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LA NINA – The little girl is back for 2021?

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.”

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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.”

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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!

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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!

_____________ 

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.”

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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

 

______________

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

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

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

_____________

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

Website:

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

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

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

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

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

Read Full Post »

REFRESHING AMBIVALENCE

REFRESHING AMBIVALENCE

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

After all the political, social, health and economic rancor and upheaval this past year in the U.S., I think I’ve reached that point of fatigue.

         Along with religion, those are generally just some topics I avoid talking about.  It seems especially true down here in Baja where most folks I come in contact with are here for vacations, not debate or argument.

         I would think most are trying to get AWAY from all of that back home.  The whole point of “vacation”, right?

         That being said, a good number of folks still seem anxious to engage in conversation.

         Usually, the red lights in my brain start flashing “DANGER! DANGER!”

         As quickly as I can, I try to turn the flow of words to something more palatable.

         But, some folks are so used to it coming from the U.S. that they still feel the need to bring it up.  It’s what everyone talks about “back home.”

Kinda like the A-type personality who runs a million-miles-an-hour at work.  Comes down here and it takes awhile for them to decompress and take it down a few notches.

         I get it. Unavoidable topics of conversation.  Hot topics of conversation. It’s what everyone is talking about.

         The problem is, it’s not conversation.  It’s not even debate.  It’s like that even among my only family members.

         If you agree with them, there’s not much else to say.  Or the other person will just talk and talk.  No real exchange of info.

         On the other hand, if you have a DIFFERENT opinion, you’re suddenly the “enemy” or an “idiot.” Conversation turns to argument with no one giving ground.

         No info is exchanged.  No one learns anything. 

No give-and-take.  Instead it becomes a mission to verbally batter and bludgeon the other person to back down and accept YOUR point-of-view.

         I usually do.  Back down, that is.

         I used to be a litigation attorney.  If I wanted to pull my verbal guns, yea…I guess I could.  But, what’s the point?  Restraint.

         No one really wants to listen to me anyway.  If we have the same point of view, then why keep talking? 

         If we differ, then why piss each other off?  I’ll keep my opinions to myself. And keep my friends and family.

         This is Baja.  Folks are supposed to be on vacation.  If you want debate jump on Facebook and say something controversial and, like I said, half will agree with you and the other half will tell you you’re dumber-than-dirt.

         In no uncertain terms.

         That’s why it was so refreshing to have one of my Mexican friends ask me a few weeks ago, “Who do you think will be your next American President?  Biden or Trump?”

         Oh no.  Here we go again.

         I didn’t want to start down that path or open a can of worms with my friend so I asked, “Does it matter to you as a Mexican citizen?”

         Instead of the usual hackle going up, he smiled and said, “Nope.  I was just making conversation.  It seems all Americans have strong opinions about it. Don’t you?”

         I shrugged.  Again, trying to nip things in the bud.

         I asked him disarmingly again, “Do YOU have an opinion?”

         And then he said something that put the biggest grin on my face. 

         He laughingly replied, “I don’t care.”

         A pause.

         I had to think about that.

         Are we allowed to say that anymore?  Are we allowed to think that anymore?

         Three simple words. 

         “I don’t care.”

         Maybe it’s simply not caring at all.  Ambivalence.  Fatigue.  Resignation.  Indifference.

         Whatever the reason, you NEVER hear anyone say “I don’t care.”

 It’s uh…sacrilegious!  It’s uh…blasphemous.  It’s Un-American.  It’s un-civilized, by gosh!!!

         I’m sure everyone cares.  I actualy do care. 

         But there are times when I just don’t care.  Or, at that particular moment, I don’t have the energy to care.  But, I’m afraid…hesitant… to say that to anyone. 

         I can’t be the only person who feels like that.

         A fishing clients says to me, “What do you think about all that unrest in the police force?  Or “How about them closing California again cuz of Covid?”

         What would I sound like if I said, “I don’t care.”

         Probably like a jerk.

         My Mexican friend explained to me.

         “Look, it might be different in the big cities than here in Baja.  It might be different if I were a big business owner. “

         “But, I’m a regular guy like you.  Nothing special.  I drive a delivery truck.”

         “To me, the only reason I asked about your elections is that’s all Americans seem to talk about and that’s what we see on the news on our TV’s about the U.S. But, I don’t think it affects me that much.  We got enough problems with our own politicians here in Mexico without worrying about YOUR politicians,” he laughed.

         “Mire, hombre…Look, amigo,” he elaborated.  “ Us Mexicans, we’ve been ruled by the Spanish, the French, the Germans. We had wars with America.  We have endured revolutions and corrupt politicians at every level.”

         “We now have this pandemic thing.  It’s a big problem.  Or, that’s what they tell us it is. Maybe it is.  Maybe it isn’t”

         “We Mexicans will endure.  We keep going.  We hear promises, but nothing really ultimately changes.  We move ahead.  Everything will pass and we will still be here.”

         “Honestly, I am more concerned with my next delivery in my truck and feeding my kids than who will be the next senator for our state or if the government is telling the truth about covid.  I care enough to wear my mask.  No big deal.”

         No big deal.

I think there’s an honest dignity in that.  Keep on-keeping on.  Stay the course.

         Just kinda nice to hear that once-in-awhile.

That’s my story!

Jonathan

______________

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

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

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

_____________

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

Website:

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

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

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

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

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

Read Full Post »

FIND YOUR BEACH

FIND YOUR BEACH

 

Originally Published The Week of Nov. 25, 2020 in Western Outdoor Publications. 

             I pretty much wrote this week’s column lying flat on my back looking up at the sky.  Pretty unusual position for “word-smithing.”

         Most of the time, I write at my desk. Sitting up. 

           It’s in the middle of the night at the end of a long workday that usually starts about 4 a.m.  Or, if I’m “lazy” and couldn’t think of anything the night before, I scramble to compose something before the sun comes up and the day goes full-turbo!

         But, lying flat on my back, I’m looking at clouds drifting by as languidly as I was feeling. 

         Lying on the sand.

         On the beach.

         In the Baja sun.

         Some Kenny Chesney “No Shoes No Shirt No Problem” playing on Spotify competing with the rise-and-fall crescendo of surf as a soundtrack.

         And this week’s column just sort of wrote it self. It auto-composed in my head in about 5 minutes.

         I was just lying there on that warm sand felling really tired.  Not just tired. 

         “Old man tired.”  Big difference.

         I had just come off the water.  Nope.   For once, not fishing.  Not diving either.

         Surfing.  Yup.  That kind of surfing.  Like on a board.

       My wife, Jill, and I had spent the better part of the afternoon surfing and using muscles that we had not used in…well…years!  I think the last time I “surfed” Baja, I had been driving my dad’s Pinto station wagon.

       Me, and a bunch of underage high-school buds on a flyer across the border below Rosarito Beach with $20 between the three of us; a bag of Doritos; and 3 days to waste on the waves.

       Yea, it had been a long time.

         Surfing muscles are not the same as fishing muscles.  Not the same as SCUBA muscles.  And no matter how much Jill and I had lied to ourselves, we were not “in shape” to be paddling out…fighting waves…fighting the board.

         I grew up in Hawaii, but my “old man” muscles were B–tching me out so very badly. 

       “What were you thinking?”

       “Who were you trying to kid?”

                     Harsh reality found on a beach in Baja.

                     But, I gotta tell you, it was a good soreness.  And Jill and I had the biggest smiles on our faces as we lay splayed-out on the beach.  

                    No one talking.  No one needed to.

                   The sun rays warmed me from above and the hot sand warmed me from below.

                  It was like being a kid again and coming out’ve the pool and lying face-down on that warm cement without a care-in-the-world.  You know that feeling. 

                 Summer vacation. No school.  No homework. You had no place else to be except right then and there. Contentment.

                 And that was me.  Except I was lying looking up.

                 And I realized I had nowhere to be except right then and there. On that beach at that moment studying some dumb clouds.  No shoes. No shirt.  No problems.

                It finally just got to us.  Yea, we live and work in Baja. 

                 “Living the dream.” Right?

                  But, like everyone, no matter where you are, it’s been a tough year.  And this year, it seemed like we worked even harder-than-ever just trying to tread water like everyone else.

                 Being in the travel industry with our fishing fleets and restaurant, it was especially brutal.

                Surely, fewer clients and less business, but like I said, we seemed to work twice-as-hard just trying to keep what we had.  Working double to keep from sliding backwards even more. 

              Almost like surfing.  Paddle paddle paddle to get out.  Wave knocks you back. 

             Paddle paddle paddle to go a little further.  Another wave knocks you back again. 

            Just trying to get out past the white water to where that tasty curl tantalizes you with a rewarding ride back to the beach.  Paddle paddle paddle.  Can’t stop. Gotta get past that white water.

           Catch one or two, but mostly paddling paddling and more tiring paddling.

          Like life right now. 

         No days off and …UP-TO-HERE…with it all. 

         Covid…quarantine…restrictions…economy…politics…elections…unrest.  The “whitewater” of life, right? The cacaphony that never stops assaulting you.

         So, we just sort of folded shop.

        We never ever take time off.  But,it was time. 

         We didn’t tell any of our staff where we were going.  Basically told them, don’t burn down the building.  Don’t let anyone steal anything.  We’ll be in touch.

         In fact, I didn’t even tell my wife where we were going.

         I pretty much told her to grab some clothes for a few days.  Threw her and our rescue cat, my guitar,  and some gear in our Honda.  It’s the one with the busted air-conditioner and that overheats if I drive faster than 50mph and left.

         We drove. And drove.

And made a left off the highway down a dusty washboard dirt road.

         And found a beach.

         And it had some worn bungalow cabanas for rent.

         Our “rustic” cabana had holes in the palapa roof.

         Some lights didn’t work.  Others had those god-awful curly “economy” bulbs that save you 5 bucks over 100 years.

         A threadbare hammock tied between two palm trees.  It might have been a fishing net at one time.

         No TV.

         No disco.

         No nightclub.       

         No real restaurants to speak of.

         Perfection.

         I don’t even want to tell you the name of the beach because the area is begging for a paved road and some high-rise hotels that will come soon enough, I imagine.

         But for now, just miles of Baja beach.

         And there were some waves that just begged to be ridden.

         And an ice chest full of cold ones that needed some attention too.

         And 3 days extended into 5 days of sun, sand, surf, card-playing and just the very best kind of “social distancing” that we probably could all use right now.

         Might still be there if we didn’t run outta cat food.

         And lying on my back like a very tired beached sealion soaking up the rays and watching clouds moving left-to-right.

Smiling.

         And while we were gone, the world did not blow up.  Our business did not burn down.  The problems of the world were still there when we got back. 

         We did not miss a thing.

         But finding that little stretch of Baja beach made all the difference.

         For now.

         We brought that beach home with us in a manner of speaking.  I brought this essay that wrote itself.

         Like that beer commercial says, I hope you find your beach. 

         Somewhere. 

        If not on a stretch of sand.  Then a backyard.  A park. Or some space where you can close the door.

       Away from the madness.  Close your eyes. Shut off the sound. Take a breath. Find that beach and watch the clouds.

That’s my story!

Jonathan


______________

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

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

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

_____________ 

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

Website: 

www.tailhunter-international.com

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

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

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

.

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

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

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

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

Read Full Post »

YES THEY CAN!

 

YES, THEY CAN!

 

 

Originally Published the Week of Nov. 17, 2020 in Western Outdoor Publications

A week ago in Cabo San Lucas, I had the great pleasure of once again working at the 22nd Annual Cabo Tuna Jackpot Tournament produced by Western Outdoor News. 

         What an event it is. 

         This year, 150 national and international fishing teams gathered for two days of fishing.  Over one-million dollars of prize money in the pots!  About 700 folks from all over the world come to play.

         If you’ve never seen or participated in something like this, it’s a mind-boggling adrenaline rush to see all this energy, fishing talent, equipment and yes…money all charging out into the fishing grounds.

         There are jaw-dropping super yachts that should be seen on “Lives of the Rich & Famous.”  I believe the largest fishing vessel this year was 110’ mega cruiser that looked like a stream-lined cruise ship.

         We gawked and ooh’d and ahhh’d at the  gleaming 40, 50…70-foot battle-wagon sport-fishers.  Shining with teak decks and tinted glass windows sporting out-riggers and thousands of dollars of fishing rods-and-reels on deck and no doubt equally expensive electronics aboard as well.

sportfisher-1

         There were jet-boat sportfishers built for speed to the fishing grounds fast.  Imagine four or five 400-horsepower motors hanging off the transom.  They blew by like rocket ships.

         As one of my friends mentioned, “If you gotta ask how much it costs to gas-up one any of these hard-chargers, you simply can’t afford it.”

         As another 100-footer went by, another of our crew commented, “Sheesh…there are countries with navies that don’t have boats THAT big or THAT expensive!”

         Indeed, a lot of hardware out there!  Even if if you’re just “renting” the charter for a few days, it’s way above the my paygrade!

         But, in the middle of all the finery.  There they are. 

         And you can’t help but wanna shout or give a high-five to someone.  

         Yes, they are chugging along on 90-hp motors.  Bouncing around in the wakes of the big boy cruisers.

panga-santi

         It’s the local panga guys and the fishermen who swear by them. Simple rugged 24-foot ocean-going skiffs that are famous in Mexican waters.

         They cobbled together entry fees and gas money to play.  Often their client fishermen are roll-up-the-sleeves blue-collar guys. 

         Some beer in a tattered plastic ice chest.  Sack lunches and bait in the bait-well.  And they’re hot to go!

jr3pic18

         Do you remember Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea?  It’s the story of aging “Santiago” who’s best fishing days are behind him.  But he goes out every day to work the waters.  The young bucks don’t pay him much mind.

         But, all alone, he hooks and battles a legendary marlin in his little skiff.  

         If you have a line in the water, anything is possible.

         And when you see these guys in the pangas, you can’t help but root for them.  You gotta believe, they have a fighter’s chance.

Goliath beware!  David has that one stone in his sling.

         I wouldn’t hesitate to put a lot of panga skippers against anyone on a given day. 

sushi-time-cabo-panga-fishing2

Chances are they’ve worked these waters their whole lives. They have never fished anywhere else.  I once asked a panga captain if he had ever fished somewhere else beside his home territory.

He smiled.  Shook his head and said, “Why?”

 They know the waters, the currents, the little “nuances” that even high-technology cannot come close to finding.  Hometown advantage.  Nothing like local knowledge.

         Satellites are fine.  Technology has it’s place. 

But give me a guy who didn’t learn his trade by fishing for fun.  He learned his trade because he had to put food on the table for his family. 

Day in. Day out. 

         If he didn’t catch, the family didn’t eat.  Simple as that!

         In fact, he probably trained the young hot-shots that are now blazing by him in the big cruisers.  Chances are it’s one of his kids.  And he knowingly smiles.

         But, he’s probably forgotten more about fishing than the youngsters will ever know.  I’ve always been of the mind that if you don’t use it, you lose it.

         You might have mad sharp skills, but if you spend so much time relying on technology to do your thinking for you, the skills get dull.  It’s like forgetting how to multiply because now you have a calculator.

         They guy running the panga still relies on generations of knowledge.   I’ll ride with THAT guy!

         Frankly, I’d rather have a great captain on a so-so boat than a great boat with a so-so captain.  I don’t need 10 deckhands.  I don’t need an air-conditioned salon. 

         No doubt they are nice and good to have.  But, if I had to bare-bones fish, I’ll take old Santiago in his skiff.  His years of knowledge pitted against hi-tech fiberglass wonders is priceless.  

         Maybe a vanishing breed.  A vanishing style.

         The new age is upon us, but don’t throw out the old school just yet.

Like watching an old movie and seeing Cowboy Bob on his trusty horse getting the girl and catching the bad guy over the Fancy Dan in his horseless carriage.

         So, there they were amid all the big guns with names like “Liquid Gold” with owners from Wyoming. And the Florida team riding on “Tropical Chubasco” or the young turks from New York on “Bull Market.”

         We see “Pepe’s Panga” and there was “La Loca” and “Cazador” pulling right up along-side them.  Ready to charge.

         And sometimes win.  I’ve seen it.  The little pangas that could! .

         Hard not to root for them and cheer all the louder.

That’s my story!

 

Jonathan

______________

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

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

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

_____________ 

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

Website: 

www.tailhunter-international.com

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

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

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

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

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

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

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

Read Full Post »

SIX MONTHS DIFFERENCE…It’s A START!

SIX MONTHS DIFFERENCE…IT’s A START!

Originally Published the Week of Nov. 10, 2020 in Western Outdoor Publications.

 

          Last week was my first visit to a major Mexican tourist hub.

         Six months ago last June, I flew back into Baja after it had been locked down for Covid quarantine for 3 months.  It was eerie.

         When my plane landed at Los Cabos Airport, my plane was not just the only plane that landed.  It was the only plane in sight. 

Period.

         There was not a single plane on the runway which was completely empty.  There were no ground crews to be seen.  No little luggage carts being pulled by tractor vehicles.  There was not a single person to be seen.

         Anywhere.

         It was like the proverbial zombie apocalypse.     

         Inside the airport, it was likewise empty.  Just a handful of people waiting at immigration.  Only a handful in the line at customs. I passed through and out to the street in five minutes.

         Outside, the usual gamut of barkers offering rental cars, shuttle transportation and time-share condos were incredibly absent. 

         The normally crowded waiting area where shuttle drivers met arriving clients was virtually empty.  Come to think of it, so was the parking lot that is usually jammed with vans and busses.

         Once away from the airport, streets were largely deserted. 

         Businesses were mostly shuttered-closed or had very little traffic.

         The bustling area around the Cabo San Lucas Marina had almost no people.  No one wandering around.  No street vendor hawking jewelry, cigars or snorkel trips.

Restaurants and hotels were barely open.  Boat traffic was minimal if anything.  Maybe a panga here and there or water taxi.  No sportfishers or cruise ships in sight.

Away from the marina, it was so desolate you would swear you could hear the breeze whistle through the empty streets and you expected a tumbleweed to go blowing by. . .or a chicken.

Well, all of that surely seems to be over for the most part.

There are still restrictions in place and they are heavily enforced.  But, quarantine requirements have abated.  Somewhat.  

Everyone still wears masks.

Social distancing is very evident everywhere although difficult to enforce.

At the crowded tourist restaurants, your temperature is taken and you’ll probably get a squirt of sanitizing gel.

But, they do count heads.  If the restaurant is at capacity, you’ll have to wait.

Bars that do not serve food remain closed. Inspectors are closing other businesses that do not respect the safety protocols.

Other than that, Cabo almost seemed normal.  It was definitely different than 6 months ago.

Although it was not as crowded as normal, the airport sure seemed like it was back to capacity with numerous flights coming and going.  Planes were full from what I could see.

It took 2-hours to get our rental car even though we had reservations.

The hotels actually had people in them.  The Tourism Board says most places have about a 30% occupancy now.  Way down, but surely way up from 6 months ago. 

The hotel pools were jammed with people.  Difficult to social distance when everyone is doing shooters at the swim-up bar! 

The beaches were lively although there was no trouble finding a spot for your umbrella and towel.

Street traffic seemed as busy as normal. This was especially true in the non-tourist areas where people went about their daily business.

There were no cruise ships parked in the bay.  However, there was a constant stream of sporfishing vessels, tour boats, snorkel and scuba boats and booze cruises going in-and-out of the Cabo Marina. 

At night, town wrapped up by 8 or 9 p.m. or so.  Far different than normal and the streets got quiet. 

But earlier than that, most places for food and nightlife seemed operational if quite a bit under capacity.  Obviously, businesses were still working at reduced hours.  And reduced staff.

But, at least they were open.

It’s going to be a long slow road to recovery.  But, it was good to see lights on and life trying to get back to normal again.

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-international.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-international.com

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

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

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

.

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

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBLvdHL_p4-OAu3HfiVzW0g

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

Read Full Post »

SAFE AS IT’s GONNA GET?

SAFE AS IT’S GONNA GET? 

Originally Published the Week of Nov. 3, 2020 in Western Outdoor Publications.

The Cabo San Lucas Marina…pretty much business as usual with boat traffic although foot traffic was relatively light.

_________________________

    Since the Covid Pandemic hit us last March in Baja, I’ve been been watching things pretty carefully.  I have to.  Being in the travel-activity industry, it’s pretty mandatory.

 

     In that time, I’ve watched us down here go from pretty much completely “RED” (complete stringent shutdown…harsher than the U.S.)…

     ….To “ORANGE” (open but with  strong mandatory restrictions still in place)..

     …..To “YELLOW” (open with a huge easing of restrictions) since September.

 

     Being in the “yellow” has been a huge economic breath for so many of us.  Restaurants, hotels and other businesses were allowed up to 50% occupancy.  Beaches and recreational areas were opened.  Churches, gyms, theaters and other “non-essential” businesses could finally open their doors.

 

     It has not quite been “business as normal” but it’s as close-to-it- as we have seen most of the year.  I think most of us down here have gotten used to it and we’re learning to live with it. 

 

     So many businesses didn’t survive.  The rest of us are just trying to stay afloat as well as possible.

 

     We would surely like to have thing completely open and in the “GREEN” level, but few of us think that’s going to happen anytime soon. 

 

     As with most governments around the world, the folks who make the decisions walk the tightrope trying to balance public safety against economic stagnation.

 

     Will we get to normal by 2021?  Short of some miracle vaccine or it’s equal, I kinda doubt it.  But, bigger brains than mine struggle with those issues.

 

     I will share with you that based on talking to our American clients that have visited us this year, most were surprised about their vacations.

 

     “I think it was safer than being back home in the U.S.  It surely was not any more dangerous” seemed to be the general consensus.

 

     As one of my fishermen told me who visited us twice this year, “I think there are so many safety protocols in place from the time I hit the airport; to the time I reach my hotel . . .hen while I’m in Mexico . . .hat I feel perfectly safe.  The tourist areas seem especially antiseptic with everyone very conscious about sanitation.”

 

     He’s already booked for next year.

 

     In fact, judging from reservations for 2021, it looks like a good year.  Covid or no Covid.

 

     Airlines are flying again.  In fact, several airlines have added or are in the process of adding more flights to Baja. 

 

     I know that for us in La Paz, for the first time in almost a decade, there will be direct flights from the U.S. starting in December. 

 

     I am also reading that some of the airlines are putting back that middle seat or from several flights that I have taken this year, there’s no more social distancing on the flights. They’ve been packed. Sold out.

 

     So, the airlines must be banking on the uptake in tourism to Baja.

 

     I think as an alternative destination, travelers will find Mexico overall a lot more attractive than Europe, Asia or other places which are experiencing another surge in Covid.  And many aren’t too keen to welcome Americans right now anyway.

 

     Pragmatically speaking, if there is a shutdown again, it’s a lot easier to get home from Baja than it is fromEngland or Italy, right? 

 

     My wife and I were supposed to be on a 3-week lifetime trip to South Africa right now.  In hindsight, South Africa would not have been a good place to be stuck.

 

     Even if you’re not flying, it’s not so hard to drive either.

 

     OK, I know there’s this “travel ban” on the border that has been in place for most of the year.  The governments of both Mexico and the U.S. have given no indication when (or if) it’s going to be removed.

 

     But, there’s several things to keep in mind.

 

     First, it does NOT apply to entering Mexico by flying, rail or water.

 

     Secondly, for all practical purposes, it seems to be more of a “suggestion” than an actual mandate.  I know plenty of folks who have driven right through the border without issue.  Some have driven several times. Some do it on a regular basis.

 

     In fact, that’s one of the complaints that has become devisive among the Mexican folks along the borders.

 

     Many decry the apparent “freeflow” of traffic from the U.S.  Keeping in mind the high Covid rates among Americans.

 

     But, there’s a huge contingency that wants and needs those tourism and business dollars that also flow into the country from Americans.

 

     So, it really just is-what-it-is.  That’s the bottom line.

 

     Mostly what I’m hearing from folks booking reservations next year is that Covid or no Covid, they’re coming.  Vaccine or no vaccine they’re coming. 

 

     For better or worse.  Most think it can’t be any worse than it is and frankly a lot of folks are just tired of having been kept home this last year.  Just my two centavos. 

 

     Vamos a ver…we’ll just have to see.

 

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.”

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THINGS I WOULD HAVE TOLD MYSELF

On the beach in 1996. I had no idea this would turn into a new career.

Originally Published the Week of Oct. 27, 2020 in Western Outdoor Publications

          Almost 3 decades down here in Baja now.  I’m not sure I’m “older and wiser” now.  Definitely older. 

         But I was thinking of things I would have (should have?)  told my younger-self back then when I first moved down here that would have made things so much more enlightening and surely easier.

For one, coming from the life of a litigation attorney to a remote part of Baja, I would have told myself to SLOW-THE-HECK-DOWN!   It took a long time to get off the clock.

It took a long time to realize that just because I was running fast, no one was going to run faster to keep up with me and what I wanted or needed.  I would have to adjust and take it down a few notches.

Actually I had to take it way way way down!

Related to that first thing…not that I had a lot of money…but money doesn’t  necessarily make things go faster either.  Things will happen when they happen.

I definitely would have told myself not to be so gullible. 

“Si” (Yes) does not always mean “yes.”  “No” doesn’t always mean “no.” 

Folks aren’t necessarily lying to you.  It means what it means at the time it is said.  It is ALWAYS subject to “re-interpretation” later by the person who said that to me in the first place. 

So, flexibility, patience and adaptability are good to keep close-at-hand.

Again, not that I had a lot of money.  But, I would have told myself there is no such thing as a loan.

The person may ask for a “loan.”  But, honestly, they really probably needed the money more than I did.  They may call it a “loan.”  They may promise to pay it back.

But, in 25 years, I have only had one person ever pay me back.  And it was 4 years later!

A “loan” is really a “gift.”  Don’t loan money or anything else you can’t afford to lose.

I would tell myself never drive off without these things in the car:

  1. Jumper cables
  2. Duct tape and electrical tape
  3. 20 bucks in small bills or pesos hidden somewhere in the car for an emergency
  4. A spare tire
  5. Toilet paper and a shovel

I would have also told myself not to have been so terrified the first time I drove down the Baja Peninsula.  I had read too many stories.  Now that I’ve driven it dozens of times, it’s a wonderful drive that only gets better.

To, my list of things, I would have mentioned, that truly “less is more.”

I brought down way too much stuff that 3 decades later, I am still burdened with.   Did I really need over 100 rods and reels?  Did I really need 200 pounds of tackle?  Did I really need two trailers full of other odds-and-ends?

Along those same lines, I would have told myself that it’s possible to get by with very little and on very little.  I would learn to adapt. I sure learned now to stretch a peso!

 I would learn to fix things.  I would learn that it’s easier to fix something or make do than to run around all day trying to find a replacement.  Or maybe, I was just too lazy. 

I would have smacked myself and told my younger-self to not be so nervous about eating local food.  Oh sure, everyone loves tacos.  But, real Mexican food is NOT like in the U.S.  Eat what everyone eats.  Eat where everyone eats. 

I would have advised myself that getting excited about “living off the grid” is not “living off the grid” like the reality-show people on TV. Real reality is completely different.

I would wake up in the morning with food the first thing on my mind.  Not because I wanted to eat.  It was because I would have to figure out HOW to get food each day.  Catch it?  Trade for it? Find it? Pull it from the ground or ocean?

No grocery stores.  No restaurants where I lived.

Living off the grid required some serious thought. There’s no safety net. 

Digging a well just to have drinking water.   Hooking up marine batteries to make one light bulb work. 

Treating ice like gold because that was the only way to keep my food.  No frig.  Only an ice chest in 100-degree heat.

Hoping to catch a fish for dinner because that’s all there was.  Hoping some desert critter didn’t eat my tomato plant required critical thinking and planning.

I had never imagined those things when I moved down.

I would tell myself that there is nothing you cannot trade for. When money is scarce, barter works just as well.  Trade tomatoes for meat.  Fish for writing paper.  Cigarettes for beer.  Old t-shirts for tortillas.

I would have told myself that I would meet some of the best friends in my life and come to appreciate and love a people and culture like no other.

I would never have figured that I’d also meet my awesome wife and two great kids.  That was not part of the plan.  (Not sure I would have told myself that…maybe romance is best left as a surprise!)

Mostly, I think I would have told myself that it was going to be the adventure of a lifetime. It was going to be an incredible experience.  It was going to be the best thing I had ever done and something most people would never experience.

I would have reminded myself that it’s better to try something than have regrets later on.

Lastly, I would have told myself there was no language barrier that a smile could not overcome. 

I would have told myself that everything was going to be just fine .

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: 

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

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

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

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

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

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