Plan the trip of a lifetime

Plan the trip of a lifetime

There’s no better time to start planning your ultimate fishing adventure where you can catch the fish of a lifetime.

I’m in the process of gearing up for a special trip to Brazil’s Amazon River to fish for peacock bass with an Anheuser Busch sweepstakes winner. This brings back memories of my early days when family members would plan trips to trek south for early season bass fishing while winter still had its grip on the upper Midwest.

I’ve already talked to a lot of people who are getting ready to head to Billy Chapman’s Angler’s Inn on Mexico’s famous El Salto lake as well as bassin’ destinations around the country.

This is a good time to put those wheels in motion, whether it’s a trip to Lake Okeechobee in Florida for giant largemouth or to Texas’ Lake Fork to fish for spawners, or to Alabama’s Lake Guntersville to capitalize on the early season Red Eye Shad bite. And, of course, Toledo Bend is rated the best overall bass lake in the country and should be on your list.

Early spring is always a good time because that’s when you typically find the big fish shallow and easier to catch.

Naturally, the budget will dictate where you go, but remarkably low gas prices make the choice easier for those towing boats to southern waters. Find a buddy to go with you and share expenses or plot a getaway outing with your bass club.

The Internet makes it easier than it was when we were planning these trips 30 years ago. It doesn’t matter whether you want five star accommodations, prefer to camp, or are happy with affordable fish camps and small motels, you can find it on the Internet.

All of the great destinations and outfitters have excellent websites where you can gather pertinent info about costs, when to go, what to take and in some cases, current fishing conditions. Social media is a huge help, too. If you’re on Facebook, pose the question to friends who may have been to a place you’re considering. You can find out about lodging, guide recommendations and more.

Of course, weather is always a concern during the early season, but modern-day forecasts and weather trends are easier to follow to help you plan the best time to bet there.

You also might consider planning the trip around a specific technique to help you hone your skills. For example, if you want to get proficient at flipping grass, Okeechobee would be a good choice. Or, if you want to experience umbrella rig fishing at its finest, Guntersville is one of those places where they bite it real well in the early spring.

I remember my first trip as a young angler was to Bull Shoals in Arkansas, where I learned to expand my finesse fishing skills on the smallmouth, spotted bass and largemouth fishing there.

As exciting as it is fishing big bass waters, part of the fun is planning and gearing up. Before heading to these lakes, make sure you have the right tackle and a sufficient supply of baits. With this being the sport show season and many retailers offering tackle sales, you can load up on the things you’ll need. There’s nothing more fun that sitting down with the new Bass Pro Shops catalog and creating your wish list for 2016 fishing.

So if a dream fishing trip is on your bucket list, get busy putting it together now. Plan properly and there’s a good chance you will catch the bass of a lifetime!

Remember, it’s all about the attitude!