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Winter has come so I'd like to start dreaming of blue water and sunny skies and perhaps an exotic drink or 10 after a day of fishing. I want to hear about your favorite trips and destinations for my "someday" plotting.
 

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I haven't had the opportunity to do a whole lot of travel fishing, but there were two trips that really stand out for me.

One was a trip to Andros Island in the Bahamas. I was staying with a group of friends at Atlantis for a week so I had to get at least one day of fishing in. We took a small (10 passenger) twin prop plane from Nassau to Andros to meet our guide for the day. This wasn't one of those high dollar bonefish lodges...we actually had to wade out about 100 yards with all our gear to get to the boat, but it was worth it. We must have seen several hundred bonefish that day. I caught my first bone on a fly and lost a huge fish on spin gear. At lunch time we anchored the boat on a flat and our guide got out and picked up several conchs. We had fresh cracked conch and dark bahamian beers for lunch...unforgettable!

The other was a backcountry trip to the 10,000 Islands area of SW Florida. Our guide was based out of Chokoloskee. We arrived the night before and had dinner at the only restaruant on the island. I had the finest meal of grilled pompano! The next morning, after running through the mangroves for about 45mins we arrived at lostman's river. Using fly tackle we caught over 60 snook, reds and baby tarpon that day. The fishing, the scenery...the whole experience was amazing!

Ed
 

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Cabo San lucas, hands down, I went for a week of stripe marlin fishing in June, and am going back in March for another week of Tuna and Stripy fishing. Not only world class fishing, but the best food anywhere.

Second runner up: Key West; just got back, did four days in the end of November for sails, the fishing is average, but the atmosphere compensates.

I have done Bermuda twice, but not too impressed, This year I plan to hit Guatamala or Panama, I'll report on those later
 

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I like the NW side of Costa Rica.Friendly people, great fishing and the dollar goes far :thumbup:.Diving is OK- water is chilly down deep but lots of big critters-rays/sharks/schools of fish.

We often go in July- temps there are 85-90* while here it is 95-100* :D.

Prices have gone up the last few years but great deals are still out there.
 

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I'm hooked on Costa Rica and can highly recommend Los Suenos. You're into peak season there now, so you gonna pay. I hit it the second week of Nov. right before the rates went up. Top notch facilities and the resort is unbelievable.

We caught a mess of gaffer dorado, sailfish and a blue marlinthat came off one day, 2 sails the next trip out. That was slow.... Brought back 80+ pounds of Mahi, only half of what we caught. Shoot me a b-mail if you want any details.

Captain on one of the charters we took spoke highly of the Pacific coast of Panama for Billfishing. Had me thinking about my next dream trip.
 

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I will give my 2 cents. In no particular order except for the first one.

1. Venezuela - Grand Slam Capital of the World. The first time I saw a fish in a spread in Venezuela was in the late 80's. We had seen a grand slam in the first 15 minutes. We didn't get it but we did manage 7 whites and a blue. We finally realized our grand slam in 2006 on the Prime Time when we scored a double grand slam and 4 extra whites. but we had the grandslam opportunity at least once on every trip.

2. Gautemala - Man what a mecca - I visited there this past march and couldn't believe what I had been missing. The fishing was slow by their standards but we still saw over a dozen every day and the numbers crept up into the 20's on two of those days. Calms waters and relatively short runs along with a back drop that included volcanos was enough to put this destination on my short list of places to visit every single year.

3. Costa Rica - I have been to Costa Rica a handful of times and really enjoy this natural treasure. This past year on the Tuna Bite I realized how good the marin bite can be. The sailfishing is off the hook but when those stripey's and blue get mixed in I really get excited. Los Suenos is incredible as everyone states. But my favorite fishing destination in Costa Rica was Dominical. Friendly people, great food and a short run to the Furuno bank made this place my favorite. Surfers have long raved about Domincal as well.

I am sure I would have enjoyed Golfito as much but our short stay in transit just made me yern for another visit to what I thought was the most beautiful area I visited in Costa Rica.

4. - Panama - One day I will get back to the Hannibal Bank but until then I just have to dream about the half day I spent on the hannibal bank and the incredible opportunities. Long story but we were in transit and expected to stay 3 days on the bank. The women on board had had enough and we needed to get them to land. In that half day we spent on the bank we jumped off a black, caught 2 50lb dolphin, a sail, a 150lb yellowfin and a couple of sharks. Thats a season in some places.

5. Brazil - Get on a plane and go as far as you can tolerate and then jump on two more planes and you will end up in one of the great blue marlin banks of the world. The Royal Charlotte Bank just maybe the place that produces a tonner. What an incredible fishery. The long expensive voyage to get their and the remoteness may not be for everyone but I loved it.

6. Isla Mujeres, Mexico - I don't think I have seen less then 12 sails on any day out of isla. It can be rough but the boats are usually big and the bite is so consistant that you tend to forget about how rough it really can be. I have been told by many to go in May for the marlin bite. The sails are still available but the water is usually flat and the whites can snap well. Isla also is just a great place to visit. Great food, incredible atmosphere and lots of nitelife.

7. Outer Banks, NC - It's more of a pleasure to fish and chat with the captains and mates then anything else for me. These guys work their tails off in some nasty weather but man do they produce. I often wonder why we travel so far when this offshore mecca is in our backyard. I guess its just the lure of far away places and the unknown. But I don't think I will spend another season without at least visiting the outbanks for a day or two tuna and billfishing.

I would like to visit so many more places but the value of the Venezuela's and Guatemala's keeps luring back to the same place time after time. But if the bank account openned up and the opportunity arose I would hop on a plane for Australia first. Then it would be off to the Canary Islands in April. I have heard the tails of 15 and 20 blue marlin bites a day in the Canaries. That has to be an incredible site.
 

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7. Outer Banks, NC - It's more of a pleasure to fish and chat with the captains and mates then anything else for me. These guys work their tails off in some nasty weather but man do they produce. I often wonder why we travel so far when this offshore mecca is in our backyard. I guess its just the lure of far away places and the unknown. But I don't think I will spend another season without at least visiting the outbanks for a day or two tuna and billfishing.
I was going to put the outer banks too!

Especially if you were there this past August, whites and sails every freakin where 20 miles off the beach...I'll take an outerbanks trip any day of the week. Not exotic, but definetly some world class fishing goes on there at the right times.
 

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Last year we started in Pot Douglas Australia and worked our way south to Port Hinchinbrook. Unfortunately the 30kt 10 day gail kept us from getting to the reef's. Next year we are planning to start inland and drive to Darwin on a 20 day treck.
was just in the land down under for a month, My wife is an Aussie and even Better my brother in law is a mate on a 60' hatteras (pipe Dream).
Great place we suffered a week plus of 30kt winds but managed some "spanish macs" and snapper. Next time over I plan to go when its their winter our summer, Much better water and fewer storms.
Reel draggin, Let me know when your headed back over I will try and set you up with some contacts. Pipedream is a private boat in Hamilton Ilsland for the winter months and Brisbane the rest.
Taylor
 

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For me..
Well two of Bills trips I went on and Dominical Costa Rica was flat out hands down AWESOME..

Been to Bahi Brazil with Bill
Been to mexico
Been to Bahamas
Been to Bermuda
Been to Cayman
fished them all...

BUT HANDS DOWN COSTA FURUNO BANK WAS THE HEAT THE TOWN THE PEOPLE THE FOOD AND THE $$$$$$$$$...Nothing like getting on 21ft mako and Catching 24 sails the first day and the best part the capt drove the boat made r samiches and we did everything else rig set lines and drop back to sails..! Capt Mark on mako one look him up..Just dont ask him stay on the sails past 2 oclock it wont happen..!
 

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For me..
Well two of Bills trips I went on and Dominical Costa Rica was flat out hands down AWESOME..

Been to Bahi Brazil with Bill
Been to mexico
Been to Bahamas
Been to Bermuda
Been to Cayman
fished them all...

BUT HANDS DOWN COSTA FURUNO BANK WAS THE HEAT THE TOWN THE PEOPLE THE FOOD AND THE $$$$$$$$$...Nothing like getting on 21ft mako and Catching 24 sails the first day and the best part the capt drove the boat made r samiches and we did everything else rig set lines and drop back to sails..! Capt Mark on mako one look him up..Just dont ask him stay on the sails past 2 oclock it wont happen..!
I thought we were gonna get lashed just for askin.

Where u been hiden? Have you been fishing?
 

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Good stuff guys. I have been itching to do a full fishing trip with some buddies but have not been able to pull it off as of yet.

I do think a full week at OBX in say late May/early June would be hard to beat but that is not "exotic" :) but still a great fishery.
 

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costa rica
Puerto Jimenez on the Oso peninsula (Southwest costa on the pacific side)
everything is epic food fishing and people not to mention isn't all touristy like the north west section of costa
got my first rooster fish there ....life changing boys!
 

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Hi Guys:

I spent the first week of December in Cabo fishing for "Big" Stripers. It was my 10th week of fishing there and thought you might like to share in the adventure.

I left the Saturday after Thanksgiving to fish for 6 days with my friends Mike (who currently has his 32' Contender at the CBBT) and Carl, an old friend from Americus, GA.)

Continental got us there right on Schedule. It is always exciting to fly across barren desert and arrive in an incredibly beautiful place.


At the airport we rented a Suburban to take us to our Condo in Cabo, which is about a 45 minute drive. First we made a stop at Walmart. (Yes, there is a Walmart there AND a Costco)

I always stay at The Terrasol which is just up the beach on the Pacific side from the Cabo Arch at the entrance of the harbor. It's a beautiful location and the 2 bedroom 2 bath unit made our stay in Cabo very relaxing.

The next morning we arrived at our boat and headed out. The Cabo harbor is an incredibly busy place as you can see.

First stop to get bait which is sold by bait boats for $2. This is only for an emergency as we caught all of our bait once we stopped to fish.

Once we had the bait we headed up the Pacific about 35 miles to the Golden Gate Bank which had been hot for weeks.
First stop was to catch more bait. Here is Juan, our able Captain catching some "Greenies" which are Mackerel which is like candy for Striped Marlin. We were happy to have Jon Schwartz an outdoor photographer who was in Cabo doing a story for Sport Fishing Magazine. He spent two days with us and took some fabulous photographs, some of which I will show here. John had spent a few days previously catching Marlin from Sea Kayak's. I believe one guy caught at least 5 one day.

Once we had our bait more boats had arrived and this is the scene as our day begins.

Nothing seems impossible to many anglers when it comes to fishing in Cabo and here is proof of it.

The amount of wildlife on the Golden Gate is nothing short of miraculous. In addition to Marlin, there were hundreds of Humpback Whales, Sea Lions , Birds, Dolphins and much more. I could not believe the amount of whales that were there each day.

It was not long before the fishing heated up and this is an all too common sight.

To give you an idea of just how good the fishing can be, I estimate that the entire fleet which numbered in the vacinity of 75 boats on an average day released at least 500 Marlin EACH DAY. Untold numbers are hooked up and lost.
Soon we were hooked up and Carl with Mike looking on was putting my TLD 30 2-speed to work.

These Marlin put on a great show. Here is one of Jon's great shots.

They are incredibly beautiful and it's hard to reproduce on film how electric the colors are when they are "Lit up". Here is an effort.

Here is Carl with a typical Cabo Stiper.

And Mike with one around 175 pounds:

And Me:

Here is Jon "swimming" with a Marlin getting an underwater image.

And here is our happy, and very hard working and competent crew at the end of the trip.


Here is Jon Schwartz website. Take a look and share some of his adventures with him.
Bluewater Jon Schwartz: Extreme Big Fish Kayak Fisherman, Film Maker, Teacher and Author

I urge anyone who can to make a trip to Cabo. There is no place else on earth that offers Marlin fishing like Cabo and the beauty of it is that it is one of the great bargains in the fishing world. I will be back for # 11 ASAP.

In 6 days we released 27 Marlin, but should have had many more. We used circle hooks for the first time which is the right thing to do, but made hooking the fish harder. We had at least 75 hookups, but between the pulled hooks and breakoffs we had a poor ratio based on my previous experiences. Many were lost to other boats who were also hooked up. In one case our mate took the rod from another angler and took it around our boat and handed it back to him still hooked up. Believe it or not this happened twice on "ONE" fish and I still landed the Marlin. These crews are very, very good.

I hope you enjoyed the post.

GT
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you all for the stories of your favorites - AND the photos! Merry Christmas all and I'll post my own shortly :)

Dang Giant, that is a hard act to follow. Great descriptions and better photos. Whew they are thick down there!
 

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Ben:

I see you have moved up in the world with the Topaz 32'.

That's a great boat. I fished my Oceanmaster out of Wachapreague for more than 10 years. Great location to fish offshore.

Are you fishing now for Stripers out of Wachapreague. The big guys are passing thru there now.

GT
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
She is a strong girl, very confident steaming out into the blue with those CATs purring.

Monarch is out of the water resting up for next year offshore. I'm visiting my parents in Michigan. Best wishes and happy new year to you! If you want to jump on next season let me know.

Ben
 
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