Planning a fishing vacation, whether to one of your local lakes for a day or two or off to Brazil for a 15 day exotic excursion, can be a trying experience. How do you narrow down the choices to find the fishing destination that is right for you? After all, “fishing is not a matter of life and death, it is much more important than that.”
The easiest method of selecting a fishing destination is to begin by identifying your priorities. Do you want to fish Saltwater (surf, deep sea, reef) or Freshwater (lake, stream, river, etc.)? Are you going by yourself, or is this to be a group adventure?
If you are going as part of a group, it would be a good idea to sit down with everyone else who is going and discuss exactly what it is that each person wants out of the trip. It is not enough to simply decide you want great fishing, because that can mean very different things to different people.
Does great fishing mean catching a fish on nearly every cast, or catching only one fish all day–provided that one fish was trophy size? And what constitutes a “giant” fish to you? Would a 30-pound chinook salmon make you happy, or would it have to be a 50-pounder?
What fish species are you interested in trying to catch? Although this sounds like an overly simplistic question, it definitely needs to be discussed if this is to be a successful group outing. Do you want to catch lake trout, walleye, northern pike, bass, salmon? If members of the group have different ideas, you should pick a location that has multiple species available.
What is your preferred method of fishing? (trolling, spin/bait casting, light tackle, fly fishing, etc.) Do you want to fish from shore, from a drift boat, canoe or raft, or wear full length waders and wade the currents and riffles?
Your level of fishing experience is also a determining consideration. Choosing the right guide to help with equipment choices and techniques is critical. The more experience you have, obviously the less advice and help you will need.
Other considerations include, will any non-fishing companions be joining you, and is this strictly a fishing trip or will other leisure or even business activities be involved?
A final consideration–what is your realistic budget? Let’s face it, money is a deciding factor for most of us. You need to be honest about how much you are prepared to spend–and how to spend it. If you have $2,000 to spend on a trip, do you want 3 days at Lodge X with all of the comforts of home, or 8 days in a tent camp where you cook your own meals, but have a better shot at catching trophy fish?
Finally, check to make certain that all of your equipment–particularly your rod and reel is in safe, working order. You might end up a long way from the nearest tackle shop. Check your line carefully, and restock that tackle box, especially hooks, flies, sinkers and lures depending on the species of fish you are after and the conditions you expect to encounter.