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What's your best fishing trip ever?

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I'm planning a fishing trip and would appreciate some advice on where to go.  I'm mostly a freshwater guy (bass), but would certainly be open to saltwater.

Some caveats-

1.  Going in January, so no salmon fishing in Alaska.  I live in the upper midwest so I'll be looking for someplace warm.

2.  Taking my 15 year old son, so if part of the allure of the trip for you was bars or houses of ill repute, those won't matter.

3.  I'm willing to spend some cash but I'm not Surly 1% that is flying to New Zealand and renting a yacht with a full crew.

I basically want to go somewhere that is warm and pretty where I can catch a shitload of fish with my son.  

Thanks in advance

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offshore, inshore, salt, fresh, lakes, streams, soaking bait, casting arties, fly?  there are so many variables

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Father's day 1999 or 2000 - rained all day.  Dad and I drove around towing the boat waiting for a weather break and got a 1 hour window.

Boat in water in Shamrock Cove.  He went 3-0 on slot reds and I broke off two, and had one come unhooked at the boat.

Rain started back up, and we went in.

My dad thought it was very funny that he outfished me that day, and talked about it for a long-ass time.  Although it was unintentional, the best gift I could give him that day was an honest victory, and I gave him that.

So, you should go to Corpus and take your dad or son.  

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my best day of fishing was in port o'connor area, ironically enough in january.  it was the tail end of a major front which had pushed all the water from the bay and marsh.  i happened to be there when the wind changed back to south/southeast pushing water back into the bays and marsh.  i was at the mouth of a big back lake.

evidently the emptying of water had pushed the reds out of the back lake.  they were all staged at the mouth of the lake waiting for the water to rise to go back into that lake.  i waded up and down that large mouth/flats area catching slot after slot after slot reds.  i had 2 other guys with me.  we stopped counting somewhere in the 20s.  we prob caught 40-50 reds in a 2 hour span.  we left because our arms were tired from catching all those fish.  could've stayed and kept on catching.

it was a mid-week day trip where there was no one fishing.  had the cut to ourselves.  all the stars aligned.

since it's january, i would maybe look into a cast and blast trip in POC area.  duck hunt in the  early morning, and then fish after the ducks stop flying.

 

that or go to costa rica.

 

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Yeah I’m an offshore guy and for me that means trolling for marlin and sailfish, with a bycatch of dorado and tuna. Some people, like myself obviously, love it but others can find it a little boring.

Anyway for January and that kind of fishing I’d recommend Costa Rica, Isla Mujeres, and Guatemala. The first 2 will have plenty to do besides fishing, Guatemala not so much. If that kind of fishing interests you let me know and I can give many more details.

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My most complete day of fishing was in Islamorada, FL.  The variety of fish caught there was amazing.  It is warm.  A flight to Miami can't be that much.  Rental car to drive half way down the Keys.  We stayed at The Islander. 

 

I have co-workers who do this trip each year and they have all the contact info.  PM if you decide to go this route. 

 

 

Fishing in Louisiana is pretty easy, per the suggestion above. 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

HATTERAS MARLIN TOURNAMENT 1996

First time sitting in a deep sea fishing boat chair.

Fish on (big blue marlin) ! We backed down on her, and she was up behind the transom in about 15 minutes, she was longer than the boat was wide 15' +. She flicked her tail, and dove deep in the blink of an eye before the mate could grab the leader properly, and tag her.  The captain was pissed as shit at the mate. It would have been about $100,000 fish in the Calcutta.

I fought her for 2 hours and 45 minutes as she dove, jumped, and pulled our 65' sport boat across the gulf stream off Cape Hatterras.  There were (2) 600 lb males running with her most of the fight.

3 times we had her back to the surface, and the leader was just beginning to show. Each time she'd peel off all the line we'd managed to gain on her like it was nothing. She dove deep one last time, as I tried to work her head back up to the surface, snap goes the leader.  She was somewhere between 900 and 1100 lbs based on her length, and the pics we took.  What was left of the the 18' leader was clear for about 2-3' the the rest was rubbed white as it worked against her body.

The reel had to be re built, the gears had been pretty much fried. I had bruises and blisters for days after that fight.  Steam would rise from my arms, legs, and chest as they doused me with water during the fight. It felt like there was a cement truck on the end of the line.  Hooking a "grander" like that was something I'll never forget. You could feel her power as she'd pull away from the boat each time like she was being shot from a cannon.

Not the best day fishing, but damned sure the most exciting.   The best day was a couple seasons ago watching my son and daughter catch a few 50lb cobia off shore in NC.

I'll never wear a life vest again... wait different story..

 

For freshwater, bass in particular, the New River in Va. for small mouth, or one of the Florida or Texas larghemouth hot zones would be a trip I'd like to make.

Edited by Onboard 2.0

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49 minutes ago, Mac8111 said:

My most complete day of fishing was in Islamorada, FL.  The variety of fish caught there was amazing.  It is warm.  A flight to Miami can't be that much.  Rental car to drive half way down the Keys.  We stayed at The Islander. 

 

I have co-workers who do this trip each year and they have all the contact info.  PM if you decide to go this route. 

 

 

Fishing in Louisiana is pretty easy, per the suggestion above. 

 

 

 

SW coast of FL around to the Keys that time of year if you want to stay in the US. Decent day time temps, okay water temp, plenty of fish to be had.

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While an awesome domestic place to fish, Louisiana in January probably doesn’t fit his warm weather requirement.

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12 hours ago, Brew said:

SW coast of FL around to the Keys that time of year if you want to stay in the US. Decent day time temps, okay water temp, plenty of fish to be had.

This was going to be my suggestion.  If you want it to be a FISHING trip, this is a great choice.  Great time of year to sight cast from a skiff in Florida Bay one day then head offshore the next.  Plenty of variety.  Short flight from Texas to MIA or FLL.  Drive is manageable.  Plenty of lodging options in Key Largo and Islamorada.  Good restaurant choices as well.  Would be an awesome father-son trip.

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I'm a big fan of Islamorada as well.  You can fish offshore in the morning and back country in the afternoon. I'd probably live there if it wasn't, well, Florida.

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Bay Flats Lodge In Seadrift, TX

i fish a lot, won a trip at a charity event

first stop, not even a nibble

Second stop, not even a nibble

third stop, read stops 1 and 2

stop#4 - we caught so many fish my shoulder was sore the next day. Rough count, 3 of us caught over 130 fish. Needless to say we caught our limit 

 

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7 minutes ago, tx 3 putt said:

Bay Flats Lodge In Seadrift, TX

i fish a lot, won a trip at a charity event

first stop, not even a nibble

Second stop, not even a nibble

third stop, read stops 1 and 2

stop#4 - we caught so many fish my shoulder was sore the next day. Rough count, 3 of us caught over 130 fish. Needless to say we caught our limit 

 

those guides go out almost everyday.  even if they don't go out everyday, the guides share intell on where the fish are.  on any given day, they have a pretty damn good idea where the fish are and aren't.  

in the winter, the reds are extremely easy to pattern.  he was probably fucking with you on the first 3 stops knowing full well that the fish were in the 4th spot.  or he was confirming intell that they were still not in spots 1-3.  he has to make you think that he's working hard to put you on fish.  also if you went to the 4th spot first and caught your limit and wore yourself out, then what the hell was he going to do with you for the next 2 hours?

also bay flats lodge also does cast and blast.  so hunt ducks and catch reds on the same trip.

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It takes a ton of gear and some planning but a long range tuna trip off SoCal is my bucket list fishing trip.  Don't know if I'll ever make one but I did get to fish on Captain Elliot's Big E  when they started running 52 hour tuna trips out of Freeport into the Gulf.  We had one trip that was a skunk and cut short by a front coming through, another were we caught a ton of blackfin, a few yellowfin and a good bit of grouper; and a third where fishing was lights out.  We almost filled the boat limit of YFT the first night.  You could look up the rail and see a couple of people hooked up at almost any time.  YFT were biting chunk, poppers and jigs.  I don't have shit for pics from those trips but there are a few videos from when UA took over the boat from Elliot's 

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1 hour ago, crash_davis said:

also bay flats lodge also does cast and blast.  so hunt ducks and catch reds on the same trip.

I would 100% do a cast and blast there. That place is first class, over the top customer service. 

we didn’t spend much time at the first 3 spots. We were the first boat to spot #4 and everyone else quickly followed. I think they have 12 guides and about 12 other part time guys to handle bigger events. 

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2 hours ago, Lat22 said:

I'm a big fan of Islamorada as well.  You can fish offshore in the morning and back country in the afternoon. I'd probably live there if it wasn't, well, Florida.

What Lat said.

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To date, I think the best trip I've done was a 1.5 day trip out of San Diego in the '90's where we got into a WFO albacore tuna bite.  I think I landed about 10 25-40 lb albies.  A few years ago when the local tuna bite started getting hot, my buddy and I went out on his bitchin' Cabo 48 out of Newport and got 5 yellowfin tuna, all within 20 miles of Newport (I landed 4 of the 5, but who's counting?).  BUT, the best trip I'll have ever done is coming up in October, where we are taking his boat down to Cabo on a 10 day trip.  Fishing the whole way down and then a couple days down there.  Should be the trip of a lifetime.  

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9 minutes ago, Sbbruin said:

To date, I think the best trip I've done was a 1.5 day trip out of San Diego in the '90's where we got into a WFO albacore tuna bite.  I think I landed about 10 25-40 lb albies.  A few years ago when the local tuna bite started getting hot, my buddy and I went out on his bitchin' Cabo 48 out of Newport and got 5 yellowfin tuna, all within 20 miles of Newport (I landed 4 of the 5, but who's counting?).  BUT, the best trip I'll have ever done is coming up in October, where we are taking his boat down to Cabo on a 10 day trip.  Fishing the whole way down and then a couple days down there.  Should be the trip of a lifetime.  

Please tell me you are fishing a few of those days @ Mag Bay?

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, justhookit said:

Please tell me you are fishing a few of those days @ Mag Bay?

Absolutely.  Spent a night in Mag Bay sailing back up from Cabo in spring of '82 (I was a teen, but yes I'm old).  One of the coolest experiences ever, as whales were just bobbing up and down all around us feeding.

Edited by Sbbruin

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Awesome. Some friends we have made down in CR take their boat up to Cabo every year to fish the tournaments and to get in on the Mag Bay action. We were supposed to take by buddies boat up there last year to do it but it didn’t work out. Someday.

Here’s a video and write up from one of their trips.

https://www.marlinmag.com/crazy-striped-marlin-action-off-magdalena-bay-mexico/

 

 

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8 minutes ago, justhookit said:

Awesome. Some friends we have made down in CR take their boat up to Cabo every year to fish the tournaments and to get in on the Mag Bay action. We were supposed to take by buddies boat up there last year to do it but it didn’t work out. Someday.

Here’s a video and write up from one of their trips.

https://www.marlinmag.com/crazy-striped-marlin-action-off-magdalena-bay-mexico/

 

 

Damn, the go pro underwater catching the strikes is unreal!

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I completed mine two summers ago. 

  1. Drove out west to fish sections of the Rio Grande
  2. Then to New Mexico to fly fish for a few days around Taos.
  3. Up to Colorado to fish the Arkansas and catch some lake trout in a few state parks
  4. Over to Utah to fish a high desert lake (Steinaker) and the Green River.
  5. Over to Grand Teton to fish Jackson Lake
  6. over to Yellowstone to fly fish for 3 days
  7. Drove the Beartooth Hwy out of Yellowstone to Montana.  Fly fished there for 3 days.
  8. Down to South Dakota in the Black Hills.  Fished streams and creeks around there. 

Lots of species were caught and all techniques were implored.    Kind of wished I got some time in the salt but I'm planning another one going up the Texas coast line over to Florida in the next few years.  

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During my divorce, a buddy convinced me to head down to Cabo for a fishing trip.  Weather was shitty, but I met a drunk sorority girl from ASU down there, and I nailed her nonstop for 2 days and 2 nights.  Never went out on the water. 

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During my divorce, a buddy convinced me to head down to Cabo for a fishing trip.  Weather was shitty, but I met a drunk sorority girl from ASU down there, and I nailed her nonstop for 2 days and 2 nights.  Never went out on the water. 

Ahh, so you were just cutting bait the whole time..

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On 7/8/2019 at 12:17 PM, BearSchlong said:

@justhookit would probably have good input on this.

This.  Offshore in Costa Rica sounds like it might be the ticket.

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I'm not much of a fisherman. I like it, just haven't been very many times. My wife's family is a big outdoors family. They've been on safari in Africa multiple times and they took us to Argentina to go dove hunting two years ago. (That's my story for the best hunting trip of my life but that's another thread.) At any rate, next May they're taking us to Tropic Star in Panama. Sounds like it will be quite awesome and I'm pretty excited about it.

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You’re going to love Tropic Star. Lodge and food are first class. They run old boats - 31 Bertrams - but that doesn’t matter as you aren’t going far and it is calm there. They get an occasional push of green water that can really hurt the offshore fishing, but as long as you don’t get unlucky with that it’s some of the best tuna fishing anywhere in the world. Legit daily shots at black marlin with some blues and sails mixed in. Also the inshore fishing is excellent for a huge variety of fish.

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On 7/9/2019 at 11:42 AM, justhookit said:

Awesome. Some friends we have made down in CR take their boat up to Cabo every year to fish the tournaments and to get in on the Mag Bay action. We were supposed to take by buddies boat up there last year to do it but it didn’t work out. Someday.

Here’s a video and write up from one of their trips.

https://www.marlinmag.com/crazy-striped-marlin-action-off-magdalena-bay-mexico/

 

 

Have to love that ol Bert out there with the big boys.  Really cool vid. 

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The one where I kicked the shit out of 120 teams in a big open bass tournament, won big bass and heavy stringer. I caught all the keepers we weighed in except for the one squeaker my brother contributed.That was back in the olden days when I was fishing a lot. Only open tournament I ever even bothered to weigh in.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/12/2019 at 2:40 AM, 4th and 5 said:

Recs:

Cabo

Costa Rica

Chandeleurs (but not in January)

 

This...I’ve done the first two and it’s basically cast and fish on. Sailfish and Marlin our first trip in Cabo. Five delicious tuna my first trip in CR. And I mean our first boat trip. Didn’t have to go twice if you did you can catch as much as you want.

You can really make Mexico or CR very affordable depending on how you plan it.

Edited by Tailgate

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The best fishing trip you can take with your 15 year old son is any trip. My dad and I didn't fish together nearly as much as I wanted growing up. Every fishing trip was a treasure. And, looking back now, actually catching fish was a secondary goal. Being together with your son means everything.

My dad is in his twilight of life and I treasure every moment we had on the water or in the field.

Good for you for spending quality time with your son.

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Bil and I are looking to go hunt some bull reds before Christmas in Louisiana. Any recs besides the two guides listed above. What size reel to they typically use?

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2 hours ago, DCA_HORN said:

Bil and I are looking to go hunt some bull reds before Christmas in Louisiana. Any recs besides the two guides listed above. What size reel to they typically use?

WOODLAND PLANTATION. You can fly fish or go conventional. Winter is a popular time to be there so I would go ahead and check availability.

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yea, Oct-Dec is prime time for bulls and most guides are booked up well in advance. You might check with Journey South Outfitters. https://www.journeysouthoutfitters.com/ They have a big lodge operation in Venice. They run a fleet of boats from small skiffs to 4 engine offshore boats . The owners are a couple that both guide, and the husband was a chef in NOLA for years before opening the lodge. They will fish whatever kind of tackle you want. I know several fly guides down there, but I guarantee you they are all booked up for this winter already. 

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Best fishing trip was my Dad rigged up a cane pole when I was 6 and took me to the creek next to our house and I caught bluegill non stop.  Almost every time the line hit the water. Filled a bucket up and took home to fry.  Since then I've caught 40 lb yellow cat on trotlines,  roosterfish in Costa Rica,  flyfished throughout the West, up and down the Texas Gulf.  Still, my best time fishing is always that first time my Dad thought enough to take me out where he knew I would get plenty of action.  My Dad is now a world class prick and bitter old fart, but I still have that fishing trip.  Take your kids fishing, start them early, on something easy, so they can catch fish and have fun.  who knows, it may be their best trip ever.

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First time I ever taught the boy how to work a topwater lure. I was explaining what I was doing as he watched. Lure hit the water, I told him I'd let it set a couple seconds until the ripples kinda dissipated and then give it a twitch. I gave it a twitch and a bass inhaled it in a glorious explosion. Fish was hooked and so was the boy. 

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10 hours ago, El Diablo said:

First time I ever taught the boy how to work a topwater lure. I was explaining what I was doing as he watched. Lure hit the water, I told him I'd let it set a couple seconds until the ripples kinda dissipated and then give it a twitch. I gave it a twitch and a bass inhaled it in a glorious explosion. Fish was hooked and so was the boy. 

Yes!  Love it when a plan comes together.  My boy is 11 now, and just has the knack for fishing.  Last year, he really started getting more independent fishing.  Tying his own lures, making decisions on what to throw based on conditions, better casting, etc.  We were fishing out of our kayaks at our local honey hole and he had missed a few fish on a wacky-rigged Senko.  I asked him what adjustment he was going to make, and he said, "I guess I'll let them take the lure a bit more".  Next cast, I see a twitch at the end of his rod.  He waits a bit longer and WHAM.  4+ lb largemouth.  I enjoy watching him catch fish more than I do catching them myself.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Spaulding Smails said:

Yes!  Love it when a plan comes together.  My boy is 11 now, and just has the knack for fishing.  Last year, he really started getting more independent fishing.  Tying his own lures, making decisions on what to throw based on conditions, better casting, etc.  We were fishing out of our kayaks at our local honey hole and he had missed a few fish on a wacky-rigged Senko.  I asked him what adjustment he was going to make, and he said, "I guess I'll let them take the lure a bit more".  Next cast, I see a twitch at the end of his rod.  He waits a bit longer and WHAM.  4+ lb largemouth.  I enjoy watching him catch fish more than I do catching them myself.

Little Diablo was probably about that age in my story. We were at a little stock tank near the house, it had no fishing pressure at all because very few people even knew it was there. High weeds all around it and hard to get to. Loaded with bass in the 3/4 lb to 1 lb range.  Thick moss from the bank out probably 5' or so and then crystal clear water with a little bit of submerged brush structure in the middle. He probably caught 20 little bass that day himself. It was fantastic and Papa Diablo looked like a genius, lol.

Edited by El Diablo

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Dip-netting on the Copper River.  Best connection with the fish and the river in my life.

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OP,  sounds like a freshwater trip might work. 

Look up Gary Paris on Lake Fork for a crappie trip. Easy trip from DFW and a very good chance you will bring home lots of fish home. Also a slight chance your youngster gets a big ole bass. 

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When I was 18, my father, grandfather, and a group of probably 10 others (fathers and sons) flew up to Alaska and spent a week rafting down the river fishing Salmon. Caught a 3+ foot king salmon, cookouts every night, bathed in the river, which did get a little awkward when all the dads stripped down and jumped in. Absolutely awesome though. I hope to do the same with my son some day. A little scary waking up with bear skat 20’ from our tent, and weird as hell that it was daylight at 10pm, but absolutely awesome. Also, the absolute best sushi I’ve ever had (Uchi is close) catching a salmon, filet it on the bank. Just such an amazing trip

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