I’ve been to many but not most of the top tournament bass fisheries in the United States – from Okeechobee to Guntersville to Rayburn/Fork/Toledo/Falcon to the Cal Delta to Table Rock and on and on and on. Nevertheless, there are several that I’ve inexplicably missed. For at least a decade I’ve wanted to fish both Clear Lake and Champlain, and nothing has really prevented me from going except too many other options. Champlain has been on the list so long that its spot at the top of the eastern “want list” has been usurped by the Thousand Islands.
I probably travel by airplane to fish more than the average angler, and I hope to do a lot more of it in the future – ideally to increasingly remote areas. Once you’re committed to flying, especially on regional or charter jets, the chances of bringing a full-sized rod tube decrease substantially. The lodge or charter operator might have quality gear, but if they don’t you better bring some good sticks of your own.
Prior to our west coast trip, my wife Hanna and her friend Cindy made a decision that we would not stop and see friends or family along the way – and certainly wouldn’t detour to find them. With only seven full days and two partial days to eat and drink our way from Seattle to San Francisco, there simply wouldn’t be time….and if we made an exception for one couple’s friends, it would only be fair to do it for the other’s. Therefore, they settled on a policy with no wiggle room.