Mexico Fall 2016 Update

[Editor: this article first appeared on www.ronsfishingblog and may only be used by permission of Ron Speed Jr.]

LAKE HUITES IS BACK WITH A FURY!!!

Beautiful View from the Lodge (THIS IMAGE, LIKE MOST CAN BE ENLARGED; JUST CLICK ON IT).

Beautiful View from the Lodge (THIS IMAGE, LIKE MOST CAN BE ENLARGED; JUST CLICK ON IT).

Yes….I said LAKE HUITES! The same Lake Huites that opened in 1997 and my father and his partner started the first fishing lodge on that lake! My father is retired now (since 2012) but his former partner and I have since teamed up in Mexico. For the past couple of years, my partner (from Sinaloa, Mex) has been giving me reports of great fishing at Huites. He’s asked me many times to come check the fishing and assured me I would not be disappointed. Well, with already having 3 of the best bass lakes in the world in Comedero, El Salto and Picachos, I just couldn’t see myself considering adding a 4th lake. Time (lack thereof) was the biggest factor. Well, last winter I finally decided a checkout trip to Huites was imminent. The only question would be when I could break away and go check Huites? More on that in a few….

Backing up a “few years” here….the lake opened in 1997. My father donated pure strain Florida brood bass to the Sinaloa State Fish Hatchery in Culiacan in the late 80’s and again in the early 90’s. The hatch/fingerling bass from these Florida strain broods at the hatchery were to be stocked in lakes of my father’s choosing. For the first few years, those fingerlings went into Lake Comedero…and we all know what happened at that lake. Turned it into one of the best trophy bass lakes in the world! Then the next few years, my father designated those fingerlings to be stocked into Lake Huites…from 1993 – 1996. Again, these were ALL pure strain Florida bass and to our knowledge, there were never any northern/native bass stocked into Huites. By the time my father opened his lodge on Huites in 1997, the very first lodge on the lake, we were already catching bass up to 8 and 9 pounds. By the second year, one of our customers caught the first 10 pound bass. Those first couple of years our customers averaged well over 100 bass per day, per boat and lots of 4 – 6 pound bass. By the third year, we noticed a drop in the overall size of the bass but the numbers were still great….over a 100 per boat, per day…but the average size was around 1.5 – 2.5 pounds. My father decided to call upon an old friend and former employee from Stigler, Oklahoma…Don Arnett. Don had worked for my father and me in the early years at Comedero. His primary job was to locate “bigger” fish for our customers. Don is one of the best deep water anglers I’ve ever known or fished with in a boat. Don drove to Huites pulling his boat that third season. He brought his fishing buddy Larry Peck (OK). I was at the lodge getting ready for a group to arrive. After the first morning of fishing, Don and Larry arrived back at the lodge for lunch. I asked Don, “Well, did you find them?” He replied, “Yes sir…but you’re not going to be happy” …I then replied, “Why is that?” …Don replied, “They’re suspended and very deep!” I then told Don I wanted him to show me that afternoon the pattern of where these bigger fish were hanging out. So that afternoon he had me tie on one super deep diving crankbait and one 3/4 oz Okiebug spinnerbait. Don took me to a deep water submerged island not far from the mouth of the “Chinipas” river. He showed me on his sonar this underwater island…that at the time was around 50 – 60 feet deep with a lot of trees. The tops of the trees were approximately 30′ deep. Those big bass were suspended in the tops of the trees….and LOTS of them! Don instructed me to throw my big spinnerbait past the trees and bring it slowly through the tops…then once in the tops, KILL IT. Just let it fall. Well, it didn’t take much falling before a biggun freight trained that spinnerbait! After a nice battle with the brute, I landed her and she weighed a little over 8 lbs. We continued fishing this same pattern all afternoon…moving from one island or ridge to another that had these trees and suspended bass. It’s been so long ago that I honestly cannot remember how many big bass we caught that afternoon but I do remember it was MUCHOS, MUCHOS AND MUCHOS!!! I also remember the largest weighing a little over 10 lbs but the number of 7 – 9 pounders were astonishing.

Steve "Big O' Parks with one of his many big Huites bass

Steve “Big O’ Parks with one of his many big Huites bass

So now came the question of why these bigger bass were suspended in deep water? Why were these big bass not relating to shoreline and the shallows? The water temperature on the surface wasn’t too warm or hot. There were plenty of bait fish in the shallows…and plenty of small bass in the shallows. Just no sign of quality bass in the shallows. Well, it didn’t take my father long to figure it out. What had changed since those first couple of years when there were a lot of bigger bass being caught? Water level dropping. That’s what changed. The lake went from being pulled 2″ – 4″ per 24 hours to 8″ – 10″ and even at times 12″ per 24 hours. THAT will cause those bigger, older and wiser bass to migrate away from the shoreline and shallow water. Thus causing them to set up in deeper water and suspend. My father rode it out for the next few years in hopes that the drastic pull of the water to refill Lakes Hildalgo and Dominguez would return to the “norm” of 2″ – 4″…but it didn’t and he finally gave up on Huites.

Now fast forward to the last couple of years and my partner in Mexico informing of the return of great fishing and lots of big bass in Huites as well as no more drastic pulling of water out of Huites. He also informed me that after the original camp that he and my father put in back in 97′ had burned down, he built a new facility a few years ago that is 5-star quality! After hearing about the great fishing and new lodge, I finally decided a checkout trip to Huites was in order. I called my good friends Terry Oldham (Oldham Lures) and Steve “Big O” Parks (Rage Tail) to accompany me to Huites in April. I had not been to Huites in 12 years and really didn’t know what to expect. The first thing I noticed during the ride from Los Mochis to Huites that had changed was the road into the lake from Choix. Years ago it was a very rough “beat you to death” dirt road….now it’s fully paved right up to the lodge! What was once a 1 hour bumpy ride from Choix to Huites is NOW a 20 minute smooth comfortable ride. So that was nice and a HUGE plus!

Welcome to La Estancia Huites Bass Club

Welcome to La Estancia Huites Bass Club

Huites Bedrooms

Huites Bedrooms

We arrived at the new lodge, “La Estancia Huites Bass Club” in the afternoon and were greeted by the entire staff with open arms and cold frozen margaritas! They appeared to be genuinely ecstatic that we had chosen to pay a visit. The manager, Efrain, showed us around the lodge and to say I was impressed is an understatement. My partner had rebuilt this lodge to the 5-star quality he claimed.
Outside view of rooms at Huites

Outside view of rooms at Huites

It’s in the same location with the same breathtaking view of the main lake but this was a first class resort! The flower gardens, the indoor/outdoor dining facility plus the all indoor dining facility, the extra large Jacuzzi with a view of the lake….it was just AMAZING! Efrain then showed us to our rooms and once again, I was blown away! These rooms compare to the 5-star rooms at El Cid in Mazatlan…two big beds, air conditioning that will freeze you out, huge shower and bathrooms…big front porch with a beautiful breathtaking view of the lake. Again….just absolutely blown away!

Now came the all important question to Efrain….When can we go fishing??? Efrain informed us that even though there was approximately one hour of daylight left, the guides were ready if we wanted to go wet a hook. Big O had come down with a nasty upper respiratory bug/virus and opted to stay at the lodge and get some rest. Little did Oldham and I know that we were next for that nasty bug…but in the meantime, we headed out to see what we could hook into in that last hour of daylight. Oldham and his guide went one direction, my guide and I went another. As we were riding in the boat to our first fishing location, I could not help but notice the once brushy lake of Huites, was no longer brushy. In fact, I couldn’t see any visible brush at all. Well, I guess that means I won’t have to worry about staying hung up…or need heavy braid line. Anyway, my guide Pedro took me to a point not far from where we took off from and told me, “Spinnerbait muy bueno aqui”….ahhh, ok…twist my arm, Pedro.

Sidewalk behind Dinning area

Sidewalk behind Dining area

If you’ve read my updates in the past, you’ll know how much I love fishing spinnerbaits! It just so happened that I already had two Oldham 3/4 oz spinnerbaits tied on! The sun was already down below the mountains and dark shadows dominated the point I was about to fish. A nice stiff 20 mph breeze was also blowing in my face. My first cast was….ahem…a bird nest! Yeah, even Ron Jr gets bird nests from time to time. My second cast came up about 10′ short of my target due to that stiff breeze, but didn’t matter. I felt a solid “THUMP” that threw slack in my line. I set the hook and FISH ON! It wasn’t a monster but it wasn’t a dink either. I didn’t bother to weigh the bass as I guessed it at about 4 – 4 1/2 lbs. A nice way to start the trip though! I made a few more cast to the point and caught one more bass of about 2 lbs. Then Pedro got tired of fighting the stiff breeze and moved us around the point and back into a “pocket” just out of the wind. He told me to throw out toward the middle of that pocket as there was a little shelf out there about 10′ deep on top. I threw the spinner…of course and in 5 casts, I landed 5 bass…largest was a little over 6 lbs and the rest were about 2 – 3 lbs. I then got on the radio and called to Oldham to see how he was doing? He didn’t answer. Hmmm…he can’t be that far from me. It was getting pretty dark and I decided to go find him in case he was having motor or mechanical problems. We found him about a half mile away. Fishing…catching…and this is why he refused to answer the call on the radio! We spent a few minutes comparing what we had done in this short “teaser” of an afternoon but decided that there’s no doubt this lake is full of bass and if this is any indication of what’s in store, we’re going to WRECK’EM over the next few days!

Sidewalk behind Dining area

Dining area

That night back at the lodge, Big O didn’t come to dinner as he was still very sick with a high fever. Efrain sent one of the staff workers to Choix to get some antibiotics for Big O as well as Oldham and me…because we knew there was a pretty good chance we were next. Well sure enough, the next morning at breakfast, Oldham and I both were coughing our heads off…but not enough to keep us from going fishing. Big O was at breakfast and we filled him in on what we had done in the short fishing session the afternoon before. So that morning, Big O and I fished together and Oldham fished alone with his guide. Both boats headed to the Chinipas river…a beautiful tributary with high canyon walls. As we rode way
You may catch a view of the Copper Canyon train

You may catch a view of the Copper Canyon train

up the Chinipas and to where the train tracks/trestle crosses the river, it brought back special memories from those years of fishing Huites. This lake is right there with Comedero in terms of beautiful scenery! That train track runs from Copper Canyon and if there at the trestle at the right hour, one can see the train crossing on the trestle. Big O and I started fishing right at that trestle. Actually, we weren’t fishing but rather “looking”…anyone that’s fished with Big O knows he does more looking (at sonar) and inspecting things when fishing new water, before he ever wets a hook. Not long after we made our way past the trestle, he found a BIG WAD of some kind of fish that was down about 15′ – 17’…so FINALLY we were going to get to wet a hook! After about 20 minutes of fishing that “wad” of whatever it was and no bite, Big O decided to tie on a big jigging spoon. First drop produced a bite…a BIG tilapia! Now we knew what that was all about. We kept fishing up the edge of this shelf on the main river but still no bass bites. It wasn’t long before Big O found another school of fish…this time in about 10′ – 12′. Thinking it might be another school of Tilapia, he kept with the jigging spoon.
Mountains are the backdrop of this beautiful lake

Mountains are the backdrop of this beautiful lake

Another big THUMP….and this was no Tilapia! The bass shot out of the water like a missile…and it wasn’t small either! After landing this beautiful toad, Big O put it on the scale…8 POUNDS! Okay, that was a nice way to break the ice on the morning fishing. We fished a couple of hours in the Chinipas trying to establish a pattern but without much luck. I really wanted to go back to the main lake outside the Chinipas where I had great success the afternoon prior. Finally we made our way out of the Chinipas and found Oldham on the main point at the mouth. We eased up to him on the troller and asked if he had found some good bass or a pattern? He chuckled and said, “Oh yeah…I found them!” He then proceeded to tell us how many big bass he had caught as well as lost by flipping/pitching the steep bluff canyon walls in the Chinipas! He had caught 5’s, 6’s, 7’s and one of 8 lbs. He said he had also lost as many as he had landed but couldn’t figure out why? He said he wasn’t getting a good hook set for whatever reason and blamed it on the monofilament line he was using…and would later change to braid which doesn’t have any give or stretch. Still he had hooked enough bass and quality bass to know this lake is full of them!

Relax at the end of the day!

Relax at the end of the day!

That afternoon we decided to focus on another area of the lake…from the mouth of the Chinipas toward the dam. Oldham worked one side, Big O and I worked the other side. As always with these lakes in western Mexico, that afternoon breeze coming off the Pacific can get pretty stiff at times. This was one of those afternoons. So Big O and I headed back into a bay with a little more wind break. Still, there was a little breeze and Big O pointed the nose of the boat into that breeze and held us on a ride coming off a small island. Fishing from the back of the boat, I could not get a good shot at the ridge like Big O…and the water I could fish was flat and shallow and HOT. Just not good for holding bass. So I just sat back there and watched him fish…and watched and watched and watched. Until finally, bored out of my mind, I decided to toss my 3/4 oz Oldham jig…yes, JIG…up on that flat shallow shelf coming off that island. Probably 4 or 5 feet of water. As soon as my jig hit the water, my line started running sideways! I’m thinking dink bass here…small, very small. Only because the bass was running sideways with a lot of slack in the line. Therefore I haven’t felt the weight of this fish…..yet. I set the hook a second time and when I did, this MONSTER blew out of the water, shook her giant head 3 or 4 times and my jig went flying over my head, over the other side of the boat and she swam away. Big O and I both got a look at this beast. Big O said, “OMG, THAT BASS WAS EASILY DOUBLE DIGITS!”….I had to agree. It was sure enough BIG! Shocker…Ron Jr loses another big bass in Mexico. [extreme sarcasm here]. If you’ve kept up with my previous updates, I’m real professional at losing the bigguns! I think I’ve mastered the art of losing big fish! Anyway, that did answer one question we had when we decided to go check the fishing in Huites. Does it have big bass and 10 lbs bass in it? Answer: ABSOLUTELY!!!! We continued fishing toward the dam that afternoon but weren’t overly impressed with the fishing or the water color. It definitely had a “stained” look about it but we still caught a dozen or so until about 4 pm. We decided we wouldn’t proceed any further with this area of the lake and headed back to the Chinipas for the final two hours of fishing. Starting on the left bank going into the Chinipas, the shade was already along the steep bluffs. We both opted for the big Oldham spinnerbait. It didn’t take long before the first bass hammered my spinnerbait…a 5 pounder! Then Big O and I decided the best way to fish those bluffs with spinnerbaits was to “parallel” fish…and it was the right call. We absolutely wrecked 4 and 5 pound bass paralleling those ledges along those steep bluff walls. The shad had the bass pulled up on ledges down about 5′ – 8’…and I remembered this pattern being best in the afternoon on this lake (and particularly the Chinipas) from 15 – 20 years ago! We caught bass until we literally couldn’t lift our arms! About 15 minutes before dark, we came up on Oldham. He was also fishing the bluff walls and ledges but with jig….and he was hammering them as well. He actually had more bass over 5 lbs than we did to include one of 8.8 lbs. Great, great afternoon of fishing!

Guide Pedro with 2 nice Huites Bass

Guide Pedro with 2 nice Huites Bass

The next morning, I went with Oldham….Big O went fishing by himself. Big O said he wanted to work toward the dam again and give it another chance since we didn’t do that well the afternoon before. Oldham and I fished the main lake from the lodge up the Fuerte about 5 miles and had a solid (not great) morning. We hooked up with Big O at noon and he said he didn’t do good at all toward the dam and was convinced that water was just “off”…just not good. So that afternoon Big O decided to travel far far up the Fuerte river. Maybe 15 – 20 miles??? Boy did he make the right call as he hit the mother load! He landed 134 bass (alone) just that afternoon way up the Fuerte river and had one of 9 lbs and numerous 6 – 8 lbs! The rest averaged 3 – 5 lbs and lots of them! Oldham and I went back to the Chinipas and had similar results as the previous afternoon…lots of 4 and 5 lbs bass but nothing huge. That night, after Big O informed us of what he found way up the Fuerte, we couldn’t wait to go experience it for ourselves. One small problem though…that nasty bug/virus that Big O had suffered from, was hitting me square between the eyes. I woke up with a 103 degree fever and as much as I wanted to go yank on some big bass up the Fuerte, I just couldn’t conjure up the energy. So I stayed back at the lodge and tried to get the fever down. About 10 am, I woke up and couldn’t stand it any more. I still felt horrible but by gosh, I was going…and that was THAT! I told my guide to take me up the Fuerte and don’t stop until we see Oldham and Big O. After almost 15 miles of running up the Fuerte, we found them….yanking on some bigguns! Big O already had some 7’s and quite a few 5’s and 6’s. I went across to the other side of the river and found some laydowns and stickups along the shore. I got on the trolling motor and started slow rolling a spinnerbait. In 21 casts with that spinnerbait, I landed 18 bass! Nothing giant as most were in the 3 lbs range but I did land one of 5 lbs. The sun was up fairly high by this time and not much breeze. Therefore I decided to slow it down and go more vertical. I picked up my rod that had a Missile Bait D-Stroyer tied on. A fantastic creature/plastic lure I started fishing two years ago! I flipped/pitched those laydowns and stickups for the next 30 minutes or until time to head back to lodge for lunch. I proceed to land bass of 4 and 5 lbs but also had 1 – 7 lbs and 1 – 8 lbs, 12 oz! FUN! FUN! FUN!

The last day I just couldn’t go fishing. Bronchitis had set in and just enough fever to zap me of any energy. However, Oldham and Big O went back out and just wrecked them. Mostly 3 – 5 pound bass. The questions had already been answered and they were just fun fishing. We had proven that this lake not only has A LOT of bass in it but it also has some big bass too! What was so amazing or rather mind boggling to me is that we were the only boat on this lake during our entire time there. It was like a “ghost lake”….we had it ALL to ourselves! It may be different at other times or in the future but during our 3 1/2 days there, we had it all to ourselves.

I decided to wait on making a firm decision to start fishing this great lake again. I wanted more time to think it over and possibly make a return trip this fall to check the fishing again. However, it’s turned out that wasn’t necessary. My partner informed me last week that HIS first group of the season was arriving last Thursday and would send me a report after they completed their 3 days of fishing. This is the report he sent to me two days ago…

Traxel family ( 6 anglers )

A Traxel client and his guide Pedro show off their Huites Bass

A Traxel client and his guide Pedro show off their Huites Bass

  • Bass landed 7 lbs and larger (8): 12.5 lbs, 10.5 lbs, 2 of 9 lbs, 2 of 8.5 lbs and 2 of 7 lbs.
  • Each boat averaged 60 bass per day (2 anglers per boat).
  • The Traxel family was making their 6th trip to Huites.

This last weekend’s report is more than good enough for me and confirms what Oldham, Big O and myself had proven last April. That the lake has numbers and big bass too.

Finally, I have always believed that the food at our lodges on Comedero, El Salto and Picachos was the best around. That was before my visit to Ecstancia Huites Bass Club lodge. My partner may have outdone me here. Mercy….this is as good as fishing lodge food gets! Fresh Langostino, fried fish, Filet mignon, fresh shrimp….it was absolutely incredible. The service was as good as it gets and it was also nice to jump into that big Jacuzzi after a long day on the water! The Estancia Huites Bass Club lodge and service is as good as it gets. We were certainly treated like KINGS!

Traxel clients with 2 Nice Huites Bass

Traxel clients with 2 Nice Huites Bass

We are taking reservations NOW for Lake Huites!

Ron Speed Jr’s Adventures was already leading the way in great Mexico bass fishing with our 3 lakes (Comedero, El Salto and Picachos)…now we’ve taken it to a whole new level and added a 4th lake….fabulous red hot Lake Huites!!!

Call me soon and I’ll provide you with more information on packages, dates, schedules, flights etc, etc….

Call us today:800-722-0006
GOOD FISHIN’,
RON SPEED, JR.

Posted in Fishing Reports, Ron's Bass Fishing Newsletter


FALL 2016 BRAZIL PEACOCK BASS UPDATE

[Editor: this article first appeared on www.ronsfishingblog and may only be used by permission of Ron Speed Jr.]

GIANT PEACOCK BASS EXPLOSION…AND LOTS OF THEM!!!

Charles Spivak peacock bass fishing in Brazil

Charles Spivak with his 19lb Peacock. See below for his even larger monster!

I can’t begin to tell you how incredible the fishing has been to the start of this season in Brazil! I returned two weeks ago from exploring new areas in the Amazon for future fishing as well as an additional week to fish the tributaries we normally fish in the fall. I’ve told you many times in past updates about how great AND CONSISTENT the fishing is in the fall…and particularly the areas we focus for fishing. This fall season backs this as many of the customers that just returned will support this claim.

On September 9th, I took a group of longtime RSJA customers and peacock bass anglers to explore new water for a week. I’ll get to that later in this update but let’s skip on to the following week where we fished the same tributaries we normally do each fall. As we moved into these two tributaries from the other tributaries we explored, we all believed we were in for some great fishing as the water level could not have been more perfect for great fishing. At least in one of them it was perfect. The other we hadn’t reached yet but would withing 24 – 48 hours later. On the first day, we would “sample” the first tributary. A tributary known more for a lot of 15 – 20 pound peacocks…some over 20 lbs from time to time. However the “other” tributary that flows into the main one, is known more for the incredible number of 20+ pound peacocks. Our operations manager “Cley” had already done his job by gaining hard evidence/information on the water level in both tributaries. Cley informed me and the group that it would be best to start in the main tributary with the water being perfect there and give it a couple of days on the other one (that produces lots of giant peacocks) as it was still about 1′ – 2′ on the high side. Turns out Mr. Cley was spot on! During the first two days, we fished the main tributary and landed peacocks up to 19 lbs, with numerous from 14 – 16 lbs. Charles Spivak, a longtime customer of RSJA, was making his first fishing trip to this particular region of the Amazon, landed the 19 pounder on his FIRST CAST of the first morning! He was already a believer in these two tributaries but he had no idea what was yet to come.

24 lb Peacock Bass

David Tierney 24lbs

After Day 2 fishing, the Otter navigated most of the night way up the other river. The water had dropped the necessary 2′ and we were anxious to get out and start ripping those big topwater lures the next morning. On this day, I would be fishing with my good friend, Rob Carter, owner of Fishin’ World in Dallas. Rob was making his second trip to the Amazon with RSJA since last January. On this morning, Rob would land his biggest peacock (thus far), a nice 14 pounder! After the first half day of fishing on Day 3, we all met back on the Otter at noon for lunch. The numbers were coming in and they were impressive! Numerous peacocks from 15 – 17 lbs in the first morning of fishing this river! Still looking for those 20 pounders though and therefore I instructed Cley to keep the Otter moving upstream. That afternoon was about the same as the morning…more peacocks landed from 14 – 18 lbs.

James Bendele 20lbs

James Bendele 20lbs

Then came the next day…Day #4…and boy did we hit the Mother Load! On this day, I would be fishing with my good friend, James Bendele. James owns Falcon Tackle on Lake Falcon. I’m sure many of you either recognize the name or already know James. He’s a great fisherman and quite a character…meaning funny as they come! This was James’ first ever trip to the Amazon and doing battle with the peacock bass. He had already landed several a 14 pounder and several 13 pounders in the first few days. I told him on this day, we’re going to break that 14 pound best…it’s graduation time, James! Around 10 am, our guide, Aroldo (Harold), took us to a lake off the tributary. The water appeared to be perfect level and the giant isolated trees in approximately 5 – 6′ of water immediately caught my attention. I could see a giant peacock on every tree…in my mind of course. We started fishing out on the point and immediately had blasts and big fish boiling the water behind our lures. Just couldn’t get them to go ahead and commit. We continued fishing the big trees around the backside of the point. Sweat pouring off both of us as we thrashed the water’s surface vigorously with those big “choppers”…chop, chop, chop, chop! Then it happened….James threw his big topwater chopper to the left side of this big tree and BOOM! A massive explosion! Not sure how big this fish is but it’s definitely not small….not with that much water moved from the blast! James did everything right…just hold on with a tight drag, let the fish wear down. The fish peeled off 10 – 20′ of line on the initial run…then as it got close to the boat, decided to make one final effort to free itself from the big hooks that were buried in the side of it’s head.
Brooks McCall 22lbs

Brooks McCall 22lbs

Finally after two incredible runs and several minutes of battle, the fish mailed it in and our guide Harold landed it. I could tell the fish was north of 15 lbs but probably not 20 lbs. Sure enough, it was a beautiful 16 pounder! That erased James’ best of 14 lbs from the previous day…but that 16 pound best was definitely in jeopardy. That afternoon, Harold decided to take James and me to a different lake. A lake that would turn out to be the best of the week. As we entered the lake to start our afternoon of fishing, we noticed two HUGE storms that appeared to be heading our way. We continued slowly idling into this lake as Harold assured us the storm was heading a different direction. James and I both had our doubts but after the fact, Harold turned out to be correct. He stopped the boat close to a very “fishy” looking flat and point. No standing trees but lots and lots of big stumps…with a creek running right down one side of it. After about 20 minutes of “chopping” with no strike, Harold used the trolling motor to take us to the backside of the flat/point…first cast from James drew a thunderous explosion…but no hookup. We kept throwing the big topwaters in the area of the explosion…maybe 25 cast or more (?)…I don’t know but it was many. Just as we decided to give up on that fish, James made one final cast to the area and KABOOOOOOOOOOOOM! Like a grenade going off just under the water’s surface. This time he was hooked up. The giant started screaming his drag as the line raced off his reel. James thumbing the spool as best he could to slow the fish down.
Lewis Cunningham 22lbs

Lewis Cunningham 22lbs

Then all of a sudden…the fish was gone! No broken line, no straightened hook….just gone….came unhooked. That’s not the first time I’ve seen such as it happens often when these big elusive peacocks decided to do a quick 180 degree turn. They throw slack in the line and the flesh where the hook is buried becomes “wallered out” from the hard pulling of the fish…and the hook just comes out. I believe that’s what happened here. Harold believed the giant was well over 20 lbs. Of course. 😉 After a few minutes of sighs and “gosh darnits” , we began casting again. It wasn’t 2 minutes later, another giant jumped on James’ big topwater. Another hookup! Within 5 seconds of getting hooked up…gone! It was like someone hit the repeat button. This monster did a 180 and ….gone! James screamed out, “WHAT DOES A MAN HAVE TO DO TO LAND ONE OF THOSE 20 POUND MONSTERS???” I told him, “Just keep fishing, brother. We’ve all been there, done that…just keep fishing”….well, we kept fishing, back around the point to where we started. Then yours truly got his chance to play in the game….KABOOOOOOOOM! This was a giant…I felt every ounce of this beast as it peeled off about 20′ of line from my reel. Then….oh no….not again? Yep, did a 180 degree turn, threw slack in the line and….GONE! What the heck? It’s like all of these fish on this one point had been to the “How To Get Rid Of 4.0 Saltwater Hooks” school!!! Well, Harold…hahaha, poor Harold, wanting that extra tip for 20 pound peacocks, had done his job and put us on THREE of them!
Charles Spivak with the 25lb giant he caught on the Sept 16th trip.

Charles Spivak with the 25lb giant he caught on the Sept 16th trip.

After that third giant was lost, he said, “Time to go to Otter and have a drink”…LOL. We still had a couple of hours to fish…and that’s what we were going to do. We moved off that point after an hour since the last fish was lost and didn’t experience anymore strikes. We only moved about 500 yards and came up on one of our other boats/customers. Charles Spivak and Lewis Cunningham. Charles had landed a 19 pound giant the first morning of the trip. Well, that got erased from his biggest of the trip on this afternoon. Both Charles and Lewis looked as though they had just ran a 10 mile marathon! I immediately asked, “How’s your fishing this afternoon?” Lewis spoke up, “Charles got a 25 pounder and I just caught a 21 pounder!” ….yep, this lake was loaded with the bigguns! Charles’ 25 lbs giant took him deep into the bushes and his guide Amaral crashed the boat into the bushes and went in to get the monster!

Rob Carter 18.5lbs

Rob Carter 18.5lbs

That 25 pounder would end up being the largest caught during the week but those two 20’s would not be the only peacocks landed over 20 lbs. My longtime friend and customer of 29 years, John Billy Koonsman, would land a beautiful 23 pounder…his biggest peacock ever. That saying something too because John Billy fishes with us in the Amazon about 4 weeks per year on average and he has numerous peacocks over 20 lbs on his resume. Rob of Fishin’ World also erased his 14 pounder that afternoon with a 16 pound beauty. So now we’re up to 3 over 20 lbs and numerous between 15 – 19 lbs. Think we’ll keep moving the boat upstream? I think NOT. The next morning, James Bendele erased his 16 pounder with a one of 17 lbs. However, that afternoon, that 17 pounder was erased when James landed what he came for…yep, a 20 lbs beast! James making his first ever trip to the Amazon for peacock bass and he lands a 20 pound prize! Needless to say James (and a few of us) “celebrated” that night on the lounge deck of the Otter. 🙂 The rest of the trip would produce another 20 pounder by Lewis Cunningham…his second of the trip. Rob of Fishin’ World landed his biggest ever…a beautiful 18 lbs monster!

This group would finish the trip with 882 total peacocks landed….78 over 10 lbs….16 over 15 lbs…and 5 over 20 lbs! That’s a great trip by any standards! All were very happy and of course dying to return. Most have already set up their return trip for next Fall. However, THE BEST, for September, was yet to come. The NEXT GROUP!

NEXT GROUP…who we met in the lobby of the Wyndham Hotel in Manaus and filled them in on our great fishing numbers, obviously wasn’t to be outdone. They went back to the same tributary we had just fished and here are their numbers with 10 anglers…

* 787 total peacock bass landed
* 92 peacock bass landed over 10 lbs
* 46 peacock bass landed over 15 lbs
* 11 peacock bass landed over 20 lbs

That’s just insane! However, it’s not the first or second or third time we’ve experienced numbers like that in this area. Once again, I will say it….the water level is the # 1 key to great (or poor) fishing for peacock bass in the Amazon. First you have to be fishing water that has the big peacocks…and this is why we have fished this area in the fall every year for the past 23 years! It continues to produce! Then if you have the peacocks, you hope for good water level. This area we fish is consistent with having falling water in Sept/Oct. It may start out high (and may not?) in September, but it’s always falling. It has every Sept/Oct since we started fishing it in 1993.

Back to the water level being #1…this is FACT! Anyone who has fished the Amazon more than once or twice will tell you. This is why the being mobile with a houseboat is important…so you don’t get locked in to fishing just one area…such as with lodges, outpost camps and other fixed base operations. We’ve been offering sportfishing for peacock bass in the Amazon longer than anyone! Nobody knows this fish and fishing the Amazon better than we do. Otherwise we wouldn’t have lasted this long in this very competitive business. We believe we have one of the nicest and most luxurious houseboats in the Amazon with the Otter. We believe we have as good of fishing boats as there is in the Amazon…Triton All Welded Bass Boats, equipped with new 60 HP Yamaha 4-stroke engines and new Motorguide trolling motors. We also believe we have the very best team of fishing guides in the Amazon…because I can tell you no other team of guides has more years of experience than our guides…because again, nobody has done this longer that we have done it. This is so important as it’s not just for the importance of fishing/catching of peacock bass…but MORE importantly because of safety. For us, safety is # 1 priority and everything else is a distant second. Last, we have what I believe to be the very best staff on the Otter…from the cook to housekeeping, boat captain and last but certainly not least….our manager, CLEY! He’s fluent in English, been a manager for years from fishing to nature tours and everyone loves Cley. Cley is willing to move the Otter when fishing dictates to move it and not let additional costs play a factor in his decision. He puts YOU, the CUSTOMER FIRST! He’s just….well…really, really awesome! We are very fortunate to have him and our customers that have been coming the past two years agree as we continue to receive great compliments about Mr. Cley.

Tom Peel 20lbs

Tom Peel 20lbs

CHANGES/UPGRADES FOR THE OTTER AND FUTURE EXPLORATORY TRIPS BEING SCHEDULED!!!!

Starting next fall, we will no longer take the bus to meet the Otter but rather resume flying to that region. For 17 years we flew to a small town located on the main river we fish during the fall season. Then the DAC in Manaus shutdown that airstrip and thus we were forced to use a luxury tour bus to meet up with the Otter. That particular airstrip is still shutdown but now we have a new locations with airstrip in that region that we will fly to starting next Fall. This should be received as great news by our customers as many of you have asked numerous times if we will ever fly to this fall river again? Barring any unforeseen “hiccups”, we will start flying again. To me this is just part of the great adventure this trip offers. Being able to fly over the mystic Amazon Rain Forest and also the famed “Meeting of The Waters” as you leave Manaus. This is where the dark, almost black waters of the Rio Negro meet the chocolate muddy waters of the Rio Solimoes to form the mighty Amazon River. There is a defined line separating the two waters/rivers that extends for approximately 3.5 miles. There are many day tours out of Manaus that can take you there by boat but getting an aerial view is THE BEST way to see this great phenomenon and take memorable photos.

Sunset view in the Amazon from the Otter

Sunset view in the Amazon from the Otter

Another change for next season…we will be offering satellite television on the Otter on future trips. Many of you, like myself, love your college and NFL football games. I have met with my partner in Brazil and he has agreed to add the best sports package available with the satellite tv service. Of course there will not be any guarantee that the package will provide the network carrying your favorite team’s game….but I will tell you that this package will include ESPN, FoxSports and FoxSports 1. Now you can come during the fall football season and have a good chance of not missing your team play.

This fall we started back having a Beach BBQ for one night during your fishing week. I offered this in years past and most loved it. The crew will cook various cuts of meat, from sausage, beef strips, chicken, etc, over a big hot bed of coals. Tables and chairs set up on a beautiful white sandy beach with a magnificent view of that last minutes of sunset over the Rain Forest. Also, for those diehard anglers that would like to take extra gasoline and stay out all day but do a fish shore lunch, that will be offered as well. This was quite a treat the first time I experienced it in the early years. Watching these guides construct a homemade grill from wood and cook the smaller peacocks on this grill…well, it’s quite amazing to say the least. This just adds a little more adventure to what is already HIGH ADVENTURE.

Finally…the exploratory trips. Earlier this year I sent out an update stating we were going to explore new water this September. Well, we did explore one tributary that hasn’t been fished in over 8 years. While we were unable to prove good fishing in this tributary during early September, we’re still convinced the fish are there and we’ll head back to it next fall. However, while there, we did learn some VERY VALUABLE information regarding another tributary that is supposedly loaded with peacock bass and BIG PEACOCKS as well. As the local telling me said, “Many peacocks over 10 kilos”…well, even with my Aggie Math, that’s well over 20 lbs! Yeah, that’ll work!!! Sooooooooooo….guess what we’re doing next fall when the water gets “right” in this supposedly great secret honey hole? You guessed right if you said going to fish it. All the guys that were part of this September exploratory trip are already in on this one for next year. So I will open some weeks/space up for 2 or 3 more trips to this place. As you can probably imagine, I have heard numerous stories about secret honey holes holding lots of big fish in my 30 years in this business. Most are just that…stories. However, this particular story got my attention in a big big way. Why? Because the guy telling me this works for our operation and he has a brother that is currently fishing this secret place. Knowing our employee for as long as I have, I know he would not share this information with me if there wasn’t some truth to it. Anyway, we’re going…Good Lord willing and the creek doesn’t rise. Well, the river may rise but by golly we’re going! This is not a one time thing either. Even if we prove the great fishing to be true, it is my plan to explore as many as 2 or 3 new tributaries each year. There is still a lot of untapped water in the Amazon that no other operations are fishing. We are not about to run off and leave our waters that continue to produce but rather add more trips each year to NEW water for those that simply want…..new water.

BIG FISH CONTEST AND OTHER INCENTIVES OFFERED BY RSJA!!!

Some of you already know that we offer big fish contests to our customers. We now offer a return trip, free fishing package to whoever lands the biggest peacock bass in the Fall Season (Sept/Oct) as well as a free trip to whoever lands the biggest peacock bass caught in the Winter Season (Jan – Mar). At the time of this writing, Charles Spivak’s 25 pound monster is leading the Fall contest. We’ve had 2 over 24 lbs landed since Charles returned home. Keep biting those fingernails, Charles!

We offer GROUP DISCOUNTS as well. The Otter houseboat accommodates a maximum of 16 guests. In the past we offered 1 free package for booking a group of 10 paying guests or 2 free packages for booking 14 paying guests. Now you can earn 1 free fishing package for booking 8 paying guests! You can take and use this free package for yourself OR divide among group to lower everyone in the group’s cost.

Jack Devaney landed this Amazon giant

Jack Devaney landed this Amazon giant

There you have it folks. Once again the fall season lives up to it’s billing. No, not “all” trips are fantastic or produce the numbers of these I mentioned. However, this area we fish in the Fall is so consistently good, that we rarely have what are known as “wash outs”…and if you’ve been to the Amazon more than a few times, you know what a wash out is and they’re NO FUN. Usually wash outs are when the water is very high and on the rise. Thus making it extremely difficult to find the peacocks or get them to strike. This is why I have stated many times that fixed base facilities such as lodges, camps, etc, are very risky as those are limited to a certain distance for fishing around that lodge or camp. If the water were to rise and become too high or conducive for good fishing, then one or two things will happen and neither are favorable….1) The angler just has to stick it out and hope for the best….or 2) Make very long rides to better water level that “may” produce good fishing. That’s “IF” there is better water level within reach of said fixed base facility. Folks, the houseboats are THE BEST way to avoid washouts…and even then they don’t guarantee it won’t happen….but they give the angler the best opportunity to avoid them…and of course put you in good fishing areas with good water level. Our operation has been doing this longer than any other current operation in the Amazon. Our crew’s knowledge and experience is why we’re still there and providing our customers with consistently good fishing experiences. Come see for yourself as I know you will not be disappointed!

Call us today:800-722-0006
GOOD FISHIN’,
RON SPEED, JR.

Posted in Fishing Reports, Ron's Bass Fishing Newsletter


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