Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Western Outdoor Publications’ Category

MARIA’s ALL NIGHT TACO STAND

Late night taco stands are community hubs in Mexican neighborhoods

MARIA’S ALL NIGHT TACO STAND

Originally Published the Week of June 16, 2021 in Western Outdoor Publications

          Way back in the day during my first years living down here, I had a favorite hang-out.  I was pretty much living hand-to-mouth back then. 

         Truth-be-told, most folks didn’t know I was guiding fishermen all day, but at night, I’d crawl into the back of my old Dodge Caravan.  It was usually parked in some quiet lot or sidestreet.

         Back then, it was home.  I’ve lived in worse conditions so it really wasn’t all that bad.

         I’m not a big drinker nor did I have the dinero to hang out in bars at night.  Not much to do there anyway. 

Back then, most bars didn’t have TV’s to watch and the ones that did had obscure soccer games going non-stop.

         Nope.

         My favorite place was Tacos Maria. 

         I guess, it’s the Mexican version of the all-night diner. Minus the coffee and apple pie.  But it had the best sizzling hot street tacos and salsas.

         Like all the best taco stands, Maria’s didn’t even get started until it was dark.  It wasn’t fancy by any means.  Definitely not a place you would have found on Google or Trip Advisor which didn’t exist back then anyway almost 30 years ago.

         But, this little box of ramshackle plywood with two open sides of counter-space; the corrugated roof; and string of haphazard white Christmas lights was the place to be.

         As lights would peek out from non-descript cinder-block homes that never knew a building code, Maria and her two sons operated on an otherwise lonely dark street corner.  Across the street a hazy yellow streetlight hummed from a tilting concrete pole.    

         If you had to ask about “Tacos Maria” you weren’t from the neighborhood.  A combination of a generation of years and road dust had long-since eroded the name off the side-wall.

Everyone knew the place anyway.

      Maria and her boys that worked with her, never posted hours.  They were open when they were open.  But, as far as anyone could remember, they were open 7 days a week all night and every night.

      There was a wonderful welcoming glow about the place on that dark street and it wasn’t from the streetlight.

     I would sometimes arrive early as twilight turned to dusk turned to night.  Often, I helped set up the scuffed plastic white tables and chairs that a beer company once donated and forgot to take back or replace.

     I’d help unload their battered mini-truck.  Or I’d help ice-down the bottles of Coke, Fanta Orange, 7-up and Strawberry soda that would be re-loaded throughout the night as patrons helped themselves. 

     When night arrived, Maria would fire up the grill.  A transistor radio served as the high-tech sound system

      Scratchy banda music seamed to drift with the beckoning aromatic fingers of roasted carne-asada through the nearby streets drawing folks from their homes.

     Showtime.

     It was wonderful to sit there with a plate of sizzling meat wrapped in a warm home-made tortilla slathered with all the fixings and a healthy dollop of one of Maria’s assortment of fresh salsas.

     I was often reminded of late-night burger places back home.

     But, a neighborhood Mexican taqueria is different.   Back in the U.S. people drifted in an out as they arrived, ordered, ate and then left.

     Here Maria’s was a neighborhood hub and social center.  I came to realize it was really a very important part of the community. 

     There was the nearby church. 

     There was the grammar school.

     And there was Tacos Maria.

     Like the TV show…everybody knows your name.

     And you knew everyone right back.

     In the early evening, families would arrive.  Couples and older folks came later.  

    Kids played and laughed with each other in the dusty glow of the streetlight. Mom’s gossiped and dad’s watched kids and told their own stories and jokes.  Even the neighborhood dogs seemed to know when to come out to romp and play.

     Young couples giggled.  Older couples sought out other older couples. The teens flirted and posed. 

     Young bucks brought their own beer.  No problem.

     The older solo uncles, aunties and grandparents were welcomed at anyone’s tables and made themselves at home.  

     I even remember there seemed to be a renegade chicken or two that ran around underfoot at times.  Escapees from someone’s yard no doubt.

     They would order off Maria’s handwritten menu written with a marker on a day-glo poster board.  But, it probably wasn’t necessary.

      Everyone knew the menu by heart and, as far as I know it never changed.

     Tacos would be served on plastic plates slipped into a plastic sleeve.  When someone was done, no dishwashing required. 

     Toss the old plastic. The plate was just cleverly placed in another sleeve ready for a new order.

     Folks would get their order, roust around in the ice chest for a soda and find a chair, table or sit along the two open-counters chatting and laughing with each other. Maria could chop, cook, serve and hold court like the neighborhood mom she was.

     Tell a joke; listen to a problem; dole out advice or wag an admonishing finger at you…that was Maria.

     Second and third helpings no problem.  Honor system.  You kept track of what you ate and drank and paid at the end.

     You would tell one of Maria’s boys how many tacos and Cokes you had.   They’d tell you how much you owed. A coffee and a shoe box seemed to serve as the cash register.  

     Over time, I got to recognize and know many of the regulars and many became friends.  In those early days, my Spanish was negligible.  An obvious outsider in the midst.

     Although I was often alone, no one sits alone forever at Tacos Maria. There weren’t enough tables anyway so you ended up sharing!

     Through the grateful introductions by Maria and the boys to the rest of the neighbors, smiles and hellos became handshakes and conversations. 

     I was “El Hawaiiano.” (The Hawaiian). 

     Rafa who drove a truck and his young family often came.  Rosario and Julio brought their new baby. 

     Mauricio and Celio would sometimes bring out a guitar and sing.  Victor, Ramon and Alejandro would always argue baseball and soccer into the night.   Misha and Fredo would seek me out and ask about the latest fishing. Chalo would pull up in his taxi cab between fares.

     Tacos Maria and the neighborhood are long gone.  I heard there’s a convenience store there now.  They fixed all the light poles and there’s a sidewalk and a paved two-way street there. 

     But 30 years ago, so far from home at the time, it was nice to feel welcome and part of the neighborhood at Tacos Maria for a few hours.

 

 

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.”

Read Full Post »

CAN’T GET OUTTA YOUR OWN WAY!

CAN’T GET OUTTA OUR OWN WAY

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

If any of this applies to you, I am NOT throwing shade your way.  I am as guilty as the anyone of this.

It was dawn and we were loading up the clients in our van to get them from the hotel to the beach to board our boats to go fishing that day.

Everyone was loaded and anxious to get going.  Waiting for the last 2 guys.

And then down the lobby steps come Rob and Gerry.  This is their 4th trip with us and really really good guys.

But, they are struggling.  They are carrying more gear than the other 6 guys combined that are waiting in the van.  Everyone stares wide-eyed.

Rob and Gerry need a crew of Himilayan Sherpas.  It took 3 of us to heft stuff onto the roof rack of the van.

When they first started coming down, they were rookies.  Didn’t have much gear. 

However, with each consecutive year, the equipment gets more and more extensive.  They have the latest rods, reels, clothes, lures, gadgets and thing-a-ma-jiggers.

And, it’s not like I can say anything.  I mean, I don’t wanna be a buzz-kill or dampen their enthusiasm.  Like I said, there are really nice guys.

But, sometimes I think they stay up at night on the couch with the remote in their hands.  Or instead of football on weekends, they watch the fishing shows…marathon style!

Every gadget that comes out “made by fishermen for fishermen” or “guaranteed to catch fish faster and easier” or “as seen on TV” gets them twitching to grab their cellphone and credit cards.

They MUST have the “Ferris Wheel Lure” and the “See Underwater Seaview Glasses” and the battery-operated “Sonic Fish Caller.”

They can’t help themselves.  It’s like some gals I know at a Nordstrom Shoe Sale. 

They’re having fun and get so excited they can’t wait to show everyone what they bought and how it’s gonna work.  This will be the year that the fish will literally attack their lines!

Whether it’s the latest type of triple-speeded fishing reel or the hot-color 100 SPF camouflage fishing clothes, they have it! 

…and the always catch fish.  But EVERYONE catches fish. 

I’m not sure that all of that gear really made a difference.  The folks using our basic rental rods do just as well.  The guys who bring a minimum of gear do just as well.

But, here’s the issue I see with these guys getting caught up in the technology.

maxresdefault (1)

They still don’t know the basics. 

I’m guilty of that myself.  I get into a new hobby or interest and then I need all the accessories. Then I  realize…whoa…slow down! 

Put down the catalogs.  Stop web-surfing Amazon.

I need to back up and get some foundation so I know how to use all this great stuff.

I know for a fact, these guys still don’t know how to tie basic fishing knots…because I’ve sat with them and showed them some knot tying. 

But, I know they don’t trust their own knots.  So they always let my captain tie up their rigs.  And bait their hooks for them.

I know as well that they don’t know how to cast or how to work a jig.

They really don’t understand why some people use braided lines.  They don’t know why they need to tie fluorocarbon to regular mono.  Aren’t both kinds of lines invisible?

Why do we use certain hooks?  

They don’t understand how to set the drags or why you can’t just “button down” the drag when a fish is running.   Why can’t you just “winch” the fish to the boat?

Well most of us know…it just doesn’t work like that!

A13usaonutL._CLa_2140,2000_61vuuUuGo+L.png_0,0,2140,2000+0.0,0.0,2140.0,2000.0_AC_UX342_

The thing is sometimes we can get so wrapped up in all the cool fun stuff that we forget the basics.  We trip all over ourselves because of the technology and the “latest and greatest” claims. 

Why take the time to learn when technology will help us fast-forward to our goal? 

Don’t learn to tie knots.  Buy a gadget instead. 

Don’t learn to read the water.  Buy the battery-operated underwater drone camera. 

Don’t learn how to make a jig swim.  Buy a rechargeable lure that swims all on it’s own!

Sheesh! Stop me!

We make it more complicated than it really is.  We can’t see the forest for the trees or the water through all the gear in front of our eyes.  

If fish could laugh, I’m sure they would. 

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.”

Read Full Post »

ADVENTURES IN DRIVING

man-in-car-accident

ADVENTURES IN DRIVING

Originally Published the Week of May 13, 2021 in Western Outdoor Publications

          We’re gonna do a little “word association” test.  Read the following words then close your eyes.

         “MEXICAN DRIVERS”

         I bet I can guess what went through your head after reading those words.  All those “stereotypes” come flooding into your thoughts?

         Just to be fair, stereotypes are stereotypes. 

         They’re a broad-brush painting that may-or-may-not have a lot of truth or fairness to it.  But, after living in Mexico for almost 3 decades, the thoughts that flew through your brain probably weren’t too far off.

         Listen, there’s bad drivers all over the world. 

         How many people did you call out under-your-breath on your last freeway commute home from work?  Everyone slower than you was a “jerk.”  Everyone faster than you was a “butthead.”  Right?

         I don’t want to say that Mexicans are bad drivers.  But, I will say they drive “differently” and it behooves you to be a “better” driver because of it.  In other words, CYA. . .”cover your backside” and drive defensively.

         Why is that?

         Well, a couple of things that happened recently might have coalesced my thoughts on the matter.

         For one, I just realized that of our employees that “know” how to drive,   most have no driver’s licenses.  Some have NEVER had a license or have expired licenses.  They just laugh. 

         When you need to get from Point A-to Point B for work, you do what you gotta do.  Don’t need no license and don’t have time or money to get one!

         As a foreigner, I never had to take a test to get a Mexican driver’s license.  I never had to even prove that I could drive.  I just had to fill out the paperwork. 
        

         I had to pay my money.  And, like DMV’s everywhere, I had to stand in several long lines. 

         However, unlike say the DMV in the states, I found out that I could pay a proxy to stand in line for me.  Yup.  Pay for someone to stand in line for me!

         I could go sit down; check my e-mails on my phone; buy a hot dog or a churro from one of the vendors inside the TRANSITO (DMV) office.  My proxy calls me when it’s my turn to run up to the line. 

         He follows me to the next line.  He tells me where I need to sign documents.  He basically leads me by hand from one teller window or clerical office to the next. Nothing is done in one line.

         It’s a good thing because the TRANSITO office is a small version of the floor of the NY stock exchange.  It’s chaos incarnate.

        Noisy.   Little offices everywhere.  Lines everywhere.  Lines to nowhere.  Confusing signs on the walls.

       People milling and yelling and papers being shuffled.  There’s no appointments.  There’s no obvious order.

         Paying a proxy a few bucks and a hot dog was well worth it.   Turns out my guy was a police officer making a little money on the side.  Tipping is appreciated.

         Circling back, however, the point of my story is that to get a license you do NOT have to prove you can operate a moving vehicle.

         Unlike, the U.S., however, you DO have to prove that you are “alive.”

         I say that tongue-in-cheek because to get a license, you must submit to a blood test.  Yes, a blood test.  I don’t know why.

         But, you go across the street to an approved “lab” and they take a blood test.  Cost is about 20 bucks.  You take your test results when you get your license.

         That’s it.  No driving test.  No written test.

         Painted outside the TRANSITO office there’s ariel-view street grid l painted on the asphalt/ concrete. .  Kinda like Lego-land.  

         The streets area about 12-inches side.  It has little streets and buildings painted there with parking spaces and stop signs and left-turn lanes and one-way streets.

         I’m told that an examiner will take you through a “test” and let you WALK through the faux-streets.  You get to show that you know when to stop and how to back up and how to make left turns.

         You are not in a car. 

        You are in an “air-car” like playing “air-guitar.” 

        You are not in a vehicle.  You turn our “air wheel” to make a turn.  You shift gears in the air like when you were a kid.  You step on the imaginary brakes.

         Maybe you even have to make “vroom vroom” sounds as you drive around.

         Like I said, I never had to take any kind of driving or written test to get my Mexican license.

         However, I’ve had local friends who were given written exams.  They were getting their driving licenses for the first time.

         The tests are not open book.  There is no book.   There’s no manual.

         If you know how to drive, it’s not because you took lessons. It’s because someone else, maybe with questionable skills shows YOU how to drive.  The circle continues.

         With the written tests,  no one is monitoring the test takers.   Apparently,  you’re welcome to discuss questions with your neighbor test-taker. 

        Answer by committee.  Everyone gets to agree on the right answer about when it’s OK to blow through a stop sign or not having to signal a left turn.

         When, my wife, Jill went to get her motorcycle license so she could ride her scooter it was a good example.  She panicked when she was given the written test in Spanish.  Multiple choice.

         To her great joy, about 5 other test-takers all gladly helped her.  They not only interpreted the questions, but also gave her the correct answers!

         She only missed 1 answer and later told me she didn’t understand half the questions.  But, she did got her scooter license.

         Two weeks later, she stopped riding the scooter because of all the “crazy drivers.”  I’m glad she did!

         Just saying…

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.”

Read Full Post »

IT MIGHT TICKLE…OR NOT!

illuminacovidtestingservice

YOU MIGHT FEEL A TICKLE…OR NOT!

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

“OUCH!”

“HEY!”

I admit hearing my lovely wife squirming behind the closed door had me squirming and wincing myself. First, because no one likes to hear a loved one in distress or pain.

Secondly, it was because when she came out from behind that door, it was my turn to go back there.

We were there for our required Covid tests in order to fly back to the U.S. for a quick turn-around trip.

Since January 26th, the CDC and Biden Administration are requiring that everyone FLYING back into the U.S. from an international destination needed to have a Covid test.  Further, it can’t be any older than 72 hours before the date of travel back into the U.S.

You need to have the test even if you have been vaccinated.

Many hotels in tourist-saturated areas like Cabo San Lucas have facilities to obtain the tests.  Plus labs have sprouted up all over.  Additionally, all the international Mexican Airports have testing labs to facilitate the tests.

Where we live in La Paz, the hotels do not have enough international tourism to warrant erecting labs or creating testing facilities or services.  Therefore, my wife and I opted to go to one of the local labs.

So, there we were.

Nice clean little place that offered all kinds of lab services; blood tests; or pretty much anything diagnostic to poke and prod one’s body.  As mentioned, lots of labs have popped up everywhere to administer the covid testing.

I didn’t have any trepidation.   Figured it would be in-and-out-and done.  I heard it was a 15-minute issue. Results in an hour.   How bad could it be?

We had to show our i.d. and the expression-less lady behind the acrylic glass reception office with the mask took our info.  Tap…tap…tap…typing stoically on the keyboard.

No expression.  Reminded me of the one of the old nuns when I was in grade school.  All business. 

Of course…just before…I got whacked on the head with a ruler.

They told us that the test would take 15 minutes, but like most things, the paperwork part took “at least” 15 minutes by the indifferent receptionist.

A lady in a white lab coat came out.  I was directed to take a seat.  Jill was told to follow the lady in the lab coat behind a closed door.

At first I heard my wife giggling. 

I grabbed a magazine and opened a page.

Then, I heard the giggles turn to groans…and a bit of agonized yelps.

That didn’t sound so good.  My anxiety level took a couple of up-ticks.

More bad sounds and squirming.

Then Jill came out.  She did not look happy.  And I know she has a pretty high pain tolerance. 

Before I could say anything to her, the lab-coat lady beckoned me into the room. 

My turn.

I sat in the chair with a nervous laugh as she took out the long nasal swab. I tried to smile and I know my hands gripped the arm-rests of the chair.  Based on what my wife went through, I prepared for the worst.

 Here she goes…up my nose!

…and then she was done. 

Just like that. Maybe 2 total seconds where she was actually WAAAY back there that were uncomfortable, but otherwise easy-shmeazy.  I felt a little tickle. 

We were done.

Got results in 30 minutes on our cellphone.  Both negative.

As I found out later, just like anything else, folk re-act differently to the actual testing.  I guess it also depends on who’s sticking that swab up your nasal passage too.  But, I did feel really bad for Jill.  Hours later, she said she could still feel it.   I’ve heard that from others as well.  It can hurt!  Or not.

COVID-19-Test_Topper

One friend has had the test 6 times for work related requirements.  He works in a testing lab. 

He told me 3 times it hurt enough to bring tears to his eyes.  Three times, he felt almost nothing.  All done by the same lab tech at his work.  

He told me it had alot to do with the condition of nasal passages.  Allergies, dry weather or a recent cold can inflame the nasal cavity.  Previous nasal injuries can also produce scar tissue.  Using a saline rinse before and after the test helps.  So does putting some non-fragrance vaseline in your nose. 

Anyway…for Jill and I…

Cost was 1000 pesos…$50 each. 

Had we gone to the Cabo Airport, it’s a little different.

For one, give yourself an extra hour so you have enough time for the test.  Keep in mind that there could be a line. 

Covid test site at Cabo Airport copy

(The testing tent outside Cabo Airport)

However, according to one of our friends who took the airport test, “…the test was pretty easy. You walk in (take your luggage with you);  scan your QR code with your phone to fill out the questionnaire; and you pay. “

 

“You are then led into a corridor to sit down, wait until someone sticks that swab down your nose, leave, and 30 minutes later, get an email on your results!”

 

         Cost was about $40 and he said they accept credit cards and pesos, but no American dollars.

 

         It’s also important to have functional cell service while at the testing site (airport WIFI doesn’t work) because when scanning the QR code, you go to a site that you need to fill out which includes an email address. 

 

That’s where your results will be sent.  There’s someone there to help with English or Spanish.  

 

Bring your luggage back with you to the counter and show your results to get your boarding pass.   You’ll also need to show your cellphone questionnaire before they let you up to the gates.

customs-line-at-san-jose

As this is a new thing, the airport can be a morass of frantic travelers wrestling with cellphone reception; figuring out where to go; filling out the forms, etc.  However, there are numerous friendly and patience airport assistants all over the place being very helpful.

         Off you go.  No quarantine when you get back to the U.S.  Hopefully, as things get better, they’ll eventually do away with the test requirments. 

         Until then, best to know what to expect.

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.”

 

Read Full Post »

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.

9ec1a38b7f73943ec0d57ef2e092888c copy

         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.”

Read Full Post »

THE BEST LURE

THE BEST LURE

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

        a29021ca1cfcf4e3eca2841780d37257

 

          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 »

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.”

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »