Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Guyana Monster Arapaima on the Fly

Friend and avid fly fisherman, Jim Schmid, recently had a fishing trip of a lifetime. Jim ventured deep into the Guyana jungles in search of monster arapaima. His goal was to land a monster on the fly! Arapaima are the largest and oldest of freshwater species sometimes reaching lengths of 10 feet. Due to overfishing and poaching they became nearly extinct and are now protected--all catch and release. Jim fished on the Rewa River which is the heart of Guyana's Rupununi Region. The Rewa is an isolated tributary of the Essequibo flowing north off the Guyana Shield. Based out of Rewa Eco Village, Jim ventured upriver for a 5 day adventure sleeping in hammocks while being guided by local Makushi Amerindians. HIs trip paid off as he landed two monster arapaiama on his last day with brutes weighing 260lbs and 290lbs all on the fly! Also numerous smaller arapaima, black piranha, payara, and some wolf fish were landed. Congratulations Jim on these great catches on the fly!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

2013--Another Great Year for Monster Fish

2013 was another fantastic year, far exceeding my catch expectations while revisiting some of my favorite fishing destinations. The season started out in January when good friend, Steve Ryan, invited me to tag along son some ice fishing excursions to Nate Herman's trophy ponds in search for record bluegill and to Madison, WI in search of big cats. I have not fished through the ice for many years. It brought back great memories of my time in graduate school at Michigan Tech in Michigan's UP. I spend hours sitting on a bucket on the ice catching bluegill, walleye, and perch. The fishing at Nate's was fantastic as am sure the Illinois state record bluegill will be broken out of his lake in Peoria, ILL. Numerous big cats were landed also on our trip to Madison. Hope to get some good ice fishing in this year. In April, I returned to visit my favorite fishery in the world, La Zona, in Argentina. This was my 7th year and was indeed my best time for monster golden dorado. I shattered my personal best of 48lbs with a 53lbs, 52lbs, and 50lbs trophy golden dorado. The dorado really destroyed my fishing reels as many of the gears were stripped plus a few rods were broken. The fishing seems to get better each year with more dorado topping 40lbs. I am heading back again in April to catch the World Reocrd. In September, I fished out of Gary LaRose's Pumice Creek Lodge along with a few good friends. Pumice Creek Lodge is located on the Alaska Peninsula about an hours flight from King Salmon. Here, the best silver salmon fishing on earth exists bar none!! This was my 25th straight year to the Alaska Peninsula so you would tend to believe I could buy a resident fishing license! The scenery and fishing are so good, I believe I will head to Gary's forever as I am already looking forward to battling those big silvers at the Cinder River and numerous brilliant colored arctic char at Lava Creek. Later in September, I went to Yellow Lake in Webster, WI for my annual walleye fishing trip. I again visited long time friend, Bernie Meyer. This was the first year I went without my dad due to health issues. Hopefully, things turn around this year so he can head back up north! Walleye fishing was excellent, but the monster again avoided me. Looking forward to getting them this September. In November, I along with a few friends made a return trip to Thailand. We again fished with friend/guide Francois Helias who always makes us feel right at home. Thailand is rapidly becoming one of my top destinations worldwide. The fishing is unbelievable for monster fish such as Mekong Catfish, Giant Siamese Carp, Big retail catfish, Arapaima, and the list goes on and on. I gurantee you would catch one of the largest fish of your lives if you decide to wet a line in Thailand. My arms and shoulders are still hurting! In November, I was asked by Daiwa Tackle to test out their new Lexa 400 casting reel and other products in the future. The reel is great and will put to the test in future trips. Thanks to Tom Ashby for helping on this opportunity! Also had the pleasure of sitting in on our local fishing radio show "The Bass Buzz" on WJOB our of Hammond, IN. I always enjoy having the opportunity to talk fishing on the show. Thanks again to Pat, Mike, and Bob! This coming year should present more great adventures and monster fish! I am heading to Uganda in a few weeks to fish Murchison Falls where some of the largest Nile Perch on earth swim. Should also have a grat opportunity to film some of Africa's wildlife. As mentioned heading back to La Zona in April to catch the world record golden dorado. I always head back to Pumice Creek Lodge, Alaska, in September and to friend Bernie Meyer on Yellow Lake, WI for big walleyes. Plans are in the works to fish possibly Suriname next winter for some big wolf fish and Guyana for monster arapaima. I AM EXTREMELY BLESSED TO HAVE FRIENDS LIKE YOUR!!! BEST WISHES TO ALL FOR A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY 2014! BOB DALY

Monday, December 23, 2013

B.A.S.S. "Catch of the Year" Photo Contest

B.A.S.S. runs a bass Catch of the Month contest with big bass catches being eligible for their annual "Catch of the Year" contest. Friend Kevin Yeska won hands down for the month of November with his monster smallmouth catch. Kevin fishes for all species and attends the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Kevin can be seen casting the local lakes or jigging through the ice during his weekend breaks from hitting the books. In my opinion, his outstanding smallie catch should enable him to win the best of the year contest. You can cast Kevin a vote at the following link: Thanks and make sure to give Kevin your support!!

Saturday, December 14, 2013


On our last day of the Thailand trip, we decide to take a 1 hour drive out of Bangkok to the Pilot 111 Fishing Ponds. Here, the biggest attraction is the giant snakeheads and stripped snakeheads. These fish are very tough and very aggressive! Snakeheads can be landed in Florida and often strike top water lures like poppers, frogs, etc.. My best lure was a jointed Live Target lure resembling a bluegill. Many snakeheads were landed by all in the group making our entire stay in Thailand a huge success. Much thanks to great friends Steve Ryan, Dr. Cole Lundquist, Chuck Boyian, and Jim Reed. Anxious to head to Uganda next month for monster Nile Perch. On your next visit to Thailand, make sure to hook up with Francois Helias at and check out his site at If you interested in having your complete Thailand trip take care of by a US rep, contact Steve Yatomi at As mentioned Thailand is rapidly becoming one of my favorite destinations worldwide for monster fish!! Get in the action while the fishing is great!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Thailand Trip Continued

On the following day after fishing at Jurassic Mountain Lake resort we drove back to Bangkok for a day of rest. There are lots of sightseeing opportunites around Bangkok. In past years, we have visited numerous golden temples, shrines, etc... This year we spent a few hours catching up on some needed rest then went shopping in downtown Bangkok. Deals are easy had here as the store owner will deal with you to get some needed sales. The following night we went back to Bungsamran for some nonstop Mekong Catfish action. We fished the entire night till 2pm the following day. My arms and shoulders are still sore from these brutes. Mekong's are one of the strongest fish on earth. The are practically extinct in the wilds so Bungsamran gives the angler the best opportunity to land one of these monsters. I highly recommend you put Bungsamran on your wish list. Bungsamran is in Bangkok and stores a complete tackle store, resturant with bungalow service and bar. It is open 24hrs and many of the bungalows have beds, refrigerators, television sets, etcc all the comforts of home plus some of the best fishing on earth. The bait of choice is ground lam which is placed around an open wire harness. A size 1/0 single barbless hook hangs from a drop line below the wire harness. The bait suspends about 4ft below a float. As the bait starts to dispense, Mekong's start to feed in the bait cloud and inhale the suspended hook. All rods, reels, and bait are supplied by an outfitter or guide at Bungsamran. All fish are returned to battle another day.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Thailand Trip Continued

The following day we headed off to the town of Hua-Hin which is about 2 hrs from IT Lake Monsters. Luckily, we have an air colditioned van as the outside temps have reached around 100deg. We are going to fish the new Jurassic Mountain Lake Resort which has ample opportunities for Giant Siamese Carp and a decent shot at arapaima. The technique used to land the Giant Siamese Carp are fhsh pallets attached directly near a single shot with a drop line. The rods are placed in electronic bite detectors which send out an alarm when a bite takes place. Giant Siamese Carp are normally difficult to catch, however, each in the group lands a few in the upper 40 lbs range. Siamese Carp are fantastic battlers, often pulling out lots of drag with powerful runs. Arapamia are the largest freshwater fish on earth. In Jurassic many exceeding 200lbs are seen each day gasping for air to fill their bladders. However they become lure/bait shy and elude us for our 2 days of fishing. Hua Hin is fastly becoming one of my favorite places to visit. The town is quite small when compared to Bangkok and much less conjested. The nightlife is great and we hit the scene each night. One evening we were able to watch a rerun of the Packers/ Vikings game over a few cold bottles of Chang beer! Cannot wait to visit Hua Hin again!

Sunday, December 8, 2013


On the second day of our Thailand fishing adventure, we travelled about 2 hours out of Bangkok to IT Lake Monsters in BanPon-Ratchaburi. Here we are targeting big redtail catfish, huge Chao Phraya Catfish, Wallagoo, alligator gar, and numerous others. Having fished this venue in the past, I know it is non-stop action the entire day. However, during our stay the bite was slightly off. The cooler weather around 80deg could possibly explain this. However, numerous big redtail cats were landed by all. Friend Jim Reed got the big fish of the trip with a monster Chao Phraya Catfish weighing over 100lbs. The Chao Phraya are beautiful silver colored fish with gigantic fins which enables it to put up a tremendous fight when hooked. These cats along with the redtail are carnivorous-fish eating unlike the mentioned Mekong Catfish which are herbivorous. The top bait was live and dead tilapia. We fished here for 2 days. This is definately a must to do on your next visit to Thailand.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


I recently had the pleasure to fish for monster fish in Thailand. There are numerous fishing opportunites which exist in this wonderful country. I will write about a different venue for the next few days. Our first day was spent in Bungsamran which is located in Bangkok district Sukhapibahn. Bungsamran is perhaps the top fishery in the world to land Giant Mekong catfish, stripped catfish, and Giant Siamese Carp. Bungsamran measures about 300m long by 225m wide. There are various bungalows positioned around the lake equipped with television, beds, refrigerators, etc.. The fishing for Mekong Cats is outstanding. The bait of choice is lam rice balls kept slightly off the bottom with the aid of a float. Mekong Cats are very powerful and can reach hundreds of pounds. During our stay the fishing was outstanding. We fished the entire night which produced non stop action with the largest Mekong exceeding a hundred pounds.

The last day we concentrated on Giant Siamese Carp.  During the final few minutes, a monster carp exceeding 70lbs was landed.

Bungsamran has restaurant and bar service for your pleasure making it a total relaxing experience.  This is definately one of the top destinations remaining on earth.  I highly recommend you put this on your to fish list.  Contact Francois Helias at and check out his site at

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Recently had the opportunity to test out the new Daiwa Lexa 400-HS-P baitcasting reel during my recent trip to Thailand. Thailand is home for monster fish such as Mekong Catfish, Giant Siamese Carp, etc.. These species would definately test out the drag system on the Lexa. The 400 model is practical new. It is a big spool reel designed to battle monster species such as those in Thailand and other brutes worldwide. I found the reel to be exactly what one needs. The powerful 25lbs drag system can handle these fish. The Lexa 400 is easy to cast as it weighs 16.2oz when equipped with the Power Handle. It has a smooth 7 bearing system and is extremely fast at a ratio of 7.1:1. The line retrieve per crank is 37.7in and holds approximately 200 yards of 80lbs braid. I had no problems whatsoever with the reel and highly recommend you taking a look at it. The Lexa series as comes in smaller 100, 200, and 300 sizes along with either a power gear or high speed gear. The 400 series is very similar to the Shimano Tranx at a fraction of the cost. Plus the Lexa is about 4 ounces lighter which really helps out on a day of casting to monster fish! Give Tom Ashby a call for more informaton. Check out Tom at American Legacy Fishing Company