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Lake El Salto, Lake Picachos, The Amazon and Crystal River: February 2024

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Mexico bass fishing remained hot, the Amazon peacock season came to a close and the snook, trout and redfish at Crystal River, Florida, saw lots of action. The Crystal River manatees were enjoying their winter home in Kings Bay in huge numbers.

Peacock bass in the 20-plus pound category were boated and Lake Picachos saw two 14-plus pounders landed. Lakes El Salto and Picachos continue with big fish and big numbers. Spring has sprung in Crystal River with the manatees still loitering around in the shallows and the fishing strong.

From our February Amazon guests

Chuck Rod, just one of many Anglers Inn guests in Brazil, shows off one of his giant peacock bass catches. Water conditions for the Rio Negro were prime and the weather was extremely cooperative.

Vic Hood joined in on the action with catches of trophy peacock bass.

Brian Noble Marx was not left out.

All peacock bass caught on an Anglers Inn outing are released in super condition back into the river. This one took a brief moment before being released to be measured at over 31 inches (79 cm).

The 2024-2025 season is already being booked so call 1-800-GOTA-FISH (1-800-468-2347) and reserve your spot. The yacht is a 5-star hotel on the water with a full-time executive chef preparing the most delicious meals.

An Anglers Inn peacock bass adventure is all-inclusive once you land in Manaus, Brazil. Ground air, lodging, guides, meals, custom bass boats and tackle are all part of the package.

It’s not all peacock bass fishing. The sights and wildlife are unbelievable.

The excitement created by two 14-pound catches at Lake Picachos, plus plenty of 8- to 10-pounders at both lakes in February, never died down. February provided plenty of triple-digit bass days per boat and super trophies.

The topwater bite hit with a vengeance and the bass could not resist a Berkley Choppo or Rico topwater. Old reliables like the 10-inch PowerWorm, Senko and swimbait never failed to produce. Just bring your Abu Garcia reels spooled with Berkley line. You're free to use the St. Croix BASS X rods at the lodge.

From our February Lake El Salto trip guests’ reports

Bruce White returned for his fourth El Salto trip with Anglers Inn and brought three guests. They had great success with a swimbait with a white jig head and down spinner, plus green pumpkin and chartreuse soft baits. “I’m already working on booking next year's trip,” said Bruce. “I caught my personal El Salto bass, weighing in at 8 pounds, 11 ounces.”

Jerry Poehlman, another repeat Anglers Inn customer, enjoyed Lake El Salto with friend his Jim Bostian. The pair relied mostly on swimbaits and deep cranks with their largest catch a hair under nine pounds.

One trip to an Anglers Inn lodge is never enough. Jason and Shannon Milliken returned for the food, service and fish. Reported Shannon: “On our first casts, Jason caught a 7.02 and I caught a 6.11, so the trip started off great. On the last day, we had a little friendly competition. I won with 54 fish and Jason had 48 totaling 102 fish for the day. Most were in the 4 to 6-pound range. My last two casts of the evening brought in a 6.05 and a 6.13 so it was a great way to end the day.” Soft plastics were their main focus along with an occasional chatterbait. The husband and wife are already looking at next January for a return to Anglers Inn and the celebration of their anniversary.

From our February Lake Picachos trip guests’ reports

Pat Sleeper returned to Lake Picachos for her annual January jaunt to Anglers Inn just weeks after her successful December trip. It was her best Lake Picachos trip. “I caught this 14-pound, 3-ounce bass while fly fishing. I was stripping an intermediate line with a chartreuse bead head on a size 8 black leach,” reported Pat. “I was using a 15-pound tippet as requested by my guide Diego when I landed this beauty. It was an overcast day, though the clouds had disappeared for a bit at the time of my catch and landing of this wonderful bass. Trust me when I say it put up quite a fight, but fun!!! I can't wait to go back!!!”

Repeat guests Mark and Kim Owens proved that Lake Picachos is more, much more, than a numbers lake. Big fish for the couple topped out at 14.14 pounds. “Yes, I did get my personal best, and finally got into the teen club!” exclaimed Mark. “This was our 20th season at Anglers Inn and we are booked for next year already. If you love to fish, El Salto and Lake Picachos are a must. We caught 881 fish in 4 and a half days of fishing. My wife is very competitive, and yes, we count every fish!!! Her big fish was an 8 pound with sevens on down. She caught two fish on one cast with a crankbait, multiple times. It's that good of fishing. I would put her up against anyone out there. We bass fish twice a week here at home. Hardcore for sure. The accommodations and the service are perfecto!!! I will be dreaming of this trip for a long time. Thanks Billy, for having the vision.”

Added Kim: “Mark caught his big fish on the last cast of the last day. YES, every cast counts!!! Our guide was more excited than we were, if you can believe that. Best fishing of our lives!!! Crazy.”

From our Lake El Salto/Lake Picachos combo trip guests

Steven and Jean Vittetow enjoyed both lakes in one week.

Crystal River with Suite Life on the Water

Joe Thomas shared some video taken on his January trip to the Floating Suites. The entire show will be found on the Outdoor Channel this next season. Look for Reel in the Outdoors with Joe Thomas for current and future shows.

Scalloping in the Kings Bay area around Crystal River opens July 1. It’s time to make reservations for this popular sport that produces scrumptious dining of fresh scallop. Call 1-800-GOTA-FISH to reserve the Anglers Inn Floating Suites.

The Anglers Inn Journal

Don’t forget to read The Anglers Inn Journal, or read it again! The premier issue can be found here.

Anglers Inn University

Anglers Inn University classes are conducted until April. Industry expert George Large will take you through any of the six courses offered at our campus in Crystal River, at Pete’s Pier. Go to Anglers Inn University Crystal River Campus to learn how to take your fishing experience to the next level. It’s a great way to introduce fishing to a friend, child or significant other.

Our sponsors

Anglers Inn is proud to be associated with the following manufacturers: Abu Garcia,Berkley, Fishing Tackle Retailer, Huk, Humminbird, MinnKota, Mossy Oak Fishing, Old Town, Penn, Plano and St. Croix Rods.

Friday 5s on

Don’t forget to check the Stories section of our News tab for our Friday 5s. These short narratives are a part of our social media program and readers can go to one location to see the entire inventory as the Friday 5s stories continue to grow in number and popularity. Friday 5s help our guests plan for their trips, guide them on packing needs, and answer questions we typically receive. Friday 5s are featured in our social media posts every other Friday.

Friday Flicks

Our Friday Flicks presents new and archived short videos produced at our destinations. Check our social media for Friday Flicks every other Friday, taking turns with our Friday 5s.

Social Media

Make it your routine to check Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly known as Twitter) for updated posts on the happenings at the various Anglers Inn destinations and services. We typically post on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. On alternating Fridays, we feature our Friday 5s—the top five things you need to know about a wide range of topics, and our Friday Flicks.