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THE BEST LURE

THE BEST LURE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

         Several caveats:

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

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

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

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

         Plastics get torn up really fast. 

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

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

         But, I have often wondered. 

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

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

That’s my story

signature June '18 two 1

Jonathan

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter Sportfishing

Website:

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

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942
Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

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.”

THE GOOD OLD DAYS

THE GOOD OLD DAYS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         He went on…

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

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

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

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

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

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

         “So, Jonathan…book me a trip!”

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

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

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

         Life should have been reversed.

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

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

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

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

Cancer…Hearts…Covid

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s my story!

Jonathan

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________ 

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

Website: 

www.tailhunter-international.com

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

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942

Phones: 
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBLvdHL_p4-OAu3HfiVzW0g

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

LA NINA – The Little Girl Is Back for 2021?

Originally published the Week of Jan. 16, 2021 in Western Outdoor Publications

 

As many anglers who missed the 2020 season gear up to or are considering a return to fish Baja waters in 2021, there might be some insight in what to expect. 

         Will the tuna bite?  Will it be a big year of big dorado?  Where should I go for wahoo?  Is this a good year to chase marlin or big snapper?

         As one angler told me recently, “I don’t care what’s biting.  I just need to get out.  I need to be on the water!”

         That probably reflects the sentiments of many anglers suffering months of “covid fatigue” who desperately need a change of scenery from four-walls and relative levels of isolation. 

         It’s certainly indicative of the number of Americans booking to Mexico these days where tourism is surging and airlines are trying to keep up with the demand.

         Even though you might not really care what you catch, it’s still not a bad idea to have some inkling of what might be in store. 

            Personally, it DOES make a difference!  I like knowing if I have to prepare yoke up for a battle with a gorilla tuna or will it be a light-tackle grinner with school-sized dorado. 

            There’s never any guarantees when it comes to fishing, but like they say, “knowledge is power.”  And I like having as much of an edge as possible.

           I think we might be in for a really nice year of fishing.  I say that with a whisper so as not to jinx the whole thing.  Lord knows we can all use some positivity these days.

         However, if the scientists are to be believed, it looks like we’re in a “La Nina” cycle that will probably be with us through the spring.  They seem to think that’s a harbinger of good things.

         We had an El Nino season several years ago that was a disappointment for all intents and purposes.  It stunk as it was marked either with the lack of fish or by smaller fish caused by excessive warm ocean currents.

         During an El Nino, waters stay relatively warm.  That initially sounds good.  However, in effect, the colder deep waters don’t rise.  That’s not so good.

         In a nutshell, cold deep waters bring nutrients to the surface. 

         Nutrients feed the baitfish.  Baitfish feed the big fish. 

         No cool deep waters ultimately means a slack season. 

         Arguably during last El Nino several years ago, there was a marked absence of  the precious baitfish.  Consequently, there was a direct effect on the quality and quantity of sportfish.    Indeed, many of the sportfish that were caught were severely undersized from lack of a food source.

         I remember here in La Paz.  We had all the dorado we wanted all season. That is, if you liked catching 12-inch dorado all year!  It was like fishing for trout.

         With La Nina, the reverse is hypothetically true.

         Cooler waters will prevail early this year.  In the meantime,  warmer currents will blow towards the western Pacific bringing a heavy rainy season to Asian side of the Pacific Ocean.  

       Regretfully, that will conversely mean that eastern Pacific will experience a dry season.  Bad news for western U.S. states already beset by drought conditions and too many years of devastating fires. 

         But, for fishing, it could be an exciting year. 

         Baitstocks already seem to be up.  Mexican sardinia, anchovetas, caballitos, mackerel and others are evident. 

         This early in the year, it’s difficult to tell if the current Baja catches are left-over from last season or a vanguard of what we can expect for the coming year.  But there’s reason to be optimistic. 

It’s winter and yet, marlin, dorado, tuna, and wahoo are showing up in the catches along with dorado.

         Either the food source is keeping them here or the food source is bringing the sportfish in early.  Personally, I think it’s the former.  However for us anglers, the end result gives us something to hopefully look forward to.  

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.”

FIRST TIMER FAQ

FIRST TIMER FAQ

Originally Published the Week of Jan. 5, 2021 in Western Outdoor Publications

Tourist with thumb up

Anyone who is in the travel industry has endured quite a year.  We have run our fishing operation in La Paz now for over 25 years. 

Being in Mexico, with it’s pre-existing stereotypes didn’t help much either.  Having Covid restrictions was just a dog-pile on top none of us needed.

Our operation is fairly large, but ultimately, we’re a mom-and-pop business.  It’s just me and my wife, Jilly.  We wear a lot of hats.  Some of them at the same time.

I will readily admit, Jilly is the brains of the operation.  After working with me all these years, she would probably laughingly concur with that assessment.

But, I do have my moments!  And I do bring some modicum or skill to the table.

I handle a lot of the bookings and scheduling.  That’s been my forte.  The seller.  The closer.  Whatever you want to call me. 

I don’t look at it like sales.  To me, it’s simply inviting people to come play in my sandbox and enjoy some smiles down in Mexico.

It involves a lot of e-mails, calls and other social media.  Lots of back-and-forth.

 But, it’s fun and a great opportunity to get to know folks.  And we become friends, long before they ever actually arrive to visit.

But, lately, the inquiries have been changing. 

Mexico is becoming a go-to spot for vacations during the pandemic.  Even with the borders technically closed to “non-essential” traffic, that’s quite ambiguous and loosely defined. 

Mexico needs U.S. tourism.  They CRAVE American tourism and I’ve never heard of anyone being turned away.

In that regard, Mexico tourism, has been surging.  Airlines are adding routes to keep up with the demand.  Planes are full.

And why not? 

Mexico is close.  It’s easy.  It’s economical.  There’s no testing.  No quarantine.  It’s easy to return back home.   

To some people, it’s not even like going to a foreign country.  They have visited so often.  It’s a no-brainer escape for Americans edging to get out.

And for 2021,  I’m getting a lot of first-timers.

Not just first-timers to Mexico.

First time out of the U.S.  First time fishing.  First time salt-water fishing.  I have even gotten inquiries from folks who have never even seen the ocean!

Some actually do their due diligence about where they are going. 

Others?

I think they just throw a dart at the map and see where it sticks.  Or they hit the internet and willy-nilly pick a spot that has nice pictures of beaches and palm trees.

They often seem to know very little about where they are actually going!

For instance, just a few days ago, I had a call from a husband.  He already had his plane tickets to La Paz.

During a casual conversation, he asked me, “When we are in La Paz, do you think we’ll be able to go to dinner in Cancun?”

I had to think about how to answer that one.

When I told him Cancun was about 4,000 miles on the other side of the Mexico, he incredulously didn’t believe me at first.  He and his wife were really set on taking some time to visit Cancun. 

Twice this past week, I’ve had folks wanting me to book fishing in the morning in Loreto. In the afternoon, they want to fish in La Paz.

I had to explain that La Paz is 5 hours away by car from Loreto.

One guy said, “Really, it’s only 2 inches away from each other on the map!”

Late last year, we were walking some clients out to the beach to board the pangas to go fishing that morning.  The sun was just starting to come up.

One of the clients had never ever seen the ocean!

Mesmerized, he said, “Wow, it’s REALLY big!”

Then, he did something crazy in front of all of us.  He suddenly knelt down. He cupped a handful of ocean and drank it!

“HOLY C#@P, that’s freakin’ salty! Oh my gawd!” he spit, choked and sputtered.

I grabbed a some bottled water and handed it to him.  And continued laughing along with my captains and the guy’s buddies.

And then there is the mom who asks if there is a market near the hotel where they are staying.  She wants to buy bread.

Why?

She heard from friends that people get sick eating Mexican food and drinking the water.  So for her family, she was packing lunch meats and condiments to make sandwiches and lots of bottled water in their ice chests.

They planned to eat all their meals in their hotel room with their 2 kids.

I had a hard time proving the negative.  Mexico has great food and restaurants.

They come to visit in June.  Hopefully, I’ll have convinced her by then it’s OK to grab some tacos.

That’s my story!

______________

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.”

ANOTHER COVID CASUALTY

ANOTHER COVID CASUALTY

Originally Published the Week of Dec. 22, 2020 in Western Outdoor Publications

Well, with the new year upon us, we can only hope for better things. 

         It feels especially strange for us because normally at this time, my wife and I are running around with our hair on fire.  Well…that is if I still had hair.  But metaphorically speaking, it’s pretty hectic.

         We’re usually packing our vehicle for 3 months on the road.  From January to March, we hit pretty much a sportsmans show every week.  These 3-5 days are huge events filled with thousands of sportsmen each day plus hundreds of vendors like us who own sportfishing fleets; or lodges; or guiding outfitters and so much more.

         The normal course of driving takes us through about 12-15 states each season and through some states several times. It’s like being carnival workers, which essentially that’s what we are.

We criss-cross the western U.S. often through snow, rain, fog and ice. Forests…mountains…endless miles of desert.

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 Lots of motels.  Countless truck-stops and Denny’s.  Late night pizza we shouldn’t be eating.  McDonald’s super-size box on the dashboard.  Starbucks stuck in the cup-holders.  Microwave burrito wrapper crumpled on the floorboard.

         But, we look forward to being “road warriors” and have been doing it almost three decades. 

         So, about this time, we’re packing up the booth; bags of winter clothes; thousands of brochures; t-shirts; hats; safety gear…all for being on the road basically through April.  If we forget something, it’s not like we can drive back to get it.

         But, this year, it’s not happening. 

         Like most events that draw thousands of people in close-proximity, Covid changed all that.

         Therefore, the shows that we do in Denver, Sacramento, Seattle, Boise, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Portland, Long Beach, San Diego and in other cities we visit…either have canceled or are in the process of being canceled.

         Sadly after 75 years,  that includes the big Fred Hall Shows in Southern California.

         There’s a few that are trying their best to hang in there.

         In addition to everyone being masked-up; I’ve heard talk of moving the vendor booths 6-feet apart.  I’ve heard suggestions that prospective customers can’t approach closer than 3-feet to a vendor.

         Some shows, like the giant Dallas Safari Club are making a go via “virtual reality” or “zoom” events and putting everything online. 

         I think that’s already called the “internet.” Novel for the events, but not exactly new.

         I have no doubt the producers of these shows are doing or did their darndest to have these events and bent over-backwards trying.  Trying to save their livlihoods like everyone else.

       On the other side, there’s many exhibitors who do nothing else except these shows.  All year long. Think of the folks who sell knife sharpeners; equipment; gadgets; clothing, jerky and toffee nuts. There’s the concession guys that sell beer and hot dogs and funnel  No shows.  No business.

       But, there’s a two-headed obstacle for the show producers to overcome.

       First, the state or local restrictions preventing or severely restricting gatherings.

      Second, for vendors like us,  it’s only economical to drive from one show to another. One every week or so.

     It makes no sense for us, and many of our fellow exhibitors, to fly or drive to one show.  Then, go all the way back home.  Wait a few weeks.  Then, load up and travel again to another show with all the gear, booths and equipment needed to display.

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         Additionally, even if the shows could be held, it’s not just the possibility someone working a booth might catch Covid.  For exhibitors, there’s huge insurance exposure. 

         For instance, a big manufacturer of say…firearms or fishing reels will pay staff members to man the booth at the show.  One of them comes back and tests positive or their relative or family member tests positive.  It gets traced back to the show, the liability exposure to the employer company could be huge.

         Further, folks really like coming to the shows.  It’s a party.  It’s a carnival. It’s the social aspect and the fun factor.

LB Rod Reel

         Personally, if I’m trusting my hunting vacation to a hunting guide in South Africa or Canada, I’d like to see the guy; chat them up; shake hands before I hand them thousands of dollars.

         I want to take a fishing trip in the deep dark jungles of the Amazon River or a the hinterlands on a hunting expedition in Russia…yea…I want to talk to a live person.

         Same with Mexico or South America or other places where English is not spoken.  I want be personally assured before I book. 

I want to know if the guy in the booth is the “real-deal” or even the real guy that I will see when I arrive.  Or is the guy just a rep or salesman that I will never see again?

         That’s also double-hard if we all have to wear masks or have to practice social distancing while trying to interact.  I understand the necessity.  It’s the new normal. 

         Anyway, the point being, if you’re waiting for the sportsmen’s shows, it’s gonna be a long wait.

         For those of you readers on the west coast, it’s a huge hit to have big shows in Portland, Sacramento and the gigantic Fred Hall Shows in Long Beach and San Diego not take place.

         Many of you book your vacations, charters, fishing and hunting trips at these shows.

         Don’t wait.  The shows aren’t happening.

         From what I’m seeing, bookings are already heavy for 2021 among many of the outfitters I’m talking with recently.  People are just anxious to get out.

         Many folks canceled their 2020 trips and are rapidly re-booking for the upcoming year.

Just over Christmas week alone, airlines set records for pandemic travel when over 1 million people per day flew.  Overall, records show a regular increase in jet passengers as people lose their hesitancy to climb aboard a plane. 

Airlines are adding more flights now to popular destinations to fill the need.

         If there’s any way sportsman and vacationers can get away, they will.  Vaccine or no vaccine.  As long as they can get away from home and get back home with minimal exposure, it appears folks are making the decision to bust it loose in 2021.

 

That’s our 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: 

http://www.tailhunter.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.”

YOU’RE GOING TO…MEXICO?

YOU’RE GOING TO…MEXICO?

Originally Published the Week of Dec. 15, 2020 in Western Outdoor Publications

         Covid rates are surging on both sides of the border and hitting records. There is huge trepidation about the consequences of the holiday gatherings still to come.

         Subsequently, it’s no surprise that Mexico and the U.S. appear to be extending the travel ban along the border through January.  The ban has prohibited all non-essential travel since March. 

         Both governments, as well as health organizations (too many alphabetic acronyms to remember), are warning people in no uncertain terms about taking a trip south of the border, especially during the holidays.

         Northern Baja is still rated as “red” on high alert.  Southern Baja is in danger of going from “yellow” back to “orange.”

         But wait…what gives?

#5 CAbo airport waiting area

         The Cabo Airport is full of arriving visitors.

         Airlines are adding more flights to keep up with the demand.  Forget leaving that middle seat empty.  Flights are full and people are paying premium prices.

         The booze cruise is full.

         Tourism rates show 70-90% are Americans.  Last month, some figures showed an increase in tourism of almost 200% over the same time last month.

         Mexico reports that in the last two months almost 2 million visitors arrived in Cabo alone.  Other Mexican tourist destinations are seeing similar up-ticks.

         Charter boats are selling out.

         Restaurants and hotels are hiring back staff furloughed during the early days of quarantine.  Reservations are being recommended again.

         Our own Western Outdoor News Cabo Tuna Jackpot held last month, literally at a moment’s notice, drew 149 teams and over 600 anglers and almost 1000 participants in 2 months.  This, even with the fact that covid protocols prevented any banquets, cocktail parties, live music or huge award dinners!

         It would seem there’s a huge contradiction going on here.

         For one, let’s talk about that “border closure.”   The term “non-essential travel” does not apply to taking a plane, a boat or train to get across the border. 

         Fishing (lucky us!) has been deemed to be an essential activity. 

         So has visiting friends and family…shopping…checking on some property. 

         Wink! Wink!  There’s a lot of loopholes here. 

Frankly, the “mandate” to stay away is really more like a “strong suggestion.”  I don’t know of anyone that has been turned away from travel.

         If you’re travelling commercially, there’s a good chance your temperature will be taken.  You’ll have to probably fill out a form asking the usual questions about your health and proximity to anyone with the virus.  Or if you’ve had it.

         If I suddenly showed a temperature, I’d think twice about getting on a plane so it’s not a big deal.  I’ve flown three times in and out’ve Mexico in 2020.  I have yet to have anyone actually collect the form I was asked to fill out. 

         I did have someone at the airport verbally ask me how I felt.  I said “fine.”  He said, “Bienvenidos a Mexico!”

         I think people have just made a personal choice to travel.  Bottom line.

         They are either sick of being cooped-up (“quarantine fatigue”).  Or they know the risks and decide to travel anyway.  Or, going to Mexico is no more dangerous than eating at McDonalds back home or shopping at Target.

         For one thing, it’s surely easy to get to Mexico. 

         You don’t have to be tested to visit.  No papers to show.  You don’t have to quarantine to visit. 

         To many people, going to Mexico is no big deal on many levels.

         “I’ve been to Mexico so many times, it’s no different than my flying to Las Vegas from my home in Denver,” said Jerry who was waiting in line for his rental car.

         “It’s easy.  It’s familiar.  As long as I have internet, I can work.  Believe me it’s a lot easier working on my computer looking at the beach than from my office in Colorado.”

         I talked to Maribel in a restaurant in Todos Santos.   

         “I was thinking of Europe for the holidays and an extended vacation,” she chatted, “But what if there’s another lockdown in Italy or England or somewhere else.  I’m stuck a long way from home.  Mexico won’t keep me,” she went on.  “Easier to get home!” she laughed.

       Her friend, Monique added, “I was thinking of Alaska or Canada to visit friends and family, but I would have to show that I had been tested or visitors had to be quarantined for awhile.  Same with Hawaii.  Mexico was uber-convenient. Less fuss.”

      Daniele is a nurse in Florida.  Her husband Travis is a doctor.  Both work in a hospital with Covid patients.  They were down for the 2nd time this year to use their timeshare.

       I just had to ask them…”So, does the mask make a difference?”

     “Absolutely, yes it does!” responded Travis with no hesitation.  “But, I think if you just take normal common sense pre-cautions like you would for a cold or flu, you’re covering yourself.”

     “Frankly, we feel almost safer here in Mexico than walking around back home,” added his wife, Daniele.

     “Crowds have been down.  Hotels, beaches, restaurants and other tourist spots have a lot fewer people than normal.  I mean, hotels are only allowed 30 or 40% occupancy.  Everyone takes your temperature before you enter any building or activity and everyone gives you a squirt of anti-bacterial gel too. Mask wearing is just a given down here. I think the tourism sector is going out of their way to make sure tourists feel safe.”

         Feeling safe.  Just a matter of personal choice.  A lot of Americans seemingly have no problem with it.

That’s my story

 

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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!

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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.”