Traveling anywhere today—be it a drive to the local grocery store or catching a flight for an international destination—has its worries, with the current pandemic ruling all of our lives. Everyone’s lifestyle has changed dramatically with the daily decision making along with mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing.

Thousands each year travel abroad to pursue their angling desires with the bulk crossing the border for one thing: trophy bass fishing. And the number one outfitter for Mexico, Anglers Inn International, operates resorts on the two most popular destination lakes— Lake El Salto and Lake Picachos.

Knowing that many have questions and concerns about a trip to Mexico, FTR turned to Billy Chapman, Jr., the premier outfitters’ founder, owner and member of the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, for the answers.

FTR

Billy, on January 12, the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) instituted a new policy requiring all air passengers entering the United States to obtain a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their flight’s departure to the U.S. How does Anglers Inn help your clients satisfy this stringent requirement?

Chapman

When we first heard of this policy, we immediately began development of our own COVID-19 testing procedure to ensure that each and every visitor to our lodges at Lake El Salto or Lake Picachos return home. Our goals are for the angler to enjoy our facilities, our services and our fishing without the worries of how to get home.

We have contracted with a licensed COVID-19 testing laboratory in Mazatlan that will conduct the test and provide written results to the angler before they return to the airport. This will satisfy the airlines at Mazatlan’s General Rafael Buelna International Airport as well as the customs and immigration officials at their entry back into the states.

There is no need to cut your trip short and search for a way to get tested in Mazatlan. We take care of it for you right at the lake. And there is no cost to the Anglers Inn customer as Anglers Inn is picking up the cost of this test.

FTR

Does Anglers Inn practice any special routines in the lodge operations to keep the angler COVID safe?

Chapman

Just like here in the states, all our lodge employees wear masks, social distance, practice personal hygiene and maintain a high level of disinfection in the rooms, restaurant and our common areas. 

FTR

Businesses are suffering from the pandemic worldwide at an impact never experienced before. How has it affected Anglers Inn and what do you project for you in 2021?

Chapman

Anglers Inn was certainly hurt by COVID-19 with the need to actually close our lodges for most of 2020. We did open in October and have been going strong with rebooking of clients that were cancelled in 2020 and new reservations.

Our booking rates for 2021 are looking great. More is known about the virus, government restrictions and allowances are more clearly defined and our lodges are up to the challenge of keeping our customers safe. Add to this the phenomenal fishing we are experiencing, due in part to the lake being left alone for so much of 2020, and we anticipate a great 2021 with thousands of happy anglers.

FTR

Travel by air becomes increasingly more difficult, a situation that developed long before the pandemic. What does Anglers Inn do to help the angler travel by air to Mexico?

Chapman

Commercial flights are certainly restrictive, especially with baggage. Reduced number of bags has been tough on the angler and trying to check a 7-foot-long rod tube, or any rod tube for that matter, is practically impossible. Anglers Inn, to ease this problem with our customers, maintains a large inventory of high quality St. Croix multiple-action fishing rods at the lodge, free to use by our anglers. 

To further reduce baggage needs, Anglers Inn provides specific bait recommendations based on the latest reports by our expert guides. We give each angler the knowledge to bring the very baits that lend to the most successful outing imaginable thus eliminating the desire to over pack. 

Anglers Inn International operates five-star fishing lodges in Brazil and Mexico. For more information about Anglers Inn fishing opportunities go to www.anglersinn.com or call 1-800-GOTA-FISH (1-800-468-2347).