Captain Ron Gibbs

Captain Ron GibbsCaptain Ron Gibbs holds a masters license with the U.S. Coast Guard for 200-ton domestic, 500-ton international vessels. His maritime career began in 1969 when he joined the Merchant Marines and volunteered for duty on a ship carrying supplies into Vietnam. His experience at sea includes working aboard vessels in Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Mexico, and the Caribbean. He now loves hosting tours on exotic Caddo Lake and working in his beautiful botanical gardens.

Due to popular demand, we are concentrating our business on taking passengers into the swamp, which is what Caddo Lake is really all about. We decided to sell the Steamboat and it will no longer run from this location. Due to its size, the Steamboat had to remain in the river and couldn’t explore much of the beautiful water forest and swamp. Now you can come and take a trip into one of Caddo Lake’s prettiest areas, Carter’s Lake, aboard our comfortable and covered 28′ pontoon boat.

Caddo Lake History

10708619_791457034251455_19768979275014004_oAccording to Caddo legend, the lake was formed by the 1812 New Madrid Earthquake. There may be some truth to the legend, as Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee was formed by that earthquake, but most geologists now feel that Caddo Lake was formed gradually rather than catastrophically. The lake was formed, either gradually or catastrophically, by the “Great Raft,” a 100-mile (160-km) logjam on the Red River in Louisiana, possibly filling the basin that the intense uplift and shifting of the earthquake had created.

The Channel was used by Steamboats to reach the port at Jefferson until water levels fell after the removal of the Great Raft.

Big Pines Lodge Restaurant

Big Pines LodgeWe are working with Big Pines Lodge Restaurant to bring you the whole package: great swamp tours into the water forest aboard our pontoon boat and a great meal before or after your tour. Big Pines Lodge Restaurant is a dining icon here on the Big Cypress and has been in business for over 50 years. We are proud to be working in conjunction with Big Pines Lodge Restaurant to offer you a great tour and dining experience.

Boarding from the Big Pines Lodge Restaurant allows us to operate regardless of low water levels or the spread of Giant Salvinia and to continue to bring you a historically narrated tour of the upper end of Caddo Lake.

We look forward to serving our passengers until the end of December.

About Us

Captain Ron’s Swamp Tours board at Big Pines Lodge Restaurant, 756 Pine Island Road, Karnack, Texas. We provide guests with a colorful narration of the history of Caddo Lake and its surrounding areas.


756 Pine Island Road, Karnack, TX 75661