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CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Jonathan Roldan – BAJA BEAT

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Thursday, February 27, 2020
Musicos de la Noche


It was never about the fishing
In almost 30 years operating a fishing operation in Baja, we’ve seen a lot of great folks come-and-go. Up to three generations have visited us to be exact.

Through the years, guys bring kids. Kids bring parents. Grandparents bring grandkids. Fishing buddies bring wives or families.


Sadly, kids become parents and can’t come any more.


Youngsters grow up and have other interests. Fishing buddies get too old to fish or travel. Grand­parents pass on.


Another generation steps in.


It’s the inescapable circle of life. It’s a journey we all must travel as observers as well as participants.


Late last season, I had the opportunity to sit with one of our longtime clients who had become a good friend through all the years. In more than 20 years, maybe he missed the occasional year here or there.


But, he came often — sometimes twice a year.


Over those years, I remember him initially coming with fishing friends.


Then he brought his wife on a trip.


That was followed by teenage kids, and sometimes the whole family.


In the later years, he brought grandkids.


Sometimes, he brought kids plus grandkids. Other trips included his wife and in-laws. Kids later brought spouses. Grandkids brought along buddies and friends.


But, he sure loved to fish. And he sure loved to fish in Baja.


Even as he and I both got older, he was first on the beach in the morning.


He was the one hustling the kids or grandkids to get up and get going.


Did you bring your sunscreen? Where’s your hat? Where did you put your fishing rod? Did you remember to put ice in the ice chest? Where’s your sister? Let’s go fishing!


Every family or group has that wonderfully enthusiastic member!


He was often the first off the beach and last one back. But, he always kept an eye out for everyone else.


Baja was his “happy place” and he loved sharing it with all his family and friends.


It was infectious.


He just had an unbridled enthusiasm and the energy to go fishing and get everyone to go along fishing with him. There were so many good times.


However, on this particular trip, when we were sitting overlooking the beach, he confided, “This will be my last trip…”


What? You’re kidding, right?


“I’m getting older,” he said. “… just like you.” He playfully poked me in the shoulder with a grin.


“I’m not just getting older, but I’ve got some medical issues that have come up…”


Oh man… I’m sorry.


“Well, I’m not. It’s just something I have to deal with and it’s part of life.” He smiled.


“And I want to thank you…”


I studied his face as he stared into the orange sunset over the bay and continued speaking.


“You remember me back in the day how ‘hardcore’ I was about fishing? Go! Go! Go! That didn’t change much as I got older too!"


“I just brought everyone into my fun zone. I wanted to catch fish WITH THEM! I wanted them to have a great time just like I did."


“But, as I sit here now with you looking back, something occurred to me.”

“It was never really about the fishing.”


I didn’t quite follow.


“Yes, we sure caught our share of fish and had some great times. Maybe, it’s the beer talking or maybe it’s just the wandering thoughts of an old Baja rat.”


“But, looking back, it was not about the fishing at all.”


He paused and looked at me as if to let that statement settle in for a bit.


“It wasn’t all the fish we hooked or all the fish we brought home. Actually, knowing that I won’t be back, I’m realizing that fishing was only something that brought us all together.”


“Because of it, I came home with fish fillets for sure.”


“But, I came home with a lifetime of memories that are even more important. Watching my wife catch her first fish. Seeing kids getting so excited about being on a boat in the ocean and seeing their first dolphin.”


He explained more…


It was all the great food and family meals.


It was playing and snorkeling in the ocean and seeing magnificent sunrises and sunsets together.


It was about all the great friends he met along the way.


And watching kids grow up before his eyes, and then their kids…


A countless lifetime of memories all because of fishing.


“Kodak moments.”


He continued, “All stored right here,” he pointed to his head.


“And more importantly, right here. He put his hand over his heart.” He said with a smile.


“I’m blessed. And grateful for the times of my life… and theirs … as he pointed to his family playing on the beach."


It was never about the fishing.


* * *


Jonathan can be reached at his Tailhunter Sportfishing Fleet in La Paz at www.tailhunter.com.


• • • • •

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