There are few things more relaxing than a morning on the water. When it’s just you and your rod, there’s literally an ocean (well, sometimes a lake) of possibilities at your feet. The problems of the world just seem so far away. Now, if you’re given the chance to fish while on a luxurious respite, said worries are drowned out even more by licensed guides, ideal weather conditions and more hotel amenities than you can shake a seven-foot pole at. These six properties understand what it means to be a fishing enthusiast, and they offer the splashy angling day trips, themed rooms and seafood-centric menus to prove it.
The Cloister and The Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club
Though it’s widely regarded as one of the country’s finest golf resorts, Sea Island has as much love for water-related pastimes as it does water hazards. As a result, the menu of fishing options at the disposal to The Cloister and The Lodge guests is as wide as a gulf, including everything from family-focused salt marsh outings to offshore encounters where you search for sailfish and mackerel. Should your love of fishing fall somewhere in between Captain Ahab and Krusty Krab, you’ll likely appreciate the inshore fishing option; this way you can literally (and figuratively) get your feet wet in comfortably shallow waters while seeking out speckled trout. And because resort chefs fully understand how much effort you put in to snag that four-pound redfish, they’re happy to prepare your catch in a customized meal back at the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star properties.
With a daily calendar that overflows with outdoorsy fun, it almost feels as if this Five-Star escape in Colorado Springs is showing off with its newest entry, The Broadmoor Fishing Camp. With five private miles of trout- and crappie-stuffed Tarryall River (roughly 75 miles from the main resort) at its disposal, this May 28-opening attraction will be perfect anglers on all levels. (If you’re ready to hone your skills, The Broadmoor Fishing School offers an array of classes.) After you’ve had a chance to catch and release a few winners, head back to one of the Camp’s seven rustic cabins — or, if you’ve spent enough time in Roland Martin’s waders, scoot back down the road to the resort’s more refined quarters — to unwind. And to think, by the time your group gathers in the Fishing Camp’s grand lodge for a ranch-prepared meal, you will have all the details of your tale together of how it took three men to reel in your prized catch.
The 700 miles of streams in the Great Smoky Mountains are a tremendous place to do some fly-fishing. And while part of the attraction is certainly found in the fact that rainbow trout are so plentiful around Blackberry Farm’s Hesse Creek, the real joy comes in all the solitude you’ll have. Because the catch-and-release waters around the Knoxville-area property are reserved for groups, it’s essentially just you, your Orvis-endorsed guide and a gorgeous tributary creek. Man couldn’t ask for much else. Of course, if your Four-Star host feels inclined to top off the serene moment with world-class amenities (new Wellhouse spa) and exquisite dining (The Barn at Blackberry Farm’s former executive chef Joseph Lenn won the 2013 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southeast), who are we to discourage it?
To lure guests away from rooms bedecked in pastels, lofted ceilings and private gardens, this Four-Star beauty in St. Barts had to come up with something beyond its doors that folks would find impossible to resist. With its one-of-a-kind Cook Your Catch program, it seems to have done just that. On this aptly named day excursion, Le Guanahani visitors set out on an early deep-sea trek with local fishermen in an attempt to score as many tuna, mahi mahi and other tasty treats as possible. Upon your return to land, the haul is prepared to your liking — grilled wahoo sure sounds pretty lovely to us as a part of a three-course lunch or heftier five-course dinner.
Big Cypress Lodge
If you’ve ever been to a Bass Pro Shops on a Sunday, you know two things: one, never go to a Bass Pro Shops on a Sunday unless you want to elbow your way around the aisles; two, a lot of people like to fish. So, when company founder Johnny Morris had the wild idea of morphing said retail experience into an overnight exploit, they knew they had something big on their hands — they just didn’t know how big. Big Cypress Lodge is actually a part of the 535,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid, which opened April 29 on the site of the iconic Memphis Pyramid. The herculean project features the 105-room hotel (themes range from fishing lodges and tree houses to a 1,995-square-foot governor’s suite); two restaurants; a 600,000-gallon swamp with gators and fish; a nautical-themed bowling alley and much more. A massive retail space has everything you could ever need for your tackle box or fishing boat. Of course, if you’re in the market for an actual boat, they have those for sale, too.