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HI!  I’M YOUR NEW NEIGHBOR!

Originally Published the Week of July 5, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

In addition to our sportfishing operation here in La Paz, we also have a restaurant right on the waterfront.  It’s been here close to 15 years now. 

       For so many years, it’s been kind of an information clearing house on so many levels.  Mostly, a lot of fishermen asking for information; telling stories over beer; tourists needing recommendations for things to do and places to see.

       In the last year or so, however, things are changing. 

       It seems that almost a day doesn’t not go by where someone says something like..

       “So, tell me about real estate here.”

       “Do you recommend any realtors?”

       “What’s it like to live here?”

       Or, the more direct…

       “I’m here to buy real estate.”

       “I just bought a new place.”

       “We’re having a place built.”

       “Hi.  We’re your new neighbors!”

That is usually accompanied by a hearty happy handshake and a proud-as-punch grin. 

I almost feel like I should bake ‘em some house-warming cookies or they’re going to ask to borrow a cup of sugar.

Personally, my wife and I live in a little tiny studio apartment near the waterfront that looks out over La Paz Bay.  At night, my wife is fond of saying that 30 years ago, you could see some twinkling lights of La Paz City in the distance in the evenings. 

The rest of the bay was India Ink darkness.

Now, she points out that there are lights completely around the bay and up and down the surrounding hillsides.  The city is growing. 

One of our local Mexican friends just happens to be a realtor.  Her office is next door to our restaurant.

I give her quite a few referrals.  She tells me her office is hopping.  She jokingly said to me a few days ago, “All the gringos are moving to Baja.  All the Mexicans are moving to California.”

More than a bit of truth in her humorous observation.

Post covid, statistics showed that Mexico became the #1 international travel destination for world travelers.

 It was “open” compared to many countries.  There was little fear of things getting shut down (again.) Economically, it’s a great value. 

For Americans and Canadians, add in the fact that it’s relatively close.  Easy in.  Easy out.

With internet access becoming stronger and more widespread, you could easily do work while sitting on the beach sipping a cold one.  It sure beat working from home during quarantine days!

No one even needed to know.  As long as the boss got his reports, none-the-wiser!

Folks anxious to stretch their legs post-pandemic found Mexico to be a cakewalk for vacations. 

Magazines and newspapers touted the numerous attractions of Mexico and especially the Baja.  Our own little city of La Paz, once a sleepy little gem, ended up as one of the “Top 100 places in the world to visit.”  Our beaches consistently show up in every travel magazine or online blog or social media page.

So, the rush seems to be on.  For better or worse.

Some folks are setting up a vacation spot.  Others are chasing a retirement dream.  Others are just fed up with things back in the U.S.

Or their own countries. 

I’m running into folks from Australia…Italians…folks with Italian accents.  Canadians.  Folks from the U.K.  The exodus is on.

I’ve had folks come up to me and tell me they are visiting for the first time to see some land or a house they bought “online.”  Sight unseen.

Some folks have that kind of money to buy property the way I purchase a set of screwdrivers off Amazon. 

Others tell me they purchased land or a house in such-and-such an area.  They’re elated. 

Internally, I roll my eyes. 

No one told them that the property sits on a flood plane and it fills with mud when we get the heavy rains.  Or perhaps their “beach property” is only a block from the sewage outflow for the city. 

I don’t want to or simply can’t bust their balloons. I smile and shake their hands and wish them well and congratulations.

Two new real estate offices just opened up down the street.

Condos are being built on the hillside behind us.

The neighborhood is changing.

Rapidly. 

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.”

OF COURSE! MUST HAVE ONE OF EVERY COLOR!

BOYS ‘N’ OUR TOYS

Originally Published the Week of July 1, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

         A couple of guys arrived the other day down here for a week-long vacation to fish with our fleet here in La Paz.   It was a first-time trip to Mexico for fishing.

       Needless to say, they have been jacked to be down here.  When they climbed off our shuttle van from the airport, their enthusiasm was completely in full turbo.

       Like kids at Christmas.  Couldn’t wait.  That big blue ocean in front of them was just calling their names and they’d been waiting for months.

       To that end, they wanted to show me all the new tackle they brought down.   They couldn’t wait until later at the hotel.  The wanted to show it to me right then and there. In my office.

        Straight out’ve the shuttle van came the tackle bags and boxes. Click…zip…unsnap…unfold… Velcro…untie…unbox.

       OH wow…Hmmmmmm….

       Weeks ago, I had given them a small tackle list of “suggested items.”  It came with the proviso that most folks don’t bring anything and just use our good gear.  However, they are welcome to bring their own stuff.

       Well, they took that list and went shopping. 

       Of course, when you’re in the tackle store, we’re all like little boys.  We get attracted by shiny things, colors and gadgets. 

       Two of these…

…Two more of THAT color…

Yea…I’ll take some of those too…

Wow, never seen those before.  Might as well buy some of those too!  These have a nifty “wobble” when you cast them! 

       Jonathan said to bring 2 of THOSE lures.  Well, what if I lose one or it’s the wrong color.  I better buy 6 of them!

       On and on.

       And then, they started talking to the clerk at the tackle store.  Of course, he’s an “expert.”  He’s fished in Mexico several times. 

       But, never here in La Paz.  Our area.

       So, he tells them they need some of these

…and some of those

…and more of these.

       So, they happily march out’ve the tackle store with all their new toys.  Bag and bags.  And bags FOR bags.

       …and then they go talk to some of their friends.  Who are (of course) also “experts.”

       What?  You didn’t by that new hot lure that’s on youtube?

       Dude…I wouldn’t go to Mexico without some blue and white wiggly plugs!

       Buddy, I saw this new gadget at the fishing show, you should think about bringing one to Mexico!

       So, back to the tackle store! (Happily of course as now there is an “emergency” excuse to buy more things!)

       And that brings us back to the present situation where all this wonderful colorful excess is now spread in front of me. The guys are ooh-ing and ahhh-ing like little kids.

       Man…I hate to be a buzz kill.  I don’t want to bust any balloons or curb their enthusiasm.

       However, deep inside, I know that most of these things will NEVER see the water.  Most will never get out’ve their wrappers or little boxes. 

       In an 8 or 10 hour fishing day, maybe only 50-60% of the time is actually fishing.  The rest of the time is spent travelling; trolling; looking for fish; getting bait, cracking open a beer, etc.

       You really just don’t have time to use all 6 colors of lures or 10 different styles of feathers or hooks or leaders… or anything else.

       You have two arms and two hands.  You can only use one rod and reel at a time.

       And, if something suddenly works, you stay with it. 

       You don’t suddenly change baits or lures or colors just for the sake of change.  Not when something is working like dynamite right then and there.

              If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!

            And, the captains and crews know what works.  They’re professionals.  

          They live and work on the water. Putting food on the table and clothes in the house is dependent on them knowing their craft. 

        They will probably not be too keen to try some new fangled gadget or rig that may or may not work.

       So, fight the urge to buy the whole tackle store or bring your whole garage of gear with you. 

       I worked in tackle stores for many years.  Good stores with good personnel will give you the straight scoop as much as possible.  

      But remember, it’s also a business.

       Just like a grocery store…the shiny colored things are at eye-level. 

      The more expensive things are in easy reach. 

     The big-name manufacturers get more shelf space.  The cooler sexier looking gear is in a display case or lit by lighting “just so.” 

       Especially these days when the cost of extra luggage and gear on an airplane is escalating, be judicious and selective with what you purchase or bring down.   Communicate with the outfit you’re fishing with.

       Ask them what to bring.

       Common sense. 

       Don’t bring a weeks’ worth of gear for 2 days fishing.  Don’t buy tuna feathers if the season is only producing inshore species.  

       If the baits will only be little sardines, you don’t need giant hooks.

       I didn’t have the heart to tell these new guys that they brought way too much stuff.  I was like that way back in the day. As well. They’ll learn.

       In the meantime, there’s no denying.  It IS fun to go shopping for gear. 

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 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.”

THE WORST DAY

EVERYDAY STARTS AS A 10

THE WORST DAY

Originally Published the Week of June 9, 2022

 

What’s that saying?

A bad day fishing is better than a good day at work?

I don’t know who came up with that, but that’s a load.  Being in the fishing industry now for many many decades, a bad day fishing is just a bad day. 

Maybe not in the grand scheme of things, it’s not as terrible as say, losing your wallet or forgetting your anniversary, but you gotta admit, it’s a major disappointment.

From the standpoint of someone who runs a fishing operation, a client who comes back from fishing with zero fish may seem ambivalent.  But, you know they are disappointed.  I take it personally.  I feel like it’s MY fault.

My old Catholic School upbringing drops a load of guilt on me, as if I was to blame that the weather didn’t cooperate.  Or it’s my fault the bait was bad or the clients used the wrong lures. 

It is what it is.

Fortunately, down here in Baja, tomorrow can turn into a banner day which somewhat helps to alleviate the current angst.  There is always hope.

There was a time in my life, however, when a bad day for me on the water was the end of civilization as we know it.  If I came off the water after a bad day watch out!

It could be a day when I didn’t catch fish.  Or someone caught more or bigger fish than me.   My competitive streak was all puckered.

Grumpy is an understatement.  I would be fist-shaking-mad at the cosmos for daring to hand me such fate as a bad day of fishing.  Personally insulted and inconsolable.

Fortune-cookie sayings like “A bad day fishing is better than a good day at work” or “It’s fishing not catching” be damned.  A bad day is a bad day.  I should have gone to work.

That is, until I got on the water again and the fish started biting.  And just like that the world would right itself on an even keel.  

Funny how fishermen can be like that.  Guilty as charged.

 

But, I don’t think I’m that guy anymore.

I have good days.  And I have not-so-good-days.  But, I haven’t had a bad day in years.

Everyday is an 11.  Or a 10 at worst.

Even when I don’t catch fish.  Or someone catches more and bigger fish.

I’ve become quite content to let my wife catch more and bigger fish.  Or the kids.  Or whomever is on the boat with me.

Every day is a blessing and I appreciate just being out on the water. 

It’s so much more fun to watch everyone else have fun. It’s like going to Disneyland of the beach too often.  It can get old.

 And then one day, you bring the grandkids for the first time.  The magic comes back.  It’s brand new again.

Or it’s you and a buddy NOT catching any fish, but still kicking back with a cold one and just laughing and talking.  Some of the BEST talks!

And then there are the days when I’m alone on the water.  Just me.  No clients.  No kids.  No fishing buddy. 

No hooks to tie.  No one needs their backlashes untangled or hooks baited.  No one forgot their sunscreen.

Just me and the captain.

And the fish just aren’t having any of it.

Simple conversation.

The sunrise. 

The sound of the water under the bow.

The sun on my face and the taste of salt spray on my lips. 

My hand trailing in the water.

The homemade burritos just taste so much better and the beer in the ice chest just burns the back of my throat from that first icy chug.

Maybe a quick doze to the rhythm of the motor as we troll.

A cellphone that has zero bars of signal.

Bare feet and happy toes on the warm deck.

My worst day just ain’t that bad anymore.

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.”

STOCK PRICES ON Q-TIPS DROP

Originally Published the Week of June 12, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

I’m joking, but would not be surprised.

No more covid tests to return to the U.S.  No more of those intrusive “nose probes” with the Q-tips to the back of your brain.

As of midnight Sunday June 12, one of the last vestiges and barriers to travel finally fell.  It’s long overdue, but it’s about time.

For last two years, travelers heading back on international flights to the U.S. have been required to obtain a negative covid test in order to enter the country.

Initially, it required one to go find a testing facility. And this had to be done within 72 hours of the flight back into the U.S. 

As onerous and burdensome as that may have been, the U.S. raised the barrier even higher last November.  Although covid rates had been dropping along with all the protocols, the CDC feared the ominous head of the Omicron virus.

 

So, they removed the 72-hour testing requirement and made it even more difficult.  Folks had to get a test within 24 hours of their international flights back to the U.S.

 

Insofar as tourist destinations in Mexico were already reeling from Covid in 2020 when everything was shut down, it was just starting to get back on it’s feet when the testing was initially implemented.

 

It sent the tourism section of Mexico into a mad scramble to set up testing facilities or find ways to get tests for guests.  It further  had to  assure prospective visitors that it would be easy to obtain.

 

Test facilities were set up at major airports.  Labs popped up everywhere including mobile labs willing to visit hotels to accommodate the demands.

 

Mexico desperately needed to keep the tourists coming back.  It was just getting back a head of steam when the initial testing requirements were implemented.

 

I remember many people suddenly curtailing their vacations and hastily exiting the country when testing started.  

 

And what if you tested positive?   New protocols had to be implemented as well.

 

Ultimately, what a fiasco.  Even moreso when the requirements were increased from 72 to 24 hours before the flight.

 

Of the zillions of folks that came through Cabo Airport alone, barely a handful tested positive and, according to statistics, most were false positives.

 

There was a lot of money to be made by sticking that q-tip up people’s noses.  The tests ranged from 20 dollars to over 100 dollars in costs.

 

Once you took the test, you either had to get a printed copy of the results. Or, one had to get their results on their cellphone.

 

These results had to be taken to the airport.  Every time I went to the airport, my personal observation was that the airlines or health inspectors just gave it a cursory look and directed you to the boarding gate.  No big deal.

 

Believe me, Mexico didn’t want you hanging around with covid either false positive or not.  In fact, you were able to obtain a new test within 24 hours. 

 

As soon as you were negative…off you go!  Adios and please come back again soon.  Sorry for the inconvenience, but it’s YOUR country doing this not Mexico.

 

Also, there were ways around the requirements.

 

I know of some labs that would “guarantee” whatever result you wanted. 

 

Definitely need to get home and work?  No problem, we’ll guarantee a negative test result.

 

Want to stay a few days with a good excuse?  No problem, we’ll guarantee a positive result.

 

Also, this only applied to international flights.

 

Many travelers to Baja, for example, cross the border and fly from Tijuana to their Mexican destinations.  Those are DOMESTIC flights. 

 

Therefore, on the return, they fly BACK to Tijuana and walk, drive back across the border.  No testing required.  No international flight was involved.

 

I had also heard stories of folks who tested positive (with no symptoms) deciding they were NOT going to return to their hotel rooms.  They had to get home.

 

Simple solution.  They flew to Tijuana and easily crossed the border and found a U.S flight home.

 

So…bottom line.  Just like masks.

 

No more testing required.  For now.

 

The CDC says it reserves the right to monitor things and see is some new and crazier viral strain returns.  We’ll see.

 

For now, no tests to come down here.  No testing to leave!

 

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.”

WHERE’S THE BEEF?

MEXICAN BEEF SURPRISES MANY

A couple of years ago, I had some fishing clients come down to fish with us here in La Paz with our fleet.  It was their first trip.

Now, let me post a little background. 

It wasn’t just their first trip to Mexico.  This was their first trip out of the U.S.

After meeting them, I can only imagine the trepidation they experienced deciding to try Mexico.

You and I have travelled all over.  No biggie.  Many folks have not.  I often forget that!

It was obvious from the first evening they arrived off the plane and we greeted them.  They were smiley and friendly, but you could tell there was a level of anxiety and nervousness.

Maybe in the way they would smile, but their eyes darted around.  Or the way they were checking things out.  And the questions they asked.

It was almost like they couldn’t believe they were here.  Or that it was a modern as it was.  Or that we had all the amenities like electricity and had discovered the use of the wheel.  And fire.

Not sure where they had gotten their info or what they must have been reading or envisioned, but I think they half expected open desert and donkey carts when they got here. 

After getting them to their hotel, the first thing they wanted was for me to direct them to a local supermarket.  Understandably, they wanted to do some shopping for their stay with us.  

Not unusual. So, I had one of our drivers take them over to the little neighborhood grocery store a few blocks away.

I figured, that like many of our visitors, they wanted to pick up ice, munchies, beers, etc. for their room and for on the boat while fishing.

I was surprised with what they brought back. 

In addition to the bags of chips and junk food, they came back with bread, cold cuts, condiments, lettuce, tomatoes, peanut butter and jelly.   Lots of it.  And cases of water.

Here’s where I heard the kicker…

They were apparently planning to eat in their hotel room each day. 

Despite the fact that we provided breakfast and lunches on their fishing days…Despite all the restaurants they had passed by on the way to the airport…Despite a perfectly good restaurant in the the hotel…

They planned to eat in their room each day.

From the horror stories they had apparently been reading, they didn’t trust the food or water in Mexico. 

They were gonna wash their faces and brush their teeth with bottled water. Even in their modern hotel, they weren’t taking chances on faucet water. 

(Were they also planning to shower in bottled water? I never asked.  But it begged the question!)

On the way from the airport, they didn’t see the nice restaurants.  They saw ramshackle (in their minds) taco stands on the side of the road with scruffy plastic tables and chairs. 

They saw food vendors on street corners selling hot dogs, tacos, corn and other things from carts and make-shift bicycles.

mx-drought (1)

And, they saw the cattle roaming the side of the highway.  The cows were emaciated and skeletal.

Thank you and muchas gracias, but they were having none of that.  They were gonna fish and eat sandwiches in their room and go home without any intestinal troubles!

After a sigh and trying to hide my rolling of the eyes, I had to do some explaining.

I told them I could understand buying lots of water.  You want to stay hydrated.  But the hotel water was fine to wash and brush with. 

It was even safe to drink.  However, like most city waters, it just didn’t taste real great.  So, all of us drink bottled water just like up in the U.S.

As far as food and meat, local food was great.  It’s part of the fun of travelling.

If they had doubts, just eat where they saw other people eating.  Or, if they were really nervous, eat where they saw other gringos eating.   That’s the best test of any eatery including street vendors and side-of-the-road stands.

The rule works all over the world.

I explained to them that vegetables and meat, gets inspected like everywhere else.  And I had to tell them, the cattle they see next to the highway is NOT the meat that gets into tacos and dinner plates.

The cattle is free-range cattle that land owners must have on vacant property.  Those animals pretty much forage around and that’s why they look so bedraggled and poor.

Mexican meat, especially beef is often some of the best meat around.  I’ve had some that rivals the beef we get in Texas where we have our U.S. home.  In fact, Mexico is the 7th largest meat producer in the world and the U.S. imports a surprising amount of Mexican beef.  

Often it’s grass-fed cattle from the Mexican state of Sonora which is famous for their beef in the same way salmon from Alaska or the Pacific Northwest or lobster from Maine has an international reputation.

Despite my explanations.  They remained skeptical.

Indeed, they did make sandwiches, but by the end of the week, they came out’ve their culinary shells a bit. At least were eating at the hotel restaurant, although I did see them fishing the ice cubes out’ve their drinks.

(Obviously, the ice cubes “might” be made with unfiltered water. Melted ice was OK, however.)

And presumably, they were brushing their teeth and taking showers!

Can’t convince them all!

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.”
Many variations, but something like this. Sometimes also called a “stinger rig.”

Originally Published the Week of May 17, 2022 in Western Outdoor News

Remember when you were in grade school and the teacher would ask you to use a certain word in a sentence?  Well, I’ve always wanted to use the word “eponymous” like that.  So, I sure hope I used it correctly. 

         Anyway,  we’re in the middle of roosterfish season.  They’re big and they’re wiley.  Big bruiser 50 to 100 pound fish are cruising the shallow beaches this time of year.

         And, a lot of fish are getting lost.

         Some of it is just the brutishness of these fish.  Sometimes, it’s just bad luck.  A line breaks.  Or a hook pulls.  Or the angler inadvertently does something wrong.

         That’s just fishing.  It happens.

         They are big fish.  They are smart fish.  You’re not the first angler that’s been out-smarted or out-fought or under-gunned or been under-prepared.

         But, there are ways to increase the odds against these fish and against many species.  How often have I been working on boats or been guiding and hear, “Dangit, I got short-bit again.”

         “Short-bit” refers to using a baited hook. Usually with a whole fish.

  However, instead of gulping down the whole bait and ergo the hook, the target species is only biting off the tail.  It’s eating the part that has no hook in it.

         An exercise in futility when it keeps happening. 

         It’s especially frustrating when you’re using the bigger live or dead baits.  This includes mackerel, caballitos, ladyfish and others. 

Bigger baits attract bigger fish.  But, it’s not much good if you reel in your bait and the back-half of your bait is always missing.

         And if live bait is precious, what a waste!

         I’ve had this happen while fishing for roosterfish, yellowtail, grouper, wahoo and even halibut.  You feel that tug or that momentary “zip” of some line off your reel.

         You’re ready to set the hook and lean back.

         Then…nothing.

         You crank it in and find out that a creature with a brain the size of a marble just poached you!

         The remedy is something I’ve often employed.  It’s called a “trap hook.”

         I’ve seen it used several different ways, but essentially, it’s fishing with a secondary hook.

         Using a short bit of line, a 2nd hooks is tied on.  The tag end of that line is tired either to the eye of the first hook; or the shaft of that hook.  Or to the curve of the first hook.

         The first hook is used to secure the bait like normal.  Through the lip, the jaw, the outter gill, etc. 

         The 2nd hook is embedded somewhere back toward the tail.  Obviously don’t stab any important organs. 

But, pierce the bait somewhere under the skin or behind the dorsal fin.  Nothing to hurt the bait and you don’t want to impede it’s ability to swim or be trolled correctly. 

As a variation, some guys like to let the trap hook actually swing free.  I’m not sure how the physics of that works,  but it is surprisingly also effective. 

This one uses a treble hook as the second hook, but you get the idea.

I see fish hooked on that secondary hook all the time.

Some guys swear by letting the hook swing free.  Others scratch their heads (like me) and continue to put the secondary hook somewhere in the body of the bait.

If you’re getting short-bit, give it a try sometime.  Tons of info on the internet and diagrams to check out.  It’s very easy and a nice upgrade trick to get a fish to stick!

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 Sportfishing

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.”

GRINGO GAS DEMAND BLEEDING OVER THE BORDER

GETTING GAS IN MEXICO

Originally Published the Week of May 18, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

          Many of you readers know that I’m often writing about food.  After reading the title, it would seem there’s a joke just begging to be told. 

         However, “getting gas” in Mexico has nothing to do with checking out taco stands or the culinary benefits of eating refried beans and cheese down here.

         It’s a bit more “refined” than that (no pun intended).   I’m actually talking about gasoline.

         None of us are strangers to the fact that gasoline prices are soaring to incredible heights.  Jill and I just finished 3 months on the road doing our tours through 14 different states and exhibiting and all the major hunting and fishing expositions.

         This was from January to March of this year.  We drove over 10,000 miles.  That’s a lot of visits to the gas station.

         Nothing like driving a fully loaded Suburban from one state to another. Seattle, Washington to Denver, Colorado.   Or Dallas to Sacramento.  Having to fill up two or three times a day in the span of 24 hours and watching the price of gas climb a buck or more from state to state or city to city was depressing.  OUCH!

         We’re back home now here in La Paz where we have our fishing fleet and restaurant, but our fishermen coming to fish with us are confirming the horror stories at the gas pump.

         And apparently, prices haven’t hit their apex yet.

         Here in Mexico, fuel prices have risen as well.  But surprisingly, they have risen only a fraction compared to the escalation in the U.S.

         It’s been a moderate rise.

         Gas is sold by the liter down here.  But, on the average I’m seeing prices at a bit over 4 bucks a gallon or thereabouts.  That’s way cheaper than up north.

         However, relative to what folks earn here in Mexico, any little price increase is huge.

         The minimum wage here is about 7 dollars…A DAY! Not an hour.  Per DAY!

         So, imagine in your own personal situation back there in the U.S. Imagine more  than half of your daily wages is what you fork out for one gallon of gas!   A fill up could be your whole weekly paycheck.

         Mexican President Obrador promised to insulate the Mexican people from things like this.  Therefore, the Mexican government has been subsidizing the fuel prices to keep things as low as possible.

         Probably not so good for the Mexican government, but good for the local population that has to live and work at ground zero. 

Not to mention how it keeps the wheels of commercial transportation moving like trucks, buses and airlines.   Keeps prices low for everyone.

         Nevertheless, the lower gas prices in Mexico have become very attractive to Americans living near the border. Especially in California and Texas.

         Many are finding that it’s cheaper to just cross the border to full up.  In some cases they are also bringing extra fuel tanks or gasoline containers to get as much gasoline as they can.  

         In some instances, Mexican gas stations along the border are reporting that they sell more gasoline to Americans now than to locals.  And there are lines of cars waiting to fill up.

         Understandably, there have been complaints because the stations run out’ve gas.  They don’t have enough gasoline to sell to locals. 

Or say, some American drives all the way into Tijuana only to find out that gas station are already dry.  Simple supply and demand economics.

         In an attempt to curb that situation, the Mexican government recently stopped subsidizing the gasoline in some of it’s border states, including  Baja. 

         So, now gasoline prices are rising in the Mexican states along the U.S. border.

         Still, when gasoline in Mexico is 2 or 3 dollar cheaper than in the U.S. it’s just a matter of how far an American is willing to drive and the time necessary to save on filling up.

         So far, it doesn’t seem to be working. 

          Americans are still driving across the border.  Statistic show that fuel demand is not only high, it’s growing!

        Saving two or three dollars per gallon is still saving two or three dollars per gallon!

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.”

15 MORE MINUTES PLEASE? OUR FOOD JUST ARRIVED!

FIND YOUR BEACH (A novel approach)

Originally Published the Week of May 12, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

This past week the last vestiges of covid-masking were removed here in Southern Baja.  Mask wearing in public places is now optional.

         Realistically, private businesses could still require masks to enter and employers can still require their employees to mask-up.  However, for the most part, we’re seeing the last remnants of “cobre boca” (face coverings) at least for now.

         During the pandemic, things were highly restrictive.  Much moreso than in the U.S. Especially during that first year in 2020, beaches were closed among many other things. 

         Once things started opening, beaches were open…closed…open… and closed depending on the whims of government to co-incide with the ebb and flow of covid infections.

         Understandably, whenever beaches were opened, the government advised folks headed there about social spacing.  Basically, asking folks to maintain their 3-6 foot distance from one group or family to the other. 

         Well, that went over like wings on a pig.

         After being cooped up for months, locals flooded to the beaches in droves.  Inspectors, police, health officials ran around trying to get people to space out.  That was like trying to empty a bucket of water with a sieve.  Wasn’t happening.

         A rule with no ability to enforce it is toothless.

         So, beaches got closed again.

         As covid ebbed, they tried something else. 

         Respective beaches were allowed an occupancy quota.  For example, one beach allows only 350 people.  That down the way beach gets 425.  The other beach is allowed 500.  And so on.

Tecolote Beach 10-21

         Once they hit a number, no one else was allowed in.  Even AFTER people left, no one was allowed in.

         Another exercise in futility.

         Authorities were out there actually trying to count heads on the sand.

         Let’s see…24, 25, 26…oh, your kids just ran into the water?  How many kids you got?  29, 30…

         Not an easy task.

         Back to the drawing board. 

         The next attempt placed security at the entrance to the beaches. They checked each car.  They counted the heads in each car. 

         Again, once the quote was reached, too bad for the rest of you.  Go home or go find another beach. 

WP_20150802_005

         That system actually got some traction.  Except not so much for the hundreds of folks that had been waiting in their cars in the Baja heat for a couple of hours with a carload of kids trying to get into the beach. 

         Then, being told, they were too late.  A lot of ticked off people.

         Sorry kids.  Sorry mom.

         Thousands of people want to escape to the beaches.  However, allowing only a limited number did work out so well.

         So, the latest venture attempts to remedy that. 

         And it’s being implemented in many places.  So far.

         It makes the beaches more accessible to more people.  Problem solved.

DSC03415

         There’s just one catch.  Well, two actually.

         One is cost.  The other is time.

         Here’s how it works. They’re thinking about implementing this at many of the Baja beaches.

         You arrive at the entrance to the beach.  You are sold a bracelet to enter the beach.  Cost is less than 2 bucks.  That’s manageable.

         However…

         The bracelet allows you to stay in the beach for THREE HOURS.  That’s it.

Shifts are 8-11 a.m.  Then 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Finally 1-4 p.m.

         I’ll let you wrap your brain around that one.

         Apparently, at the end of each “shift”, they sound an alarm.  You gotta chug that last beer; fold up the umbrella and beach towels; grab the kids and scoot!

         If you want to stay longer, you need to purchase extra bracelets when you arrive at the beach. 

         I guess this will indeed allow more people access to the beach.  In theory.

         However, I’ve never been able to spend only 3 hours at the beach.  I don’t know many folks that have that ability.

         There’s one other glitch.  At some beaches, no charge to locals.  If you’re not local, you pay for the bracelet.  But that begs the question.  Are locals able to stay as long as they want?  And do they just grab a bunch of bracelets when they enter?

         Tourists need to pay AND scoot after 3 hours?

         Stand by.  I don’t think this is the last we’ve heard of this new plan.

 

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 http://www.tailhunter.com.

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

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

_____________

 


Jonathan Roldan’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.”

Getting ready for the real world!

EVERYONE GETS A MEDAL

Originally Published the Week of May 3, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

Jill just sent me an article that had me scratching my head. It’s about new reforms in the Mexican educational system.

The Mexican federal government is implementing a big overhaul of the education curriculum. Prima facia, it will flip education on it’s head down here.

It’s not like Mexico’s education system is that stellar to begin with. Students have already been additionally handicapped by the last 2 years of closed classrooms and intermittent internet-based learning.

It’s only in the planning stages, but when started, the new programs will scrap current text books “because they promote neoliberal concepts.” That’s from the Ministry of Public Education.
Instead of competing, the new educational model wants to stress that students “share.” Instead of competition, which essentially pits students against each other, the emphasis will be on “sharing and the common good.”

I’m not smart enough to know what “neoliberalism” is so I had to look it up.
Here’s what I found: “Neoliberalism, or neo-liberalism, is a term used to describe the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with free-market capitalism.”

Hmmmm…..

I don’t remember enough from my college Civics and Political Science Courses or I wasn’t listening that day. I probably was watching the girls in tube tops throwing Frisbees on the college commons or something.

But, that sounds (dare I say) “socialistic?” I’m sure someone will send me an e-mail correcting me.

According to the plan, students won’t have to sit for standardized tests any longer either. Those are too competitive as well as “racist, colonial,” “elitist” and promote “segregation.”

Those tests are used to evaluate students ability in math, science and reading.

The new curriculum has been described as “humanist” and “libertarian.” Lots of big words today for our vocabulary enrichment.

Mexican President Lopez Obrador backs the new program and says the new curriculum will make the students “good citizens.” He believes the current programs results in dehumanized and selfish individuals. He’s on a mission to eradicate all indicia of neoliberalism. One of his pet peeves apparently.

A good number of professional educators and academics in Mexico aren’t terrifically enamored with the new proposals. It’s causing some raised eye-brows and head scratching for sure.

As one educator was quoted, he surmised that the President was treating everything that came before as “neoliberalism.” There’s that word again.

Just a snippet of news from Mexico.

Looks like everyone will be getting “participation” and “self esteem” medals.   Perfect preparation for the future.

shutterstock_709210

That’s my story!

Jonathan

____________________

Jonathan has been writing the Baja Column for Western Outdoor News since 2004. He lives in La Paz with his best fishing buddy and wife, Jilly, where they run their Tailhunter Sportfishing Fleet for almost 30 years as well as their Tailhunter Sea Level Restaurant on the La Paz waterfront Malecon. If you’re in town, stop and say hi!)

____________________

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter Sportfishing
http://www.tailhunter.com

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

U.S. Mailing Address: Tailhunter Sportfishing

8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA 91942

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

“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.”

HE’s DA MAN! Senor Elote…the Street Corn Guy!

GROUND ZERO MEXICAN STREET CORN

Originally Published the Week of April 15, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

Food trends come and go.  The newest tastiest thing that seems to pervade every menu in some way, shape or form.  The come.  They go.  Some stick around.  Some don’t.

         Fried mozzarella cheese sticks

         Sushi and Hawaiian Poke

         Deep-fried ice cream

         Garlic truffle fries

         Dim sum

         Ramen

         Spam

         Fried Calamari

         Everyone has them in places you wouldn’t normally expect it.  French restaurants putting their own spin on raw fish.  Asian eateries with fried cheese sticks in spicy ponzu sauce and even Spam dishes.  Mexican cantinas with nacho fries.

         Many of these things aren’t “new” per se.  They were just “discovered” by the culinary world and blew up everywhere.

         For instance, I remember eating cold raw fish and marinated fish as a kid in Hawaii.  With cold rice too! 

It wasn’t “gourmet” back then.   It was cold because we didn’t have propane for cooking.  Couldn’t cook!

Just the way it was.  We used lots of soy sauce to flavor everything!

         Years ago, our restaurant in La Paz was the first and only place that served Hawaiian-style poke…fresh chunks of fish marinated and served cold with soy, ginger, sugar, sesame and minced onions. 

         Now, I’ve lost count of the restaurants that serve some variation of it in our city.  Oh well.  I guess imitation is the best form of flattery.

         And, now, the hot new things seems to be “Mexican Street Corn.”  I saw it everywhere the last 3 months travelling in the U.S.  From Texas to Washington State and Wyoming to California.  Menus in diners in roadside truck stops as well as  menus in fine eateries in big cities. 

         I can’t say I blame ‘em.  Not everyone might like fried cheese, or raw fish or garlic on anything. But, it’s a rare person that doesn’t like sweet hot corn.

         In La Paz, where we live, it’s a go-to snack late at night.  A big order can be a whole meal.  And it’s cheap.  If I were still a college kid, instead of all that ramen I ate, I could very well get by with a big cup hot of Mexican street corn.

         Most of the guys in our local neighborhood ride “bike carts” to sell their “Elote.” (corn).  The Elotero’s bike cart is usually a jimmied-together reverse tricycle with one big wheel in the back and two forward supporting a platform and often an awning.

         These eloteros usually come out as it gets dark and set up on a street corner somewhere.  Lines can form quickly. 

         For the more popular carts, it’s not unusual for lines to remain well into the night.  Just like as kids we would hit Jack-in-the-Box or Denny’s after a night partying, a big cup of steaming sweet corn is perfect before heading home.

         Step up and tell the elotero if you want a big cup or small cup. 

         He’ll grab a Styrofoam cup and ladle in some hot kernels from the big pot or basin on his bike.  He fills it about ½ up.

         Then, some thick white Mexican crema.  Mexico’s version of sour cream.

         Then a squirt of Valentina salsa similar to tangy Tobasco.

         Then more corn on top of that.

         Top it with more cream.  Another squirt of Valentina. 

Then a sprinkle of chili powder.  Then a spoonful of salty cotija cheese.  Very much like sprinkling parmesan on your pasta.

Esquites-1

Layer after layer of yumminess.

         He hands you a spoon and a napkin and off you go with your Mexican street corn goodness!  The newer places will also have a squirt of lime juice as well before you head off.

         Many times, you just stand on the street corner with everyone else or sit on the curb.  Or lean on a light pole and start spooning up the tasty concoction.   

         A big cup is maybe 2 bucks at the most.  Often cheaper.  That spare change in your pocket is enough to buy a filling meal of this good stuff.  It’s a deal.  Back in my early days, when all I had WAS pocket change, a cup-o-corn carried me through as my dinner!

         Next time you’re in Baja and wandering back to your hotel room and see the guy on the bike cart with a big vat and an “ELOTE DELICIOSO” sign lettered across it, step up for the original street treat.

That’s my story!

Jonathan

____________________

Jonathan has been writing the Baja Column for Western Outdoor News since 2004.  He lives in La Paz with his best fishing buddy and wife, Jilly, where they run their Tailhunter Sportfishing Fleet for almost 30 years as well as their Tailhunter Sea Level Restaurant on the La Paz waterfront Malecon.  If you’re in town, stop and say hi!)

____________________

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter Sportfishing
www.tailhunter.com

 

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

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter Sportfishing

8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942

 

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

 
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.”