I introduced you yesterday to friend Alex Green’s “Gone Fishin’ Portfolio.” That note prompted Venezuelan correspondent Don Ellers to write:
“You wanna’ go fishing? Come on down to Venezuela. I’m convinced this is the best fishing and boating haven in the world.
“I’ve been shopping here for my dream boat. Something that would have all the comforts of home and still be great for fishing. Gently used secondhand boats cost a fraction what they cost in the States. I’m talking about 50% to 75% of what I’d pay back home.
“I’m looking at boats with full galleys, sleeping room for six to eight people, and heads with showers and all the bells and whistles. Figure in the parallel market exchange, and you feel like you’re stealing the thing.
“I’ve seen some beautiful crafts selling for US$15,000 to US$30,000 that would cost US$50,000 to US$75,000 or more back in New York.
“I want something with a pair or trio of inboards/outboards ranging from 225 to more than 300 horses apiece. That’d be enough power for me to travel all along this country’s super-long stretch of gorgeous Caribbean coastline and even across to the islands of Margarita, Isla de Coche, Isla de Aves, Los Roques, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Trinidad and Tobago…
“Plus, get this: Gasoline sells for around 11 cents a gallon in this country (before you factor in the parallel market exchange rate!). Nobody in this part of the world ever worries about going out for a long cruise. Can’t say the same in North America or Europe these days, where all the captains I know think long and hard before taking their boats out for pleasure runs and spend most of their ‘boating’ time tied up at the dock.
“Add an extra fuel tank, and you could make your way from Venezuela all the way up to the Bahamas.
“Boat and gasoline costs aside, Venezuela is the world’s best fishing haven that you’ve probably never heard about. The many canals run with brackish water and a great variety of fish, including some that are native only to this region.
“Out in the open Caribbean, the fishing options and opportunities are endless. Mackerel, grouper, bass, world-class marlin…all are common in Venezuela. Even with a very small budget, you could afford a boat that’d keep you busy and happy fishing the canals. Bigger pocketbook? With a bigger boat, you use the canals for quick access to the open sea.
“Many developments along the coast, including Isla de Oro, where I have a condo, have their own marinas. Along the canals, you find small piers behind the homes where you can tie up…”