Sunday, May 10, 2020

Fishing 2020

Am sure everyone out there has cabin fever including me.  Due to the coronavirus, our lives have been drastically put on hold.  Dream fishing trips to lands outside the USA have become a hope.  When International Travel can begin is in question with a few countries saying they will not open anytime soon, maybe not until 2022!  So, what is a person to do who wants to wet a line?  A few friends have recently been fishing locally in the USA.  Friend, Gary Clark has been fishing for big largemouth bass with Capt. Durwood Day on Lake Toho in Florida.
Durwood has years of experience in getting clients huge bass.  Dr. Clark has said the fishing has been redhot.  Durwood can be reached at 407-719-0215.  I have a few trips booked this summer with Capt. Keith Kennedy out of Venice, LA.  Capt. Keith runs Born To Fish Charters and puts clients on huge bull redfish year long.  Keith provides everything from meals, lodging, and tackle.  Keith can be reached at 504-908-3108.
If my International trips indeed do not come about this fall, I am sure I will be reaching out to Keith for more trips.  Good friend, Larry Walker, is always posting photos on Facebook holding giant largemouths over 10 pounds he lands on local lakes in Texas.  Recently, Larry and friend Jim Schmid fished for monster alligator gar on the Trinity River with Capt. Kirk Kirkwood.  Both Larry and Jim had great trips landing gar over 100 lbs.
Capt. Kirkwood can be found on Facebook.  Maybe I will have to get my boat running and head back up to Northwest Wisconsin to restock my freezer with walleyes.  I would tend to believe the fishing is currently on the slow side due to cold weather as it snowed here last night in Fond Du Lac, WI.  So, if your hope is to wet a line this season, International travel unfortunately is probably not in the cards, so look at the good old USA for some action!  Keep on an eye on Facebook and other publications to see when this virus nonsense will finally end and allow folks to live out their dreams! 

Monday, April 13, 2020

Argentina-Low water poaching

The Panara and Uruguay Rivers are at all time lows.  With the current virus shutdown being enforced in Argentina, numerous reports of poaching taking place has been reported.  Gamefish such as golden dorado and surubi catfish are schooled up in the deeper holes which are easy prey for illegal poaching.
Hopefully rains arrive in South Brazil soon to get the levels in the rivers up.  Conservation police should do their upmost to prevent this illegal practice and prosecute the poachers to the highest extent.  Use common sense and your greatest resource is the fisheries along with tourists pouring lots of money to the economy by wetting a line in your outstanding rivers.  I pray each day that this virus issue gets solved as quickly as possible thus allowing everyone to get back to their normal lives. 

Thursday, April 9, 2020

The Chautauqua Bait Company

Recently, while looking for some jointed minnow type lures for a planned trip to Russia for taimen, I came across the Chautauqua Bait Company which is located in Earlville, Illinois.  CTQBait makes a variety of hand crafted, genuine cedar lures.  After browsing through the various lures on their website,,
I decided to order a few 8 inch jointed Chautauqua Minnows and the 5 inch Super Shark.  These lures have stainless steel lips which can be bent to vary the depth.  Both lures run down to 8 feet upon casting.  They are made to order and come in some super colors.  I was able to cast both lures at my local lake and both ran better than expected.  I am sure that both of these lures will fool PNG bass and golden dorado which I hopefully will be fishing for quite soon!  The company makes some 11 inch jointed minnows which I plan to also order before my trip this October to La Zona for golden dorado.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Fishing Rod Repair

Upon returning from my recent trip to Papua New Guinea for monster GT, I decided it was time to replace a few rod tips.  The bobbin, PR knot, puts a tremendous amount of pressure of the rod tips and guides along with the drag burning runs put on my these brutes! Upon looking at options, I contacted Randy "Buzz" Butters who owns B & B Custom Fishing Rods located in Ripon, Wisconsin.
Also, I decided to replace the tips and all the guides on some quality TFO TFD Big Fish spinning rods which were designed by friend, Larry Dahlberg.  The spinning rod models were never set into production but friend, Jim Shulin, of TFO put me onto a few of these blanks.  Buzz is a rod building instructor for Mud Hole Custom Tackle.  After numerous discussions with the staff at Mud Hole and myself we decided to replace the guides with high quality FUJI Titanium SIC (Silicone Carbide) guides.  The other option would be high quality FUJI Torzite guides.  The main difference between these guides is the Torzite is about 30% lighter than the SIC guides and about $100 higher in price. 
To replace all the guides and tip on a 7 1/2 foot spinning rod will cost over $250 without labor for the SIC parts whereas the Torzite will run over $350.  So, when guys notice that high quality GT rods like Ripple Fisher cost in excess of $900, the Torzite guides are the main part of the cost.  Also if you notice one of your favorite GT rod is lighter than other, odds are it is the guides. 
Buzz Butters can handle all custom fishing rod building and repair.  You can find him on Facebook at BbCustomRods or give him a shout at 920-896-3132 or email

Friday, March 27, 2020

La Zona 2021

To date, this is the largest dorado I have seen a photo of that was landed in La Zona.  This monster bottomed out the lodge's 60 lbs bogagrip.  It was weighed on a different scale pushing it to 68 lbs.  It was landed last year on Christmas Eve on a Rapala Super Shad Rap.  I have seen only one other photo of a dorado pushing the scale over 60 lbs which was also caught in the month of December.  However, the guides claim they have seen larger!  Recently, the governments of Argentina and Uruguay have approved an anti-poaching agreement on the Uruguay River which both governments will enforce.  So, with this great measure, I believe more dorado of this size will be landed.  Years ago a 40+ lbs dorado was considered the trophy of a lifetime.  A few years ago panic set in when the Argentina and Uruguay Governments placed a restriction zone from anybody fishing within 100 meters of the Salto Grande Dam.  Once informed of this restriction, I predicted on this blog that the size of the dorado will drastically increase as fisherman will now not concentrate their majority of time near the dam as there are too many dorado in the 30 lbs range for the true monster to grab your lure.  My prediction came true as now numerous dorado exceeding 50+ lbs are caught which is now the trophy measure. 
With the onset of the coronavirus numerous clients had to be rescheduled to 2021. This has made weeks available in 2021 in tight demand, so book now before all the top dates are filled and your left out in the cold.
As mentioned in previous posts, we are going to do an exploratory trip for surubi catfish elsewhere on the Uruguay River to determine if it is feasible to offer this fishing to clients which stand up to the high standards La Zona Lodge has.  The hope is to have clients extend their dorado trip a few days to catch a trophy surubi and/ or clients fishing at other Argentina Lodges such as Jurassic Lake to extend their trip.  Clients on the proposed surubi trip will stay in the La Zona Lodge hotel with the dorado clients and drive in from Buenos Aires with them, unless extending their current trip.  This will be at a much reduced rate compared to the high demand golden dorado fishing in the zone!  Stay tuned for an update later this fall.

Thursday, March 26, 2020


Many of us, including I, am confined to our houses due to State restrictions on the coronavirus.  Hopefully this will end sooner than later as I am sure all of us want to get back to our normal daily lives.  I am dying to wet a line and getting cabin fever after watching TV all day long and seeing the Stock Market drop drastically.  This epidemic has caused cancellation of trips and flights.  I for one have had trips to La Zona Lodge in Argentina, Jurassic Lake Lodge in Argentina, and perhaps a trip to the Tugar River in Russia postponed till a later date after all is clear.  However, with numerous airlines cancelling a large percentage of International Flights throughout this year, I am booking domestic trips with the hope that flights will be available.
Born to Fish Charters out of Venice, Louisiana is a great option.  It is located about an hour and a half drive out of New Orleans. Capt. Keith Kennedy will put you on top of big bull redfish.  Keith offers deluxe packages which include all tackle, housing, meals, and guided trips into the Gulf region where the big bull reds are plentiful.  With International trips in doubt until who knows when, I am sure Keith will fill quickly for this season.  So, if cabin fever is setting in, give Capt. Keith a call at 504-908-3108 while top dates are still available.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Papau New Guinea

The waters around Papua New Guinea are quickly become one of my favorite destinations worldwide.  Having been blessed, I have the opportunity to wet a line in the top fisheries avilable on this earth!  Luke Wyrsta of Rock Expeditons runs fantastic operations in the remote water of PNG for Giant Trevally and others brutes, out in the Sea of Solomon and  the jungles for giant PNG bass.
Luke's trips are for devout anglers who can take care of themselves and do not leave to leave footprints in this "Land That Time Forgot". If isolation is what your looking for, look no further! If your looking for luxury go elsewhere and I guarantee you the fishing experience will not be the same!  I for one am here for the fantastic fishing opportunities and to get back to nature!  If I wanted luxury I would just book a week long stay at a lodge or houseboat where the waters have been pounded by others and the remote experience would not be available!  Plus I would pay thousands more for this so called luxury!  Luke's guides know these waters where you  likely are the first on earth to wet a line.  To my knowledge there are not many remaining spots on this earth that offer this opportunity. 
The waters are countless and you will not see other fisherman during your stay.  The scenery cannot be accurately described by words as the colors of the ocean are astounding.  This was my 4th trip to Papua New Guinea.

The people are extremely nice and go out of their way to lend a hand.
Port Moresby, where you fly into, has numerous 5 star hotels and restaurants.  Luke's number one priority is SAFETY!  Luke teaches all clients the proper means to land these brutes and to set up your tackle.  This for me was priceless as this teaching is not available in the Chicago Area.  I for one, go back year after year to my favorite destinations as evident by fishing the Alaska Peninsula for 30 years.  There are too many ripoff outfitters out there so go with the best!  I for one will be returning to wet a line with Rock Expeditions until my arms tell me no
more! I cannot recommend this trip enough as all should experience this remote fishery!   You can also experience these great Expeditions by contacting Luke Wyrsta of Rock Expeditons for give me a shout.