During my recent trip to La Zona for monster golden dorado, I tested out the Daiwa Lexa 400HS-P baitcasting reel and the Bass Pro Muskie Angler 2 piece rod, 6ft 6in. The Lexa was fantastic. I found it very easy to cast and holds enough amout of 100lbs braid that trolling was not a problem. The drag is very powerful and held up to the constant abuse of the dorado. When trolling the strike is so hard that your shoulder practically comes out of its socket. The Lexa is very smooth and I highly recommend this for any species your after. The Bass Pro Muskie Angler Rod is an improved model which is much lighter with a different type of handle. The older model was one of my favorites as I bought every remaining rod after it was discontinued and equipped it to various golden dorado fishermen. I believe all will definately like the new model better due to the reduced weight and increased strength. For more information on the Daiwa Lexa get in touch with Tom Ashby at www.americanlegacyfishingcompany.com
Had the opportunity to travel to Argentina once again to fish my favorite destination in the world, La Zona Lodge. La Zona Lodge is located in the town of Concordia which is about a 5 1/2 hour drive from Buenos Aires. Here, the largest golden dorado swim in the Uruguay River near the Salto Grande Dam. The section near the dam is restricted to only the 2 permits (2 boats) which are held by La Zona Lodge. On April 7th, I flew on United Airlines from Chicago to Houston then onto Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires is a beautiful city full of great restaurants, great buildings and very nice people. I stayed at the Moreno Hotel is has the largest, cleanest rooms I have ever stayed in. I know my way about near the hotel and always go out for a few local beers during the evening and walk around town during the day visiting a few shops. The buildings in Buenos Aires have a high European influence. On April 9, friend Kevin Cleary flew into Buenos Aires and met me at the Moreno Hotel. In the evening good friends, Matias Pavoni and Fany Salas picked us up and drove us to the Pro Anglers tackle shop (www.proanglers.com.ar). Here, many of the great local lures such as those made by Alfer and the TNT choppers are available. Owner, Facundo Ontivero made us feel right at home and give us a few beers and a great Pro Angler sweatshirt. Needless to say, I loaded up on the Alfer lures!! Afterwards, Kevin, Matias, Fany, and myself went to Las Nazarenas for some great steaks!! The beef in Argentina is the best worldwide! On April 10, the rest of our group, Cole Lundquist and Chuck Boyian, flew into Buenos Aires. We all met at the Moreno Hotel and the lodge provided a van to transport us to the lodge located in Concordia. While travelling throughout the country, we noticed many of the cattle fields were flooded indicating high water in La Zona. When we arrived, we set up in our normal rooms (1 room per person) and got our tackle ready for the next day. La Zona Lodge currently has a great staff of Cuban immigrants who do a fantastic job of attending to our every needs. On April 11,I am paired up with Kevin while Cole and Chuck are partners. The head guides this year are Elbio and Alejandro who put us immediately onto monster golden dorado. The assistant guides are Frank and Enzo who do a great job in handling and tagging the dorado. We were greeted by downpouring rains the first day which made fishing tough. However we still managed to land a few monsters. The following day we were greeted with 50mph winds which made fishing hard but again we still caught a few monsters. Kevin landed the first monster dorado weighing in at 44 pounds. Cole landed a beautiful 100 pound spotted surubi catfish. The following day the weather cooled down to an abnormal 39deg of which we were not prepared for. Later in the afternoon the sun came out and the dorado went on fire. The last day was warm and sun with great fishing. For the week, 22 trophy golden dorado were landed by the group. I consider a trophy of anything over 30 pounds. Of the 22 trophy dorado, 10 were in the 30 to 40 pound range, 11 were in the 40 to 50 pound range, and 1 was over 50 pounds. For the week, Cole landed 7 trophies with the groups largest at 50 pounds. Bob landed 8 trophies with his largest at 46 pounds. Kevin landed 4 trophies with his largest weighing in at 44 pounds, while Chuck landed 3 trophies with his largest weighing 46 pounds. The majority of the trophies were landed on Rapala Mag 30 or Yo-Zuri hydro magnums all in firetiger coloration. La Zona is a special place and should be on everyfisher person's to do list. Contact Steve Yatomi at www.adventuretravelalliance.com for booking info or get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org I am already looking forward to returning next season!!!
Congratulations are in order for friend Jason Yip for winning the IGFA first-ever Anglers' Choice Award. After sorting though over 500 applications, the IGFA selected 10 approved records to go through a voting process in the entire month of March to determine which record Anglers from around the world thought was the best of the best. The 10 records competing for the prize were from 8 countries. Jason Yip of www.sportfishingpng.net gathered over 1/3 of the entire vote for a total of 3293. Jason set the world record for Papua New Guinea black bass while I was in camp. I can attest that the PNG bass is worthy of the record! Jason will be awarded the trophy at the 11th Annual Achievement Award Ceremony at the IGFA Hall of Fame and Museum on April 26th. Again Congratulations Jason!