Tesoro Tuna Jackpot


CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Jonathan Roldan – BAJA BEAT

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Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Yes you can
Thursday, February 27, 2020
Musicos de la Noche


Family planning
This is the time of year when lots of folks are planning their fishing vacations to Mexico for the coming year. Conversely, this is the time of year when folks like us — who run fishing operations — answer a lot of questions.

With increasing frequency, we get numerous questions about bringing family members in general and kids, in particular. More and more, it’s not Ralph and the buddies coming fishing anymore. Now it’s Ralph and his family, or Ralph and his son(s).


Indeed, with travel increasingly easier and with many more family-friendly facilities, it’s a no-brainer to want to bring the family or introduce them to south-of-the-border fishing.


But, let’s focus on the kids for now.


Ultimately, you know your kids better than anyone. I hope.


You would think.


But, honestly, after 25 years, nothing surprises me. There are some parents that seem to have no clue about their kids. If the outdoors or fishing isn’t of any interest, you can’t drag them kicking and screaming onto the water.


No judgment. But, it’s not for everyone.


I don’t like cherry tomatoes. I don’t like wearing wet socks. I don’t dislike baseball, but I’d rather watch a football game. I get it.


Some little girls we see down here are way more into the outdoors than their brothers. They carry rods. Bait their own hooks. Love getting dirty.


And that’s way cool too. But, the brother might be a math whiz. Also very cool.


But if you are bringing them down and plan to go fishing, remember that it’s all about them... not YOU.


Some folks forget about that. It’s not about you catching the most fish or the biggest fish. It’s not about seeing how much beer you can drink on the boat and letting the captain or deckhand do all the work and babysit.


Remember that a lot of us got interested and love this sport because probably someone older and smarter and more experienced like our own dads, an uncle, an older friend or brother took the time with us.


Take the time with them and make it a positive experience.


First and foremost, see to their safety and comfort.


Make sure they understand about the ocean and water. It’s a bonus if they can swim, but maybe this is their first saltwater experience.


Most operators in Mexico don’t have kid-sized flotation devices (life jackets). It’s impossible. Kids come in all sizes.


If they do have kid-sized flotation devices, they are bulky and uncomfortable. So go out and find a flotation device they can wear comfortably all day.


Also, you would think common sense would prevail, but you’d be surprised.


Don’t forget sun protection like SPF lotion (and it really helps if you put it on regularly). Hats, sunglasses and long-sleeved shirts keep them comfortable. A painful sunburn later on isn’t going to help or enhance anyone’s vacation.


If the boat has shade, encourage them to stay in the shade as much as possible.


Further, gear the trip to what they can reasonably handle and have a good time.


It doesn’t do any good to take a first timer out in rough weather and big seas on a 30-mile boat ride to the fishing grounds. You prove nothing and you might end up with a sick kid who wants nothing more to do with your “idiotic sport.”


Nor does it help to put the youngster into a situation they’re not ready to handle or one that doesn’t lead to positive results.


For example, I know very few adults that can handle 100-pound tuna. Let alone a first-timer. Let alone a youngster who has never caught anything maybe larger than a bluegill or stocked rainbow trout.


Gear the trip to their experience and fun level.


Bring lots of good food and drinks too. No one knows better than you how good food tastes when you’re outdoors. Some of my best memories as a kid fishing wasn’t always the fishing. It was the great lunches my mom and dad always set up for the picnic or on the boat.


Do the same! In between fishing, it’s a great time to share a bite.


Several years ago, we took our 2-year-old grandson out on a panga. He was still in pampers.


But we picked a calm day and took him close to shore. Waters were shallow, clear blue and he could see the fish under the boat.


We held the rod and reel and he turned the handle, but he got the idea pretty quickly and really enjoyed catching fish (and playing with them in the bucket).


We also released fish too. We pointed out birds and dolphin and other boats.


We didn’t stay out long, and then took him to the beach to swim and splash around. All-in-all a good start and a positive day for all of us!


We taught him about “high-fiving” and saying things like “BOO-YAA!”


Encourage, praise and be excited. You’re grooming a new fishing buddy!


And we took lots of photos.


By all means, take lots of photos. You’re only passing through this way one time! Make it special and hold onto those memories of a lifetime.


• • • • •

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