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FAMILY PLANNING

kids-fishing-with-parents

Could be the start of a lifetime of memories

FAMILY PLANNING

Originally Published the Week of  Feb. 11, 2020 in Western Outdoors Publications

This is the time of year when lots of folks are planning their fishing vacations to Mexico for the coming year.  Conversely, this is the time of year when folks like us, who run fishing operations, answer a lot of questions.

 

With increasing frequency, we get numerous questions about bringing family members in general and kids, in particular.  More-and-more, it’s not Ralph and the buddies coming fishing anymore.  It’s Ralph and his family or Ralph and his son(s).

 

Indeed, with travel increasingly easier and, with many more family-friendly facilities, it’s a no-brainer to want to bring the family or introduce them to south-of-the-border fishing.

 

But, let’s focus on the kids for now.

 

Ultimately, you know your kids better than anyone.  I hope.

 

You would think.

 

But, honestly, after 25 years, nothing surprises me.  There are some parents that seem to have no clue about their kids.  If the outdoors, or fishing, isn’t of any interest, you can’t drag them kicking and screaming onto the water.

 

No judgment.  But, it’s not for everyone.

 

I don’t like cherry tomatoes.  I don’t like wearing wet socks.  I don’t dislike baseball, but I’d rather watch a football game.  I get it.

 

Some little girls we see down here are way more into the outdoors than their brothers. They carry rods. Bait their own hooks.  Love getting dirty.

 

And that’s way cool too.  But, the brother might be a math whiz. Also, very cool.

 

But, if you are bringing them down and plan to go fishing, remember that it’s all about them…not YOU.

 

Some folks forget about that.  It’s not about you catching the most fish or the biggest fish.  It’s not about seeing how much beer you can drink on the boat and letting the captain or deckhand do all the work and babysits.

 

Remember that a lot of us got interested and love this sport because probably someone older and smarter and more experienced like our own dads, an uncle, an older friend or brother took the time with us.

 

Take the time with them and make it a positive experience.

 

First and foremost, see to their safety and comfort.

 

Make sure they understand about the ocean and water.  It’s a bonus if they can swim, but maybe this is their first saltwater experience.

 

Most operators in Mexico don’t have kid-sized flotation devices (life jackets).  It’s impossible. Kids come in all sizes.

 

If they do have kid-sized flotation devices, they are bulky and uncomfortable.  So go out and find a flotation device they can wear comfortably all day.

 

Also, you would think common sense would prevail, but you’d be surprised.

 

Don’t forget sun protection like SPF lotion (and it really helps if you put it on regularly).  Hats, sunglasses and long-sleeved shirts keep them comfortable.  A painful sunburn later on isn’t going to help anyone’s vacation.

 

If the boat has shade, encourage them to stay in the shade as much as possible.

 

Further, gear the trip to what they can reasonably handle and have a good time.

 

It doesn’t do to take a first-timer out in rough weather and big-seas on a 30 mile boat-ride to the fishing grounds.  You prove nothing and you might end up with a sick kid who wants nothing more to do with your “idiotic sport.”

 

Nor does it help to put the youngster into a situation they’re not ready to handle or doesn’t lead to positive results.

 

For example, I know very few adults that can handle 100-pound tuna.  Let alone a first-timer.  Let alone a youngster who has never caught anything maybe larger than a bluegill or stocked trout.

 

Gear the trip to their experience and fun level.

 

Bring lots of good food and drinks too.  No one knows better than you how good food tastes when you’re outdoors.  Some of my best memories as a kid fishing wasn’t always the fishing. It was the great lunches my mom and dad always set up for the picnic or on the boat.

 

Do the same!  In between fishing, it’s a great time to share a bite.

Nolan and me 2 edit

Several years ago, we took our 2-year-old grandson out on a panga.  He was still in pampers.

 

But, we picked a calm day and took him close to shore.  Waters were shallow, clear blue and he could see the fish under the boat.

 

We held the rod and reel and he turned the handle, but he got the idea pretty quickly and really enjoyed catching fish (and playing with them in the bucket).

 

We also released fish too.  We pointed out birds and dolphin and other boats.

 

We didn’t stay out long, but then took him to the beach to swim and splash around.  All-in-all a good start and a positive day for all of us!

 

We taught him about” high-fiving” and saying things like “BOO-YAA!”

 

Encourage, praise and be excited.  You’re grooming a new fishing buddy!

 

And we took lots of photos.

 

By all means, take lots of photos.  You’re only passing through this way one time!  Make it special and hold onto those memories of a lifetime.

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: 

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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YES YOU CAN!

YES YOU CAN!

Originally Published the Week of Jan. 28, 2002 in Western Outdoor Publications

If you’ve already fished in Baja or Mexico or an old hand south of the border, my column this week might be pretty elementary. You might want to click or move over to the next page and read something else.

My wife Jill and I are on the trade show tour right now. I’ve been doing these fishing/ hunting expositions now going on 30 years.

From just after Christmas until almost Easter, we’re on the road. We criss-cross pretty much all of the western United States in our vehicle and, in our booth, appear at these shows. We finished shows in Denver and Sacramento.

And, I am writing this from our hotel room where we stopped for the night. Tomorrow, we hope to hit Seattle where we’ll set up for the next show.

At these expos, of course, we’re promoting our own operation in La Paz, Tailhunter Sportfishing. But, I see us doing more than that.

I hope we are also good ambassadors on behalf of Mexico when we are in the U.S. In the same way, I hope we are good ambassadors for the United States when we are at our home in Mexico.

Sure, it’s great if folks wanna ask us about spending vacation time with us fishing and letting us set it all up. That’s our business.

However, I’m more than happy to chat with anyone about Mexico and Baja. I don’t claim to know everything, but in almost 30 years living in Baja, I’ve picked up a few things and tidbits of knowledge.

Folks have questions about road conditions. I had one lady think she could drive from Cabo San Lucas to Loreto in about an hour because it was only “2 inches distant” on the map! That kind of thing. (It’s actually an all-day drive).

They’ll have questions about the food. Or lodging. Crossing the border. Passports. Medical care. Living in Mexico. Even about fishing in other parts of Baja.

Happy to do it! For whatever my two-cent opinion is worth. If I don’t know, at least, I hope to point folks in the right direction.

And, of course, there’s the usual question that makes me grit my teeth and try to smile.

For instance, just the other day at the Sacramento Show, I had someone ask me when is the best time to fish the “salmon runs” in Baja.

Or the guy who walks up to my wife and I standing in our colorful booth adorned with fish picture and videos playing and asks, “So, is the fishing any good there?”

Uh, no.

We’re just standing in the booth for 10 hours and 4-5 days a week because the fishing sucks. That’s right up there with the gent who walked up to the booth and said, “So, uh…you guys fish down there in La Paz?”

Please walk to the next booth sir. They’re from Alaska. Their booth has bear and moose and deer photos and ask them if they have hunting there.

But, one very sincere and genuine question I get asked is about taking fish home. When I tell them they are absolutely allowed to take fish home, I am genuinely surprised at how many are shocked.

Many have fished all over the world, but never in Mexico. In many places, it is all catch-and-release. Or they have very restrictive catch regulations.

I always explain that Mexico also has regulations and yes, there are limits. And limits are meant to be observed.

However, within limits and only taking what you can reasonably eat, you are very welcome to bring fish home. In fact, that’s one of the big draws of fishing in Mexico.

Generally speaking, I tell them they are allowed to take up to 10 fish per person-per-day, and with some exceptions, up to 5 of any one species.

We encourage catch-and-release and if possible releasing juveniles and females as well as roosterfish, billfish and small rockfish.

However, there’s no size limit as it can be a one-pound fish or a 100-pound fish. All the same.

That usually produces some real smiles.

I have also fished in places where all fish had to be released. Or, I was only allowed to take one fish and it had to be consumed that day. Or, the catch went to the crew of the boat and if I wanted any, the crew would sell some back to me.

Grrrr…

I’m all for releasing fish and only keeping what you can reasonably use.

Last time Jilly and I fished for dorado, we caught 99 in 3 hours! We only kept 2 small ones for dinner with friends and let all the rest go. Easily done with barbless hooks!

However, in chatting with folks, they tell me they have always wanted to give Mexico a try for fishing.

They know it’s a great value and very close. However, thinking they could not take any fish home was a game-changer.

Now you know and yes you can!

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 http://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 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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ENDEAVOR to PERSEVERE

ENDEAVOR to PERSEVERE

Originally Published the Week of Dec. 17, 2019 in Western Outdoor News Publications

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I know it’s the holiday season.

 

Christmas is still two weeks away and I don’t wanna sound like the Grinch. I love Christmas!

However,  a couple of nights ago, I was overdosing on Christmas movies.  One-after-the-other on TV non-stop.

 

Ever been there?  A little too much sugar and spice at one time?

 

All the Hallmark movies end the same.  Pretty girl falls in love with the good-looking guy in the cute Christmas village.

 

Clarence gets his wings with the help of Jimmy Stewart and a Wonderful Life.

 

Charlie Brown and his little tree give us the true meaning of Christmas.

 

Bing Crosby had his White Christmas after all.

 

Y’know, as much as I love Christmas movies, there’s only so much sweetness and goodness a guy can take in a row.   So, I did a 180 with the TV remote.

 

I popped on Clint Eastwood and “The Outlaw Josey Wales.”  Yea!

outlaw-josey-wales

 

Nothing like a squinty-eyed Clint with a big pistol in his hands to bring a guy’s testosterone levels back in line.

 

Hardly Christmas stuff, but what the heck…

 

There’s some gems in there.  You may remember, actor Chief Dan George as the old Indian Lone Watie.  He says to Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood)

 

“Endeavor to persevere.”

Josey wales

 

It’s a phrase that kinda stuck with me.  In fact, I was reminded of it just a few days ago.

 

Jerry and his buddy, Alex, have been fishing with our operation in La Paz for about 10 years.  Jerry wrote me an e-mail asking for suggestions on what kind of fishing gear to get for Alex for Christmas.

 

Not an unusual question on its face.  But, the e-mail had some “involved” questions about “dual drags” and “graphite rods vs. fiberglass.”  There were questions about “knife jigs” and “colors of trolling lures.”  Did I know anything about “retrieve ratios” for fishing reels?

 

Let me put this in context.

 

Ten years ago, Jerry and Alex when they first came to visit, they couldn’t catch a fish if fish jumped in the boat.   In fact, they had never fished in the ocean, let alone fishing in Mexico.

 

They weren’t terrible.

 

Let’s just say they were “inexperienced.”

 

They fumbled with rods and reels.  They tried to tie knots that came undone.  They busted rod tips and tangled lines.  Hooks ended up catching hats and clothes.  Open tackle boxes tipped over spilling all manners of “stuff” on the floor.

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We’ve all been there in some way, shape or form.  But these two brothers just couldn’t get the hang of it.

 

Fish were lost.  Bites were missed.  How can they be the ONLY boat in my fleet that comes back with zero fish during a wide-open bite?

 

Not just one day…almost every day.

fish-snaggers-4x32

 

I try to make a point every day of talking to each of my fishermen to check on them.  And every day, Jerry and Alex had the longest faces.

 

And a lot of questions They couldn’t understand why everyone else was catching fish except them.

 

Every day, I’d answer their questions.  We would try to figure out where their technique was off.  Try to rally and encourage them.

 

But, pretty much everything they tried just complicated it.  In my mind, they were simply thinking too much and trying to hard.  Concepts like how to pin a bait were concepts that just couldn’t grasp.

 

But, give ‘em credit, they hung in there.

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When I bid them “adios” and thanked them for visiting, I was sure they wouldn’t come back.

 

I shook their hands.  All I could say was, “Hope you had a good time and I’m sorry you didn’t catch more fish.”  What else could I say?

 

They shook my hand and thanked me and one of them smiled and said, “Endeavor to persevere” as he ducked into the shuttle van.

 

Endeavor to persevere?   OK.  Whatever.

 

At the time, I figured it meant, “O well, that’s fishing.”  See ya around.

 

Like I said, I thought I’d never see them again.

 

But, every year, they returned.

 

Every year they got a little better.  It took a bit, but the next year, they caught a few more fish although they still bumbled.  And they still had a mound of questions each day after fishing.

 

And, normally pretty shy guys, I saw them talking to other fishermen too.

 

And each year, they got a bit better.  So, did their gear.

 

That first year, it was like some kid at Walmart or Target sold ‘em a bill of goods and made a helluva commission.  They came with so much junk they were told they “must have” to fish in Mexico.  I felt sorry for them.

 

But the more they learned and watched, the better the gear got.  It was good to see.

 

Other guys were still catching more and bigger.  But Alex and Jerry were starting to have more fun.

 

Not one time in all those years did I hear them bitch about anything.  It was never “the captain’s fault” or “the weather and current” or “bad bait.”

 

They hung in there.  They persevered.  And they got better.

 

And it was more fun for me too.  Anyone in this business likes to have folks enjoying themselves.

 

I reminded the guys about that first year and them saying “ Endeavor to persevere”.  Apparently, they were fans of Josey Wales too.

 

Alex told me, “Clint never gives up. “

 

Simple as that.  No other explanation needed.  And then he asked me how to tie a San Diego knot.

 

I think I’m gonna get a t-shirt that says, “Endeavor to Persevere.”  Wise words to hold onto.  No matter what you’re doing.

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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RUNNING LEANER

RUNNING LEANER

Originally Published the Week of Nov. 19, 2019 in Western Outdoor Publications

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There’s that old saying, “Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.”

 

If you’re a fisherman like me, you got toys.  Lots of toys.  And we like to play with our toys and surround ourselves with lots of our toys.  Deep inside, we’re still little boys.

 

Just the way we are.

 

So, when I go on fishing trips, I want to bring all my toys with me. Bring the whole garage full if possible.  And use them all too.

 

And you want back-up gear for your backup gear.

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A 3 day fishing trip to Baja?

 

Well, let’s see.

 

Eight sticks…2 trolling rods…4 bait rods…2 jig sticks.  Check.

 

Of course, that means 8 reels to match.  And 3 extra reels in-case there’s a malfunction like a handle falls off or you burn-out the drags.  Check.

 

Terminal tackle:

 

50 hooks of each size

20 jigs in all colors and shapes

5 pounds of lead

20 trolling feathers

Squid jigs

Large, medium and small rod belts/ harnesses

Leader material in all sizes from 10-100 pound sizes

…and of course something to carry it all in.  Check

 

100-quart ice chest.  Check.

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Over the years, I’ve seen anglers bring some other weird stuff too!

 

One guy brought his own anchor.

Another brought a machete.

A fish-finder and battery

A large battery-operated bait tank

A fish caller that made sounds underwater to “call fish.”

A harpoon.  Yea…a full-sized harpoon.

 

C’mon, man!

 

But, in all honesty, it’s great to have it but for just a few days on the water, how much do you really need?  How much will you realistically use?

 

Especially, in these days of airlines increasing the restrictions on the size and weight of luggage and the prohibitive fees for exceeding those restrictions, it’s time to re-evaluate.

 

If it’s you and a buddy, consider combining your gear, as much as it hurts to share.  Put all your rods in one container.  Share hooks, jigs and other equipment.

 

Downsize!  There’s some great travel rods out there these days that will literally fit in an overhead compartment.

 

Ask your charter operator what you really need.  Maybe they already have some or all of your gear and it’s good stuff.  Leave what you don’t need home.

 

If you’re chasing dorado, there’s no need to pack a Penn 50W International. Match your reels to what you will realistically be targeting. Or consider bringing lighter gear and use the heavier gear provided.

 

For taking fish home, consider soft-sided coolers.  Hard-size ice-chests weight a lot with absolutely nothing in them.  Soft-coolers weigh only a few pounds and you can put a lot more fish in them and still stay under the airline weight restrictions.  Plus, they’re a lot easier to haul around.

 

I’m not talking about cold coolers like you bring ice-cream home from the market or keep your drinks cold at a tailgate picnic.  These are genuine cold bags that are often airline-rated and will keep your fillets frozen for many hours or even a day or two.

 

These coolers are also great on a boat.  They will keep drinks and ice colder longer than a hard-sided cooler.  Plus, again, a lot easier to handle than a hard-sided cooler.

 

You also want to check your airlines too.  Some, like Southwest allow for free bags.  Others might be cheaper, but charge a lot for luggage and especially for being over-weight or over-sized.

 

One other thing, consider leaving some of your gear behind for your captain or crew.  It’s a great good-will gesture although should NOT be done in lieu of a tip.

 

Gear is expensive in Mexico and would be extremely welcome as a gift.  Do you really need to drag home all that lead or 10 jigs?  It will help lighten the load home.

 

Either way, leave the harpoon in the garage!

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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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MAKING YOUR CAPTAIN “SMARTER”

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MAKING YOUR CAPTAIN “SMARTER”

Originally Published the Week of Nov. 5, 2019 in Western Outdoor Publications

I’ve been in the fishing biz now for several decades full-time and another few decades part-time.  I’ve been a guide, deckhand, galley cook, tackle store manager, fishing-school instructor and fleet owner.

 

At the end of the day, I’ve heard a lot of goofy stuff come out’ve people’s mouths.  The majority is great good stuff about what a great time folks had.

 

However,I can tell when I’m gonna get an earful.  And it usually co-incides with a slow fishing day.

 

It usually starts with…

 

“I had a great day…BUT… “ (Here it comes.)

 

“I have a comment to make …”  (Get ready to duck.)

 

“Here’s what YOU need to do better…” (I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before you mentioned it.)

 

“Just a little bit of friendly constructive criticism…” (Of course!)

 

Or…

 

“My captain was so stupid…”

 

I can usually take personal criticism on the chin.  It’s part of doing business and honestly, most folks mean well.

 

And, like I said, this goes hand-in-hand with a slow fishing day.  If the fish are biting, it solves all ills just like magic!

 

So, when someone opens up about one of our captains…a guy who has pretty much spent his whole life in one spot fishing for a living and feeding his family and spent years catering to sportsmen…I like to hear just how “stupid” he was.

 

It usually boils down to the stupidity of the captain either “lost a fish” or “produced less fish” than expected.

 

Well, here’s some tips I’ve come up with to improve the fishing I.Q. of any captain.

 

Watch your lines.

 

Keep your lines in front of you and straight out.  And keep the slack out.

 

There’s the old adage about “no angles no tangles.”  Keeping your line in front of you instead of “under the boat” or “criss-crossing” another line or off at an angle, prevents tangling other lines.

 

Lost time extricating you and re-rigging costs everyone time you could be fishing.

 

Follow your fish.

 

In other words, as the fish moves around, YOU move around too.  You’re not glued to the chair.  Your feet are not nailed to the deck.

 

If the fish moves right, YOU move right.  If it goes left and around the bow, YOU follow it around the bow too!

 

Fish can move fast.  Anticipate where it’s swimming and going to swim.  You go there too!

 

No, the dumb captain did NOT lose your fish in the prop of the motor.  No, the stupid captain did not tangle you in your buddy’s line.  It’s usually because YOU didn’t follow your fish.

 

Novices, especially think the fishing reel is a winch.  If you turn the handle it will winch the fish to you no matter where your line is.

 

No matter where the fish is swimming.  No matter how strong or how big the fish.   Turning the handle will “bend the fish to your will.”

 

Not so.  All the reel does is recover fishing line and store it.

 

And, if a fish is running, it helps slow the fish down with brakes (drag) that evenly puts pressure on the line to make it harder for the fish to swim away and helps tire the fish.

 

But simply turning the handle as much as you can with all of your strength in-and-of-itself will not make the fish come to you.

 

Lifting your rod or following your fish IN CONJUNCTION with turning the handle picks up slack line which ergo brings the fish closer to you.

 

Additionally, don’t let up.  It’s tempting to want to be a spectator.  Fishing is indeed fascinating to watch.  If you’re the one in the middle of it, you want to see that fish.  It’s new.  It’s exciting.

 

And that’s also how you lose fish.

 

Most fish are lost at the very beginning.  When all the adrenaline and neurons are blowing up in your brain with the excitement of getting bit, anglers forget what to do.  They freeze up.  They want to watch!

 

I get it.

 

And they lose fish at the very end.    It’s been a long battle.  The angler is tired.  You can see color on the fish.  Almost there…

 

…and that’s when the angler takes a look. That’s when they’re fumbling with their GoPro camera or their fishing buddy is wiggling in to take an “action shot.”

 

That’s when the angler drops the rod tip or momentarily diminishes the pressure on the fish.

 

The fish gets a 2nd wind and bolts again. Or throws the hook. Or the line snaps.  Not the captain’s fault.  The battle isn’t over until the fish is in the boat.

 

And when the fish finally is close, there’s a right and a wrong way to bring a fish to the gaff.

 

Bring it as close as possible.

 

Time after time, I see anglers get the fish close.  Rather than turning the handle, they step back…and back…and back. Hey! Come back up here to the rail.  Now is the time to actually watch the fish.

 

They can’t even see their line and the fish anymore.  If that fish gets hot again, it takes off and POWIE!  Line breaks;  hook pulls or, at best, the fish is back on.

 

Get the fish tired and gently lay it as close to the boat as possible.  Do NOT lift it out’ve the water!!!  Keep it just below the surface.

 

Pull it out’ve the water and the fish thrashes.  Gravity jumps in too.  The road loads up like a spring and the tension on the line jacks up.  The fish gives a thrash and again..line breaks or the hook pulls out.

 

And secretly inside you’re blaming the captain for not “gaffing your fish fast enough.”

 

This is especially true with streamlined acrobatic fish like dorado which are such common catches here in Baja.

 

Bring the fish to the boat.  Keep an eye on it as you stand at the rail.  Keep it in the water and try to lay the fish on it’s side for an easy gaff shot.

 

Swing!  And easy-schmeazy, your fish is gaffed and in the boat.

 

Keep these in mind.  Use a few of them as you gain more experience and you’ll be amazed at how much “smarter” your captains will get!

 

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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THAT SURE DIDN’T LAST LONG

Palapa Beach 6

ADIOS SUMMER! YOU DIDN’T STAY LONG

I think many folks would agree that it’s been a strange year for weather.  In many parts of the U.S., winter lingered stubbornly well into June and even July.

 

Correspondingly, down here in Baja, we experienced much of the same.  Waters stayed cooler.  Air temperatures seemed below normal.  Cold-water species continued to bite well past their normal seasons.   Warm-water fish seemed to take their time showing up.

 

It made for some crazy and unusual catches this season.

 

And then, about the time you stopped trying to figure it all out, someone opened a window and summer showed up.  Late…but it showed up.

 

Here in La Paz where we live, that would be about the end of July or early August when things finally seemed to turn around .

 

Humidity rose.  Air temps rose.  Water cleared up and warmed up.   Water-water fish like dorado finally started to bite with some measure of enthusiasm.

 

And all was right again.

 

Until Hurricane Lorena about 2 weeks ago.  As far as tropical hurricanes in Mexico go, it wasn’t much.  We’ve seen much worse and suffered the harsh after-affects.

 

Lorena didn’t hurt anyone. It didn’t knock down houses or destroy marinas.  Except for some trees and power poles, it was one of the mildest hurricanes I can recall in my 25 years down here.

 

Although it did get pretty windy, I think most of us actually welcomed the much needed rain, although it did rain for about 12 hours!

 

What Lorena did, I think, is carried summer away with it.  Like Dorothy’s house in the Wizard of Oz…summer went careening up, out and away.

 

In the hurricane aftermath, it feels like summer suddenly ended.  Like a switch was thrown.

 

Air temperatures that had been in the high 90’s and low 100’s have been 10 degrees cooler overall.  It has averaged only about 88 or so since the hurricane.

 

Similarly, humidity has dissipated as well.  Before the hurricane we had steamy 80-85% humidity.  The hot sauna air was that thick.

 

As one of my employees told me, “I think we are breathing water.”

 

Since then, we’ve hovered around a comfortable 50-55%.

 

Water temperatures have also dropped.  In our area, it dipped 2-5 degrees in a week.

 

The change in fishing was gradual, but ultimately profound.

 

It took the fish awhile to figure out.  Just like us.

 

Normally, after a storm, it takes awhile any for water to calm and clear up.  And fishing seemed noticeably slower to get up to speed again.

 

Then, when it did start to break open, we still had the warm water species like dorado and marlin, but a whole host of entirely different an unusual species started bending rods.

 

Fish like pargo liso, sierra, amberjack, yellowtail, cabrilla and palometas showed up in the counts.  These are all cold-water fish virtually unheard of at this time of year.

 

These are sure signs that something has changed below the surface.

 

If this trend continues, I think anglers should be prepared for this variety of species.  Also, don’t be surprised if it’s cooler and windier with each progressive week and waters will be rougher.

 

I hear this week there’s blizzards and heavy snow in Montana, Utah and Idaho. It is supposed to snow this week in the Sierras.   Summer is gone. Shortest summer ever.

 

In the mornings, I’m already wearing a sweatshirt.  In Baja.  In September. I better find my long pants around here somewhere.

 

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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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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