This past Saturday started out not unlike any other. At 4:00 AM I opened my eyes. It was there that a very different, very long and very exciting day, that had been in the planning stages for months, was set in motion. The Highlander was already packed from the night before and was sitting quietly on the launch pad. At 5:00 AM Lori (the newly dubbed “Iron Grandma”), and Louie (the Train) were up. After mass amounts of coffee and toaster strudels, were consumed we loaded up and headed southeast toward Licatoville and the sub-tropics. Anticipation was high as we embarked on this long awaited adventure. You can always tell just how high by the level of chatter coming from the back seat and trust me, yesterday morning it was extremely high! After almost three hours of what has now become a familiar drive, we arrived at Chris Licato’s doorstep in Coral Springs. After saying hello to Chris’s beautiful wife and daughter, Tami and Christa (Roxie), we transferred our fishing gear to his truck and headed out. First stop Weston for Peacock Bass. Louie ruled the numbers with seven.
The Iron Grandma took the biggest honors along with bragging rights with this beast.
Last week, Matt Sewell Owner of Sewell Custom Rods down in Fort Myers, Florida graciously sent Louie an absolutely beautiful, Sewell custom built rod, paired up with an Okuma, Trio-30 spinning reel and in anticipation of this fishing trip, told Louie to put it through it’s paces. Well Matt, I’m pleased to announce that he did and the rod performed like a dream. As you will see a little farther into this story, along with these magnificent Peacock Bass, he landed some monster Carp with it. If any of you out there are in the market for a state of the art custom rod that performs, check out Matt’s work on facebook @ www.facebook.com/.../108577349196593
Double your pleasure, double your fun!
These things fight like there’s no tomorrow.
I even caught a couple.
The ever-present Largemouth Bass. You catch them even when you’re not trying to.
From here it was off to Sunrise for freshwater Snook and Tarpon. And while neither cooperated, Louie did manage to catch a Mayan Cichlid.
And a small Largemouth.
No comment on this photo. Hey…It’s just fishing!
We did see plenty of Tarpon cruising by, in the 30-50 pound range, so maybe another time. We left Sunrise and headed back toward Coral Springs, for some late afternoon Snakehead action. Louie had mentioned wanting to catch another Carp, so Master Licato headed to a place where he believed we could find some big ones. A place he called “Berry World”. It’s a place where a certain type of berry falls from the trees into the water and the Carp come to eat them. And my goodness, they were there in large numbers and they were absolutely huge. As we made our way along the bank of a beautiful, clear water canal, beneath a canopy of lush tropical vegetation, stalking these huge fish, Louie hooked up first with this monster.
The Iron Grandma was not to be out-done. She was battling this huge beast (which was bigger than Louie’s) while Louie was posing for his photo.
Louie was determined to take top Carp honors and finally did with this trophy that we estimated to be around 35-40 pounds.
What an epic battle it was. Near the end of the twenty minute fight, Louie was lying flat on his back in the grass while still fighting the fish. Here’s Guide extraordinaire Licato, as he is helping to land the fish. Nope, he’s still not ready. Look at that boil in the water. They are awesome fish and put up an awesome fight. Probably as good as it gets in fresh water. By the way, after today “Berry World” has now been re-named “Carp World”!
As the sun was getting low in the western sky, Master Licato said it was time to go after some Snakeheads. So we headed a little farther north. We parked near some condos, tied on some Rage Tail Toads and set off on foot on an old abandoned golf course. The action was good, with some beautiful signature blow-ups and serious hook-ups. We went through a couple of bags of Rage Tail Toads.
Well, by now it was starting to get dark. The end of a long and wonderful day of fishing in the sub-tropics of Licatoville was near. I guess all good things must come to an end. From here it was back to Master Licato’s house for some Pizza and some of the best wings we’ve ever eaten. By this time it was a little after 9:00 PM and we had another three hours to drive. We said our good-byes, loaded up and headed home. Folks, this is truly a unique fishery. Unique to Asia, South America and to Southeast Florida. If you want to get in on some of this action and don’t want to pay the thousands of dollars to go do it in Asia or South America, give Chris Licato a call. You won’t be disappointed. He’s an awesome guide. Thanks for taking the time to read about our adventure I’m calling “Iron grandma & the Train to Licatoville”. And if I have anything to do with it, it won’t be the last.
Those are some nice fish and a heck of a group of anglers. Gotta love the south Florida slam, all of those fish are hard fighting and fun to catch! Thanks for the great story.