We landed in Managua, rented a Toyota Hilux and drove the almost 6 hours to Sabalos on the San Juan River. We unloaded our gear into our river boats and drove upriver to the fishing lodge. The next five days would follow a very similar pattern as we were on the hunt for giant Tarpon.
Wake up at 4:30 am for breakfast then hit the water. Fish hard until 11 am. Head back to the lodge for lunch and a siesta. Around 2 pm back out on the water until dark. Dinner, drinks, sleep, repeat.
We fished primarily with Rapala’s Super Shadrap and over the five days of fishing, we caught enormous Snook, Alligator Gar, and 2 Tarpon. The days on the river were long and the weather was intense. The sun could fry your skin one hour, then a torrential jungle rainstorm would roll in and completely drench your boat. I would not recommend fishing on the Rio San Juan without a roll top dry bag. You should also bring as much sunshade as possible.
When I finally hooked up on my Tarpon, I was treated to a 45-minute fight. My fish breached multiple times putting on a show for everyone watching. When we finally got it to the side of the boat, it was too heavy to fully lift out of the water. We unhooked the beast and let it swim off to fight another day.
Alex Svenson and Luke Wilson walking from camp down to the river
Early Morning troll down the Rio San Juan
Rio San Juan at dawn
Alex discussing game plan for the day
Luke deciding his next move
Luke with his Alligator Gar looking fish
Blake with a large Snook
Blake with Snook weighing over 20 pounds
Alex hooks up on a Tarpon
Blake hooks up on a Tarpon
Tarpon breach again
Finally land a tarpon
Sun sets on the Rio San Jaun