Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘fun’

THE REWIND BUTTON

Too have been there in the 60’s when Cabo was just a beach…when people like Bing Crosby walked the halls of Hotel Las Cruces…when big fish were the norm in the Sea of Cortez and in the heyday of such great places like the Serenidad Hotel when the Johnsons hosted the Flying Samaritans and the aroma of barbecued pork could wafted down the coastline.

THE REWIND BUTTON

Originally Published the Week of Feb. 15, 2017 in Western Outdoor Publications

I was asked the other day how I might have done things differently now that I’ve marked more than 20 years working and living in Baja.  I had to think about that because I’ve never given it much thought.

 

I confess much of my time, especially the early years, was spent dealing with the immediate present.   I was more concerned with things like, “Where is my next meal coming from?”   Or, “Dangit, do I have enough gas in the boat to make it back to the beach?” And, “How far can I make 200 pesos stretch until I get paid?”

 

Whew.

 

I gratefully have not had thoughts like that in a long time.  Life doesn’t guarantee anything.  I don’t take things for granted.   However,  at least at this stage in my life, I’m usually laughing to myself if those questions inadvertently race through my brain’s neurons.

 

But, looking back, I guess I would have changed a few things.

 

For one, I would have come to Baja sooner.  I didn’t make it down to Baja until my early 30’s.  I would have loved to have seen the Baja 10 or 20 years earlier…like the during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.   I would have loved to have seen Cabo San Lucas “back in the day” when it was still a fishing town.

 

I would have loved to have seen the Baja of Gene Kira, Fred “Baja Ha-Ha” Hoctor, Neil Kelly and Ray Cannon and other great writers who saw Baja in the days when it was truly “la frontera” (the frontier).

 

If my time machine was powerful enough, what I wouldn’t give to have experienced the Baja of John Steinbeck on the Western Flyer with Ed Ricketts!

 

Looking back, I would  had taken the time to have seen some of the great legendary landmark resorts and hotels in their heyday like Punta Chivato; Punta Colorada, Rancho Leonero, Las Cruces,   Hotel Las Arenas or even The Old Mill in San Quintin and so many others.

 

Some are still going strong, but to have seen them “back in the day” would’ve been pretty special.   So many are gone now or are a shadow of their previous glory when they sat alone on pristine fishing waters.

 

Likewise, the “old Finnie” Finisterra Hotel, Hotel Cabo San Lucas and the Hacienda Hotel  hewn out’ve rocks and cliffs would have been something to have experienced in their days of elegance.  I was fortunate enough to spend some time during their waning years, but to have been there when mariachis roamed the halls and played for well-heeled celebrities and guests must have been something to see.

 

Looking back, I would have brought my parents to Baja sooner.  Lots of kids are brought down by their parents, but I was the first in the family to venture south.  It wasn’t until many years later that I got my father to travel with me.  Other family members followed over the years.

 

Those times remain some of the best memories with them.  That “window” closed too soon and before long they had either had passed away or were too old to travel any longer.  And all we have are the memories.

 

As another afterthought, why did I take so long to stick my head underwater? I was raised in the water.  I spent many of my younger years in Hawaii.   I was so intent on fishing from “above the surface” I never stuck my head “below the surface.”

 

Then, I got SCUBA certified.  It opened up an entire new spectacular world that so enthralled me, I kept going until I got my divemaster certification and became a working divemaster.  The waters surrounding the Baja are some of the most incredible in the world.  It also made me not only a better fisherman, but also gave me a greater appreciation for all for the ocean and especially Baja.

 

I surely would have spent more time in the bush.  When you’re living hand-to-mouth, you like to be somewhat close to things like water, gas, electricity and transportation. . .  No matter how primitive.   I would have spent more time as far away from those things as possible knowing that with each approaching year, it would be increasingly difficult because those places are disappearing.

 

In the same vein, I would have literally “taken the roads less traveled.”  More deserted roads should have been explored.  I should have followed more goat paths.

 

They should have been followed to find out what beach, canyon, vista or adventure lay at the end.  Nowadays, too many others have already been down those roads.

 

Finally, I would have learned Spanish earlier and worked at it harder.  It’s my greatest regret that I’m not more fluent. Language is the ultimate “code.”

 

I’ve gotten better, but I think of how so many previous experiences would have been enriched by knowing and understanding Spanish better.  I can only think of what I missed by not understanding a word here or a phrase there.  Likewise, if I had a better command of Spanish, I could have contributed more as well.

 

Yes, it would have been great to have done so many things earlier. Still,  I’ve got no regrets!  But, I guess it’s not too late.  And that’s the beauty of Baja.  There’s still so much waiting to be experienced and folks continue to discover what a special place it is!

That’s my story

Jonathan signature

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-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

 

TAILHUNTER FISHING FLEET #1 Rated on Trip Advisor

TAILHUNTER RESTAURANT BAR Top 5 – Rated in La Paz on Trip Advisor

 

Now follow us on FACEBOOK TOO

 

Website: www.tailhunter-international.com

U.S. Office: 8030 La Mesa, Suite #178, La Mesa CA  91942

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

Phones: 

from USA : 626-638-3383

from Mexico: 044-612-53311

.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report: 

http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Videoshttps://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 »

“You Mean I Can Keep It?”

What do you think?  It looks to me like Aiden's self-esteem is just fine!

Yes…I think we can bring this one home!

You Mean I Can Keep It?

Originally Published the Week of September 20, 2013 in Western Outdoor News

You Baja veterans should probably just web surf something else.  This might be old stuff to you.

But, often when you do something so long or something is “old hat” you forget that there’s still newbies out there who have valid questions about things that old Baja rats like us take for granted.

It’s a simple, but important issue.  I receive enough e-mails and phone calls asking if it’s OK to bring home fish.

Sometimes, my auto-response in my brain says, “Well..duh…that’s kinda dumb!  That’s like asking me if it’s OK to dip you chips in salsa!”

Of course, I can’t and would never say that because there are no such thing as dumb questions.  It’s a legitimate question and well-asked.   I mean, if you’re coming fishing in Baja, one would need to know if it’s OK to keep your catch.  Corollary to that, is it OK to bring some home!

But, I get asked about it enough as new folks are discovering Baja that I figured it was time to do another column about it and update my thoughts.

The question used to surprise me more.  But, having been in the industry now for almost 2 decades, us west-coast anglers might be surprised to learn that  there are many world-class fishing destinations that severely limit what you can keep.

Pay several thousand dollars a day and you get to keep say…one fish!  Or, you must release all fish.   Yes, it’s true!   For most of us who have fished the Baja since the age-of-dirt,  we pretty much always assume that as long as we’re within limits, everything hooked is coming home.

There may come a day when severe limits will be enforced, but that’s the subject of another column and someone with a lot bigger brain and bigger column than mine.

For now, the simple answer is yes, you may bring home your fish that you catch here in Baja.   As long as you’re within limits, by all means, bring some home.  Or have some cooked up while you’re still on vacation.  Nothing will taste better than fresh caught fish that was swimming around earlier that day!

Bringing fish home starts with taking care of the catch.  Treat it well and you’ll preserve the quality.

Once the fish is caught, if you can, have your captain or deckhand bleed it.  That’s not always possible when the action is fast-and-furious and lines are flying and it’s a three-ringed-water-circus out there.  However,  bled-fish…even lower-grade meat fish like bonito or skipjack will taste world’s better if it’s freshly bled.

Maybe the most important thing whether it’s bled or not is to keep it cold.  Warm water fish are…well…they’re warm!  As soon as they’re dead, like anything, they start to deteriorate.   And the hot Baja sun is not a friend to your future dinner!  Leaving a fish on the deck or even in a fish box without ice is pretty much like putting the fish in the oven.

So, at all levels from catch-to-stove or barbecue…keep your fish cold.  Ice is your buddy.   It’s a good question to ask when you book your trip if there’s ice aboard to keep your fish chilled.

After that, you need to store your fish while you’re still on vacation.

I see two cardinal sins all the time.  One is rinsing your fish in fresh water.  Or, even soaking it in fresh water.  That takes out all the flavor.  Secondly, the fresh water gets in and then freezes and now your have fresh water crystals in your fish which detracts from the quality and flavor.

Additionally, I often see people rinsing their fish in warm or tepid water.  Especially in Baja!  Water coming from pipes here is often very warm…or hot!  Amigo…not only is it fresh water, but moreso, you’re cooking your fish in the warm water.  If you have to use fresh water, make sure it’s cool water!    Ideally, clean saltwater is best.

The ideal method is to have your fish vacuum sealed.  It’s worth it!  Nothing is worse than beautiful fish fillets in a big giant frozen ball in your freezer.  You take it out and it’s either freezer burned or you now have a 10-pound ball of thawed fish.  And you really only need two fillets for dinner!  The rest get wasted.  Or the cats get it.

Vacuum sealing is the difference between fish that lasts a few weeks or fish that can last many months in your freezer so that your dorado caught in June tastes great in December!

If you can’t vacuum seal it, at least put it in good quality zip-lock style freezer bags.   Only put in what you’re planning to thaw for a meal.

An old Mexico trick is to put fillets in the freezer bag then lowering the bag into a bucket or sink of water.  The water forces the air out and then press the seal.  You get instant Mexican vacuum sealing!

Lastly, it’s really important to keep your fish in a good place while you enjoy the rest of your vacation.  As crazy as it sounds, we often encounter folks here who book their hotels and either do NOT have freezer or do not allow fishermen to store their catch.   That’s gonna be a buzz-kill.

Others, simply put, have crappy freezers that aren’t worth a hoot.   So, check on that.  The places that cater to fishermen or have a reputation for good fishing also have good storage facilities.  Or, if you’re booking through a charter operation, ask them about storing your fish in freezers.

Remember, that warm fish often takes awhile to freeze.  Or the freezers at a given hotel get a load of fish every night from all the anglers.  In even the best freezers it sometimes takes 24-hours to get solid.

If you’re leaving the next day, that could seem like a problem.  It’s not.  Put your least frozen fish on the bottom of your cooler.  Put your most frozen fish on the top (cold travels down).  Add extra insulation with crushed crumpled newspaper or your dirty fishing clothes and your fish will be fine!

That’s our 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-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 riplipboy@tailhunter-international.com  or drop by the restaurant to say hi!

______________

Jonathan Roldan’s

Tailhunter International

 

TAILHUNTER FISHING FLEET #1 Rated on Trip Advisor

TAILHUNTER RESTAURANT BAR #1 Rated in La Paz on Trip Advisor

 

Now follow us on FACEBOOK TOO

Website: www.tailhunter-international.com

U.S. Office: Box 1149, Alpine CA  91903-1149

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

Phones:

from USA : 626-638-3383

from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863

.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:

http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Videos:

http://www.youtube.com/user/pangapirate

“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 »