Jim Kern, who founded The Emu Outfitting Company of Arlington, Texas in 1987, has traveled to Brazil’s Amazon 38 times since his initial visit to fish for Peacock Bass in 1997. Jim was the Vice President and General Manager of Amazon Tours, one of the pioneers of Peacock Bass fishing, from 1998 – 2003. He developed and managed the American office for Captain Peacock Yachts and Expeditions from 2010 – 2014. Jim has fished over 300 miles of the Rio Negro as well as most of the productive black water tributaries to the Rio Branco and Rio Negro during the last 20 years. Having fished from a wide variety of boat and lodge operations including the Rio Negro Lodge, the Rio Araca Lodge, the Amazon Queen, the Amazon Santana, the Amazon Belle, the Blackwater Explorer, and River Plate’s mobile floating camps, Jim knows the pluses and minuses of the different types of operations offered to Peacock Bass fishermen on the main Rio Negro and its black water tributaries.
Jim has also managed fishing and hunting lodges in Alaska including Rainbow Bay Resort, Angry Eagle Lodge and Eagles Peak Lodge, holds a Coast Guard Captain’s license and has held professional fishing and hunting guide licenses in Alaska, Montana and Idaho. Being an award winning photographer and Sporting Clays shooter and his love of fly fishing and tying flies has allowed Jim to share many different aspects of his outdoor experiences with his clients over the last 30 years. Prior to founding Emu Outfitting, Jim played 19 years of professional baseball including 13 years in the major leagues and was named to American League All Star teams in 1977, 1978 & 1979. Sporting News chose him as the American League Relief Pitcher of the year in 1979 when he won the Rolaids award with the Texas Rangers for posting a 13 and 5 record with 29 Saves and a 1.57 ERA in 142 innings of work out of the bullpen. Jim’s goal and the goal of his Emu Outfitting Company for the last 30 years has been to share his extensive knowledge and enjoyment of the outdoors in exotic places around North and South America. Come join us in our lifelong adventures “where the imprint of man is minimal”.
Jan Kern is the office manager for Emu Outfitting, handling the day to day interface with clients. With a bachelors and a masters degree in Computer Engineering, she worked as a Technology Director and AP teacher at a private school for 20 years before retiring to work and travel with her husband. Since retiring, she has served as office manager for Captain Peacock Yachts and Expeditions and Angry Eagle Lodges (formally Rainbow Bay Resort) as well as heading The Emu Outfitting Company office. She has personally traveled to Brazil a number of times and has spent several summers as assistant lodge manager in Alaska. She has also served as webmaster for these operations and enjoys the outdoors and traveling to remote locations.
Alec Thurston has been an avid outdoorsman his whole life, growing up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. From an early age, his grandmother put him on snowshoes and took him on hiking trips, and his Father and Grandfather taught him to hunt and fish. Since his early 20s, he spent the remainder of his career as a Commercial Diver, mainly servicing the power plant industry. His longing for the outdoors has taken him to Ontario, Canada for pike fishing, night fishing in Florida for grunts and tarpon, crappie and bass fishing in northern Wisconsin, hog and predator hunting in West Texas, waterfowl in central Michigan, plains game in South Africa, cast & blast in Argentina, Peacock Bass fishing in Brazil, and finally hunting in his own back yard for crayfish, whitetails, turkey, and grouse. He joined Emu Outfitting in 2019 to feed his love for the outdoors and to provide clients with trips that create lasting memories.