Robert Delgadillo, aboard a fishing vessel in the Bahia de Los Angeles, Mexico, rides to the next location to fish for yellowtail in April 2013. (Photo by: Lazaro Quilon/fisherman)
Robert Delgadillo is a fisherman, born and raised in San Diego, Calif. He’s 33 years old and has been fishing since he was just six. As a child, his father took him fishing. Every time his family went camping, their poles went along. It was the thrill, excitement and the fascination that he liked. Those are the aspects that sold him on fishing.
Although Delgadillo definitely enjoys freshwater fishing, his favorite is saltwater kayak fishing. He’s had some sketchy moments out there on white-capped waves, one being a solo mission that got pretty rough. He got caught up in a rip current and was almost flipped over due to an enormous swell. He finally made it back in but was forced to stay out there until things died down. He did have the necessary safety equipment just in case the situation got beyond his control. A fellow fisherman of Delgadillo stated, “Rob’s dedicated. He’ll drive anywhere and fish all day and night for the big catch!” –George Ortiz
In Delgadillo’s opinion, the single most important issue facing the fishing industry today is overfishing. Humans have always relied on fishing for food as a natural resource. Now, our sources have been depleted. He believes that the Marine Life Protection Act is a step in the right direction. “You can only take from the ocean. You can never truly give back. You can try and give back but really you’re always taking from the ocean”-Rob Delgadillo. One of the biggest pieces of advice that he would like to give to other fishermen is not to catch undersized fish and only take what you need.
Only after observing Delgadillo, firsthand, at Lake Gregory, about 1.5 hours east of Los Angeles, was I able to truly understand how he copes with failure. “Man, there aint no fish in this lake!” That’s what he says, with a big smile on his face, when they aren’t biting. Evidently, it works because everyone gets skunked sometimes and he’s still fishing. In fact, he prescribes to his own theory of, “You can’t catch anything if your line isn’t in the water.” Basically, he’s saying that you can be out there all day but if you don’t drop a hook or a net, you’re not fishing.
Delgadillo’s philosophy actually applies to many aspects of life. It’s difficult to catch anything if one doesn’t put himself out there. In fact, his father is concerned with him hooking another type of fish. He’d like to know when his son is going to find someone to settle down with.
Whereas the bait may be different, if Delgadillo does indeed hook himself a winner and decides to have children, he says he’d tell his kids, “Go for it!” if their passions included becoming fishermen.
Robert Delgadillo commands a fishing boat back to shore on the Bahia de Los Angeles, Mexico in April 2013 to pack up the catch. (Photo by: Lazaro Quilon/fisherman)
Whether for his future children or not, Delgadillo’s advice for those who wish to begin fishing for a career is to study every aspect of your craft. He stresses taking classes and always utilizing safety practices. A great help to him when starting out and a source he still uses for excellent information is Bloody Decks, http://www.bdoutdoors.com . This website is what turned him on to saltwater fishing. Delgadillo is one of the many fishermen on this forum. He is also an excellent teacher. He showed me the ropes and I’m not the only one. “He helped get me into fresh water trout fishing, now I’m hooked!” –George Ortiz