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Posts Tagged ‘stories’

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.”

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“REDUCING YOUR “DQ” (DOOFUS QUOTIENT)”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

REDUCING YOUR “DQ” (DOOFUS QUOTIENT)

Originally published the Week of Oct. 29, 2014 in Western Outdoor News

This is that time of year when fishing tournaments run rampant in Baja and other parts of Mexico. Why not? In many respects, this part of the season is the best time for the “glamour” fish like marlin, sailfish, tuna, wahoo and dorado.   It’s a great time to be on the water.

 

In fact, by the time you’re reading this, we’ll just be about a week out from the start of the 16th Annual Western Outdoor News/ Yamaha Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Tournament. Having been an editor and staff member for WON since 2006, we really look forward to the event all year and seeing so many familiar faces and having a great time.

 

Western Outdoor News Editor and master of ceremonies, Pat McDonell hosts an incredible show for everyone. More than 100 teams from all over the country pile into town for the fishing party.

 

How can you go wrong with a tournament that has a motto, “Fish Hard Party Harder!” Check out all the details here. It’s Nov. 5th-8th: http://www.loscabostunajackpot.com/2014_coverage/preview.php

 

Having worked this tournament as well as many others over the years and participated as a crew-member or angler in other events, I’ve got some observations about how to enhance your tournament experience and reduce your “doofus” factor a few notches.

 

  • It’s all about attitude. Yes, this is a competition. Everyone wants to get that big check, but it’s supposed to be fun. Remember, you left the office, traffic jams and meetings back home. The sun is out. The margaritas are cold. You’re among friends. Enjoy the time.
  • One overly-competitive high-strung-wound-up-underwear-twisted-person on the team can ruin it for everyone on the boat and on shore. Don’t be that person. Remember, you’re not alone and you’re not the only fisherman. And there’s a lot of GOOD fishermen out there.
  • Respect where respect is due. Your captain and crew have probably forgotten more than you will ever know about fishing these waters. They fish more in one year than you will your entire fishing career. Remember, they are part of your team. Work together. Listen to their advice. They want to win as badly as you do!
  • Work out bonus and tip money ahead of time. Will they get a percentage of winnings? Extra money is a nice motivation.
  • If the rod goes off, work out a fair rotation with your amigos about who gets to grab the rod. Rock…paper…scissor…
  • Be careful of what you say on the open radio! The whole world is listening…and probably in several different languages!
  • If you lose or break gear, offer to replace it or pay for it. It’s only fair.
  • No matter how much you plan, the unexpected happens. It might be bait, luggage, food, some other jerk…Hey, roll with it. “Spit” happens, right? Some things are just not controllable. How you deal with it is the difference between an “adventure/ inconvenience” or a “crisis. “
  • Share! I’ve seen fishing team members roll out to the boat carrying everything from bottles of expensive wine to gourmet meats and cheeses and everything in between. And then they don’t offer a thing to the captain or crew who may or may not have anything more than a rolled up tortilla and a thermos jug of water.
  • If your “team” has hats and shirts whether it’s “ Team Joe’s Auto Parts” or “The Reel Screamers” or “Fred’s Flatulent Fishing Fanatics”, get gear for everyone! Everyone loves swag and your captain and crew will wear them proudly.
  • While you’re at it, don’t forget your “land crew” either. I highly recommend family, spouses and significant others at these events. Heck, consider them for fishing, but even if not, remember them too! They’re your support team!
  • These events are a social event, in many cases. Even moreso than a sporting event. Fishing is just the vehicle that gets everyone down to party! Chances are this event has evening soirees and banquets. Everyone plays. No one sits on the beach. So make sure you bring in your support team as well as your captain and crew. Great fun. Great bonding!
  • Don’t make YOUR negligence, someone else’s emergency. The tournament director and staff have their hands full. He does not know where you left your iPhone. The staff does not know the name of the bar you were at last night where you left your official tournament t-shirt. Likewise, it’s not THEIR fault you accepted a “double-dog-dare” and removed your shorts in the hotel Jacuzzi and got asked to leave.
  • Basically, don’t be a knucklehead or the guy everyone points at. Be on time. Read your materials. KNOW THE RULES. Play fair. Be a good sport.

 

Hope to see you in Cabo at the Tournament! You’ll see me working the scales with Pat and Big Mike. Come say hi and introduce yourself.   Giant tuna are showing up so I hope to hoist one up for you in front of the Corona girls!

That’s our 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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Making Lemonade Safely

storm coming 2

In a matter of minutes…here it comes! Out’ve a blue sky.

HURRICANE PARTY!

One way to handle it…

 

MAKING LEMONADE SAFELY

Originally Published the Week of Sept. 17, 2014 in Western Outdoor News

As I sit here writing on the 2nd story terrace of our Tailhunter Restaurant here in La Paz, it looks like a postcard.   The waters of the bay shimmer in the sunshine while I can see birds diving on a school of jacks near one of the buoys.

 

Sailboats and motoryachts drift on their moorings while a larger cruiser heads out. Palm fronds from the waterfront trees give a hint of the salty breeze blowing through siesta hour.   If I weren’t writing, I’d be like a few guys I see on the beach with their feet up under a shady palapa with cold ones in hand just watching the world go by.

 

Hard to believe that just a few days ago, Hurricane Norbert blew through here. Life returns quickly to normal once the sun comes back out. Conversely, everyone is now watching and talking about Tropical Storm / Hurricane Odile which has Baja in it’s crosshairs and might be hitting us as you’re reading this.

 

Actually, there’s two other storms (Tropical Depression 16-E and Invest 96E) which are yet un-named, but accompany Odile into our area. Sigh…can’t get a break! So, a trifecta might be in the making.

 

But that’s life in a tropical zone during an El Nino year! We expected them. By one count, these are the 14th or 15th storms of the year.   Most have fortunately glanced off and gone spinning into the Pacific with apologies to my family in Hawaii. (But Hawaii knows how to deal with rain! Baja is still working on it.)

 

Until Norbert last week the storms did some tremendous damage along Baja’s Pacific Coast. However, they really haven’t done much to Baja except rattle our collective tranquility.

 

Along with some heavy occasional downpours, street flooding and thundershowers , they remind us that Mother Nature still has a roar.   But, mostly, all we’ve had is roar.

 

And roaring is fine. To a point.

 

As long as it doesn’t screw with our vacations, right?

 

But, it happens sometimes. Baja is the “frontera” (frontier). It’s not some hermetically-sealed-Disneyland where everything is somehow controlled by someone behind a screen like the Wizard of Oz.

 

It’s beautiful and rustic and rugged. And in it’s own way, still dirty and dusty and raw. And when it rains or gets weather, it can get dirtier and muddier and wetter and uglier and yes, even dangerous.

 

So, what do you do if Mother Nature hangs one on you?   It’s not likely, but it CAN happen and co-incidentally, “hurricane season” just happens to be when the best fishing takes place.

 

You can watch the weather reports and, if you see something looming, take pre-cautions. Check with your outfitter and reservation people. Take out vacation insurance if it looks like you might not get refunded.

 

Don’t outright cancel your trip without first checking if the area you will be in will even be affected.   Baja is a big place. Mexico is a big place.   Weather patterns change rapidly. A storm affecting one area, might not even drop rain a few hundred miles away.

 

If you’re already on vacation, sometimes there’s absolutely nothing to be done. Storms can orginate from clear blue sunny skies in a matter of hours during certain times of the year.   No amount of foresight or weather scouting on your part could have predicated the onset.

 

If that happens, use some common sense.  Vacations are important, but nothing is more important than personal safety.

 

If your outfitter has to cancel a trip, so be it. See if there’s a refund or you can re-schedule.

 

Even if the outfitter or operator is NOT canceling the trip, ask if it’s going to be rough or even worth going out. Remember, it’s supposed to be safe and second, it’s supposed to be fun. This shouldn’t be an exercise in stamina and miserableness. Ask to re-schedule.

 

Some shady operators will send you out knowing full well it’s gonna be a boatride just to pocket the money. But, most aren’t like that. Especially, if you have the ability to re-schedule. They don’t want to be out there bouncing around either and happy satisfied clients are a priority.

 

If the hotel recommends you stay close or even indoors…by gosh…have a clue and don’t be running around outside when all heck is breaking loose.

 

I’m reminded of tourists I saw in the middle of a hurricane cavorting in the pool while bits of roof were spinning around like shrapnel in 80 mph winds. They were still laughing as 20-pound coconuts started dropping from coco trees like cannonballs around them. WHOOSH! WHOOSH! BOINK!

 

Another time, with thunderous bolts of electricity blasting La Paz Bay, I saw frustrated anglers still casting rods in horrendous wind and rai. They were trying to make-a-point to their amigos that they were “hardcore” fishermen. With every jag of lightning I expected nature to take aim at one of those “rods” and teach them something about “hardcore.” More like “burned-to-the-core!”

 

It’s pretty funny now, but back in the day, some other clients grabbed kayaks in the middle of the maelstrom and attempted to row around playing “kayak water polo” in a flooded parking lot where cars were submerged up to their windows.

 

Like the saying, “It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.”

 

The point is, stay safe. Don’t tempt the powers, curse the devil or spit into the wind. So to speak.

 

From a secure vantage point, try to enjoy the adventure, as it were. Nature can be pretty amazing.  Put your feet up. Crack a cold one with your other stranded travelers.   There’s not much more you can do outdoors.

 

I’ve seen folks organize poker parties for others. One hotel set up a DVD and casino night in the lobby.   Another hotel sent out for pizza for everyone and kept the bar open 24 hours.

 

Another put giant trash bags and scissors out so people could make their own “rain panchos.” Snip three appropriate holes and you’re ready to go.

 

Bottom line. Make the best of a crazy situation that can’t be helped. Don’t blame your travel agent, outfitter or the weatherman. It is what it is.

 

People get hurt during these things but MOST of the time it’s because they were doing idiotic things like trying to swim in raging surf or crossing swollen arroyos with cars. Or getting hit by flying debris.

 

No one ever got hurt watching a storm while eating a taco and drinking a margarita indoors.

 

I’m shutting my laptop right now. Three hours ago when I started typing, it was sunny and hot!   Honest…the winds suddenly came up with dark clowds and it’s staring to rain…again! Where’s my trash bag pancho? I’m out!

 

(Within hours of this, Category 4 Hurricane Odile hit…)

That’s our 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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LESS IS MORE…or MORE THAN ENOUGH?

So so so many toys!  But we can only fish with one-at-a-time!

So so so many toys! But we can only fish with one-at-a-time!

LESS IS MORE…OR MORE THAN ENOUGH?

Originally Published the Week of Aug. 20th, 2014 in Western Outdoor News

It was almost comical and I didn’t want to say anything. After all, they were our fishing clients.   But it took 4 of us to load all their fishing gear on the panga. It reminded me of an Everest expedition where the intrepid explorers are followed by a line of sherpas.

 

Artic ice chest…spinning rods…fly rods…bass rods…conventional rods…three jumbo tackle boxes…video camera case…Gopro camera water proof case…underwater extension rods…special seat cushions that had beer holders in them…even “catch flags” they planned to fly from rods for when they returned to shore.

 

Ahhh…God bless ‘em.

 

They were so excited. First time Baja fishermen. They were like little kids. It was like Christmas. They had a list of all the species they planned to catch. They had a GPS pre-programmed with all the “hot spots” they had read about. They had waterproof maps and fish i.d. charts.

 

So much enthusiasm. Between my captains, deckhands, drivers and other fishermen, it was hard to suppress the chuckles.   I really wanted to say something. But what could I say?   They had all the toys and they planned to use them.

 

They took to heart the saying, “Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. “

 

Here’s the rub…I was supposed to go out on the panga that day with them. I rolled my eyes.

 

My captain had to leap over all the gear to get to the tiller on the motor. There was barely any room to sit. I squeezed on top of an ice chest as we headed out. This was gonna be interesting, but I was grinning. Whatever. Let’s go fishing, guys!

 

With all the rods jutting out, we looked like a CIA boat bedecked with prickly porcupine radar antennas as we zoomed to the fishing grounds.   I counted…1, 2, 3…8…11…15…19…20…26 rods! Custom wrapped. The latest hi-tech reels. Spooled full of shiny new line.

 

When we got to the spot, it got a little awkward.

 

Do remember watching your kids at Christmas barrel into the goodies under the tree? Ripping and shredding and laughing…oh the carnage! Oh the humanity!

 

Well, the gear boxes opened and out came hooks and lures and feathers of all shapes and sizes. Leaders and gadgets and wires and do-dads and thing-a-ma-jigs and watcha-ma-callits and chingaderas came pouring out. ! Many still in their wrappers.

 

All organized. Color-coded. Size-coded. Species evaluated. Things for tuna. Things for dorado. Things for dorado AND tuna. Things for wahoo. Need a purple pink speckled marlin lure? Got it! Surface lures…bottom lures…mid-water lures. Everything had a pouch or pocket. Everything in it’s place!

 

I’ve done plenty of long range trips for 12 and 14 days where I didn’t have this much stuff. We were only going a mile offshore for a few hours. Fishing 2 days total!

 

And stuff for their belts…pliers, dikes, hook disgorgers, hook pouches, sunscreen holders.

 

My gosh, they must have accumulated enough points on their Cabela a dn Bass Pro visa cards to fly around the world!

 

And just like kids oooh-ing and ahhh-ing…each guy was as eager to show off his “toys” to me and the captain.   Simultaneously, he was in showing them to his fishing buddy and also seeing what his buddy had brought along.   Like opening two picnic baskets at the church luncheon!

 

I just stood back. Tried to look really really realy gosh darn excited! I mean, I hate to discourage or curb anyone’s enthusiasm. So, I smiled and gritted my teeth.

 

“Wow…that’s uh… really great you found one of those lures.”

“You got 4 of them in each color?”

“You bought 100 hooks of each size too? No way!”

 

But, we were burning daylight. I could tell on the radio that some of our pangas were already into fish.

 

There was stuff scattered all over the decks!

 

I finally said, “Guys, time’s-a-wasting. Let’s get fishing.”

 

They looked at me. They looked at the captain like eager kids. The captain shrugged his shoulders and dropped a bomb.

 

“Tie on a hook. We will fish with bait.”

 

Silence. They looked at me. I looked at them.

 

I said, “Yup…bait’s working. No leader. Let’s just tie on hooks. Maybe later we’ll get to use some of that great gear you brought.”

 

They looked at each other and I could sense the puzzlement and disappointment from their quizzical looks.

 

“C’mon, guys, “ I tried to say gently with as much enthusiasm as I could muster. “The fish are biting so let’s get in on it. Get out some hooks and stow the rest of the gear for now so we don’t miss the bite.”

 

While they stashed all their stuff, the captain and I tied on hooks for them to save time. I didn’t want to look them in the eyes. I felt like I had taken away their toys. Or had told them there is no Easter Bunny.

 

But, the fish bit. The sun came out. The water was blue. And the fish bit again. And the icy beer and lunches always taste double-good outdoors on the water.

 

There was a point later in the day when their fish box was filling and the fish were swarming and I asked if they’d like to try out some of their fancy gear. But, they laughed and were too busy hooked up to want to change.

 

The whole day, they ended up using one rod each. And maybe half-a-dozen hooks. And were happy. Beyond happy.

 

As one of the guys laughingly said to me headed back, “Somehow, I still have to explain to my wife why I needed to buy all this gear.”

 

His buddy said, “I once asked my wife why she needed so many shoes.”

 

“What did she say?”

 

“Because I say so, Dear. Because I say so…”

 

“I don’t think that will work on my wife.”

 

We all laughed.

 

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.”

Read Full Post »

“FIRST TIMER CHECKLIST”

couple on beach

 

FIRST TIMER CHECKLIST FOR BAJA MEXICO

Originally Published the in Western Outdoor News the Week of May 14, 2014

Despite the media blitz about violence…despite past warnings of swine flu…and a downturned economy, Mexico has one of the fastest growing tourism economies in the world right now. In fact, it’s breaking records with something like 24 million visitors last year.

 

World-wide, folks are simply realizing that Mexico is a great value for a vacation destination whether they are coming from Europe, Asia or even just coming across the border whether flying from Portland or driving from Phoenix or San Diego.

 

For many of us, who have been visiting or actually live in Mexico, we’ve come to just take it for granted on so many levels. Especially, for fishermen in the southwestern states of the U.S. going to Mexico is about as routine as taking a camping trip to Yosemite or a run to Vegas.

 

But, from the perspective of someone who lives and runs a sportfishing business here in Mexico that specifically caters to tourists and sportsmen and women, we’re seeing an increased number of first-timers! Great for us, but so many questions show a commonality of interest.

 

You might even think that many folks who read this publication must surely know about fishing in Mexico, but there’s many who have never been south and are thinking about it.

 

So, a few things to think about:

 

First, yes, you MUST have a passport. I get this question all the time. The old days of simply having your drivers license and a copy of your birth certificate won’t work these days, especially after 9-11.   For sure, you want to be sure they let you back INTO the United States after your vacation!

 

They are relatively easy to obtain and you can get the process started online by just hitting your search engine for U.S. passports. Or check this: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/information/costs.html

 

The thing is, just don’t wait until the last minute! Especially, as vacations times like summer…Thanksgiving…Christmas… get near. It only takes a few weeks, but slows down during high seasons and you don’t want to be “sweating bullets” waiting for the mailman as your own vacation gets closer.

 

Next, do some research. It can be confusing. There’s almost TOO MUCH info out there, but better to have too much than too little.

 

Do some research about the destination itself. Just because all of your neighbors have been there, it might not be your cup of tea.   If you’re not into jet-skis and paragliding and crowds then maybe you want to check out a slower-paced place to put your toes-in-the-sand.

 

Or, if your wife is really into gourmet dining and shopping, then find a place that has those things. If you’re trying to use some of your time-share weeks, not all places have time shares, nor do all airlines fly every day of the week to all destinations.

 

Next…

 

Another advisory…don’t believe everything you read online.   Like anything else, online websites are heavy into self-promotion. Good or bad…that’s just the way it is.

 

For example, if a place says it’s “near the beach” that can be two blocks; a 10 minute walk; or one mile. What exactly does “near the beach” mean?

 

You might also ask or find out what’s nearby to wherever you’re staying. It might look great in the online photos, but of course, they might not tell you that there’s a raucous nightclub next door that goes until 4 a.m. every morning.   They might not tell you that there’s a fish processing plant upwind that provides some wonderful fragrances in the afternoon breeze.

 

Or, if it says, “near the beach” or “on the beach” is that a beach you can swim at? Or is that a beach that they have “no swimming signs/ no fishing signs” posted?

 

If you’re going to be fishing is there a freezer? If you plan to bikeride, do they have rentals? If you’re going to be windsurfing, is there a place to store your gear or will you have to carry your rig on a burro down to the beach?

 

If you can’t walk stairs (Mexico is a land of stairs and very few elevators) find out if there’s an elevator or do they have first-floor rooms.

 

Or it’s going to be too windy. Or too hot. Of it’s too far from town.   The more you do ahead of time, the less you’ll have to worry about later when you’re supposed to be on vacation.

 

Figure out what you want to do. If you plan to fish, then go to a place where they have fishing. And find out specifically, if it’s the type of fishing you want to do at the time you want to go there.

 

I once got asked, “When is the salmon run in La Paz?” No lie.

 

I hope you’re not planning to fish for salmon in Mexico, but seriously, it makes no sense to book a place in February expecting to catch marlin. Then, you find out there’s no marlin until July!

 

Another time, I had a family all set asking to take surfing lessons…in Loreto…which is about 350 miles from the nearest shore break.   They were sure disappointed when I had to give them a small lesson in geography.

 

A little research goes a long way. All places are not created equally and Mexico runs a wonderful gamut of places that are very touristy to places where you’ll be the only tourist in town! Lots of folks are finding exactly what they’re looking for south of the border.

 

That’s my story!

Jonathan signature

 

_______________

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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“Just Ask”

Screen-Shot-2013-10-14-at-7.50.13-PM

 

“JUST ASK”

Originally Published the Week of April 3, 2014 in Western Outdoor News

The pangas had all returned to the beach with happy fishermen.  Fish had been cleaned and were either getting icy in the hotel freezers or were in the kitchens getting prepped for the grill and tonite’s dinner.

 

Most of the guys had headed to their rooms for siestas and shower.

 

Others, had dragged themselves directly to the pool and the margarita bar foregoing the showers…and the siestas. But, I knew that for most, one drink and they’d be passed out contentedly in a lounge chair…dreaming of the fish they caught and the ones that got away.

 

I was already in the office, putting away gear and breaking down the days’ events.   I had to get ready for another group of anglers coming in that evening on the next flight.

 

I brisk knock on the office door turned out to be one of the dad’s who had been fishing that day.

 

“Jonathan, I can’t find my son, Joey.  He helped me carry gear back to the room and I went in to take a quick shower before dinner. I came out and can’t find him anywhere. I hate to be a bother. But, I looked everywhere.”

 

I told him not to worry. Ten-year-olds don’t usually stray too far and many of the other anglers knew or were familiar with the youngster.

 

We checked the restaurant and the pool.  We hit the Jacuzzi. We walked to the kid’s playground. We asked a number of other anglers. No one had seen Joey.

 

“Let’s walk back to the beach,” I suggested to dad.  And we took a short little hike to the little cove next to the hotel where our pangas drop off the anglers.

Sure enough, there was Joey sitting in the panga with our Captain Lorenzo.  We could see both of them had their heads down and were concentrating on something.

 

As we got closer, Dad said, “Joey, we’ve been looking all over for you.  What are you doing here with Lorenzo?

 

Both the captains and Joey looked up with big smiles.  Joey held up a hook and some line!

 

“I came walking back to the beach and found my friend, Lorenzo.  And I asked him to show me how to tie a fishing knot! Look dad!”

 

He held up the hook and proudly showed off his knot.

 

“I did this one all by myself!”

 

“Wow!,” said dad with raised eyebrows.  “Even I don’t know how to tie a fishing knot.”

 

Captain Lorenzo looked just as pleased.

 

In broken “Span-glish” he explained that Joey had just walked up and asked how to tie a knot. It reminded him of his own boys and how he had shown them many years ago how to tie a fishing knot.

 

“They are grown men now, but I remember those good days,” he said wistfully.

 

“You are lucky to fish with your father,” he said to young Joey.

 

“Captain Lorenzo, will you show me how to tie a knot also?” asked dad.

 

Claro que si…of course, mi amigo.  Es un placer…it is a pleasure!” replied the Captain.  “Here take a hook and some line…”

 

And with that, I backed away smiling down the beach.  The lost had been found.  And perhaps some other things had been found along the way.

 

An hour later, I went back down to the beach and half-a-dozen guys were surrounding the panga, all intently learning to tie knots.  Captain Lorenzo and Joey were “holding court.”

 

One thing I learned long ago was one of the fastest way to get a “group session” going was to tie a knot in front of a bunch of fishermen.

 

Whether it’s a “San Diego jam,” a “Palomar”, an “Albright special”, a “Cat’s Paw”…whatever-you-want-to-name-it…tie a knot.

 

And someone will say “Hey, can you show me that again?”  Or, “But, I tie it differently, like this…”

 

And there you go! Instant…constructive debate discussion and discovery!

 

It also occurred to me that one of the least utilized sources of fishing education are the Mexican captains and deckhands who take us all out fishing.

 

These guys fish more days in a year than most sportfishermen and women will fish in our lives. Most of them started as commercial fishermen and have been doing nothing else their entire lives.

 

You get pretty good when catching a fish puts food on the table and buys clothes for the family. Often, without all the fancy technology available to the rest of us, they have to be better than the fish as well as their competitor captains and crews.  Proudly so.

 

I talked to Captain Lorenzo a few days after the knot-tying beach party.

 

“Everyday, there are new gringo clients. And they all want to catch fish. They come.  They go.”

 

“To many, I am just the Mexican captain and the guide.  And that is fine. We have a good time and I have been doing this more than 40 years and I am proud of what I do.”

 

“But, sometimes the clients get angry because they want to do everything.  That is fine too.  But, then I watch them and they have many problems.   And they get angry and do not catch fish.  Angry clients are not happy.”

 

“It is OK if they know how to fish, but many make mistakes.  And they do not want help.”

 

“I wish they would ask. I like it.  I am happy to teach. Then everyone has a good time.”

 

“No one ever asks.” He said with a shrug.  “Except one little boy.”

 

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: 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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“Small Space Little Effort Big Impact”

So little goes a long way with so little effort!

So little goes a long way with so little effort!

It starts building up pretty fast!

It starts building up pretty fast!

SMALL SPACE LITTLE EFFORT BIG IMPACT

Originally Published the Week of December 11, 2013 in Western Outdoor News

A few months ago, I got a call from a friend here in La Paz who does some wonderful work with destitute Mexican kids that truly live on the fringe of our little city in more ways than one.   Many were in an orphanage.

She said, she was having a fiesta of sorts for the kids to celebrate that some of them were going to their First Communion which was a big step.  It wasn’t much, but she was putting all her heart into giving them something nice.  She was reaching out to some of the businesses in town for help.  There would be about 80 kids to feed.

On the phone,  she told me that one dive shop was donating several cakes.  Another fishing operator was pitching in for cookies.  A store had several dozen donuts.  All good and wonderful.

My first thoughts were GACK and CHOKE!

She asked if we could help and if she could put me down for about 5 pounds of candy!

I told her that I couldn’t do that.  The last thing they need is sugar.   Especially, poor kids.  Actually… It’s the last thing any kid needs.

Hey…look at my belt line and I’m no stranger to donuts and cake and cookies, but I asked her, “C’mon!  Is there any other food going to be served?”

I was being a Grinch.  There was a pause.  Then, I told her I’d buy 100 apples instead.

There was another pause.  Apples?  For a fiesta?  She said no one had ever passed out apples.  This was a FIESTA!  Would we donate some pan dulce (sweet rolls) maybe?

Sorry.  I told her, I’d go buy some apples and I’d bring them by her office that weekend.  And that’s what I did.  No big deal.  Go to store.  Fill bags with apples.  She thanked me when I saw her, but  could tell, it was a reluctant thanks.

I mean, I get it.  Sure.  When you and I opened our Halloween bags…apples weren’t exactly high on the list, right?

I didn’t think any thing else of it.  Apples.  Yea.  Next project.  Did my good dead.  Yawn.

On Monday, she called me.  She told me to check my e-mail right away.  She was excited.  OK…open…click…here we go…

Pictures came up on my computer screen.  It showed  a party and little Mexican kids running around a hardscrabble concrete and dirt floor…delightedly chasing…APPLES!!!  There were more photos of kids sitting in the dirt leaning against walls…eating APPLES!!! Laughing kids with apples in their hands!

To all this was a note, “Jonathan, muchas gracias for the apples!  They were the big hit of the party.  Many of these children had NEVER eaten an apple before.  Thanks for the great idea!”

Never eaten an apple?  Kids…7…8…9 years old.  Never eaten an apple.  Think about that.

I told my wife.  She thinks about stuff like that all the time.  She’s got the big heart.  I’ve got the fat head.  She wants to save every kid.  Every bunny.  Every puppy.

She thinks I don’t know that she’s got all kinds of secret donations going.  I know we’ve adopted some kids.  She sponsored a goat for one village.  A cow to another.  She’d held charity functions at our restaurant.  God bless her.

She heard the story of the apples and wanted to do more.  She came into our office one day and said she signed our business in La Paz up as members of “Pack for a Purpose.”

Oh-oh…what has she gotten us into?

Actually, it’s pretty easy.  She said it’s a loose organization geared toward travelers.  You find out where you’re going.  You find out what folks need.  You stuff a little extra in the extra space in the luggage.

Extra toothbrushes…deflated balls and a pump…pencils and notebooks…Things we take for granted (the apple idea) that mean so much to others.

She said our Baja fishing clients bring down empty ice chests all the time. They fill them with their frozen fish to bring home.

Clients still have to pay the airlines for them as luggage.  Even if they are empty.  So, why not put something “IN THEM?”

She arranged for little notes to be put into all the envelopes we send to our fishing clients when they book with us.  It told them all about her idea to “Pack for a Purpose.”

I can’t take credit for what happened over the next few months.

But, in about 3 months, Jill collected and distributed close to 300 pounds of  notebooks, papers, colored pencils, crayons, bike helmets, pumps, baby clothes, backpacks, toothbrushes, baseball hats, balls,  t-shirts, tennis shoes, kids books, teddy bears, sweaters, and more.

Pretty much all of it new.  Just “extra” stuff that clients and friends had around the house like sweaters that were never used or that pair of shoes that never fit or the 20 boxes of #2 pencils from the closet.

Or from the dentist who gets boxes of toothpaste samples or the restaurant guy who ordered 5 dozen too many t-shirts with his logo on them…all medium!  The elementary school teacher who has a drawer load of extra colored pens and pencils and the end of the year.

There are times when we have a pretty good pile of stuff in the office!

Thanks to the generous hearts and empty ice chests of our clients.  And my wife playing Santa during the year.

Making little parts of the world better.  Small spaces.  Big impacts.  Little efforts.  One apple at a time.

God bless for a safe and happy Christmas and holidays!

If you’d like more info:  www.packforapurpose.org.  Or, if you’re coming to visit us in La Paz, give my wife Jill and shout:  tailhuntress@tailhunter-international.com

That’s my story!

Jonathan signature

_______________

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

Website: 

http://www.tailhunter-international.com

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

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

Phones:

from USA : 626-638-3383

from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863

.

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

Tailhunter YouTube Videoshttp://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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