June 2017 Brazil Update

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


Steve landed this 11 pound Comedero giant in Jan. 2015 (like all images, this one can be viewed larger by clicking on it)

Before we start the Brazil Peacock Bass update, it is with a heavy heart that I have to report the passing of a longtime friend, customer and RSJA Life Member, Steve Bauer. Steve and his wife Allison lost their lives recently in a fatal car accident. Steve loved to fish, loved fishing in Mexico and loved everything about Mexico…but he absolutely loved fishing Lake Comedero. It was by far his favorite lake and since his first trip there in 2002, he never missed a season fishing the lake while the lodge was open. Steve would fish 2 weeks every season. Our staff at all camps — hosts and guides — loved Steve and always looked forward to his arrival.  I met Steve in 1986 when he lived in my hometown of Corsicana and his son Tim worked for my father in a movie/video store. He was truly one of the “good guys” in this world that loved his family and loved the outdoors. Prayers sent up for his 3 kids and the rest of the family. Rest in peace my dear friend.


Charles Spivak 25lbs

For you avid peacock bass anglers…heck, for ALL avid anglers, it’s getting close to the time we start rippin’ and reelin’ to incite a major KABOOOOM!!! That “KABOOOOM” I refer to is the deafening sound a peacock bass makes when exploding on a large propelled topwater lure being ripped across the water’s surface. You that have fished for peacock bass in the Amazon know that sound very well… but for those of you who have never experienced it, well… let’s just say you’re missing the boat here! There is NOTHING in fishing that compares to the thunderous explosions a peacock bass makes on these big topwater lures nor is there anything in fishing that compares to the battle between angler and peacock! I have fished for these brute beasts since the late 80’s and today I still get humbled every time I go up against the amazing peacock bass. I’m sure many of you that have yet to experience it, have read my updates, heard the stories and probably think to yourself, “Meh, I don’t believe it.” Well, BELIEVE IT! I would probably be the same as many of you if I had not already experienced a battle with this monster fish. I’ve had 100 lbs test braid line snapped, 4.0 saltwater (4x strong) treble hooks straightened and seen these peacocks rip a 2″ eye hook screw right out of the side of these lures! That’s right…no lie, no fish story. And I’ve seen these things happen too many times to keep count! These are not saltwater fish either but all live in freshwater!

Lewis Cunningham 22 lb Peacock

You combine this amazing fish with the surroundings of the majestic Amazon Rain Forest, well… it’s a match made in Heaven. I tell people all the time that this isn’t just a fishing trip but rather a true HIGH ADVENTURE trip. One does not have to enjoy fishing or be an avid skilled angler to enjoy this trip. No, not at all. Many times I’ve had a customer call and tell me that he/she is going just because his/her friend is going and needed a fishing partner, that he/she doesn’t really like to fish but is going out of friendship. Then that person ends up loving the whole adventure and returns year after year. Then I’ve had people call in to book saying “This is a Bucket List trip” and only planning to experience it one time, but ends up going year after year. Yes, there is A LOT more to this trip than just fishing, but the fishing alone justifies making the trip because there’s not a more fun fish to do battle with. When you throw in all the Amazon Rain Forest has to offer, it just sky rockets this trip to the absolute top of the list of all trips in the outdoors!

Rio Negro fishing in Brazil

Stephanie Hada 20 lb Rio Negro 2016

Our Fall Season begins less than 3 months from now. If you follow my updates, you will remember our reports from last Fall season where we absolutely hammered big peacocks. We have fished this particular area in Sept/Oct for the past 25 years without missing a single Fall season. It’s simply money in the bank! I can tell you that it is better today than it was the first time I fished it 25 years ago when nobody else was operating in the region and we were the very first operation in the area. Half of our team of elite guides that started with us from Day 1, 25 years ago, are still with us today. They know every arroyo, lagoon, tributary, nook and cranny of these two rivers and are the best guides in all of the Amazon Basin for sportfishing/peacock bass fishing.

There is still time to get on board for the Fall season. There aren’t too many openings available as we’re 90% full. However, I added a “special” promo trip in September. I am only going to add a maximum of 6 anglers to this special promo group I have going. They will be there to film the group of 6 anglers and this will be distributed throughout the media and social media world for our promotions. If you would like buy our fishing package to be part of this special promotion, I will offer you 50% discount on a future return trip…or a FULL FREE trip to Mexico for our bass fishing on any of our lakes — 3 or 4 days of fishing in Mexico. If interested, call me SOON. I have already mentioned this special promo trip to a few of our customers in person and over the phone. There’s a lot of interest but it’s one of those first come, first serve deals. CALL TODAY!!!!


That’s right folks…NO MORE BUS!!!! As many of you know, we flew twin turbo charter planes to our fall season rivers for 15+ years. Then the DAC in Manaus shut down that airstrip due to too many animals (cattle, dogs, vultures, etc) on the airstrip due to fences being destroyed. Since there wasn’t another adequate and safe airstrip within 100 miles of these two rivers, we decided to use a chartered party bus to meet the Amazon Otter houseboat and then ride it 5 hours to these two rivers. Well, we have decided to start using float planes for this fall season. Now this doesn’t have anything to do with our Rio Negro season domestic travel as we have ALWAYS used the twin turbo planes to fly to Barcelos and Santa Isabel when fishing the Negro. This strictly has to do with where we fish in September/October — an area far far away from the Negro. So no more 4 hour bus rides, only 1 hour 10 minute flight and you’re there on the main river we fish. This should be great news for all that have endured the bus trips in the past.

Amazon beach BBQ


For many years, we have offered group discounts to our group leaders who put together large groups for peacock bass fishing. Normally we offer 1 free fishing package to the group leader if there are 10 paying in the group, and 2 free fishing packages if they fill the houseboat with the maximum of 16. For the upcoming season only (Fall 2017/Winter 2018), we will offer 1 free fishing package to group leader (or for entire group to divide) if there are 6 paying in the group, and 2 free fishing packages if there are 12 paying in the group. We realize it can be difficult getting a large group together and all agreeing on dates that fit everyone’s personal and work schedules. We want to make it a little easier for our group leaders this season and reward them for taking the time to put larger groups together.


The Amazon Otter on the move

You may have read it here many times, but the Amazon Otter houseboat is one of the more luxurious houseboats for sportfishing in all of the Amazon, if not THE MOST LUXURIOUS! This 5-star floating hotel offers huge spacious rooms (2 per room) with twin size beds instead of the common state rooms with bunk beds. These rooms offer their own private bath/shower with huge showers (and hot water), individual a.c. units so you can control the temps in your own room and freeze yourself out if you desire. The Otter also offers a huge lounge deck up top with an additional 2 socializing areas with bar and Jacuzzi. The Otter also offers a huge air conditioned dining room as well as an entertainment room with satellite television. The Otter was designed and constructed with the sportfisherman in mind in that it was built with a flatter hull that requires only 4 feet of draft. This is important when the water level in the Amazon becomes very low and sandbars begin to appear. The Otter will be able to navigate into shallow water areas when other houseboats with deeper drafts are unable to. The water levels in most areas of the Amazon are very unpredictable due to constant fluctuation, especially in the Rio Negro River and tributaries of the Negro. While some other houseboats were mainly built for size or comfort, the Amazon Otter was built for ALL OF THE ABOVE…comfort, size, safety AND FISHING! Remember that when planning your next fishing adventure to the Amazon.

Also part of this magnificent houseboat, the Amazon Otter, is the staff and guides. They are second to none! No other operation has more experienced guides and staff members. Why? Because no other operation for peacock bass fishing in the Amazon has done this as long as us. You will be treated like royalty, and be waited on 24/7. From the food to cleanliness of the boat and rooms, to your clothes being washed daily. This staff is THE BEST! The fishing guides are the key to your fishing success. That is a FACT. No other operation has more experienced guides than the Otter. Alberto, Harold, Joe and Amaral have been with us from the beginning — 25 years! Evangir (“G”) has over 18 years of guiding experience and Gator has 16 years of guiding experience. This is truly an “A-TEAM” of guides!

Cley is the Amazon Otter manager and has been with us for the past 3 years after years of managing various fishing and nature tour operations in the Amazon. Franz, who was my manager on a different houseboat (Amazon Angler) for many years is now co-managing trips as well. Franz and Cley do not believe in having the Otter sit in one place all week but are ready to “pull up stakes” and move at first sign of bad water conditions or poor fishing. They will move the Otter all night and all day if necessary! They put you, our valuable customer, FIRST! They also know the Amazon, it’s culture, the natives and surroundings. They can organize for you a visit with the natives for trade of authentic souvenirs to bring home — souvenirs such as spears, bows, canoe paddles, etc, etc. They will assist you with your every need and desire to help make this an adventure of a lifetime!



Last year we resumed our exploratory trips after years of not conducting any. I plan to do one or more each year in the future. If you do not understand what I mean by “exploratory trips,” well it means we are exploring different water. It may or may not be water we have fished before in our 25 years in the Amazon. It may or may not be water anyone else has fished previously. Some rivers/tributaries that were not good 10 years ago or 15 years ago, may have become very good for fishing recently. On the flip side of that, some rivers/tributaries that WERE GOOD 10 or 15 years ago, may not be good now due to various reasons with pressure from sportfishing operations as well as commercial fishing operations being the primary reasons. I do not completely write off a river/tributary that I have fished without success or proving up the fishing. Last year I fished a tributary of the Amazon that I haven’t fished since September of 2000. The water was extremely high 17 years ago when I had last fished it and there wasn’t a good opportunity to prove the fishing in that watershed. It took me a while but I came back to it last year, and I saw enough there to warrant another “checkout” trip in the immediate future. We will be hosting such exploratory trips every year going forward and I strongly recommend that you consider joining us on one of these type of trips. For me, they are the most fun trips I’ve experienced. We are very selective in who we allow on these trips because we have not proven the fishing. So it requires the “right” person to make such a trip. However, since we probably haven’t been to this particular river or area before, there are a lot of unknowns but those unknowns add excitement and many times turn out to be very fun. Add to that, since we are very selective on who we allow on these type of trips, you can rest assure they’re ALL going to be good folks and fun people to hang out with for 6 days of fishing and exploring. I’ve already started an “Exploratory Trip List” and if you are interested in making one of these trips, call and I’ll add you to the list for future trips. While many of our customers are happy with the current areas we are fishing, we do not want to be complacent and place all of our eggs in one basket. As I stated before, some areas that were great for fishing years ago no longer provide great fishing. Plus, some of you who fish the Amazon every year may simply want to fish and see new water. That is what we are trying to provide when exploring for new water. This is why we have been operating in the Amazon for peacock bass fishing longer than any other operation. It’s why we have been #1 among International Fishing Outfitters south of the border! Come join us…call me today!


Call us today:800-722-0006

Posted in Ron's Bass Fishing Newsletter, Ron's Fishing Tips & Stories

Picachos – Best Action; El Salto – Consistent as Always

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


Bass action for sheer numbers and quality size just doesn’t get any better than Picachos! It’s like hitting the rewind button with these updates but the insane numbers and hundreds of testimonials from returning ecstatic customers continue to roll in every day! I realize that many of you that have yet to fish Picachos, probably have doubts as to the accuracy of these updates but let me assure you that the reports are coming straight from the “horse’s mouth”…the paying customer! All of our guides have “clickers” and also keep count of the daily catches so as to reaffirm the numbers reported to us by our fishing customers.

Here are some recent testimonials…

Richard Carlile wrote on April 17, 2017 –

“Ron, The only thing I can say about our trip is wow!!! Everything is just like advertised. Short ride to the lake. The lodging is very adequate with complete privacy, acknowledging our every need, including bringing in a masseuse! The staff couldn’t have been nicer, the food couldn’t have been better. And the fishing, oh my goodness the fishing! I’ve traveled to most all of the hot bass lakes in Mexico over the last 40 years. I’ve certainly caught numbers before, but never before have I caught numbers and quality like we did on our trip. Almost all of the fish we caught were solid 3 to 5 pounds, with an occasional 6 and 7 and even an eight thrown in. I try not to dwell on the numbers but I know you need them. On Saturday morning the 15th I was fishing alone and by lunch I had 157 bass! Everyone caught good fish every trip out with varying “votes” of having the morning or the evening of a lifetime. We had such a great time. I know that an operation like yours takes a lot of work and we all really really appreciate it and everything everyone did for us. Looking forward to our next trip already”

Cathy & Mike Wheatley; Mike wrote on April 20, 2017 –

Cathy Wheatley with one of her El Salto Trophies!! (click picture to see it larger)

“Ron Jr… What a great 7 days in Mexico! The first 3 days at Lake Picachos and the last 4 days at Lake El Salto were outstanding. Picachos was phenomenal with all the 3, 4, and 5 lb fish. Also the scattered 6 and 7 lb’ers. Every boat had triple digit fish numbers every day. We had several father/son teams on this group and 1 – 3-generation groups. El Salto was once again meeting everyone’s expectations. With 5 husband/wife teams going out, the ladies showed the men how it was done. The ladies had several 7, 8, and 9 lbs lunkers. One couple had a 90 + fish morning. Cathy & I have witnessed the up and down cycles of fishing on several lakes over the past 20+ years of guiding and travels. We feel so lucky to be a part of 3 fabulous lakes that Ron Speed Jr. operates on. All three are on a great uphill swing for the next several years. The staff at all three lakes go above and beyond to make everyone’s dreams come true. Be ready to go on a diet when you get back home.”

Peyton Burford (Wheatley group) with a Big Picachos bass! (click image to see it larger)

Again, we receive these types of reports and testimonials every week, if not daily throughout the fishing season! This lake is currently the hottest bass lake in the world for insane action and numbers! It would also rank as the best ALL TIME for numbers… at least in my opinion. I was fortunate enough to fish famous Lake Guerrero before it first opened in the early 70’s. Those were some incredible days of sheer numbers of 3 – 5 pound bass on topwater! Especially a black “Lucky 13″… and I thought I had died and gone to Heaven! However, while the numbers of 100+ bass per day/per boat continued for about 6 years on Guerrero, that average size of 3 – 5 lbs only lasted about 3 years. This was due to the lake, while huge, being very shallow and those commercial nets could reach the bottom in most areas of the lake. Due to the size mesh of the nets, the locals were able to completely wipe out the middle-size or larger-size bass in the lake. By 1977, the average size dropped to 1-2 pounds per boat/per day. This is not the case at Picachos as the average size continues to increase each year! There are already some big trophy bass in the lake but until the overall numbers of smaller bass are “weeded out,” those bigger bass are not going to hang out in the shallows and compete with the smaller and faster swimmers. This is something I continue to reiterate in my updates… if you want big fish NOW, go to Comedero or El Salto. We have first-class operations on both of those lakes and they’re two of the best trophy bass lakes in the world! You want to catch bass until your arms fall off? Picachos is your lake!

Another Picachos giant!! (click to see image larger)

Our lodge at Picachos is the largest and nicest on the water with a breathtaking view of the main lake! Our food and service is second-to-none and I’m constantly told this by our happy customers upon their return. We offer prime cut 1 1/2″ thick, mouth watering grilled Ribeye steaks. Also a seafood fest night with huge fresh shrimp from Mazatlan prepared 3 ways and served on a warm “Hibachi” grill as well as fresh delicious Lobster from Mazatlan! Add to that is tasty fall-off-the-bone barbecued ribs and last but not least, a delicious Mexican food feast night! Our appetizers are a HUGE hit with our customers… from freshly-made guacamole and salsa prepared table-side to jalapeno poppers wrapped in bacon and filled with cream cheese… as well as nachos! Deserts… again, ours are second to none. Our famous Jack Daniels flavored bread pudding with or without a scoop of vanilla ice cream is a huge favorite! We also offer a local favorite of flan as well as choco-flan (my favorite), various cakes, pies and ice cream flavors! To put it in a nutshell… you will not lose any weight on our trips! 😉

best fishing outfitter in Mexico

Xpress Boats the very best alumaweld boats on the market!!!

Our boats… again, second to none. Our boats on Picachos (and Comedero) are 17′ Xpress all welded aluminum… the best in all of Mexico! Our boats on El Salto are 18 ft all alumaweld Xpress. Xpress makes the best all welded boat on the market….PLAIN AND SIMPLE! All of our boats on Picachos are equipped with front/back fish sonars as well as powerful 24-volt Minn Kota 70 and 80 Maxxum trolling motors. The big motors are 60 HP Yamaha 4-strokes… again, the best motor on the market!

Click to visit xpress boat’s website.

We offer first class fishing rods at all of our lodges. These rods are Dobyns Rods and our customers absolutely love them. We have various models/sizes of Dobyns Rods to meet your needs! From medium heavy fast action to medium action rods as well as 7′ 6″ flippin/pitchin rods by Dobyns! We offer these rods as a convenience to our customers so you do not have to lug those big heavy rod cases to Mexico! Add to that, starting last January, American Airlines enforced a new luggage embargo on its passengers and now you are allowed only ONE checked bag if you fly coach class. Business Class passengers may check TWO bags max. So our customers really appreciate our providing these fantastic rods!

Click on image to view the Dobyns Rods website

Call us today to come experience the best action bass lake in the world with the nicest lodge, best food, best staff, best guides and best boats on Picachos!!!


What is there to say that hasn’t been said many many times before? It’s just one more great lake that continues to churn out a lot of good quality bass and some bigguns too! This year our customers have seen the lake maintain that daily average of 60-80 bass per day… with many boats catching 100 or more per day! Every day we’ll have several boats of customers land bass in the 7-10 lbs class and most if not all will land a good number of 5 and 6 lbs bass! This time of year is when we see El Salto and all of our lakes in Sinaloa at their lowest water levels. May and June are the last two months of the dry season before the annual monsoon season kicks into high gear in late June and early July! This is a time when our fishing guides and customers can really isolate those big bass! It’s also a time of year that we have some of our largest bass caught for the entire season! The local commercial fishermen have removed the nets from the lake (as of May 1st every year) until September so for the next few months, the lake is just sport-fishing anglers ONLY!

Barry Holt is all smiles after landing this El Salto Toad!!!

Those that fish El Salto should do so primarily for the purpose of hooking/landing a trophy bass. Just up the road from El Salto we have a lodge operation on Lake Comedero… which right now is the hottest trophy bass lake on the planet! For you die-hard trophy anglers, you could not have a better setup than what we offer in Comedero and El Salto. The two lakes are only 1 1/2 hours apart, and both are completely paved all the way to these lakes! Comedero opened in 1987, El Salto in 1990. We have been operating on these two lakes since their opening and we’ve seen them great and we’ve seen them not so great. However, we’ve rarely seen both not so great at the same time, and most of the years, they’ve BOTH been great. Therefore it only makes perfect sense to try and plan to fish BOTH LAKES in the same trip! The percentages say you will have a very good chance to hook that giant bass of a lifetime and quite possibly many of them! We offer COMBO PACKAGES for all of our lakes with 2 or 3 days at each lake or we can customize a combo that best suits your desire, space allowing of course. Right now we’re adding more boats and housing to Comedero so we can match the lodging capacity of El Salto and offer more BIG GROUP COMBO PACKAGES! Opportunities to fish two of the very best trophy bass lakes in the world during the same trip do not occur often, but we are the only outfitter that is providing you with this opportunity at both lakes! We’ve had many customers these past two years take advantage of this golden opportunity and they did not regret it. A trophy bass fisherman’s dream come true!!!

RSJ’s new bar and patio at El Salto camp

We just finished our new bar at El Salto with new patio tables and chairs. This new bar is located out by the giant 130-year-old “Tule” tree next to the shore. Everyone loves to come in from a long day of fishing and watch their favorite sports team on the TV at the bar and have some tasty cocktails and Margaritas! Such a great setting and place to unwind! This bar area has always been a big hit but now it has a totally new look and comfort level. Add to this we have flat screen TV’s in each room, individual air conditioning in each room, huge porches with those comfy huge rockin’ chairs that everyone loves… a big nice restaurant with a huge indoor ground floor aquarium stocked with bass. This lakeside lodge facility is just a nice little paradise on one of the best bass lakes in the world. Come experience it yourself… you’ll absolutely fall in love with it!


Ron Jr’s new best friend Michael Novy at Picachos 2017 (click to enlarge)

This past February I was truly blessed when given the opportunity to meet an amazing young man by the name of Michael Novy and his wonderful father Steve. This opportunity was during a trip to Comedero and Picachos. Steve and Michael were fishing our 8-day custom Combo Package of 5 days at Comedero and 3 days at Picachos. Steve and Michael had been on several of our trips to Comedero and El Salto in recent years as well as our peacock bass fishing trip in the Amazon, but this was my first time meeting them. To say I was impressed is an understatement. Steve is a first class gentleman that has traveled all over the world for fishing and hunting. He’s also an incredible father that makes the time for his son (Michael) and shares his love of hunting/fishing with Michael. That first night they arrived at Comedero, I went to the porch of their house where they were sitting in the rocking chairs and having some appetizers. Steve informed me that Michael had caught a 24-lbs peacock bass on our Amazon trip a few years ago, Michael’s first ever peacock bass experience! He told me that Michael had an all time personal best black bass of 8 lbs and he was there to break that 8 lbs mark! Michael rubbed his hands together vigorously after Steve stated that…and told me, “YEP…I’M GOING TO DO IT!” Oh, how I like a person with confidence… and Michael was certainly confident!

Michael Novy with his 24.5lb peacock on recent trip to the Amazon with RSJA. (click to enlarge)

Each day Michael flirted with that personal record of 8 lbs while landing many bass in the 6 and 7 lbs class. His father, Steve, did land a few bass of 8+ lbs in the first few days and they both had on some really big bass that they lost. Then came the 5th and final day. Would Michael break his personal best of 8 lbs? He was still confident, really confident the darn record was GOING DOWN! That morning they caught a lot of bass and some nice 6 pounders, but then came the final afternoon. It’s like Michael went into a different zone: out for blood! Before Steve could re-tie his lure to start the afternoon of fishing, Michael had already put 3 over 7 lbs in the boat, but still no record breaker. After four more bass in the 6 lbs class, Michael landed one that matched/tied his previous record of 8 lbs… oooh, soooo close. So did Michael do it? Did he finally snap that 8+ lbs record that had eluded him for so long? YOU DANG RIGHT HE DID….SNAPPED!!! BROKEN!!! GOODBYE 8 LBS!!!! That afternoon Michael landed a beautiful 9 lbs, 3 oz Comedero HAWG!!!! To say he and his father Steve were happy would be an understatement. They both were ecstatic!!! Congratulations, Michael! You did it, my friend!

Micheal Novy with his 9.3lb Comedero Bass!!

To finish that story, that afternoon Michael and his father Steve landed 8 bass over 7 pounds and quite a few in the 5 and 6 pound class! That was one amazing afternoon and one that neither of them will ever forget.

This is really what it’s all about folks… father/son time and making special memories. Through all my constant travels around the world for business, I have always made the time for my two boys. I gave up fishing professionally (tournaments) 20 years ago to insure I would be there for them. It was really no sacrifice at all if a father truly loves his kids. My boys are my entire world. Steve is there for Michael 24/7 and has taken him all over the world fishing and hunting. Great job, Dad!

Michael & Lupe Cota become “Buds” at El Salto in 2016.

**Please check out Michael’s fish photos from their most recent trip to Comedero and Picachos…as well as one from El Salto and the Amazon!!!


Call us today:800-722-0006

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