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“SOMEONE TOOK THE TIME!”

Tailhunter Mexico 2011 452

For all of us…our affinity for the outdoors had to start somewhere and with someone!

SOMEONE TOOK THE TIME!

Originally Published the Week of January 23, 2014, in Western Outdoor Publications

As I write this, I’m in a motel room in downtown Denver.  We just finished our first day at the Denver Convention Center for the International Sportsmans Expo.  It’s annual  the big fishing, hunting and outdoor show.

We have our booth here every year promoting our fishing operation in La Paz and there’s several hundred other booths here as well with operations ranging from Canada to South Africa and the Amazon River to South East Asia.

Last week we were in Sacramento at a similar show.  From here we zoom off down the highway to another show near Seattle.

And so it goes for 3 months of the year.  A different show in a different part of the  country every week.  This year, eleven cities.  Fifteen thousand miles of driving.   Talking to thousands of fishermen, hunters and travelers and outdoor folks.

In many respects, these shows are a gathering of tribes.  There’s  outfitters and fleet owners.. .guides and captains. . .mountain climbers and deep divers. . .hunters and gatherers.

They’re a unique blend of the last of the outdoor frontier people who make their livings at the whims of nature.  In some ways, the best of the best.  You have to be well-above the norm to make a go of taking others out on the mountains, plains, jungles, rivers and oceans of our vast planet.

I’ve been at it now some 20 years.  Others have been at it 30 and even 40 years and it takes a pretty special individual…some would even say nut or knucklehead to have lasted that long.

Many of us have known each other for many years and during these several months of shows, it’s good to re-connect.  Find out about each others’s seasons and families.  Who survived another season.  And who had to fold up their tents.

But, it’s great to see our Baja and Mexican compadres.  Yes, even our competitors.  There’s the folks from Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.  Our amigos from the East Cape, and Loreto, Ensenada and San Felipe.  Cedros Island and points obscure, but each in their own way ecking out a living south of the border.

But, I noticed something else.  We’re getting older.

The first generation of resort and fleet owners like the Chuy Valdez’s and the Bobby Van Wormers of the East Cape…Tony Reyes of the Tony Reyes Fleet…and so many others, have either passed on or have given way to the 2nd generation of owners.

And many of those operators themselves are getting longer of tooth as well.

And I don’t see too many to follow.   The next generation doesn’t seem to be there to fill in the ranks.

As a matter of fact, as I stand in my booth and watch the hundreds and even thousands of visitors pass by or stop to talk,  I see a lot of seniors.  I see a lot of older guys…guys like me.

I don’t see many below the age of thirty!

I don’t see many kids at these shows.  I don’t see many teens.  Often, if I see a family, it’s a dad with the family in tow.  Mom and the kids trail behind while dad gets to have a day to shop.

Mom and the kids honestly look like they’re rather be at the mall or anywhere rather than trailing dad, but they’re indulging him.  Just like so many dads wait patiently for wives and moms buying shoes or kids trying on clothes.

The kids themselves often have noses buried in smartphones and thumbs tapping away as they walk down the aisles.   They show little or no interest in the marlin trips; backpacking outfitters;  white water rafting adventures or scuba diving boats.

It’s too bad.

I would venture to say that almost all the the vendors working in their booths and most of the visitors walking the aisles.share a commonality.  They share the fact that somewhere back in the day, an adult showed them how to tie a hook…how to aim a gun…how to build a campfire…how to pitch a tent or ride a wave.

Simpler times.  Grand times.  The BEST of times!

That’s where it started.  With an adult.   A father, grandfather, uncle or brother.   Scout or church leader…even moms!  And we don’t have that anymore.   That commonality is gone among the youngsters.

Parents are too busy these days just trying to keep things together.  Or the facilities or open spaces you that were so easy for you and I as kids just aren’t there or as abundant…or as fun.  I’m talking about the beaches, boats, rivers, mountains and wilds that you and I just took for granted as kids.

Conversely, kids are different too.  You and I often played in the outdoors because that’s just what we did.  We didn’t have the distractions now of social media, cable TV, techno toys and so many other things that fill the lives of our kids.

If we weren’t already headed outdoors, Mom was kicking us out the door with a , “Go play outside and don’t come back until dinner time.  Stay outta the house!”

So, we grabbed our fishing rods, our skates, our hiking sticks, our bikes, our bb-guns our tennis shoes…and we went out and got dirty!  The outdoor world wasn’t the scary place it can be now.  We also didn’t have to travel across town to find quality places to play.  The outdoors was often right off the back porch.

It was what we knew.  It’s what made us.

If you have a chance, find out about one of these outdoor shows in your community.  Bring the family or the kids.  Do it TOGETHER. Take the time.  You only get once chance.

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 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: 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: 044-612-14-17863

.

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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“Meet My New Fishing Buddy”

Diane on rod

Fishing “buddies” are changing a bit these days!

“MEET MY NEW FISHING BUDDY!”

Originally Published the Week of September 6, 2013 in Western Outdoor News

We always try to make a point of personally greeting each and every fishing clients who comes to visit us when they come from the airport.   After so many e-mails and phone calls prior to the trip, it’s great to finally put faces and names together…for all of us…clients included.

Several weeks ago, we were waiting at the hotel for two sets of brothers.  Bob and Pat Brown  and John and Terry Terrell were coming fishing together.  Super.

But, what a surprise when they stepped out of the airport van to greet us.  “Pat” turned out to be “Patricia” and “Terry” was “Teresa!”  Two couples!

After a laugh and some quick scrambling to re-arrange their hotel rooms to get king beds, I had some thoughts.  Several days before, half our fleet of pangas was occupied by couples.  Even one of my long-time captains commented about it.

As I sit here and write this, I would say 40 percent of our clients fishing with us this very moment are women…that includes several wives…two sets of sisters…a daughter-in-law…and two single gals getting away from their guys for a quick fishing trip (tables turned!)

And this is panga fishing!  That means no big shiny cruisers.  It’s an open boat pushed off the beach old-school style!

Times are changing.

Fishing and Mexico aren’t just a guy’s domain anymore.  But, with increasing frequency, we’re seeing an increasing number of couples and women in general.  I attribute it to three things.

First, I think the ladies themselves have changed.  They are much more outgoing.  They’re used to travel. They’re used to a little adventure.  They’re up for it.  The younger ones grew up being outdoors and active.  The older ones, don’t sit at home on the couch anymore either now that the kids are out-of-the-house!  They’re on the move!

Many of the ladies can hang with the guys anyday and can keep up with them…and then some!  They fish…they hunt…they camp…they shoot…theyswim and dive!

They can be as hardcore as the boys!  Just try to elbow one trying to get to a screaming rod and you’re likely to get elbowed right back!  And do NOT ask them if they need help!  They’re just fine thank you!

Secondly, Mexico is changing.  Facilities are better.  Roads are better.  Hotels are nicer.  Heck…10 years ago, we were still wondering if we would have ice, let alone air-conditioning.  Now there are spas and white-tablecloth restaurants.  They can fish like crazy and still get a massage and pedicure in the afternoon right before pool time and happy hour.  Oh…and there’s shopping.  (most places!)

Also, Mexico itself is more welcoming.  It’s exotically close.  It’s a familiar culture, language and food.  It’s easy to travel to and easy to get around.  The country caters very well to visitors.

Lastly, I think us guys have changed too. We still love and need our “man-cations” with the bros, but it’s good knowing our ladies can hang with us too and frankly, from what I’m seeing we like hanging with them also.

Honestly, when I met my wife, Jilly, about 11 years ago, and found out she liked “football, fishing and beer…”   Whoa!  I had to buck up a bit.  She was definitely worth a 2nd look and, as one of my buddies advised me, “Jonathan, she’s a keeper!”

So, I kept her…and so far she hasn’t tossed me back either!  And I wouldn’t think of going fishing, camping, diving or traveling without her.

I’ve taken her rapelling on cliffs, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, paddleboarding, surfing and hiking.    She’s about to get her scuba certification and she’s asked many times when we’ll have time so I can take her on a “real long range fishing trip of at least 10 days!” She’s working up to run her first 10K.  She’s the one who wants to take ME to fish for peacock bass on the Amazon River and fish for catfish in SE Asia plus hiking Italy (while taking cooking schools). Amen!

I was talking to one couple that came into our restaurant after a great day of fishing.  The wife just gushed and gushed about what a fun day she had and how she couldn’t wait to go out again the next day.   It was the first time she had ever gone fishing.  It was the first time she had been on the ocean.  It was the first time she had been to Mexico.

She pulled out her camera to show me that she had caught the biggest fish of the day…even bigger than her husband’s fish!  He grinned and rolled his eyes, but you could tell he was beaming as well.

I asked her how come she had never gone fishing with him before.  She smiled.  She said she always wanted to and quietly was always envious of all his fishing trips.  She then took his hand.  She looked at him and said, “It’s because he never asked me!”

Gents…it might be worth asking.  Find yourself a new fishing buddy!

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.”

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BUCKET LISTS

Originally Published the Week of December 6, 2012 in Western Outdoor News Publications

“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.”

Ever since the 2007 movie of the same name with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, the term “Bucket List” has become part of our lexicon.  Jack and Morgan played two escapees from the cancer ward and set off to do all the things in life they always wanted before they “kicked the proverbial bucket.”

I seem to hear that so often from friends and clients who visit us in Mexico.   I think some days hardly go by where someone doesn’t happily tell me…

“That was a great roosterfish. Been trying for years!  Cross that one off the bucket list!”

“What a great time! Always wanted to go fishing with my son and grandson!  It was on my bucket list.”

“Bucket list just got shorter.  Me and my wife just snorkeled with whale sharks this afternoon!”

Sometimes, it’s not even that complicated.

“We’ve lived our whole lives in Indiana.  We wanted to visit the ocean just once! Yessiree.   It was on the bucket list.”

 

When I hear something like that I realize how often I take stuff for granted.  Having grown up always outdoors in the mountains; on an island; in the water or under the water, I just don’t think twice about so many things.  Many of those things might seem dangerous or daring…or plain stupid and reckless, I suppose to some folks!

But believe me, I’m no daredevil.  I’m not crazy nor do I have a deathwish nor am I an adrenaline junkie.  There’s a difference between an “e-ticket ride” that’s a bit scary but  always ends and with  you  steppping \ off the ride laughing…and the real Evel Kneivel stuff where you can get hurt and you’d better have you medical insurance card handy.

But, it’s all relative.  My e-ticket ride is someone else’s mad crazy adventure.

Dive with sharks.  No problem.

Live off the land in a cave.  Sure.

Hang glide.  Sign me up.

Jump out of an airplane.  Safer than crossing the street.

Ride a manta ray.  In an instant.

Run through Central Park New York at midnight on a dare.  I was young and stupid.  Draw the line at that one!  Not recommended.

But…

My personal bucket list continuously keeps getting longer and longer.  Not shorter.  The more I do and see, the more I add things to the list.  This past week, I just crossed-off zip-lining through a rain forest and looking for crocodiles while I paddled through jungle mangroves off the list.  (Topics for another column!)

And, I keep hearing more and more people discuss their own personal bucket lists.  More than ever before.  Maybe, it’s just the age group I’m in.

We’re the baby boomers.  We’re not 30 or 40 anymore.  Look around and oops…how the time flew! We’re 50-plus and edging up and over 60-years-old.   Many of my friends have grown grandkids already.  Many retired or close to it.

Fifty-years-old is the new 30-years-old!  Retirement or older age doesn’t mean shopping for a rocking chair anymore.  More often, it means a new kind of freedom.  What do you do with your second wind?

I think many of  us are finding Mexico.  Despite what you might hear on the news, about the violence and other problems, tourism has been on a steady rise in Mexico.   In fact ,it’s one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world.

For many Americans, especially, Mexico is pretty much an easy airflight from most big U.S. cities.  It’s economic.  It’s close.  It’s filled with culture and history and  pretty much any “diversion” that would fill anyone’s bucket list.  There’s still so much adventure to be had.  And the dollar goes far!

I think the only real shame is that as we grow older, we start looking at our personal bucket lists.  And then there’s a rush to get to it!

More than 20 years ago, a retired friend pulled me aside and said , “Don’t ever get to my age and say ‘What if?’ We always says ‘Someday I’m gonna do this or that.”  Well, ‘someday’ is already here and if you have opportunities, take them!”

At the time he said this he was a “young” 62, but knew he was sick.   He passed away about a year after he said this.

“What if…?”

Start that bucket list early.  Someday, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never tried.  Step onto the ride.  Exit laughing!

That’s our story

Jonathan and Jilly

____________________________

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 »