddy.  

          He never worked again in his life.  Only fishes. Living the dream.

         So he and I were sitting in a boat.  On the ocean.  And the fish had stopped biting for the moment.

          He and I were talking about “the best all-around lure to have.”

         We had a laugh about it.  Him a famous (now wealthy) lure inventor and me running a charter operation in Mexico.

         We agreed that like cameras or guns it’s the old adage. “The camera or gun you have in your hand when you need it is better than the one you left at home.”

         Lures are like that too.  The one you have beats the one you left home.

         But, maybe as knuckleheads, that’s why us fishermen bring 50 lures to every waterfront battlefield.  Can’t leave any at home.

         Realistically, however, it’s harder and harder to bring every lure when you have to fly.  Thirty-pounds of lures is not only impractical, but airlines make you pay dearly as well.

         So, it’s a question I get all the time. 

        Here are my essential lures I would not leave home without if headed to Mexico.  These would apply pretty much anywhere.

         Any tackle store will know these or you can see them online if you don’t understand the terminology.

         I’d bring two tuna-style feathers for trolling.  One dark-color.  One light color.  I’d have them rigged with 80-pound leader line.

         To my trolling arsenal, I would add one cedar plug.  Natural.  Unvarnished.  No fancy paint job.  Trust me on this one.  Plain old wood with that ugly grey leadhead.

         I’d bring 4 Rapala-style lures.  These are the ones with the big lips that dive down when cast and retrieved or slow-trolled.  The two larger ones would be the “Magnum” sized lures.  In our area the Rapala Xrap style has become very very popular. 

         However, other companies such as Yo-Zuri and the old Bomber-style lures are excellent as well.  Get one dark colored and one lighter color .

         The two smaller ones would be 4 to 6 inches long for trolling the shallow areas or over rocks.  Bass fishermen are very familiar with these.  A zillion companies manufacture them. Call ‘em “crank baits. “

         I can’t tell you how many fishing trips were saved by slow trolling or casting one of these in the shallows.  There are few fish that won’t eat one of these. 

         The problem is that often, these are so effective that they get chewed up and busted up.  Or they get blown up by some huge critter and get dragged into the rocks and lost.

         Then, you suddenly find out you should have brought more! 

         Again, one dark one and one light one, but I especially like any style that looks like a shiny sardine or baitfish.

         So…the count.  We have two tuna feathers.  We have one cedar plus. We have four Rapala-style lures.

         Next, into the box goes two or three casting lures. 

  • A yo-yo style or candy bar style casting jig. Blue and white or something with chrome on it.  Used to sink and retrieve. Tons of manufacturers. Tady, Marauder, UFO,  Krocodile (the large ones) and Salas come to mind.
  • A knife-style jig like a Shimano butterfly jig, but others make good ones too.

 

       And that, my friends, is kinda of it!  Doesn’t take much space.  Won’t cost you much money to purchase or bring down.

      I would add in a Lucky Joe or Sabiki style rig and a 4 oz. torpedo sinker.  Good to have just-in-case, there’s the opportunity to use live bait. 

     You never know.   Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

         Several caveats:

         First, I used brand names only as a means of simplifying the description.  Kinda like saying “Kleenex.”  Everyone knows tissue by that name even if it’s made by a dozen other companies. 

         Same with lures.  I used the brand name simply to make it easier to describe and find.

         Secondly, I left out plastic lures…swimbait and plastic jigs and such.  These are very very effective. 

         However, I was trying to minimize the space and keep things simple.  Plastic jigs are deadly-good.  But, everything in Mexico worth catching has a mouthful of teeth.  Even the smallest fish have teeth. 

         Plastics get torn up really fast. 

       In my experience, you need a whole zip-lock bag of each color just to keep up.  So, I purposely kept those off this list.  If you love ‘em, I’m sure you’ll bring your plastics anyway.

         Third, I mention colors.  These “colors” I mention have worked for me and zillions of fishermen over many decades. 

         But, I have often wondered. 

         When I worked as a deckhand, for instance, you would hear in the reports that all the yellowtail or barracuda, etc were being caught on blue and white jigs.  But, I’ve often wondered if that’s because 90% of the anglers are using blue and white jigs and they had a reputation about being effective.

         That being said, don’t be afraid to go outside the box of my recommendations and throw in some zany polka-dotted pink lure.  Just for the fun of 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 Sportfishing

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.”

Read Full Post »

DUST and WAVES

DUST & WAVES

Originally Published the Week of March 11, 2021 in Western Outdoor Publications! 

         I guess there’s two stories to pass onto you this week in a round-about-kinda-way. 

         One actually is possibly some useful info about fishing in Baja, which is what this column is normally supposed to be about.

         But, let me start with the first story!

         As a kid I really only cared about three publications in my life.

Sears

         One was the Sears Christmas catalog.  If you were a kid, my reasons need no explanation.  It was the most dazzling thing to have in your hands. I should have saved a copy or two to show to the grandkids.

         Another was MAD.  Don’t laugh.  If any of you are old enough to remember, MAD Magazine,  I think it’s how I learned how to read.  It’s where I got my weird bent sense of humor. 

         It’s where I learned goofy songs and rhymes and things I didn’t even understand in those pre-teen years.  And, of course, there was that backpage fold-out that was brilliant.

         My mother, a dedicated 2nd grade teacher for 30+ years would always try to steer me towards good literature…classics…authors…etc.  She was usually successful. 

        Except there was MAD Magazine.  I don’t know how she and dad let me get away with that or knowing my allowance money was not being used very wisely.

         But, there was one other magazine that I treasured and that DID receive a better nod of approval.

         It was Field & Stream.   

field-and-stream

         Now THAT was a magazine that I would definitely save my allowance to buy.   It was everything I ever wanted to know about hunting and fishing and all the places and adventures I would someday have.

         It was the Sears Catalog for the outdoors to me.

         It was geography and adventures, Daniel Boone and Tom Sawyer all rolled onto the printed pages.

         Cover-to-cover and back-and-forth.  I would cut out articles and save them in scrap books.  If I got caught under the bedsheets at night with a flashlight reading MAD Magazine or the Sears Catalog, they were confiscated.

         With Field & Stream, they let me slide.  Or dad would take it and read it himself. 

         Well…of all things…two weeks ago a writer for Field & Stream contacted me for an interview about fishing in Baja!  Me?  Are you kidding?

         That icon of outdoor magazines wanted to know what someone like me thought?   Wow!  Needless to say, I was thrilled.  I’m not sure how the interview went or how it will eventually look in print, but hey, I was happy to do it!

         Which leads to the 2nd story of this column.

         The reason they had asked me for the interview…

         Apparently, I was part of a series of outfitters being asked how the Covid pandemic had affected us.  As well, more importantly, they wanted to know what we thought of the coming year.

         The first part was easy.

         I think anyone who was in the travel industry or is still in the travel industry and didn’t get pulled down by the pandemic/ quarantine wolves will agree.  Last year was devastating.  It continues to be so in 2021.

         It doesn’t matter if you were/are an outfitter, lodge, charter operation, guide, hotel, travel agent, airlines, cruise lines, taxi driver…If you dealt with any aspect of the travelling public, 2021 was unlike anything we had ever seen or could imagine.

         Travel to Mexico?  Travel abroad?  Travel to another state?  Travel to visit your family, kids, parents on the other side of town?

         Are you kidding?  We couldn’t even leave our houses, either because we couldn’t (lockdown); or were simply afraid to (contagion); or didn’t have the ways or means (no money) to travel.

         No one could travel for essential things like work and school. So forget leisure travel like taking vacations or other discretionary trips.

         Yea, we got hammered.  Punched in the nose.  Kicked in the nether regions then dog-piled while we were already on the ground.  Many of our friends in the industry lost their jobs or had to find other or supplemental work.

         For those of us in the travel industry still treading water, it’s not over yet. 

         For us in Baja, things really started to take an upswing there at the end of 2020.  Americans were really scooting to Baja. 

         Mexico is close.  It was economical.  It was easy to there and get home.  

Canada was a no-go because of the border closures and quarantines in place.

Going to Europe or Asia take some planning.  Pack an overnight bag with shorts and t-shirts and you can fly off to Mexico. 

         Locally, more hotels and restaurants and other services were opening up.  Airlines were having to add more flights to keep up with the demand.  For us and other operators in Baja, things were looking up. 

         Bookings were picking up.  People just wanted to get out no matter if there was vaccine or no vaccine. Covid or no covid.

         Then, the new CDC rules were implemented in January of 2021.  It required that everyone travelling into the U.S., including returning vacationers, have a negative Covid test within 72 hours of flying back to the U.S.

         WHAM!  BAM!  Travel took another knee below-the-belt.

         Bookings took a dive.  Cancelations jumped up.  Airflights got canceled.  Folks not wanting to get stuck in Mexico made a mass exodus for home and left on-going vacations.

         But, now things are looking up again.  Whew!

         Vaccines are being implemented.  Moreso, Mexico got it’s game together and erected testing facilities at airport, hotels, timeshares and labs to make it cheap and convenient to get the tests.  Can’t lose the all-important tourism sector again.

         So, people are booking again.

         But, will it be a good season?

         I think so.  The fish were largely left alone last year.  Six to 8 months there was literally zero sportfishing traffic on the water.

         Even when things opened, it was only a fraction of the usual crowds.

The fish had time to grow.  The fish had time to spawn and mate without getting bonked by lures run scattered by boat motors.  More importantly, their food source…the critical baitfish weren’t depleted.

I thnk this year of 2020 will be an improvement over last year. But, it still won’t see the normal numbers and the experts are saying we’re really only going to see 30-50% of the normal visitors.

So, bigger fish. Hungrier fish. More fish.  More bait.

And maybe just you out there on the water!

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.”

Read Full Post »

THE GOOD OLD DAYS

THE GOOD OLD DAYS

Originally Published the Week of March 1, 2021 in Western Outdoor Publications

About a month ago, I received a reservation request from one of our regulars who had fished with us many times over the years. He wanted to set up a whole week of fishing with our fleet in La Paz.

         He had not fished with us in a few years.  As he put it laughingly, “Life got in the way of my fishing.  Then this darned pandemic thing knocked last year’s fishing helter-skelter.”

         This year, he was coming with his wife and 2 grandkids.  Three days fishing…hotel…some snorkeling…one of our taco tours of the city.  The whole package.

         He’s always a pleasure.  Low maintenance.  Fun to be around him as well as whoever he brings along.

         But, something he said to me has stuck in my head like a song that keeps re-playing.  I wanted to share, but didn’t quite know how to write about it in my column.

         We were talking about all the cancelled vacations and fishing trips everyone endured last year. 

         He said, “I’m 86 years-old. I can still do a lot of things, but at some point very soon, I know that I won’t.  It’s just the way things are. “

         “I can still enjoy a beer. (laughs)  I like dancing with my dear wife who puts up with me.  I can still give the grandkid a piggy-back ride. I can work in the garden. “

         “And darnit, I can still fish!”  He added emphatically at the end of that.

         He went on…

         “Life is not forever.  I know people are scared to travel right now.  However, I could get sick tomorrow going shopping at Target as easily as I could get sick going on a fishing trip.”

         “It seems, in fact, more likely to get sick in a crowded store than in an open fishing boat!”

         “When you’re young, you think you’ve got all these fishing days to look forward to.  Good times on the water with the buddies or with family.  But now…well…I don’t have that many more days ahead of me…if you know what I mean.”

         “We always talk about the ‘good-old-days.”  Well, even with this Covid-thing…what if these ARE the ‘good old days’ we’ll talk about in 5 or 10 years?

         “To me, the ‘good-old day’s will be the days I could still do the things I want to do. “

“I’d rather spend my good-old-days on the beach or on a boat or hanging with my family than sitting in the Lazy-Boy with the remote.  At some point soon, I won’t be able to get up from that Lazy-Boy.”

         “So, Jonathan…book me a trip!”

         I was pretty much ready to give him the trip for free at that point.  Priceless thoughts. 

         When I was younger, it seemed I was always the one who talked. I had stuff to share and needed to be heard. Blah blah blah.  I must’ve been insufferable.

         As I get older…well…I need to listen more. 

         Life should have been reversed.

I should’ve listened more when I was younger so that now when I’m older, I could talk and say something that actually meant something.

I’m 20-years-younger than my fishing friend.

But, I’ve got a birthday this week.  His words that I’ve hung onto for a few weeks have a little more poignancy. 

In the past 2 months, I’ve had 7 close fishing buddies pass away…Dave and Jack…Roger…Kevin…Lloyd and John…Stan.

Cancer…Hearts…Covid

How the heck did that happen? In fact, except for one (Hi Leroy!), all of my fishing buds are gone now.  I just realized that.  It’s a long list growing longer.

These were guys who took me under their wings.  Showed me stuff.  Taught me.  Kicked my butt when I needed it.  I used to like to think they were proud that I had taken a hobby and a passion and made it into a career. 

They took a kid with a rusty spinning reel and old line on overnight trips and long-range trips.  On the boats, I was the kid tangling everyone or playing in the bait tank. On the lake or stream, I was the annoying bored kid who threw rocks in the lake when everyone was trying to fish and “shushed” by my elders.

I always looked up to them.  It’s like at Thanksgiving when you sit at the kid’s table and the grown-ups sit at the big person table.  It’s your mom’s and dads. Aunt’s and Uncles.

And then they are gone.  And you realize that now you’re the one at the big person table and there’s more and more empty seats.

I’m the only one still fishing.  Sort of.

I feel great.  A few extra pounds from too much good food from Jilly during Covid.  But otherwise, still good.

But yea…I’ve got more days behind me than ahead of me. 

And, I don’t want some pandemic to define my “good old days.”  Not while I can still do things.  Before I get too creaky.

I can’t wait to put my toes in the sand this year.  I’m gonna fish more too.  Still drink my vitamin shake, but an extra beer or two won’t hurt.  Say “yes” more often to doing things.  Gonna hug my wife and kids and grandkids more too.

These are the good-old-days.  Here and now.

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.”

Read Full Post »

UPDATING COVID TESTING in MEXICO

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.”

Read Full Post »

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.”

Read Full Post »

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.”

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