Saturday, August 11, 2012

Papua New Guinea--Baddest Bass On Earth!!

Recently returned from a dream fishing trip to Papua New Guinea in search of PNG black bass (Papuan Black Snapper) and bonus barramundi.  After months of preparation we decided to go with Jason Yip of Wild River Fishing PNG,   Jason leads a few groups each year into the virgin rivers of the Gulf Province where the biggest bass on earth swim!  The veteran group of fishermen included friends Steve Ryan, Cole Lundquist, Kevin Cleary, Jim Reed, and John Cross all of whom have fished for many of the toughest freshwater fish on earth during previous adventures.  We put months and months of prepartion into this trip.  Well known fisherman, Larry Dahlberg, advised us to use shor/stout saltwater jigging rods, strong baitcasting reels like the Shimano TranX HG spooled with 200lbs PowerPro.  We were to replace all hooks with superstrong Owner ST-76 and replace all lure split rings with the strongest on the market, Wolverine triple coiled rings.  We used fluorocarbon leaders to 200lbs, 300lbs mono leaders, and 300lbs Kevlar leaders. 
The trip began on July 22nd when we flew from Chicago to Los Angeles to Brisbane, Australia, then to Port Morsby PNG when Jason's crew greeted us.  The next day Jason took us for a 5 hour drive to the Gulf Region.  We started fishing near the rivers mouth landing a few barramundi.  John landed the first bass with a respectable 20lbs, but lost 2 others as his drag could not hold up and the fish broke off.
We then drove about 2hrs downriver to the outpost camp where we lived with the friendly native tribe.  We fished during the way.  I hooked into something similar to a freight train.  The fish literally pulled me to the front of the boat and knocked me on my face.  After regaining my senses, I kept the monster out of the logs and netted a monster PNG bass which pegged out my certificed 35lbs scale.  We put a 40lbs weight on this beast!!
The next few days we fished various sections within a few hours of the outpost.  All were greeted with arm busting action as Steve, Cole, and Kevin landed bass exceeding 40lbs.  John and Jim landed monster barramundi which pegged out the 60lbs certified bogas and we estimated each over 70lbs.
Jason Yip landed the bass of his dreams a monster 46lbs which if certified, will beat the current World Record Papua Black Snapper currently at 42lbs 5oz.

The trip was really more than expected.  Having the opportunity to fish for practically every freshwater fish on earth, the PNG black bass kick ass!  These brutes become lure shy and know how to use every log in the river to their advantage.  They are super strong and destroy tackle.  Sure everyone wants to land monsters, but this trip exceeded everyone's expectation as all landed fish of their dreams.  Highlights of the trip were being treated to a welcome by the local tribe at the lodge.  We later were giving the golden rulers at the local school, had a great ceremoney before presenting the principle with a few gifts for the school kids.  Jason camp is one of the best organized in a very remote environment I have seen.  The natives are super friendly.  The guides, staff are super nice and will put you on big fish as evidenced by our results.
We are already talking about a return trip!  For more info contact Steve Yatomi at or email at   Jason Yip at or email or give me a call at 219-659-1740 or write

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