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Jonathan Roldan – BAJA BEAT

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Thursday, December 08, 2011
Salsa de pavo?
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Tranquilo winter

Stay home no more!
"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.

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