Get inspired with our Captain Experiences Top 12 Bucket List Below
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The Captain Experiences Top 12 Bucket List Trips
12. Inshore & Offshore Fishing in Galveston, TX
Galveston fishing charters offer some of the most vibrant and diverse year-round fishing in the world. Depending on the time of year, anglers can expect to catch Redfish, Speckled Trout, Flounder, Black Drum, and Sheepshead inshore.
Blacktip, Hammerhead, and Thresher Sharks, as well as Tarpon patrol nearshore waters and jetties, and an ABC's of offshore species including Amberjack, Blackfin Tuna, Cobia, Grouper, Kingfish, Mahi Mahi, Marlin, Red Snapper, and Wahoo demand attention from offshore fishing charters.
Whether wading inshore or trolling offshore, it's always exciting to fight what's on your line out of Galveston.
While it's impossible to choose one trip, my Galveston Bucket-lister would be Captain Lee's 36-hour offshore trip chasing Tuna, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, and more.
11. Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout at Vermejo Lodge, a Ted Turner Reserve
With free ranging North American Bison and Elk, it's easy to see why they call this 550,000 net acre reserve "your own private National Park". Ted Turner acquired the property from Pennzoil in 1996, and the team's worked wonders revitalizing the native Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout population among the property's 19 miles of private tailwater streams.
As if Vermejo wasn't already giving heaven a run for its money, 30 natural alpine lakes brimming with Rainbow Trout also dot the Reserve. Your stay also includes luxurious accommodations at the Costilla Fishing Lodge- bring your fishing crew and have a bucket list day taking it all in at Vermejo.
There's no greater adrenaline rush than standing on the front of the bow holding a rod in one hand, fly in the other, casting at tailing Redfish. It only adds to that game-time feel that the crystal clear waters of the Texas Coastal Bend get you eye-to-eye with the other team.
Like all great coaches, Captain Jeff and Captain Travis will put you in position to make plays. From there, it's up to you to make the opportunities count.
I definitely didn't make most of my casts count on my last Rockport fly fishing trip, and I can't wait to give it another go. Both Captains are fantastic and patient instructors who will help improve your cast regardless of your skill level.
Fishing with Captain Jeff the first day and Captain Travis the second upped me from awful to bad, and I'll be reaching out again soon looking to go from bad to half-decent, hopefully with a Redfish in between!
You've never really been sport fishing if you haven't booked a charter in the "Marlin Capital of the World". Captain Raul Solis and his crew in Cabo San Lucas have an armada of quality sport fishers with the speed, agility, and power to chase down Black and Blue Marlin, and Striped Marlin off the coast of Baja California.
The crowned jewel of the Solis Sportfishing fleet is their 60' Hatteras. This beauty has seen its fair share of Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, and more, and hopefully my bucket list trip would include a few as well.
cabo fishing trips
Salmon Falls Resort is the perfect all-inclusive Alaska Salmon and Halibut fishing experience. Located thirty minutes outside Ketchikan along Alaska's famed Inner Passage, this all-inclusive resort should be a staple on any angler's bucket list.
The waters of the Inner Passage remain calm for the most part, leaving the chaos to the fishing. Once hooked, Salmon zip and dive in every direction in a fight to snap your line.
After battling these cold-water predators, head back to the comforts of Salmon Falls Resort and The Timbers, the onsite, full-service restaurant. Kick back in the spacious and homey rooms, or head out on the deck to take in the scenery. You may even catch the Northern Lights, another reason Salmon Falls takes #8 on my bucket list.
You'll hate to leave, but the best Bloody Mary Seward's Ice Box has to offer should help smooth things over:
The Silver King. Known to haunt bucket lists with a knack for remaining uncaught, Tarpon are the #1 species for many. With brute power and vicious athleticism, you'll need to prepare yourself and your tackle for the fight of a lifetime.
Captain Jarad "Dingo" Boshammar, a full-time fly and light tackle guide in Jupiter, FL, knows what it takes to seal the deal. A native Aussie, Captain Dingo cut his teeth billfishing on the Great Barrier Reef for Granders (Marlin over 1,000 lbs).
He applies the same work ethic and dedication to catch-and-release Tarpon hunting that makes this trip a Bucket Lister to me. Not to mention, Captain Dingo's a pretty cool dude to spend a day on the water with.
World-class Yellowfin Tuna, Bluefin Tuna, and Yellowtail fishing make San Diego a bucket list destination without a doubt. Fishing in comfort aboard the 50' Easter B with Captain Nick and crew is an added plus.
Things are heating up for the 2020 San Diego season, and I can't wait to get out there. You can check out Captain Nick's tips for catching giant Bluefin Tuna here, but my biggest takeaway is, "get in shape!"
When fighting to survive, these giants will make you earn it. Fair enough from the fish of a lifetime.
Head out of San Juan Bay past historic Fort Morro, count to 10, and you'll be trolling for Blue Marlin in 1,000 feet of water.
The mouth of San Juan Bay opens up to the 8th deepest waters in the world and the deepest in the Atlantic Ocean, the Puerto Rico Trench.
Sinking to a total (known) depth of 27,493 feet, this 1,090 mile-long, 60 mile-wide prehistoric trench is prime Marlin territory. At ~75 miles off the coast of Puerto Rico, it only takes a few minutes before you're on the edges fishing over 1,000 feet of water within cell service and eyesight of Puerto Rico's white sand beaches.
Captain Angel's fished these waters his entire life. Join him aboard his 45' Egg Harbor, "Teaser", to spread the outriggers, go 7-lines wide, and catch and release some Marlin.
Arguably the best all-around fishery in the world, Venice fishing charters have it all. From inshore fishing for Bull Redfish, to offshore charters reeling in giant Yellowfin Tuna, Swordfish, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, and much, much, more, you'll need to spend a lifetime in Venice to experience it all.
My bucket list Venice trip is a full-day offshore charter for Yellowfin Tuna with Captain Chandler. Captain Chandler runs a 39' Yellowfin center-console with triple Yamaha 300-horsepower outboards; the thrill of gliding south out of the Mississippi River Delta must be a trip in and of itself.
Once offshore, its only a matter of time before Yellowfin Tuna and Blackfin Tuna slam your free-lined chunk bait in Captain Chandler's chum slick. When your reel screams, click up on the drag to set the hook, and get your mind right!
Switching gears from chasing Yellowfin Tuna offshore, #3 on my bucket list is fly fishing the rivers, lakes, and streams of Montana and Wyoming. It was impossible to pick just one Trip Listing here, so I went with Nate of Trout on the Fly's Madison River Full-Day Walk-and-Wade in Yellowstone National Park.
Everything about these trips is truly draw-dropping. The scenery, the history, the fishing, the company, the ecology, and the fish. There's so much to learn across so many fields that hiring a talented, experienced, and friendly guide like Nate and his team is even more valuable than usual.
The true bucket list splurge lies in exploring the rivers of Yellowstone National Park and Southwest Montana for a few days or more. Stay a while and fish the Madison, Missouri, Bighorn, Yellowstone, Gallatin, Gibbon, Ruby, and Jefferson Rivers, as well as multiple gorgeous alpine lakes.
It's truly unique to find an outfitter with such a vast territory and abundance of knowledge. I hope to take advantage of these lifetime days on the water before I kick the can.
After a quick detour for some freshwater Trout, we're right back on the Tuna train, this time in tucked-away Chatham, Massachusetts.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a fishing town in the states with a stronger fishing pedigree than Chatham, MA. Located on the "elbow" of Cape Cod, Native Americans survived here thanks in part to the healthy and sustainable local fishery.
While the local Striper fishery is world-class, the Bluefin Tuna scene is the real big-leagues. The fishing's tough, heartbreaking, and all the more rewarding for it. These giant apex predators are intelligent, picky, and relentless on anglers, Captains, and their gear. These are truly the fish of a lifetime, and I hope to bring one aboard Captain Drew's "Isla Grace" Contender after a hard-fought "Chatham Sleigh Ride" to weigh it up at Ryder's Cover.
Numero Uno. The ultimate Bucket Lister. The Jungle Experience deep in the heart of the Bolivian Amazon.
This excursion has it all: Jungle plane rides to remote airstrips, practically untouched wild rivers, unbelievably rich starry night skies, delicious gourmet meals, professional and charismatic guides trained in Ecology and Conservation, local indigenous guides, and ferocious giant Golden Dorado (and other amazing Amazonian species).
I first met Federico at Troutfest in 2019 along the Guadalupe River. His videos of giant Golden Dorado stopped me dead. I watched the clips he streamed on his flatscreen, flipped through his pictures, and asked a million questions. The shots of anglers technically stalking these golden, torpedo-shaped fish while hiding in the brush along the banks or behind giant flood-deposited boulders ran away with my imagination. Ever since, I've considered joining Federico and Angling Frontiers in the jungle as something I must do before time's up.
That being said, part of the draw of this trip is the level of fly fishing technique necessary to make the most of the experience. It would be the letdown of a lifetime to fly into Santa Cruz de la Sierra, fly out to the Casare River, hike up and down its banks, spot a Golden Dorado feeding frenzy (they hunt in packs to corner Sabalo baitfish), and then not be able to cast worth a damn, which is the current state of affairs...
These fish are fast, opportunistic, and toothy. To catch em, you need to zip giant streamers 30-40 feet accurately without false casting, strip them methodically to attract the bite, and then fight a predator species that's arguably the strongest pound-for-pound freshwater fish in the world. In addition, you have to work the fish around boulders and brush piles to bring them to hand.
Then comes the moment that brings it all full-circle: the "Grip & Grin". Lifting these brutes should be an Olympic sport in and of itself.
It's also an art: the breathtaking patterns of the Golden Dorado are why they're referred to as "El Tesoro" (The Treasure). Their chrome-plated skulls, gills, and eyes are the true color of gold. Their hefty, chunky frame alludes to their status in the Casare River's food chain. Their jagged teeth command respect and retire streamers after one successful use.
Spend some time taking in each of these photos and you'll be hard-pressed not to commit to taking this trip at some point in your life.
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Thanks for reading our Captain Experiences bucket list and we look forward to helping you with yours!