WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE!

I love fishing in Central America, especially in Nicaragua, and especially at the magnificent Rio Indio Lodge, where I was based last week with a group of 8 friends. Statistically we had booked the very best week of the fall tarpon run and should have had numerous shots at big fish each day, but unfortunately hurricane Matthew put the spoiler on that. At one stage this intense low pressure system was based just 300 miles to the east of us, off the coast of Venezuela, and while we experienced mostly bright and sunny weather with very little wind, the ground swell was enormous. This and and the very air low pressure clearly affected the fishing in the ocean.

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Jungle fishing!

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Paul Bowen and Phil Byrne fishing for bass

Several tarpon were caught and several others were lost, I managed a beautiful fish estimated at 130lb on the last day, which made my trip.

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Hook up!

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A very nice last day fish.

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Rosendo, my guide for the week, holds my fish prior to release

The beauty with a trip based at Rio Indio Lodge is that when the ocean is inaccessible you can alway fish within the jungle, which is an amazing experience. The very best months for this are February through April, the end of the dry season when the water levels within the jungle are at their lowest. October is the end of the wet season and far from ideal for targeting most jungle species, but the guides do know several areas that can and do produce fish in high water conditions, and that’s where we fished.

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Access to some of the more remote lagoons can be an issue, requiring attention with a machete!

On one or two days we enjoyed excellent fishing amidst pristine jungle, in areas rarely if ever visited. We caught some great rainbow bass, aka guapote. One day myself and boat partner Andrew Leaves boated 17, including many over 4lb, the biggest probably close to 6lb.

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Andrew with a fine rainbow bass.

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And another one…

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One of 17 rainbow bass all caught during one day lure fishing.

In addition to rainbow bass most days produced a few high jumping machaca and colourful mojara, along with one or two snook and a few other species, all of which fight hard when hooked on lures using light tackle.

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A nice lure caught machaca, think chub with teeth!

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One of several lure caught mojara.

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Spinner baits such as this are perfect for most jungle species, and are very effective in thick cover as they are virtually snag free when fished amidst dense cover.

The lodge itself was, as always, truly outstanding with first class accommodation and amazing food, not to mention a free rum bar stocked with my favourite Flor de Cana 7-year rum. This was my 6th trip to Nicaragua, my 4th to Rio Indio Lodge, and I know just how good the tarpon fishing can be in what is now officially Central America’s safest country. I am already looking forward to my next trip there.

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A trio of white faced monkeys, common in the area we fished along with howler and spider monkeys.

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Thats lunch sorted!

Nicaragua is featured in my new book, Destination Angler, get in touch if you would like to order a copy. For more information on fishing here visit http://therioindiolodge.com Trips can be booked through Anglers World Holidays Tel: 01246 221717 or visit: http://anglersworld.tv All of my scheduled group trips for 2017 are now fully booked, and we are starting to plan group trips for 2018. These will certainly include several destinations throughout Central America, get in touch if you would like to join us.DAVE LEWIS DUSTJACKET 1DAVE LEWIS DUSTJACKET 2