As much as I fish, there were two places that I dreamed of fishing. As a diehard bass fisherman, I’d heard for years about the pristine waters of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area on Minnesota’s northern border, legendary for giant smallmouth bass, pike and walleye that rarely see a lure in a vast 4 million acre wilderness that includes Quetico Provincial Park in Canada.
Even though I’m a bass guy, I love variety in fishing. And no destination offers more options than the Florida Keys, which lay claim to more saltwater fishing records than anywhere in the world. Add the fact that the Keys are literally a tropical paradise, and you quickly realize why generations of anglers have flocked here.
Last fall, I had the great fortune to visit both of these destinations, fishing along with Scouts in canoes at the Charles L. Sommers High Adventure Base and with more Scouts on a flats boat at the Florida Sea Base. Both places were true “bucket list” fishing spots for me, and each Scout camp offers premium access to these top destinations, at a fraction of the cost that a fishing lodge would charge to be right in the heart of it all.
I chronicle my adventures at Northern Tier and Florida Sea Base in the April 2015 issue of Boys’ Life, and I hope my excitement comes through in the stories. If you’re looking for the fishing trip of a lifetime and a wild adventure you’ll always remember, you owe it to yourself to visit these camps.