Saturday, December 31, 2011


Would like to extend my wishes to all for a Happy and Successful 2012! Hope all your monster fish get landed this year. Looking back 2011 was a great year for me with my largest golden dorado to date being landed, caught an Arapaima and Giant Siames Carp in Thailand, and lots of big silver salmon on the Alaska Peninsula. 2012 should even be as good if not better with many fishing adventures already planned. Here are a few preditions for 2012

1. Thailand will next become the "hotspot" for USA fishermen. Thailand is the "Home of the Monster Fish" and will soon get its deserved recognition!

2. Francois Helias of will break at least 10 more IGFA records!

3. A World Record golden dorado will be landed in La Zona while guided by Enzo Rico of La Zona Lodge

4. The Shamino Tranx will become the next "I have to get" reel by musky and big game fishermen.

5. The Abu Garcia REVO MGX will become the next "I have to get" reel by bass fishermen

6. The weather (rain) in the Brazilian Amazon will go back to normal which will be great news for all peacock bass fishermen and owners of operations in the jungle!

7. A 60 pounds plus muskie will be caught out of Green Bay, Wisconsin

8. An IGFA world record Arapaima will be caught in Bungsamlam, Thailand under the guidance of Francois Helias

9. Francois Helias will land an IGFA World Record Siamese Carp in Laos

10. Kermett Adams of lures will be in such great demand that retail stores such as Bass Pro Shops will carry them

11. An Indiana state record Perch will be landed in Lake Michigan out of Lake County

That is it folks!!! Hope all your dreams come true in 2012!!

The doradokiller!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Francois Helias of informed me this morning that one of his Russian clients has broken the IGFA record for Catla Carp. Angler, Viktor Sergeev from Russia, caught today, a 18.77 kg monster topping the previous record of 15.17 kg which Francois landed in January 2009. The paperwork once completed will be filed with the IGFA for record approval. This will be the 250th IGFA World Record for Francois and his clients. This is most likely a World Record in itself!

Make sure to get in touch with Francois on your next visit to Thailand-

"Home of the Monster Fish" check out his site at

Congratulations to Francois and hope many more records come your way!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

La Zona Golden Dorado Report

Friend Judy Heidt along with her husband, Christian, recently had the opportunity to fish at La Zona on the Uruguay River which borders Argentina and Uruguay. As you might know, Judy owns Rio Parasmina Lodge in Costa Rica which is one of the best tarpon fisheries on earth. During Judy's stay at La Zona Lodge, the water levels were very very low. For guys who are familiar with La Zona Lodge, the channel where the boats are stored was too shallow to enter so docking was done from the beach. Fishing was really good for monster dorado with Judy landing a 47lbs, 2 at 46lbs, and 1 at 42lbs. Christian landed a monster 44 and 39lbs golden dorado. Fishing was excellent using topwater lures especially the poppers made by the Zagaia lure company in Brazil. This poppers are very similar to the Daiwa Saltiga and newly developed poppers by Kermett Adams at
La Zona is the top spot in the world to have great odds of landing a monster dorado over 40lbs. Book now as this is a difficult location to get a booking due to the increased publicity the golden dorado has received the past few years. This, plus the fact that only 4 boats are allowed in the zone and only during Friday to Monday make it one of the fastest lodges to fill up! Book now while the fishing is redhot. Give Steve Yatomi of a note at his email

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


With winter upon us, now is a great time to do some preventative maintenance on your fishing reels. I suggest if using mono line you discard it and replace in the spring. If using braid this should not be a problem so I would check the line for any abrasions, rips, cuts, etc..
Clear the reels with water including the worm-drive. A main item is to back off the drags since it puts excessive pressure on the drag system washers. This is a good idea to also do daily throughout the fishing season. Do not grease the worm drive on your reels. This only collects dirt, dust, etc. Just clean it with water.
If you have used your reel in saltwater, it is imperative to clean with freshwater to get rid of any salt deposits.
On level wind reels, close the spool tension knob to prevent dirt, dust from collecting in the gap.
After all the above is done, store your reels in a cloth or felt bag which further prevents dust from collecting in the reel.
Reels are a huge investment, so spending a few hours to maintain them will definately allow them to operate for years and years.

Monday, December 26, 2011


"The International Game Fish Association is a not-for-profit organization committed to the conservation of game fish and the promotion of responsible, ethical angling practices through science, education, rule making and record keeping".
When joining the IGFA, you receive an annual subscription to the offical bimonthly IGFA newsletter and the yearly "World Record Game Fishes" book. Other benefits include discounts on fishing trips, free admission to the fabulous IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum located in Florida, discounts at the IGFA Museum Store, and numerous others. I have been a memeber for many years and enjoy the bimonthly newsletter as well as the yearly record book.
Yearly membership is $40 USD for both US and International anglers.
check out for more information

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Looking for that last minute gift. Why not get the fisherman in your life a wonderful lure from the many great selections offered by Kermett Adams of Kermett makes top of the line wooden lures for tough critters such as Peacock Bass, Golden Dorado, and tigerfish. He has recently created a few hard plastic lures to battle with the Monster golden dorado of La Zona. Currently, the water levels are extremely low so these shallow running minnow lures and topwater poppers should catch many of the big dorado La Zona is famous for. Check out Kermett's site at

Friday, December 23, 2011


Looking for a great live bait spinning reel to fill your Christmas list? The Shimano Baitrunner series of reels has been around for 23 years. Recently, Shimano made improvements by featuring the Propulsion Line Management System. The drag system allows free-spooling with the bail closed allowing for your bait to swim freely and not spooking fish during pickup. I recently put these reels to the test in Thaland for Giant Mekong Catfish, Giant Snakehead, Monster Siamese Carp, Amazon Redtail Catfish and many others. The Shimano Baitrunner performed with no problems handling these monster fish! I highly recommend checking these fine spinning reels out. Also a smaller version has come out for freshwater fishing the BTR4000D

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Abu Garcia introduced the next generation of the REVO series baitcasting reels with the 5.4 ounce REVO MGX. This extremely lightweight reel is super strong with its X-Mag alloy frame and C6 carbon sideplates. The REVO MGX features a variable centrifugal brake with 28 positions of external adjustment. This baitcaster has been shown to outcast most other reels.

The REVO MGX has a fast 7.1:1 gear ratio and holds around 110 yards of 30 lbs braided line. The super fast REVO MGX-SHS has a gear ratio of 7.9:1 with a retrieve of 31 inches per turn! Both reels have 9 stainless steel HPCR bearings and a max drag of 12 lbs.

These seem like the ideal reel for bass fishermen! Check them out at

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Was recently given a book to read called "Flying Overloaded" by Don Hamilton. This book is fantastic reading as it gives an insight into the harsh Arctic Conditons Don Hamilton had to fly in during the early Arctic days. Don constantly battled death flying in total whiteout conditions, temperatures reaching 70 below zero!, engines freezing, etc.. I met Don a few times while fishing for monster Arctic Char and Lake trout at his fishing Lodge, High Arctic Lodge which is located a couple hundred miles above the Arctic Circle on Victoria Island, NWT, Canada. I highly recommend reading this novel with it's hair-raising episodes.

Check out the site

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Every year, I upgrade my top 10 freshwater fighting fish as new species are normally landed each year. During 2011, I was able to catch numerous dream fish in Thailand of which many are now in my top 10. The requirements are regardless of size, just the about of battle they put out.

Here goes.

#1. Jullien's Golden Prized Carp

#2. Golden Dorado

#3. Giant Mekong Catfish

#4. Amazon Redtail Catfish

#5. Tigerfish

#6. Peacock Bass

#7. Giant Siamese Carp

#8. Barramundi

#9. Giant Snakehead

#10. Payara

honorable mentions are Giant NWT Lake Trout, big Alaska silver salmon, chum salmon, sturgeon, bluegill, arctic char,arapaima, smallmouth bass, steelhead, alligator gar, and muskie.

Am sure when I update my favorite top 10 next season, a few hopefully will be added.

Am curious as to your top 10!

Friday, December 9, 2011


New for 2012 is the new Shimano Tranx baitcaster. It is offered in 2 models high gear (HG) and power gear (PG). It features a VBS brake system to provide ideal brake force at all times during casts, dartainium 11 drag wahers to provide smooth drag performance. Both models weigh 20.0oz. The HG model has 43in of line retrieve per crank while the PG has 30in. Both hold 210 yds of 80# Power Pro. The max drag on both is 25lbs!! Both have 7 SA-RB ball bearings. MSRP is $499.99. These reels are suppose to be out March 1, 2012 but have heard there is already a waiting list! Should be perfect for golden dorado, PNG bass, and big monster peacocks!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Normally when going on these International fishing trips, we try to spend a day touring the various cities to learn some culture and meet some locals. Bangkok is the largest city and capital of Thailand. It currently has a population of over 9 million. It has a new modern airport making easy access to the "Land of the Monsters". While in Bangkok we stayed a few nights at the CitiChic Boutique Suites located on Sukhumvit 13. The hotel has a nice restaurant/bar, swimming pool and large spacious rooms. While touring the town we visited places such as the Grand Palace, the Vimanmek Mansion Museum, the Pavilion of Regalia, and other palaces. The Grand Palace was a site to behold. It was established in 1782 and consists not only the royal residence and throne halls, but also a number of government offices as well as the renowned Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It covers an area of 218,000 square meters and is surrounded by four walls. It more or less is a city of gold!! Bangkok also has fabulous restaurants where you can eat and drink very cheap. Seafood is always on the menus along with the local Thai food. A good cold Chang beer always helps to wash down the meal!! The nightlife in Bangkok is world famous and all that you might have heard about it is fact even moreso!! Would like to thank fishing partners STeve Ryan and Cole Lundquist for making the trip grand. Also special thanks to outfitters Francois Helias of, Eddie Mounce of and Julian Fernandez of Thailand will definately be on my list to fish again after my arms heal up!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


On our last day of the Thailand fishing trip, Steve and I decided to head back to Bungsamran and try our hand at a Giant Siamese Carp. Cole had to fly back to the states to get back to work. The Giant Siamese Carp are very difficult to catch and guide Eddie Mounce of hope that one of us would hook into a monster but gave the odds at about 1% that both of us would hook up. We fished with giant size rice/lamb balls directly on the bottom. The bait was the size of a small bowling ball and was very difficult to cast a few feet as the rod was bent in half. A few hours into the fishing, I had a drag burning hit. After a strong hook set, I thought I was going to get spooled. The guide knew I had a monster Giant Siames Carp hooked. These Carp do not look at all like our carp. They however are super strong and make very sharp turns. They head directly toward the dock pilings to free themselves. However this monster was caught. A very respectable 65lbs monster. Eddie figured we got very lucky and landed a monster Siamese carp and suggested to switch to catching Mekong Catfish. Since we landed more Giant Mekong's the first day of fishing, we decided to try to break the odds and hook another monster carp. Later in the afternoon Steve's line went screaming. After running to the next dock, he landed a twin--another monster Siamese Carp weighing around 65lbs. Eddie could not believe that we both landed fish of our dreams on the same day/same spot. Later that evening Steve and I flew out of Bangkok to Korea then back to Chicago. In all about a 22 hr flight. Before we heading out on this trip the Giant Siamese Carp was on my wish list. Now my dream came true and can add this species to my "Monster Fish List"

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


On the 6th day of my Thailand fishing adventure we travelled about an hour out of Bangkok to the Boon Mar Ponds. Here there are lots and lots of ponds which the owner raises barramundi to sell to restaurants around the world. Fishing at Boon Mar remined me of the first time as a youngster entering a candy or toy store. Simply Amazing!!!! We caught big barramundi cast after cast. I figured we landed over 200 barramundi up to 18lbs in 6 hours of fishing. It got to the point that we were casting lures to see which ones they would not attack!!! The best were jointed minnow type baits like the Yo-Zuri jointed Sashimi minnows. The water literally boils when the barras attack your lure. They put on one of the best fights I have received on my spinning gear. Steve had his "new" reel drag gears burn up after the intense fighting of the barras. I landed a few on Klures barra popper also. This is truely one of the most amazing fisheries I have ever experienced. Definately put in on your list if you ever visit Thailand.

Monday, December 5, 2011

On the 5th day of my Thailand fishing adventure we travel about an hour from Hua Hin to Cha Am which is noticed for its large population of monster arapaima. The pond is small and we notice numerous large arapaima gulping air when first arriving. Steve hooks into a few smaller arapaima and later in the day hooks into the day's largest at approx 85lbs. Cole and I also hook into smaller arapaima. We all see numerous arapaima over 200lbs surfacing around the pond but cannot get any to bite our baits. Fishing for arapaima is a waiting game as deadbait is casted on the ponds bottom. When arapaima are spotted casts are made directly to them. When I return to Thailand, Cha Am will definately be on my to fish list as I am convinced a 200lbs monster will take my bait on the next trip. We again fish with Julian Fernandez of Julian supplies all the lures, bait, plus quality rods and reels.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


ON the 4th day of my Thailand fishing adventure we travelled to Greenfield Valley Resort for a chance at catching an arapaima. The arapamia is the largest scaled fish on earth reaching lengths over 20ft. Nobody in the group had ever landed an arapaima but we have all seen monsters while fishing peacock bass in the Brazilian Amazon. Greenfield Fishing resort is located about 20 minutes from the seaside town of Hua Hin, Thailand. It is about 4 hours from Bangkok. The resort was recently opened by famous English Angler, John Wilson.

The main lake is home to a large variety of species such as the arapaima, pacu, alligator gar, and numerous others. One of the main goals of our trip was to each catch an arapaima regardless of size. That dream came true as all of us caught a few smaller arapaima along with numerous pacu and a few alligator gar. Arapaima are beautiful fish with very large scales tinted in red. Natives use the scales as files! The arapaima can constantly be seen gasping a gulp of air of which you cast your dead bait and hope. It is a long waiting game between bites, but then again not everyone catches an arapaima! We were led on this adventure by Julian Hernandez of

Saturday, December 3, 2011


On day 3 of my Thailand fishing trip, we ventured to the IT Lake Monsters which is my favorite fishng venue in Thailand. The lake is about a 2 hour drive from Bangkok in the rural Ratchburi Province. The lake is approximately 7 acres with depths reaching 5 meters. Here you can catch giant redtail catfish until your arms give out. Also the lake boasts a good population of pacu, Thai Redtail catfish, alligator gar, Chao-Praya Catfish, barramundi, and arapaima. We used live/dead talapia on heavy spinning gear. The morning started out on the slow side but I landed a huge 20lbs barramundi a few minutes into the day. Later I landed a 55lbs Chao-Praya Catfish which put up a reel burning flight. Later in the afternoon, Steve landed a monster 70lbs arapaima. Around 2pm the action really picked up with double header after double header on the large redtail catfish up to 60lbs. So, make sure to add IT Lake Monsters to your next Thailand fishing adventure!

Friday, December 2, 2011


On the 2nd day of my Thailand Fishing Adventure, we fished Pilot 111 Fishing Ponds for Giant Snakehead. The Pilot 111 Fishing Ponds are located about 1 hour from downtown Bangkok. The fishery is lure fishing only and has a diverse range on predator fish species throughout 10 ponds. We directed our attention to the Giant Snakehead which are tremendous fighters on both subsurface along with topwater lures. Our fishing day was quite windy so the topwater bite was off. The best lures were jointed rapalas, Kippers Live Taget Pumpkinseed, and SPRO BBZ-1 shad swimmbait. Should the topwater action been on, Klures Snakehead buzzer would be the lure of choice. Numerous Giant Snakeheads were landed by all. They are drag burners and definately should be on your list of species to catch! We fished again with Eddie Mounce of

Thursday, December 1, 2011


In the next few Fishing News Reports, I will describe the different fisheries visited during my recent trip to Thailand. Bungsamran is a fisherman's heaven!! This is a Shangri-La filled with mostly with Giant Mekong Catfish. Bungsamran was established on March 16, 1983. The venue is approximately 20 acres and an average depth of 4 to 10 meters. It is filled with more than 50 kinds of game fish including the above mentioned Mekong Catfish, Giant Siamese Carp, Arapaima, Striped Catfish, among others. The largest fish which swims in this water is a reported 450 lbs arapaima. The fishery holds an estimated +30,000 stock!!!

We fished with 7ft medium heavy Ugly Sticks and large Shimano Baitrunner spinning reels spooled with 60lbs mono. Hooks were strong 1/0 singles. Bait of choice is rice/lamb balls about the size of baseballs for the Giant Mekong's and the size of a 16 inch softball for the Giant Siamese Carp. While fishing for the Giant Mekong's the bait is suspended a few feet below the surface and it is placed on the bottom for the Giant Siamese Carp. Bungsamran is located in Bangkok, a short drive from your local hotel. Here, there are numerous bungalows to fish out of many of which have beds, television, toilets, etc.. You can fish 24hrs per day if you can hold up. There are restaurants and bars located on the fishery. Have visited this amazing fishery 4 times this year, a realistic expectation would be 30 Giant Mekong Catfish per 1/2 day if targeting them. If targeting the Giant Siamese Carp, possibly 1 per day. Both of these species are tremendous fighters and grown to enourmous sizes. When visiting Thailand make sure to put Bungsamran on the top of your to do list as most will catch the largest fish of their life on this fishery!