snake-charmer

Snake Charmer

I guess it was back in the early eighties when Billy Palmer decided to drain his lake and dig out around the banks. It was a classic East Texas farm pond, with one exception, the cows didn’t have access to the whole lake.

It had all the classic features. Stumps, blow downs, mossy edge and an old dock. You could make it out about half way but the rest was rotted boards and a few poles. Great for dragging a big worm by or speeding a spinner bait through.

I had fished this lake for the last thirteen years. My big bass was an 8 something, we didn’t have scales back then, but we were usually pretty close. I had tangled with some bigger bass than that on this old pond.

I remember when Billy asked if I wanted to help him drain the lake, with his son Dirk and Kyle, I was all over it. I asked if I could bring a fishing buddy along that had been on the lake before, and he said sure. I knew Doug Flatley, one of my best friends, would kill to see what came out of this old pond.

silver king lodge big fish

Silver King Lodge

one of the most majestic tarpon and snook lodges of all of Central America” The PanAngler.

silver king lodge fishingUnquestionably one of the greatest experiences an angler can have is to witness a big tarpon leap skyward– five or six feet out of the water–and then come crashing on the water’s surface, splintering it into thousands droplets of water. And that’s only the beginning. In the next time frame–whether it’s only minutes or over an hour–the lucky angler will be tested by one of their strongest, most dramatic gamefish of the world. One of the very best places to experience this wonderful scene over and over again is at Silver King Lodge, on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.

Silver King Lodge has emerged over the past few seasons as a world-class tarpon and snook fishing resort. Situated in a lush, tropical environment on the banks of the Rio Colorado River, it offers matchless accommodations to compliment the challenging fishing.

EL pescador

El Pescador – BELIZE

classic tarpon fishing on the flats as well as many other species for spinning, plug-casting and fly fishermen

EL pescadorThe shadow of a cruising tarpon appears in the transparent, clear waters of El Pescador’s flats as it ghosts towards your staked out skiff. The meeting with the silver king arrives quicker than anticipated–there’s no time to attend to the knot in your stomach.

The cast unfurls accurately, the fly lands softly, and the tarpon sees it. The take is gentle, the fly disappears in the bucket-sized mouth, and you set hook. In a few seconds, the slack fly line rasps through the guides, then comes tight onto the screeching reel. Shooting straight up, the silver tarpon hangs momentarily in the air, like a Chet Reneson painting. In the next time span, you will experience one of the great thrills of fishing.

dinner

The Rain Goddess Costa Rica

The great new way to fish Costa Rica and Nicaragua!

big fishThe Rain Goddess is a relatively new, custom-made 65-ft. air-conditioned houseboat that features six staterooms, regal dining room, rec room and all the-comforts one could reasonably expect. The Rain Goddess is a mother ship which provides the accom- modations and meals, while the anglers fish from two types of skiffs.

This relatively new fishing trip is offered along the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Costa Rica attracts many anglers because of its lofty tarpon and snook fishing reputation. Most importantly, the Rain Goddess can fish the Nicaraguan waters, which at times can be very potent, not only for tarpon and snook but also for indigenous species such as guapote, mojarra, etc.

kasba-lake-fishing

Kasba Lake Lodge

Northwest Territories, Canada

giant trout near the surface, northern pike and some of Canada’s largest Arctic grayling

Kasba lake mapWhen Doug Hill opened his fabulous Kasba Lake Lodge, he established a catch-and-release program in which all but a few small, badly hooked fish for the pan had to be returned to the water. When Doug did this years ago, it was not a popular practice as fishermen were used to returning home with a cooler full of fillets. But Doug stuck to his policy, and today, Kasba Lake Lodge produces the same high quality fishing that it did when Kasba was first built.

Nestled in the Northwestern Territories, the crystal clear waters of Kasba Lake, located about 430 miles from the Arctic Circle, provide a lifelong fishing dream come true. With over 1,000 miles of shoreline and hundreds of islands to provide shelter in even the windiest of days, Kasba Lake ensures a fabulous fishing adventure for the casual or serious sport fishermen alike.

lake brunner fishing

Lake Brunner Lodge

it’s hard to envision a more appealing trout fishing destination than New Zealand’s South Island.

lake brunnerFishing in New Zealand waters should be more appropriately named trout stalking, because usually the brown trout is first spotted by carefully walking along the stream, before a presentation is made. The clarity of the water makes spotting some trout easy, though in many instances, what’s visible to the trained eye of the guide is invisible to the less experienced angler. And because there’s not a trout behind every rock, anglers must carefully locate each fish before a cast is made.

Flowing as clean and crystal clear as mountain air, South Island streams harbor trout that can average close to four pounds. Five to seven pounders are acknowledged heartily, but an angler needs to break the eight pound barrier before celebrity status is bestowed. Much of the season, the trout will rise eagerly to a well placed dry fly, a Royal Wulff or an Adams.

big fish

One more cast

When I left for the lake on that chilly Thursday afternoon, I knew that a storm was brewing just west of Nacogdoches about 35 miles away. It was late November and was, in my book, and maybe yours, a perfect day to go bass fishing in East Texas.

Upper 50s, overcast skies, water temps had been falling and I had been catching solid bass to 7 lbs. first of the week.

Lake Pinkston was only 15 minutes from my house and I had seen storms come and go many times over the years on the lake, so it was not a major concern, a factor yes, but not a concern. As small as Pinkston was I could be off the lake in less than 5 minutes. I hooked up my boat and headed out .

On the way I wondered how much time I would have on the water before Mother Nature had her say. I will fish in any kind of weather from 30 degrees and drizzle to 100 degrees and roasting, but lighting had no place in my fishing plans.