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The hunger for remote new fishing destinations is a constant among international anglers and the agents and outfitters who serve them. And, yes, among the pixel-stained wretches who write about fishing, too. Just think of the new places that have risen to prominence in recent years: Tsimane, Saint Brandon Rocks, Jurassic Lake, Isla de la Juventud in Cuba, Slovenia, Kamchatka Peninsula, various peacock bass rivers in the Amazon, and more.

What occasions this rumination on remote new places to fish is an idea that Gregg Arnold, one of the most well-known redfish guides in southern Louisiana, floated by me recently. Arnold, you’ll recall, uses the modest phrase, “land of the giants,” in his URL (www.fishinthelandof A New Orleans resident, he fishes mostly out of Hopedale in what is called the Biloxi Marsh. He has a great boat with a fabulous lean-bar arrangement on the front, a laconic personal manner, and a memorable Santa Claus belly that makes it interesting for him to mount a poling platform, though it does not deter him from doing so and staying there all day long. Arnold catches big fish and cracks good jokes, though some of them are far from politically correct. You’ll almost certainly enjoy a day on the water with him.

I have fished with Arnold twice in the last 60 days, so I feel I have gotten to know him quite well. He is absolutely possessed by the idea of buying a super-large mother ship and using it to move back and forth seasonally between Dry Tortugas, at the far end of the Florida Keys, and the mouth of the Mississippi River. He envisions towing skiffs behind his mothership but using local transfer boats to ferry clients to and from their floating hotel. The target species, of course, would be tarpon, permit, and redfish, plus various offshore species for diesel heads. To get his plan off the ground, Gregg Arnold needs an investor (or investors) with $1 million. What makes this idea appealing, once you get beyond sticker shock and the temptation to giggle, is the realization that there is a tremendous fishery in the area Arnold wants to target. The challenge is getting to it at the seasonally appropriate time in a pleasant way—that is, without having to line up with other skiffs or get down and dirty in a combat-fishing area like Boca Grande. The underappreciated fact is that there are scores of places between Dry Tortugas and the mouth of the Mississippi River that are almost impossible to fish due to the distance between access point and fishing area. Think about it. Who really wants to spend 2.5 hours in the morning and 2.5 hours in the afternoon getting to and from a place to fish? That’s exhausting and bad on the back. Plus, during most of the prime fishing time in this part of the world, you either have to deal with the possibility of wind coming up during the day or, worse, a thunderstorm that makes the graphite rod in your hand begin to buzz. Been there, done that. There’s no lonelier feeling in the world than being in an open skiff in an intense Gulf Coast lightning storm 50 miles from nowhere.

Will this idea fly? Gregg Arnold thinks it will. And, fair warning, if you call him to discuss the idea he will drive you nuts with images of big redfish around the Chandeleur Islands, hovering in water so clear you can count their scales, or of big tarpon rolling around so-called mud lumps near the mouth of the Mississippi. There are places along the Gulf Coast, he will tell you, where you can intercept the annual migration of big tarpon without seeing another boat on the horizon. The secret is a mothership.

A big one with a $1 million price tag. There are a lot of hurdles to clear in bringing an idea like this to life, but that is true in the development of any new fishing opportunity. Personally, what intrigues me about the idea is my growing awareness that all of the frontiers in international fishing these days are not over the rainbow in Nicaragua or Gabon, but closer to home where fisheries are being protected and improved rather than dynamited and gill netted. Some of the most interesting innovations in fishing travel may be brought to us in coming years, not by long-distance pioneers, but by guides like Gregg Arnold who focus on new ways that we can get into our own backyard. Anyone agree? Or disagree? Write [email protected].

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