Fishing trip to Jurassic Lake in Argentina

Denis Isbister from Wild Fish Wild Places tells us about his incredible, yet strenuous fishing trip to Jurassic Lake in Argentina.

“The southern end of the Patagonia region close to El Calafate is one of the most unforgiving and inhospitable areas I’ve ever visited in my fishing career. Dry, windy, barren and all around tough conditions make it a much uninhabited area, with the exception of sheep ranches and GIANT rainbow trout!”

According to Denis, Estancia Laguna Verde is the home base of operations for Lago Strobel, or as most have come to call it “Jurassic Lake.” The lodge has many fishing lagoons and depending on the time of year, the creeks are full of great fishing opportunities. Most people go there to chase the big trouts.

Denis, along with his buddy Martin, a 6 year veteran to Elv lodge, decided to make a hike one day to an area they call “the island” and the “aquarium.” Only a small handful of people have fished it the entire season due to the difficulty of the hike. It’s a 3-mile hike over treacherous boulder piles and slick rocks. The guys main focus was getting to the lake to go fishing.


Even though the guys were tired from hiking they were determined to go fishing. The next day they drove as far as they could and loaded up their packs for the day. As they made their way down the giant boulder field crawling over rocks, and jumping in between crevasse’s they could hear the splashing of fish eating on the surface. That alone was enough to kick the adrenaline in to overdrive and keep them moving toward their first spot called “the island.”

“As we approached our spot Martin spotted the first fish immediately and lined Dreu up on the mark. As he pulled his olive jig fly loose from his rod and made a cast it was almost automatic, like the fish have never seen a fly….oh wait they haven’t! The fish turned with reckless abandonment and ate the fly like it hadn’t had a meal in a week. The fight was on the fish got airborne 4 or 5 times and made some fast runs finally giving up to the net and Dreu had his first 12 pounder of the trip”



The morning went on like this for a while with more 8 to 12 pound rainbows getting landed. For the smaller trout the Okuma Celilo rod and the Okuma Inspira reel was used. For the larger trout the Okuma SST Trout rod and the Okuma Helios reel was used.

Denis decided he wanted to explore the area a little so he took his producer and started walking around. “We found a great spot high on the rocks with a deep water shelf within close proximity, perfect for big fish! As we looked around we spotted a nice fish cruising the shoreline and started making some casts to it. After a few rejections we changed colors and started back in with an olive bead head wooly bugger with brown hackle and a brown tail. I made a few casts and finally he bought it, the hook set and the fight was on. This fish knew the game, he immediately took me into the closest rock pile trying to break me free, then the next rock pile and again the next rock pile. This went on for 3 rounds in 4 different rock piles as I chased him one direction trying to keep him locked in when finally, I tired him out. Martin came to the rescue with the net job and landed this Jurassic Lake monster of 18 pounds.

What a day for a hike!

National Walleye Tour Round 1 with Okuma Pro Dan Hassevoort

         Okuma Inspired Fishing and Savage Gear Pro Dan Hassevoort is gearing up for round one of the National Walleye Tour in Sandusky, Ohio on Lake Erie. The National Walleye Tour is the top stage in professional Walleye fishing and Okuma Pro Dan Hassevoort knows what it takes to be competitive fishing against the world’s top anglers.


Okuma Pro Dan Hassevoort

Okuma Pro Dan Hassevoort

Radio: So Dan where is your head at right now just before you leave for a tournament of this magnitude?

Dan: Well, right now it’s all about getting the right gear together to be prepared for anything at this time of the year. You could find yourself jigging on the reef systems for spawning females or trolling deep water for the big females that already moved off the reefs. It’s all about timing and you have to assess the situation once you get there. My trolling arsenal is composed of the Okuma Cold Water Low Pro files CW-354D paired up with the Okuma Dead Eye Trolling Rod DE-CBR-861-MT.

Okuma Cold Water Low Profile Line Counter Reel

Okuma Cold Water Low Profile Line Counter Reel

Radio: Why is this particular trolling combo so important to you and your fishing?

Dan: You need a rod that is versatile so you can be pulling planer boards and crank baits at one moment and then change up to lead core or snap weights. The DE-CBR 861-MT allows me to do all of that. The Cold Water Low Profile CW-354D gives me the perfect retrieve speed to get those big females in without horsing them but not taking too much time to allow the Walleye to work itself free. The low profile has enough line capacity to hold up to three colors of lead core which is more than enough to target the deep water tournament winning walleyes.

Okuma Cold Water and

Okuma Cold Water and

Okuma Inspired Fishing Pro Dan Hassevoort is a former 2008 FLW Angler of the Year so winning is nothing new to this angler.

Radio: I understand that you like to jig deep reefs.  What is the best program for jigging the reefs?

Dan: I like the Trio 20 paired up with the 7 foot Dead Eye Jigging rod DE-S-701-MFT – I like the longer rod because I can vertical jig this rod and  it gives me a good casting range for throwing cranks baits or Savage Gear Fat Vibes over the top of the reefs.

Savage Gear Fat Vibe

Savage Gear Fat Vibe

Radio: What kind of baits will you be using at this tournament?

Dan: Well, with the water being as cold as it is now I think crank baits will probably be the ticket. Trolling the Savage Gear 4 Play on lead core will be a go to bait along with the Savage Gear Manic Prey. If I am fishing on the reefs the Savage Gear Fat Vibes are pretty effective along with the Sand Eels on lead head jigs.

Savage Gear Fat Vibe

Savage Gear Fat Vibe


Savage Gear Sand Eel

Savage Gear Sand Eel

Savage Gear Manic Prey

Savage Gear Manic Prey

Radio: Lake Erie is home to some of the biggest Walleyes in the country, so Dan, what is it going to take to win an event against the world’s top anglers?

Dan: Well my target weight for two days of competition for five fish is going to be 40 to 45 pounds which is a difficult task but that’s what it is going to take to win this event along with some long runs across some brutally rough water.

Dan Hassevoort

Dan Hassevoort


Dan Hassevoort has been on the Okuma and Savage Gear Pro Staff for a couple of years now, and has made us very proud up in the Midwest. 



Wire-to-Wire Victory for Lassagne at the B.A.S.S. State Championship

Weighing limits of 13-10, 11-10 and 12-4 at the B.A.S.S. Nation Regional Championship, Mark Lassagne from San Ramon, Calif. On the final day edged out Rod Brown and Jason Hemminger as the California State Boater champion advancing to the B.A.S.S. Nation Nationals. Lassagne also earned the A.R.E. Top Angler award of $250 as the top-finisher, using the brand’s truck caps.


Lassagne stated he had one goal this week, which was to win his state and advance to the Nationals for a shot to compete at the 2017 Bassmaster Classic. He added that he was very proud of his travel partner Michael Coleman who earned the non-boater championship for California. They will both be traveling back to the national event together.

“The practice session at Lake Mead started out tough,” said Lassagne. “I only landed a few fish each day, but those few fish gave me the confidence to expand on what little I found.”

The key was fishing into the fish rather than what’s happening right now. So many times we fish the fish that are biting right now, but are moving away from that pattern. Lassagne figured with the nice weather the fish would be on the move to spawn, but he knew most anglers would be targeting the usual spawning places. With that in mind he decided to look for the out of the way spots, those subtle places that others wouldn’t look. Each day after boating a limit, he had to search for new water for the next day as each of his spots only held a fish or two.

“I found all of my spots using my 1040XS Garmin,” he stated. “The depth shading option on the Garmin was the key. Since the lake was over a 100 ft down, the normal mapping would show the coves going way back but with the depth shading you could see exactly where each cove ended.”

Lassagne’s fish were caught in less than 2 ft of water on a 5 inch, green pumpkin Yamamoto Senko.

The western pro had his plastic wacky-rigged on a Gamakatsu #2 dropshot hook with 10 lb braid married to 8 lb Sunline fluorocarbon spooled on a 7 ft, medium-action Okuma Helios spinning rod and a 2500 Helios spinning reel.

Helios Spinning


“The Helios set up played an important role in my success as I needed a sensitive rod and a reel that could make a long cast,” added Lassagne. “I would position the boat about 30 yds. from the back of a cove and cast the open-hook Senko on to the bank. I would drag it in the water to about a foot deep, wait for about 30 seconds, make another cast and then head to the next cove.”

Helios SPinning Rod


Follow Mark Lassagne on Facebook or at


Marine Bass Angler – Mark Lassagne, from San Ramon, California is a popular pro bass angler, former US Marine, outdoor writer, guide, promoter and top competitor. In addition Mark is the editor-in-chief of Bass Angler Magazine

Lassagne’s Victory With The Okuma Helios Rod And Reel At The California B.A.S.S State Qualifier

lassagne _Okuma



Mark Lassagne qualifies for B.A.S.S. Federation State Team at the California Delta.

A one-two punch claims tidal water trophy.

The decision to stick with two techniques and two areas paid off for the Yamamoto pro, as the event’s anglers found the tidal water system fishing small and tough.

Lassagne’s one-two punch included two Yamamoto presentations – a Senko in depths from 10 to 30 ft and a Flappin’ Hog for shallow punch fish.

The strategy earned Lassagne 12.8 lbs on day one, rocketing him 4 lbs above his nearest competitor. The final day he came to the scales with a limit of 11 lbs, widening his gap by nearly 5 lbs and claiming victory with a tournament total of 24.9lbs.

“It’s not often when you can win a California Delta event with 25 lbs for two days, said Lassagne. “I did it in a limited area, grinding out a limit each day.”

Lassagne tempted the deeper bass with a wacky-rigged, 5 inch, watermelon red Senko, using a Gamakatsu wide gap finesse weedless hook and a River2Sea 1/16 oz nail weight. He fished the plastic on an Okuma Helios medium-action spinning rod, paired with a Helios HX-25 spinning reel spooled with 8 lb fluorocarbon.

The punch rig consisted of a green pumpkin/red Flappin’ Hog on a Gamakatsu Super Heavy Duty 3/0 hook with a bobber stopper and a River2Sea 1 oz Trash Bomb. His punch gear was the Okuma 7.11 Heavy Matt Daddy rod, coupled with a Helios 8.1:1 reel, spooled with 65 lb braid.

Lassagne found himself in cooling temps, gin clear water and flat-calm conditions. This prompted him to head over to an out-of-the-way marina.

Although his strength is flippin’ and punchin’, Lassagne was metering fish in 20 ft on his Garmin 1040 XS and knew he had to go with a deep-water finesse presentation.

Targeting the banks was a popular choice for other contenders; but Lassagne stuck to the deeper water, fishing open slips and backs of boats.

“I was tossing the rig up, letting it sink on a slack line and then waiting for it to start swimming away,” he recalled. “Even though the bite was tough, having the right equipment played a huge role in my success. It started with my rod. The Helios is so light and sensitive, it played a big part in me being able to detect the bite.”

At 11 a.m., Lassagne had a small limit and his co-angler had two keepers, when he decided to go punching to improve his weight. With a short amount of time and a small bite window, he ran about 25 miles to a dead-end slough, fishing slow until the tide started to turn.

“The shallow fish didn’t start to bite until the tide was coming in,” he shared.

Around 12:30 p.m. he got his first shallow punch fish – a 3 ½ pounder. During the next hour, he boated another 3 lb’r. The clocked ticked down, showing only 10 minutes of fish time remaining, when he landed two more largemouth – a 2 ½ and a 3.

Day Two

Day Two

The night brought in a big northern storm with heavy rain that gave way to sunshine and windy conditions.

With a good high tide, Lassagne decided to forgo the marina bass and head straight to the shallow punch fish.

“I figured it would take a few bigger fish to seal the win,” he stated.

Making a short run from the ramp, Lassagne landed a quick 2 lb’r and gained the confidence to swing for the shallow punch bite. “My next two stops failed to produce any fish; but it didn’t deter me, I know that’s the way it is when you’re fishing for better quality fish,” he said.

The next stop put Lassagne along an inside bend used for fall to winter transition. It was a productive area, landing Lassagne four bass.

As it hit the mid-day mark, Lassagne felt he had a lock on the win with 11 lbs in the well. His co had not fared as nicely and no keepers in the boat. Lassagne returned to the marina, allowing the co three hours to fish for a limit.

Within the hour, his co was culling and ended the two-day event in 2nd place on the non-boater side.

Okuma Makaira Slays 537-lb. Gulf of Mexico Bluefin Tuna

Here’s an awesome report we got recently on a big fish catch:

Hey guys,

 I thought I would share this with you…

See the attached pictures.  We caught this 537 pound Gulf of Mexico Bluefin Tuna 5.1.15 on an Okuma Makaira 50W with a stand-up harness.

Bluefin are rarely hooked in the Gulf and almost never landed because of the deep water they have access to allows them to spool almost every reel they encounter.  My Mak 50WII reel has about 800 yards of braid on the bottom and it took us down to a very narrow spool a few times.  Towards the end of the fight it was putting out 35 lbs. of drag and we later measured 46 lbs. when it was being winched up to the surface after it died.  The reel performed flawlessly and my friend did an awesome job fighting this thing stand-up on a relatively small reel.  We had some transmission problems so we had to walk the rod around the outriggers to the bow and fought the fish there for 45 minutes or so.  The fish was literally putting the stationary boat and we watched the line pour off the reel as there was nothing we could do.  Finally, we got the boat moving again and walked it back to the stern where the captain chased the fish and it eventually died about 3.5 hours in.  We flipped the adjust-a-butt to the bent butt position and winched the fish up in low gear inch by inch for the next hour because there was so much pressure on the line.

Finally, after dark, we saw the tail wrapped fish and pulled the beast through the door!  At the end of the fight, the drag was still silky smooth.  I was very impressed with the Makaira’s performance.  I have some other local Texas Captains buying some Makairas after they got word of this.  I will be buying some more soon but I may need a few 80WII for next year!

Capt. Clayton Meis

8-year-old Fishes First Tournament With Dad

Here’s a feel good read from Okuma Pro Staffer Anthony Hunt:

My name is Anthony Hunt, 5-Star Chef and FLW Tournament Angler. My days are spent cooking, parenting and practicing for tournaments everyday. I’m a father of 3 boys and one baby girl. Turns out my 8-yr-old Marlei just happens to be in love with tournament bass fishing. I wonder why?  From the age of 5 Marlei has been asking to fish, as he says, in “Big Boy Tournaments”. Something we dream about doing together 5oz(Dad) and 2.5oz (son) – the hunt tag team.

Fast forward to 2015  and our dream came true. We fished our first tournament at Holiday Park Florida in the King Of The Glades Tournament Team Trail. I had to set up a phone conference with the tournament and sign legal paper work for this to happen. After all he’s only 8-yrs-old! So we get confirmed and we are so pumped – its Game time!

Our practice was flawless and our game plan was simple: just go fishing. I told Marlei to fish his favorite Lures, of course he picks up a Gary Yamamoto 5” Black Kut Tail Worm Shaky Head and D-Shads. To be completely honest Marlei helped us find most of our big feeding fish spots fishing his strengths. It’s so important to let young anglers evolve into the anglers they are destined to be.

We spent most of the night rigging all 21 of our Okuma rod and reels. It’s 1:00 am and we had a 5:00 am wake up time, but that didn’t matter to Marlei. So the alarm never sounds off for me, because I was greeted by a living alarm called Marlei Hunt. “Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad wake up wake up!” Mind you, he was fully dressed. He definitely has the Bass Bug.

So as we pull up to the boat ramp, I notice all the anglers just couldn’t stop looking at us. Most were really impressed and excited Marlei was fishing his first “big boy” tournament. I just couldn’t stop smiling. If you have kids you’d know what I’m feeling.

We are boat 36 and we run to our first spot, nothing. Second spot, bingo! We caught a ton of keepers, just not much size. Out of 60 boats I think we finished in the top 20. Marlei was satisfied with our finish despite the 8-lb.+ bass he lost at the boat. So it looks like we are Tournament Partners already and I’m a Happy Daddy.

I would like to take this time to address the fathers or mothers who are wanting and are actively fishing with their kids. Some things to keep in mind if you want to keep them as fishing partners.

1. Keep soccer daddy or mom locked up. I stopped  myself from being that guy. It sucks for our kids when its about how much you want them too be you overnight. It isn’t going to happen on your pace for them. Shut up and let your kids enjoy and have fun.

2. When they ask you more than once to go home, go! Think about it, how is your kid going to understand fishing when you’re having all the fun hunting for big Momma and the fish are not biting fast enough for them. Take them home and let them play something else , and thank them for going fishing. Even though later on down the line they’ll honor the times you took them, build the memory and that’s how you make them fall in love with the sport. Trust me Marlei remembers everything: “Hey Dad do you remember the time you caught the orange and red Snuffaluffagus from under the brown dock daddy? Huh huh? So I’m like “Yeah man I do, lets go try to catch another one!”

I love fishing with my son, more than anyone. I didn’t have a dad to take me fishing, so this is extra special for me. I know one thing fishing at an early age literally saved my life and kept me off the streets.

Anthony Hunt aka 5oz.

Okuma’s Mark Lassagne Drags Home New Triton/Mercury Boat with Win

Mark’s 35lbs of bass helped spur the California team to a 1st place finish at the BASS Western Divisional on Clear Lake.

Mark’s main technique was fishing spawning coves looking for fish moving up in grass and then ripping vibrating baits through the grass provoking a reaction strike.

“The bite was tough where you needed to land every single bite making your equipment the most important part of the equation,” Lassagne said.  Using the Okuma 7’ 11” TCS Power Crank coupled with 8.1:1 Helios Reel and 15-lb. fluorocarbon line, Mark was able to land 7 of the 8 bites, which is pretty darn good using treble hooked baits.

The 7’11” Power Crank coupled with the Helios 8.1:1 reel is the perfect combination rod for yo-yoing vibrating baits, you can cast this set up a mile, the rod has the perfect tip action and a backbone to get the big ones hooked up and in the boat.  Many pros lock their drag down because they don’t trust the reel – not the case with the Helios. Mark would set the drag pretty tight and let the big ones strip line just enough so they wouldn’t pull out the hooks, the Helios smooth drag was key to landing more bites.

Team Ballast Point Takes Down SWBA Long Beach Event

Okuma Pro’s Mike Lane and Scott Pethtel of Ballast Point Spirits Fishing Team just finished up round 3 of the SWBA season with an impressive win in not so favorable conditions. SWBA’s round 3 was based out of Long Beach, tournament hours were from 4pm to 12am. This event also had boundaries from Laguna Beach SMR to Rat’s Beach in Redondo. We asked them to break down there night and game plan going into this event.

“We knew it was going to be windy and rough all night,” Pethtel said. “We really only had two choices: one, we run to Palos Verdes and fish calico’s till the sun goes down and then settle into Long Beach and fish sand bass, or two, scratch the calico’s and run south to Huntington and Newport and fish sand bass for the whole event. We figured most teams would try and protect themselves at the breakwall so we decided to get away from the crowds and just go for it. Our plan was to run to Huntington and start off on some stones on the beach and then head for some deeper reef spots in Newport.”

Well the decision to run south paid off. “We started out pretty slow, but once the sun went down it went full speed,” Lane said. “Between 7 and 11 pm we had gone through 40 fish and had culled about 15 times. We were throwing Big Pancho 6.5” “Crooked Tail” swimbaits matched to 3 oz Bladerunner swimbait heads, all on Okuma 350 Komodo reels loaded with 65-lb. braid. The 24 lbs. of drag on the Komodo’s was crucial as the fish had no chance to get us in the reef, even in 80’ of water.”

When it was all over Mike and Scott brought to the scales 25.80 lbs. of sand bass, just edging out the current leaders and securing the title for Round 3. As defending 2014 Anglers of the Year in the SWBA, this win pulls them within 20 points of the current leader with two more events left in the season. You can follow Lane and Pethtel on Facebook at Ballast Point Spirits Fishing Team.

Shore Thing Charters Continues Epic Fishing

Capt. Sonny Schindler of Shore Thing Fishing Charters out of Bay St. Louis, MS sent in some great reports and photos recently of some excellent fishing down in the gulf.  Check out his most recent blog post here:

Back to the Flats – Okuma Helios

Here is a great blog write by BD Outdoor’s Scott Goodwin on fishing the flats with the Okuma Helios line of spinning reels.

By Scott Goodwin

Throughout the history of my fishing obsession since I hit the saltier waters of Florida, I’ve enjoyed fishing the inshore flats and lagoons. Though the focus of my professional career has been focused on offshore fishing, I dabbled in inshore charters for a couple years. I ended up moving back to bigger boats offshore and just by the “nature of the beast”, my excursions inshore have been few and far between.

While watching a big dolphin charge into the spread from the side throwing a rooster tail off his forehead is hard to beat, the same rush can be had watching a redfish, snook or tarpon gulp your carefully positioned offering on the appropriate tackle.

This brings me to my story; I now live on a very tiny “creek” that leads out to the Indian River. We call it a creek because that sounds better than glorified ditch, but whatever one calls it is irrelevant, because it is my ticket to renew a love of inshore fishing…

Read the rest of the story and see more photos at the original post on BD Outdoors here: