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To avoid a cultural faux pas FAIL, it’s important to remember which country you’re in! I forgot. HONEST!

MOTHER’S DAY FAIL!

Originally Published in Western Outdoor News the Week of May 16, 2012

I love sharing a bit of Mexican culture in these columns.

As I’m writing this, I realize I really screwed up.  Have you ever forgotten an important day of the year?  Like your anniversary?  A birthday?

Well, I forgot that today (May 10th)  is Mother’s Day!  Oops.  Fail. Scramble to make phone calls…e-greeting cards…and other face-saving measures!

You see, in my brain, Mother’s day is always the 2nd Sunday of May.  That’s May 13th in the U.S.

But here in Mexico, it’s May 10th.  Every year.  Same date.  It doesn’t matter if it’s on a Sunday, a Tuesday, a Thursday or the full moon.  May 10th is Mother’s Day and you’d better not forget it.

In Mexico, where culturally mom is the focus of pretty much everything, she is pretty much a saint.  Where the concept of the centralized family and where generations often continue to live under the same roof or everyone lives within tortilla-tossing proximity to each other, moms, grandmoms, aunties, etc. are held in high esteem.  And never so highly as on Mother’s Day.

(That’s why you NEVER EVER EVER call out a man’s mom.  Those are fighting words and one of the highest insults.  Don’t mess with a man’s mom in Mexico.)

Whereas Fathers Day barely draws a breeze, much of the country takes on a semi-holiday atmosphere.  It’s pretty much a state holiday.

Mom’s don’t go to work or take long leisurely and sometimes elegant lunches much like the Sunday brunches seen in the U.S.  Sons and family members stop working as well to enjoy the day with moms.  Offices shut down. Stores close early.  Kids sometimes play hookie and don’t go to school.  (On Mom’s day, mom is not lifting a finger…that includes driving the kids to school!).  Conversely, to keep the kids from taking the day off, many  schools hold Mother’s Day pageants and recitals and invite moms to attend.

The whole country is on the same page,  so it’s really not that big of a social impact.  It’s like the day before Christmas or that last day of school before summer vacation. No one’s head is there.  No one expects much efficiency anyway!  Not much gets done.

Some families, especially the sons, go through some elaborate expressions of adoration. Huge bouquets of flower. Rooms of flowers!  Sons will hire mariachi groups to sing outside mom’s window or all the sons will get together in the evening and serenade mom themselves accompanied by a boom box.

There will be incredible home parties either catered or home-cooked.  Often, all the guys do the cooking so the moms can have the day off.  In some homes where the mom does ALL the cooking every single meal and every single day, this might be the ONLY day of the year that the men cook or even approach the stove…sometimes to varying results!

Restaurants will have elegant brunches, lunches and dinners set out with Mothers’ Day specials and families will show up dressed in their jackets and ties, dresses and corsages as if headed for a grand social event…which is what Dia De Las Madres is in Mexico.

Historically, Dia de Las Madres was not always as we know it.  In 1922, it was brought over from the U.S, but met with significant opposition from the conservative government who attempted to use the holiday to promote the unrealistic concept of women as no more than child bearers!

Over the next decade, the powers in Mexico debated the day as either being too “patriotic” or being “too religious” with all the connotations those labels involved.   It got pretty heated and the Mexican political parties as well as the Church argued the current morals and values of the day such as empowering women, family values, country unity and basically whether women should be let out of the home!  It wasn’t just a Hallmark thing!

It wasn’t until the 40’s…to be exact in 1940, Soledad Orozco Garcia, wife of President Manuel Avilla Camacho, declared 10th May a holiday, thus making it a state-sponsored celebration  of mother’s day …and why I need to find some place that sells some quick Mothers’ Day Cards here in La Paz!  Or a boombox with a microphone!   I really messed up…

***********************

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife, Jill, 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!

***************************

That’s our story

Jonathan and Jilly

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: 3319 White Cloud Drive, Suite A, Hacienda Hts. CA 91745
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.”

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The cathedral in La Paz. In the days before cranes and hydraulic lifts and electric screw drivers, someone had to be around to lift the massive stones and drag the enormous beams into place.

A LONG AND DUSTY LINE

Originally Published the Week of May 4, 2012 in Western Outdoor News

Having lived down here for quite sometime now, it always gives me pause to see how much of the country is reliant on manual labor.  There’s nothing wrong with it.

I come from a long line of manual laborers who came over to Hawaii to work the pineapple and sugarcane fields or to Central Caliornia to pick tomatoes.  Dad used to take me out to the fields to show me what it was like and tell me, “Stay in school so you don’t have to make your living hunched over in the sun.”  As I grew up, I learned to even despise pulling weeds in the yard, let alone chopping sugar cane stock or packing tomato crates.

Here, in Mexico, unskilled labor is inexpensive and folks need the work. And there’s a lot of folks here.

For instance, after a rain storm, the “broom army” materializes.  Using nothing more high-tech than garden-variety-kitchen brooms provided by the government, scores of folks  hand sweeping the streets.  No machines.  Basic sweat-of-brow technology.

Along the highways, you may have seen them.  Long lonely stretches of desert road.  Sometimes there’s a line of them. Sometimes there’s one solitary guy that makes me wonder “Did you apply for this job?”  “Are you being punished for this?”  Are you low-man on the seniority list?”

But there he is. With a shovel.  Dirty pants.  Usually a soiled t-shirt sometimes pulled up and tucked under the chest so that their tummys are exposed. A kerchief wrapped around his faces to ward off the dust.  Tennis shoes or old torn up work-boots that look like Hernando Cortez himself brought them over from Spain.  A baseball hat of some type worn “Foreign Legion” style with a t-shirt tucked and hanging down the back.

No gloves.  No supervisor.  No support truck with an orange Igloo of water. No “roach-coach” catering truck nearby.  No handy porta-potty close either.  No warning cones or vests.  Cars come dangerously close since Mexican roads have little or no shoulders.  Cows might watch from the scrub.  Probably wondering the same thing…”What the heck are you doing out here?”

But there they are, one shovel of dirt at a time.  It’s hard to tell what the project is.  Move dirt from here to there?   Shovel the dust off the highway?  Each car or breeze that passes only blows the dust right back.  Can’t you just phone it in and say you did the job?  Collect some pesos and go home?  Who would know the difference?

Often you see “gangs” of these worker standing like sardines in a stakebed truck.  Shoulder-to-shoulder.  No sitting.  Obviously, not union.

Day-after-day…same guys or just one guy. Same stretch of road.  Heat numbing.  Mind numbing.

Sometimes, I do see them nap under whatever shade a cactus or other scrub can give them.  Nothing special.  Lie down. Tilt hat over eyes.  Siesta.  Who keeps track of time?

What got me writing about this subject is a recent visit to the old mission here in La Paz.  Visiting the historic sites that dot the California, Baja and Mexican landscape is one of my favorite things.

Whether it’s Mission San Gabriel or San Diego or Santa Barbara or the Baja missions in Loreto or San Ignacio or, as I said here in La Paz, I never tire of walking into them and spending a few moments.  Or touching the old adobe or walking the paths and tiles.

There’s something about touching a bit of history.  It’s not a re-creation like going to Universal Studios or Disneyland.  This is the same water trough where the Spanish soldiers watered their horses.  Here’s the breezeway between the rectory and the church where some padre’s sandaled feet used to walk 300 years ago. And here’s the cemetery that holds so many stories.

If you get a chance to visit or ever have.  Be quite for a moment and sit still and the history will honestly talk to you!

But, the last time I was in, I was doing just that and it occurred to me.  There’s A LOT of wood in here.  Huge thick wooden beams criss-cross and support the massive ceilings.  Massive wooden doors.  Solid hard wood benches and the ornate altar and crucifix and so many other items.

Y’know, Mexico doesn’t exactly have a lot of trees.

And the huge bells and ornaments.  The  masterpiece stained glass windows and tile work.

They didn’t just hop down to Home Depot to get these in the 1600 and 1700’s.

I’m sure the Jesuit padres and the Spanish conquistadores did hard work, but I don’t envision, Sargeant Garcia and Friar Antonio making bricks or dragging huge chunks of lumber over the mountains.  They didn’t dig those irrigation aquaducts for the fields or paint the mission ceilings either.

Nope…they were built by some every-day Joe and Mary.  Born with a native name that was probably taken from them at their Christian baptismal and given  names like Jose and Maria.

And these are the folks who did the work. Who busted their backs often in the name of the spirit of Christianity and the promise of eternal salvation.  Only IF they learned to wear a pair of pants and help build the church.  Toil the fields. Build a wagon road.   Sweep up after the soldiers and padres.

They built quite an empire.  Same folks are still working. Still toiling in that hot Baja sun. Willing to work.  Needing to work.  I look at the guys on the side of the road as we speed by and wonder if they come from that long dusty line of laboral history. One shovel at a time.

_____________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife, Jill, 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!

______________

That’s our story

Jonathan

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: 3319 White Cloud Drive, Suite A, Hacienda Hts. CA 91745
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.”

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Opening one screen leads to another and another. In the quest for information on the "information super highway" one is often subjected to frequent sig-alert traffic jams!

“T.M.I”  (Too Much Information!)

Originally Published the Week of April 18, 2012 in Western Outdoor News

 

In the current lingo of the internet and texting, most teenagers can tell you what “TMI” means. “ Too much information.”  More than I need. 

 

When I got married a few years ago to Jilly, I wanted to surprise her for our honeymoon (no wise cracks, guys!).  So I told her I was sagely going to handle the honeymoon arrangements especially after all the work she had done for the massive wedding.  She rolled her eyes a bit and laughed.  She had her hands full anyway and she gamely expressed confidence in my  stellar organizational abilities.  In all fairness, I could’ve set up a camping trip or a Motel 6 and she’s still would have gone along cheerfully.

 

What she didn’t know was that I was secretly going to extend our honeymoon for extra days.  Some things she didn’t expect. Some things NOT in the budget…  Some ritzy hotel!  Spa!  Restaurants!  Only doing this once so might as well shoot for the moon.  The credit card was empty at the time. (ha!)

 

So, I hit the internet.  Now, this was only 3 years ago.  The last time I booked a really big deal was back in the day when I reached into dad’s car and grabbed the Auto Club Catalog.  Remember those?  Dog-eared and coffee stained.  It was the” bible” when you went on a family trip.

 

But because this was so special, I needed to know everything about everything.  Bad move!

 

Before long, I had two laptops opened plus my desktop computer.  I had multiple screens opened on each one…Trip Advisor….Yelp…Facebook…My Space…Yahoo…Google…

 

I had review after review. Link upon link.  Photo libraries.  Experts reviews.  Some agreed. Many conflicted.  Who had the best hotel?  Ocean view? Spa?  Restaurants nearby?  Brunch?  Room service? 

 

Wait, that one looks good, but two other reviews said the place had bad service.  But another 10 reviews say it’s great.  This other hotel has ocean-views, but their restaurant has bad reviews and they say it’s noisy.  This other one looks good, but it’s not walking distance to anything and they charge an extra 40 bucks to park which could have fooled me. 

 

OK…this resort has a spa discount package but only on weekdays.  That won’t work.  This one has great rates…darnit…only during off-season.  This one looks great!  Call them now…”What?  You’re already sold out???”  (gnashing of teeth).  Delete delete delete!

 

And the restaurants…OK…that one has 500 good reviews but 60 bad ones.  This one has live music and great seafood, but it says don’t go on weekend because it has too many tourists in them.  This other one is famous and has been there for years, but the last few reviews are terrible! 

 

I was doing this all in the middle of the night too so that I could hide this from Jill.  Before long, I was going crazy!   Eyes were going buggy looking at so many websites and reviews and photos.  INFORMATION OVERLOAD!  TILT! TILT!

 

But, you know…it’s your honeymoon.  You want everything “just right.”  As it turned out, after 4 fretful nights, I finally just pulled the trigger and made my best-informed-decisions and all turned out well.  My lovely bride was all smiles and I saved the fledgling marriage! She didn’t cut-and-run.  Whew…

 

It used to be so easy for Baja as well. 

 

In fact, the least amount of planning seemed to be the typical modus operendi.  You called the guys.  You got the station wagon or van.  In went some clothes.  In went the surfboards and fishing rods.  A cooler.  A copious amount of junk food procured from the first 7-11 on the road…Doritos…check…Jerky…check…Oreos…check…oops…run back in and get beer and Cokes.  A box of cassettes or 8 tracks. 

 

You had destination in mind.  You headed sort of in THAT direction.  Again…the Auto Club Map and book in the glove box.  Maybe a copy of Gene Kira’s the “Baja Catch” on the dashboard and some faxed copies of the surf report.

 

You’d figure out the rest “on the fly.”  Maybe you’d camp.  Maybe all sleep in the car.  Maybe all of you piled into some little Mexican beach motel. 

 

It was THAT easy. You knew it would work itself out.  The important thing was that you were GOING!  Not where you were going so much as the thrill of knowing you were on a road trip together to the BAJA!  You all piled out’ve work on Friday and picked all the buddies up along the way.

 

Nowadays, the information super-highway has, in many ways complicated things as much as made it easier.

 

There is so much out there, that it’s impossible to filter!  Our own website must be 40 pages large, but that’s because it has to be large to compete with everyone else out there. It’s a necessary evil.

 

And it’s hard to de-code everything.  It’s easy to hide that a certain hotel is 30 miles away from town or that another is actually built next to a cement plant.  The photos always look GREAT on the internet. 

 

Likewise, what does the word “rustic” mean when used to describe a hotel?  That could mean charming Mexican artisan décor or it could mean the air-conditioning system is powered by two gerbils running in a wheel. Or “close to the beach?”  How close is” close?”  Walking distance.  For who? 

 

After all that, sometimes it’s just easier to ask someone who has been there.  Assuming you truest their opinion.  But often…  Word-of –mouth sometimes trumps technology.

 

But, I miss the old days.  Pass the Doritos and pop some Rolling Stones in the 8-track…

We’ll get there when we get there.

_____________________________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife, Jill, 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!

_______________________

That’s our story

Jonathan and Jilly

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: 3319 White Cloud Drive, Suite A, Hacienda Hts. CA 91745
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 »

Nice people sometimes ask the craziest questions. It's hard to believe some of the funny and nutty questions and comments we get.

“HOW DEEP IS ‘DEEP SEA’ FISHING?”

Originally Published the Week of April 4, 2012, in Western Outdoor News

Every year, after we do all our promotional shows across the Western U.S., I like to compile some of the funny questions and comments I heard during the past 3 months.  Folks approach our booth to talk and ask us questions and we literally see speak to hundreds of anglers and hunters at each show over the 4 or 5 day period.  Over the years, there have been some doozies…

“What’s the best day of the week to catch a blue marlin?”

 

“How come everyone in Mexico speaks Spanish?”

 

“It’s called ‘Baja California’ but I can’t find Baja on a map of California!”

Stuff like that.

Sometimes we roll our eyes. Sometimes we have to ask the to repeat the question because we can’t believe what we just heard!

Sometimes, it’s awfully hard to choke back a laugh or be a wise-guy (more my nature) and fire back a quick smart-aleck response…especially after talking to hundreds of persons at each show and hearing so many questions over and over!

But, we’re professionals!  Ha!

And we have to remind ourselves that these are truly and honestly sincere and generally intelligent folk.  I’m just as guilty of not having my brain and mouth in synch.  You be the judge! Sometimes, there’s just NO answer to some of these questions and comments!

Almost every conversation starts up with someone walking up to our counter and firing the opening line…

“Where you out’ve?”  (even tho’ the words LA PAZ MEXICO are plastered all over the booth!  )

And then it starts…

“Is that near Cancun?”

“Is that near Tijuana?  I took a picture there once with a donkey painted up like a zebra!”

 

And this little exchange…

“You don’t look Mexican.  Did you learn your English from missionaries?”

            (“Sir, I’m actually from Hawaii,” I responded)

“Really?  Are you selling fishing trips in Hawaii?”

“Do they speak Spanish in Hawaii?”

“So, in Hawaii, did you learn English from the missionaries?”

 

“Hey, do you know my friend in Cabo San Lucas?  His name is Jose.  He’s short like you with black hair and mustache.  Everyone knows Jose!” (I’m sure he’s in my rolodex!)

“So, is fishing any good where you’re at?”  (Nope…that’s why I’m selling fishing trips at a FISHING show and there’s pictures of FISH all over my booth!)

“I knew a guy once that got Montezuma’s revenge from drinking the water in Mexico.  Will that happen to me?  What will happen if I get Montezuma’s?”

“When do the salmon run in Baja?  I hear you get some good ones and they’re not like the salmon in Alaska!” (I guess not!)

“I was told Mexican ranchers raise little goats so they can get cheese and breed with them and have babies.  Is that true?”  (Can you repeat that one more time again, Sir?)

“Can my wife walk across the border to Loreto to go shopping?” (Oh sure…if she can walk about 500 miles!)

“I heard you can’t drive an American car to Mexico because American speedometers show miles-per-hour and in Mexico they don’t have miles…only kilometers.  Mexican cars have kilometers on their dashboards.  So, Mexican cars cannot be driven in the U.S. either.”  (Someone has been eating the brownies with the little green flecks in them again!)

“My wife doesn’t like the sun can she stay in the room the whole time?”

“Can I scuba dive without air tanks?”

 

“How deep is ‘deep sea’ fishing?”

 

“I’ve never fished in the ocean before.  What happens when the fish pulls me out’ve the boat?  Will sharks eat me? I watch “Shark Week” all the time on TV and I know what happens to people who get in the ocean.”

“I was in prison once and can’t get a passport.  Will they still let me come fishing where you’re at?” (They might let you out of the U.S., but you’re gonna have a big problem trying to get back in!”)

 

“Last time we were in Mexico it was really windy! What can you do about the wind?” (Well, let me just wave my magic wand over the earth and sky for you!)

“Are you positive you’re not selling fishing trips to Hawaii?

 

By the time you read this, I’ll be home in La Paz!  Thanks to everyone who came out to say hi to us over the last 3 months.  WON readers are EVERYWHERE!   There’s no such thing as a dumb question.  But…You never know when you may end up as part of a story!

That’s our story…

Jonathan

__________________________________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife, Jill, 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: 3319 White Cloud Drive, Suite A, Hacienda Hts. CA 91745
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 »

Me and Jilly in our booth at the International Sportsman's Expo Salt Lake City UT. Just tryin' to sell smiles one fish at a time.

CHANGES IN ATTITUDES (“ARE YOU TALKING TO…ME?” REVISTED)

Originally Published the Week of March 23, 2012 in Western Outdoor News

So, here it is.  As I’m writing this, we’ve been on the road 78 straight days now hitting all the major fishing/hunting shows…Denver, Sacramento, Portland, Vegas, Seattle, Long Beach…just to name a few.  New show every week.  13,000 miles of driving and, by the time you’re reading this, we’ll be at our 11th show at the Fred Hall Show in Del Mar near San Diego.

So, we see thousands of you all at these shows and many of you have asked about the experiences we had last year on our promotional tour. If you remember, last year, several times at every show we were actually accosted…mostly verbally…sometimes physically by knuckleheads telling us to:

“Go back to your country!”

“How did people like US get into the show?”

“Everyone of you effing people from Mexico should be killed…”

Y’know…lovely pleasantries like that.  Every city.  Every show.  Not just the cities like Boise, Idaho or Billings, Montana either.

The worst were at the shows in Sacramento and Long Beach, California.  Yup…you’d have thought folks in these hubs might be a bit more enlightened. So did we!

It’s a bit unsettling when a guy in an Izod polo shirt with a Tag Heuer watch and a wife looking like she just came from the spa grits his teeth, reaches across the counter at my booth and pokes his finger in my chest and hisses at me, “They oughta just nuke the whole stupid country.”

Well, we got hundreds of e-mails and letters about our experiences.  Outrage. Embarrassment.  Support.  Most agreed that there’s some folks out there that just have their underwear on a little too tight.  We didn’t take it too personally.

But after decades of doing shows and meeting the public, it seemed like the rage and frustration towards Mexico directly and us indirectly came out’ve left field.

So, what about 2012?

I don’t know what everyone was drinking or smoking in 2011, but it’s almost like someone someone threw the light switch the other way. Thankfully, we’ve had very few incidents this year.

In fact, just today while here at the Salt Lake City ISE show, someone did tell me, “I’m not going there to Mexico where they cut off everyone’s head!”  He didn’t stop at our booth to say more or have a discussion.  He said it loud enough for others to hear and his buddies to laugh.  But that was it

.

We’ve had maybe only half-a-dozen actual heated exchanges.  And they were quickly dissipated.  Either we got the person to walk away. (No loss…anyone that tight will never visit Mexico anyway so why waste the energy!)

Or, in two or three situations, the angry person unknowingly walked up while our booth was surrounded by friends and clients who quickly bristled and got their own dander up.

The guy opens his mouth and gives us a piece of his mind.  Party foul!  Don’t call out the host in front of the host’s friends!  The bad guy gets chased away really really fast by friends who give him a bit of his own vitriol.

“Buddy, you need to take a hike!”  “You’re a jerk, keep walking.” “Back off, amigo, you’re full of…”   Well, you get the idea.   It’s hard to suppress a grin still thinking about it.  Thanks guys!

But honestly, I don’t know what’s changed.  Maybe people are coming around and are untangling fact from sensationalism and realizing that, while Mexico has a lot of problems, much of what the media feeds us isn’t the whole story and is not reflective of ALL of the country.  It’s a big place.

The bad guys are not targeting tourists.  Like pretty much anywhere else, there’s places in every city you shouldn’t visit places and things you shouldn’t be doing no matter where you are.  I mean…why would anyone need to go into a dark alley in Ciudad de Juarez? Or, one in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco or New Orleans, etc?  Common sense!

In fact, statistics show that American tourism to Mexico has been on the rise the past year.  Last year alone,  something like 15 million Americans visited Mexico and you know what happened…NOTHING!

What we’ve found instead this year is people walking up to us and asking,

“What do you think about the violence?”

“What’s the real story down there?”

“Is it really that dangerous?”

They really want to know.  They want someone to give another side. And they listen.  Really listen.  And instead of a confrontation, it becomes an exchange of ideas.  They may never come down to visit, but most times, I hear them say, “Wow, I didn’t know that.  That’s really interesting.” They shake our hands and thank us. Hopefully with a little better understanding.

Now, I do hear people say that the ONLY reason we’re pimping this is that we have a vested interest in getting folks down to Mexico.  Of course we do.  We have a fishing business and a restaurant.  To me, what’s good for us is good for everyone.  A little understanding goes a long way.  But, no matter what I say, people will still call it a sales job.

Well, just this week, none other than the  U.S. State Department officially recognized and declared that “no advisory” is “in effect for La Paz and the entire South Baja region.” (that includes Cabo and Loreto!). According to the State Department the report was compiled at the behest of American business groups worried about employee safety and NOT to appease various boosters of Mexican tourism, e.g. self-serving “salesmen” like me!

So, there you have it.  The U.S. Government finally telling folks something most of us in Baja already knew.  Come enjoy!

_______

HOLD THE PRESS…just after I wrote this and it went to publication to the editor, we had two people walk up to us at the booth in Salt Lake City Sportsman’s Expo..  Just as we were thinking we had made it through with a kinder, gentler, season.  Just after I wrote the above column the night before…two folks walked up to us and hissed…”WE HATE MEXICANS!”  And walked on. Didn’t even stick around long enough for get a response from me or my wife.  Both the woman and the man said the same thing and made a point of walking right up to our booth. “ I HATE MEXICANS.”  Dangit…I guess there’s still knuckleheads out there.  Sad.

_________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife, Jill, 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!

That’s our story…

Jonathan

 

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

Website: www.tailhunter-international.com
U.S. Office: 3319 White Cloud Drive, Suite A, Hacienda Hts. CA 91745
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://www.tailhunter-international.com/fishreport.htm

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.”

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Only two guys who've fished together for awhile like Captain Jorge and Steve would mug like this. Just two guys fishing together!

DIFFERENTLY THE SAME!

Originally Published the Week of March 8, 2012 in Western Outdoor News

I’m just saying.   I think the world might just be a better place if we all just did a little more fishing.  It might solve a few problems, or at least not have so many. 

 Nations and,  even neighbors,  are pulled-apart by such complicated issues as religion, culture, politics and language or such silly stuff as, “I hate the music that jerk plays! ” 

 

There are simply countless reasons NOT to like each other.  So many reasons to polarize us all. I’m as guilty as the next person.  I probably let a person’s differences jump out at me more often than they should.

 But put two knuckleheaded guys as dissimilar as night and day in a boat… keep some fishing rods handy… and give them the mutally-advantageous goal of trying to fool an animal with a brain the size of a pea…

And it’s amazing to watch what develops. I see it happen all the time. 

One guy speaks Spanish.  One English.

One knows how to run a fishing boat.  One knows how to run a million-dollar company.

One has 3 kids and lives in a cinderblock home with a tin roof and a chicken or two in the yard.  The other has 1 ex-wife, two mortgages and rents a roof-top condo on the west side.

One has spent 30 years learning the waters that provide his livelihood and survival.

One has two advanced university degrees.

One can fix a Mercury outboard or Chevy engine with duct tape and a butter knife.

One can do Power Point presentations before a Board of Directors.

One makes the best goat-meat barbecue in his neighborhood. 

One makes a mean happy hour martini. 

In any other context, there’s hardly a single reason for these two guys to care a wit about the other.  But, put them in a fishing boat…

And they get along just fine!

All the disparate petty things that pull drive us apart or keep us from getting to know each seem to take 2nd chair to the overall goal of putting a dumb fish in the boat!

Language barriers are overcome with the simple universal communication of a smile or a laugh. 

Often, both guys try extra hard to actually LISTEN more carefully and WATCH more closely.  They SPEAK more carefully and simply to each other…even in their own languages, because they really WANT to be understood! 

We have smart phones, Facebook, Twitter, Google and Skype…all the technology in the world, but we’ve forgotten the skills of LISTENING, WATCHING and SPEAKING SIMPLY! Two guys in a boat wanting to catch a fish will resort to animated and creative hand gestures to make themselves understood!

At the end of the day…smiles…and maybe a photo or two…and a handshake. Both understand “Gracias” and “Thank you.”

 

“Tomorrow” says one.

“Manana!” says the other.

By the next day, more grins on the beach as they meet to go out.  The captain pulls out a little foil packet of grilled fish burritos that his wife made for the client and wants to share. 

“Delicious! exclaims the client surprisedly. 

“Delcio-SO!” confirms the captain proudly with a grin. 

“Hey, Spanish and English are almost the same!” says the client through another mouthful of burrito.

“Si!…Yes!” replies the smiling Captain

“Good…uh…BIEN” laughs the client.

“Correc-TO!” confirms  the Captain as he revs the motor.

The client rummages through his bag and pulls out a box of juice to share with the captain. Gratefully accepted.  Smiles and nods.

And they head out for another day of fishing. 

…and the language barriers start to diminish.  And with each passing hour, the other barriers don’t matter.  They never really did.

At the end of the day, the client “thinks” he understands that the Captain has a younger son who likes baseball. Both have daughters about the same age.  The Captain now knows the client likes the N.Y. Yankees (Captain likes the Red Sox) and the client lives in San Diego.  They both think politicians in both countries are the same…idiots!  Laughs.

And so it goes.  At the end of the day, more handshakes and photos.  More smiles.  The client gives the captain some lures as a gift.  His eyes light-up gratefully!

Mil Gracias!…Mucho thank you’s” says the captain grasping the precious lures.

“Thank YOU very much” answers the client pointing at the captain  “…Gracias gracias, mi amigo!”

 And then the next year, the client comes back. 

 Hands clasp.  And there are big grins and smiles and anticipation of another great time on the water. 

The fisherman shows photos of his kids on his cell phone and photos from the last trip!  The captains smiles proudly looking at the photos.  Using hand gestures and simple words he demonstrates that his kids have grown “this much…”  He uses another hand gesture to happily say his wife has another baby coming! 

 

And every year it grows…3, 4, …7…10 years of fishing together. And it’s no longer captains and client.   A friendship grows. And not a hint of politics…or religion…or cultural differences. And they learn from each other.

He’s become a better fisherman and learned to love barbecued goat and fish jerky and how to catch his own bait.  

The captain has picked up quite a bit of English and has enjoyed bagels and cream cheese.  His son has a new baseball glove and a N.Y. Yankees ballcap.  The captain proudly uses a new reel from a place called “Cabelas.”

Oh…and over the years, they just happen to catch a few fish too.  But it never seemed to be as important or as fun as just two guys hanging out. 

Yup…the world might be a bit better if everyone just went fishing. We’re so differently the same.

 

That’s my story!

Jonathan

__________________________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife, Jill, 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

Website: www.tailhunter-international.com
U.S. Office: 3319 White Cloud Drive, Suite A, Hacienda Hts. CA 91745
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://www.tailhunter-international.com/fishreport.htm

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.”

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The curious statue of the old man in the paperboat staring out to see on the La Paz malecon waterfront.

“JUST ONE MORE TRIP…”

Originally Published In Western Outdoor News the Week of Feb. 8, 2012

To any of us who work in the sportfishing industry where our livelihood is dependent on the seasonal whims of nature, there are  often some pretty rough times.  Especially these days when things are complicated even moreso by economics, politics, plus changing social and ecological interests, there’s many a night when folks in our industry bang ourselves on the head.  Why do we do it?  There’s gotta be an easier way to make a living. 

          Well, a few months ago, I got a thought-provoking e-mail from Peter, a long-time WON reader.  Here’s what he wrote:

 

 

          “I’m 75 years old now. I started fishing when I was 11 years old. Fishing with a drop line from the old Santa Monica Pier.  Fishing for perch, smelt and mackerel with the old drop line was the beginning. For my 12th birthday I got a 7’ rod and a Penn reel.”

“I lived about 12 miles from the ocean and soon found me and my 7- foot rod were not welcome on the street car that ran along Venice Blvd to Santa Monica. So I made the trip on my bicycle riding 12 miles each way with my 7-foot rod etc. I soon graduated from the pier to fishing from a Fishing Barge in the bay and then to 1/2 day boats fishing for Halibut, Bass and Barracuda.”

“I dreamed of the day when I would be 16-years-old and able to drive south to San Diego and get on the San Diego Boats to fish for Tuna and Yellowtail. “

“In the late 70’s, I started fishing on the Long Range Boats. My first trip was a 4- day on the Royal Polaris. I was hooked on long range.  Over the next 25 years I fished most of the long range boats from San Diego.”

“Things were different for me then. I was working and earning a decent wage.  Fuel and boat fares were much cheaper. I could afford to take 2, 3 or 4 trips a year.”

 “ Now,  I am 75-years-old, living on my modest social security income. Fuel and boat fares are pretty much beyond my means. My last long range trip was 5 years ago. My tackle is, by today’s standards,  pretty much obsolete. I still read the fishing reports in WON and on the internet and dream of going out for the tuna and yellowtail again. “

Maybe sometime…  One more trip…  The others will look at the old guy with the old gear and chuckle….  But I don’t think the fish will know the difference…  anyway, I hope not.”

“Oh yes…  I have also fished the East Cape and La Paz (long before Tailhunter was there)  All great memories.. and lots of fish stories..

“One more trip…”

 

 

There’s a most intriguing statute out on the waterfront of La Paz in front of the now-closed Hotel Los Arcos.

          It’s weathered and the copper patina is showing through after many years of sun, salt and sand.  It’s on a pedestal on the busy malecon thoroughfare.  It’s a bit larger than life-size depicting a curious old man staring out to sea. 

He’s in shorts. Like little school-boy shorts.    But around his waist is a giant paperboat…the kind you made as a kid.  Perched on his head is a duplicate paper hat.  Even in the worn statuary, there appears a glimmer in his eye and a clear grin on his weathered face.  With one hand, he is shading his eyes against the sun.

          What’s he looking for?  What’s he waiting for?   

          I’ve never been good at interpreting art.  I either get it or I don’t.  Just me.  I never got this statue either. 

          But, then I got Peter’s e-mail.

          As someone who’s been fishing a long long time, I’ve been blessed with more time on the water than I could have ever hoped for.  But, as with all anglers, I think I might be at the point where I have more fishing behind me than ahead of me.  It’s life.  It’s just the way it is.  A time is coming when I won’t be able to go out anymore.

          But what memories!  Like what Peter wrote.  There were so many good days that you remember with a smile.  And, despite the advance in years on our bodies, spirits and souls, who of us wouldn’t like to have back some of those carefree days of paper boats and school-boy shorts? 

          At least for me, when I get some of those insane days when things are crazy and we wonder why we do what we do, I’m gonna pull out Peter’s e-mail and remind myself.  

What we do, if we work in this industry, is create smiles and memories. One of our “just-another-day-on-the-job” is someone else’s lifetime memory. Like Peter and his 7-foot rod taking the streetcar to fish. . .His first long range trip of foray into Mexico.   We are very privileged.

I understand the old man statue now. 

As Peter wrote, “I dream of going out for tuna and yellowtail again. . .Maybe sometime…  One more trip…  The others will look at the old guy with the old gear and chuckle….  But I don’t think the fish will know the difference…  anyway, I hope not.”

Just one more trip.

___________________________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife, Jill, 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: 3319 White Cloud Drive, Suite A, Hacienda Hts. CA 91745
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.”

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A ittle planning before heading out is not a bad idea!

“WINTER MAX FISHING”

Originally Published in Western Outdoor Publications the Week of January 26, 2012

I might be committing a bit of heresy. Fishing can be crap in the winter.  OK, I said it. But, hold on. Before I’m ex-communicated from the fishing brotherhood, let me explain.

We’re doing all these fishing and hunting fishing shows and expos for the next three months.  Just finished Denver and, by the time you’re reading this, we’ll have just finished the ISE show in Sacramento and are on our way to the Seattle area for the next show.  These expos are great.  It’s an incredible opportunity to chat with old amigos and folks interested in coming to fish in Baja.

But, so often, I hear:

“We’ve fished down in Mexico 3 times and didn’t catch a thing.”

“Long boat ride. Just trolled all day.”

“Five trips and no marlin. No tuna.”

“They always lie and tell us there’s a lot of fish but we never get much.  Really disappointing.”

Then, I ask them, “What time of year did you go fishing?”

So often I hear, “Uh, December.” 

“Christmas”

“January”

“Winter time.”

I kinda shake my head.  I can certainly understand when I speak to these good folks who live in the frozen, wet, cold winters of Montana, Colorado, Alaska, Canada and Washington. There’s a definite need to toss off the down jackets and thermals and bolt as fast you can to the land of flip-flops and margarita!  If you’ve ever spent any time in these beautiful places, there’s only so much you can take until you crave some sunshine and Vitamin D.

But just cuz the sun is shining south of the border doesn’t necessarily mean the fish are biting.  At least not ALL the fish!

Sure, the brochures and websites all look good with all those pretty fish and sunny beaches, but so often, folks fail to check whether those gamefish species are biting during their vacation.  Just ask!  Or they fail to take a look at fish reports (like those in Western Outdoor News) or online reports. 

Although you really never know what you might hook when you fish in Baja, historically, most species run during particular seasons.  Just like anything else and everywhere else on earth, there’s a time for the whales to migrate; a time for the salmon run; for geese to fly south and yes…for marlin, dorado and tuna to show up as well! 

Very often tourists will book a boat and just tell the captain, “We want to catch a marlin” or “Let’s go for tuna!” 

The Mexican captain and crew, anxious to please, and understandably sometimes lacking the ability properly verbalize other alternatives,  fire up the engines and off  they go with a shrug and as much enthusiasm as they can muster.   If it’s a good day, the captain is a hero.  If it’s a bad day, he’s a goat. 

The better option would have been for the clients to ask what’s biting (no matter what time of year!) and pursuing those species or just letting the captain fish.

  Give the green light. Tell him you want some action.  (It’s an easy word in Spanish…”accion!”)

 Most captains I’ve known over the years that are worth their salt and lime don’t want to go on a long boat ride anymore than you. Pragmatically, why burn the gas for nothing?  Believe me, they want to catch fish as much as you do! When our own captains in our fleet hear the word “accion,”  I usually see big smiles and hear an enthusiastic, “Vamonos!” (Let’s go!”)

 Especially, for Mexican winter-time fishing, when there can be so many variables in wind, current, tides and fish,  find out what’s going on and do a little research before booking your trip. It will be worth your effort.  Maybe you’ll find out it’s better to go another time; change your fishing strategies or even go somewhere else! 

The Baja is 1000 miles long with about 2000 miles of coastline and bordering two different oceans.  What’s biting in Cabo isn’t the same as what’s biting in Mulege.  What they’re catching in Ensenada or off Cedros Island isn’t the same as the catches in Bahia de Los Angeles.  Common sense!

I often get prospective clients telling us, they are coming in the winter and “I want to catch a marlin.”  Or, “I’ve never caught a dorado.”

I’ve found it’s better to possibly lose the booking and be up front. Better to have a happy satisfied client than disappointing a client that had unrealistic expectations. 

So,   I tell them when the optimal time would be to catch the fish they are looking for or, if their vacations are already set, I make sure to give them realistic expectations for what they are most likely to encounter.

For instance in winter it might be cabrilla…pargo…snapper…sierra…jack crevalle…bonito…yellowtail…etc.  I also throw in the kind of weather and ocean conditions that might arise as well.  Of course, Baja being Baja and the fish gods often being fickle, if they do catch some trophy blue water fish, expectations have been exceeded. We’re suddenly heroes and my captain is the best thing since the invention of the tortilla.  

But, lacking that, I encourage folks to ask what’s biting and be flexible about the fishing as the best way to avoid disappointment. Nothing is ever guaranteed in fishing, but plan your fishing as carefully as you plan your hotel and the rest of your vacation and you’ll max your vacation memories.

_________________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife, Jill, 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: 3319 White Cloud Drive, Suite A, Hacienda Hts. CA 91745
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.”

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Look out! These gals can fish!

STAY HOME NO MORE!

Originally Published in Western Outdoor News the Week of December 14, 2011

          “Steve used to leave me at home, but if he knows what’s good for him, he better bring me along!” laughed one of the ladies.

 

          “I know what you mean,” said another gal at the beachside table. “My husband can still take a ‘man-cation’ with the buddies, but he knows he has to make time to take me on a separate trip also!”

 

          “I used to think it would be boring but after my first trip, I couldn’t wait to get back,” grinned another of the women.

 

          Back in the day,  fishing trips to “the Baja” or “Old Mexico”  used to be a manly-man affair.  Jim, Joe, Jack, Harry and the rest of the guys piled into a van with the sleeping bags and an old Coleman canvas tent for the dusty drive or  climbed into an airplane full of other guys doing the same thing and landing at some one-desk airport…if there was even an airport. 

 

          Ice chests, rods and fishing gear were all tied together.  A pair of shorts or two; some flip-flops for the feet; a straw fishing  hat; some t-shirts were all the clothes you needed stuffed into an old salt-stained gym bag. 

 

          If you couldn’t swim in it or rinse it out in the sink, you didn’t need it!  As long as the beer was cold and you could put sand between your toes, it was pretty simple.

 

          You camped anywhere.  Or you stuffed as many guys into an economical room near the beach.  Maybe it had running waiter.  Maybe not.  Maybe it had a toilet.  Maybe not. So what? 

 

          There was always a bar  somewhere and the drinks were frosty.  The fishing was always good.  There was always an old hammock somewhere.  The jokes were always funny.  You ate what they cooked or you ate what you caught.   There’s nothing you can’t eat wrapped in a tortilla. 

 

          If  it tasted good, you made it taste better with more salsa.  If it tasted bad, you added extra salsa and drank more beer.  Nothing that couldn’t be cured with more salsa or beer. What happened in Mexico stayed in Mexico. You and the guys!

 

          Oh how times have changed!

         

          These days, with more frequency, the complexion of Mexico fishing trips is changing.  If you ever watch folks de-plane at the airport or even watch the cruisers and pangas go out in the morning, you’ll notice a few things…

 

          A few more pieces of pink luggage on the tarmac…

 

          A few more “anglers” wearing sundresses and halter-tops…

 

          A few more high-pitched laughs in the mornings on the dock and beach…

 

          Jim and Joe and Harry have brought along Sarah, Joanie and Kathleen, and it’s happening more and more.

 

          And don’t be fooled by the dangly -earrings, manicured nails or floral sandals.  These ladies come to fish!  No longer content to just “ride along” or “just coming to watch,” these gals have no qualms about going hand-to-hand with the world-class fish in Mexican waters or shoulder-to-shoulder with their husbands, brothers, dads, and buddies!

 

          “I don’t need any help when I’m on a fish! If I’m hooked, up, everyone else better get outta my way!” is how one lady angler put it.

 

          “I can hang with the guys and I especially like being able to spend time doing something that used to be an all-guys sport,” is what another told me.  “I started fishing with my boyfriend who took the time to show me how to fish and now he’s my husband!” she beamed with a smile.

 

          It’s a great way for families or couples to have quality time together.

 

          The captain of one charter boat in Cabo San Lucas once told me, “I like having the ladies aboard.  They tend to listen better and you can coach them.  They are not afraid to ask questions.   They have more patience sometimes than the guys and beat the fish with technique rather than brute strength which is what some guys often do.  I’m never surprised when one of the women or girls outfishes the guys although it often surprises the guys!” 

 

          Some can handle it.  Some can’t!

 

          “Some guys get their shorts all bunched up if a woman does better than them,” said another captain.  “But, if you put all the macho-stuff aside, everyone has fun although some of the women are as fiercely competitive as the men and get as fired-up as the men when it comes to who-fishes-better-than who!  Some of the women can really talk smack!” he laughingly added.

 

          “I love to outfish my boyfriend,” grinned one young lady who talked about her fishing trip as she watched the crew fillet their catch of dorado.  “It seems whenever we come to Mexico, I catch the biggest fish or the most fish,” she said proudly.

 

          “I let her win!” retorted the boyfriend with a wink and a laugh who got a playful elbow in the ribs as he raised a bottle of beer in a toast.

 

          In some ways, it’s a two-edged sword.  For many guys who used to do the all-boys trip, the days are long gone or numbered.  On the other hand, getting a wife, girlfriend or daughter interested in fishing with you is a pretty nice trade-off.

 

That’s our story…

Jonathan

______________________________________________________________

 

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife, Jill, 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: 3319 White Cloud Drive, Suite A, Hacienda Hts. CA 91745 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.”

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CUSTOMS AND HOLIDAYS ARE CHANGING IN MEXICO

“SALSA DE PAVO”

Originally published the week of December 1, 2011 in Western Outdoor News

I’ve spent almost 2 decades now here in Baja and it’s interesting watching certain things evolve.  Thanksgiving…an inherently American holiday…is one of them.

 

Years ago, it seemed that I had to explain the holiday to locals, but when you mention a “Day of Thanks” (Dia de Gracias), all would nod with an understanding  smile.  An oft-heard phrase to punctuate a sentence  in normal conversation is “Gracias a Dios.”  (Thank the Lord).  It’s not made to underscore a feeling of exasperation as in English where you might hear, ” Thank God, I didn’t forget to turn off the stove!” 

 

Instead, in Spanish, it’s a sincere form of gratitude even if not necessarily religious.  Like folks automatically saying “bless you” after someone sneezes.  In Mexico, “gracias a Dios” is said with a smile, with no frustrated rolling -of -the -eyes towards the heavens.

For example…

“How are you?”

“I am fine, thank the Lord.”

How’s work going?

“Great.  Everything is super.  Thank God.”

 

But, I would get quizzical looks when trying to explain the American version of Thanksgiving.    Crazy gringos.  Watch football all day.  Eat turkey and gravy.  Take a long nap.  Watch more football.  Eat more turkey.  Take another nap!

However, as the years have gone by, the “holiday” of “Gracias a Dios” has permeated Mexican life, at least here in La Paz.  It’s gotten a foothold.

 

Perhaps it’s because so many tourists from the U.S. show up and seem to be looking for “holiday turkey meals.”  So, more tourist restaurants cater to it.  You will find places actually offering  “American Turkey Dinner.”  . (Frankly if I’m  a tourist visiting in Mexico, that LAST thing I want is turkey!  Show ME the tacos and enchiladas!)

 

These days, I do find more locals not only acknowledging Thanksgiving, but also celebrating it on their own way.   While there is no “official” day of Thanksgiving in Mexico, a day of giving thanks and having the family together is wonderful growing concept.
 see more whole turkeys popping up in the frozen food section of the markets.  I actually found canned cranberry sauce and I see now that they sell stuffing mix!

 

I hear families tell me of getting together for dinner during the holidays and looking forward to “Pavo estilo Norteamericano.”  (polite way to say “gringo turkey”) It’s almost the new rage.  It’s not grilled.  It’s not barbecued.  It’s roasted in an oven.  It’s served with bread, not tortillas.  Mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes not Spanish rice!

I still have trouble explaining “gravy.”  I have to call it “salsa de pavo” (turkey sauce), but I’ m sure  it loses something in translation!

 

“Salsa” in Mexico simpsly means “sauce.”

A strange brown sauce that you scoop over potatoes and yams draws looks of confusion from  my Mexican amigos.  “Que  haces?”  (You do WHAT to your turkey?)

 

Still, old traditions still happily linger.  Like so many Mexican holidays, I hear about families still lining up at the dinner table for tamales along with their turkey.   Thankfully, it’s a tradition that is difficult to change.  Moms, aunties and grandmas still gather for all-night tamale-making parties to make the flavorful stuffed dinner treats using old family recipes.  It’s quite an undertaking.

However, with families so busy, it’s more convenient to order and buy them. This time of year,   tamale vendors pop up on street corners with vats of the steaming delicacy wrapped in traditional corn husk.

 

That incredible savory fragrance of  pork, chicken, beef or chili with cheese (rajas con queso) tamales seems to permeate the air this time of year and door-to-door tamale vendors walk the streets either selling directly or taking orders for the holidays.

  

“Si, amigo! Claro que si.  Servicio a su domicilio!” (Yes, my friend.  You bet we have home delivery!)

 

Either way, some things are universal no matter how you celebrate.  After the big feed, you still want to take the long siesta!  Whether you lie on the couch in front of the TV…sprawl on the carpet by the fireplace…or snooze in a hammock under a Baja palm tree… some things don’t change!   Gracias a Dios!

Hope you and yours have a safe and happy holiday season!

______________________________________________________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife, Jill, 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!           

 

 

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Website: www.tailhunter-international.com U.S. Office: 3319 White Cloud Drive, Suite A, Hacienda Hts. CA 91745 Mexico Office: 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico Phones: from USA : 626-638-3383 from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863

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