Fall 2021 Update

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

MEXICO FISHING SEASON TO BEGIN WITH FULL LAKE LEVELS!!!

Mr. Strike King John Barns and guide showing off his Lake Picachos toad!!

Hello folks! It’s that time of year again when we are pumped up and ready to kick off our primary fishing season! The lake levels are what we (I) pray for every summer when monsoon begins… that the Lord blesses us with adequate rainfall that will then lead to providing us with great fishing all season long (Oct – June). Well the Lord has answered our prayers this summer. When the rainy season began, we were down to 15% water in Lake El Salto, and around 20% in Lake Picachos. As usual, Picachos filled up first. By early August, the water was going over the dam. That’s not uncommon as Picachos is on a huge watershed that comes from the mountains in Durango. El Salto is not on a watershed as big as Picachos’ and it requires more rainfall/runoff to fill. So when Picachos filled by early August, El Salto was still around 50% level. However, Hurricane Nora arrived along the Pacific Coast of Mexico around August 25, and for 5 days it produced torrential downpour in Sinaloa and Sonora states…as well as the Baja! After 5 days of hurricane/tropical storms, Lake El Salto completely filled. At the time of this writing, El Salto is at 106% full…still at flood stage! Don’t worry, though, because the water never made it to the steps of our lodge and houses! Lake Picachos remains at 100% full or close to full.

Shana Koonsman May with her 10lbs Lake El Salto Trophy.

So the news could not be any better with regards to the much needed rainfall after last year’s drought and lakes being lower than ever! The bass “may be” scattered for the first few weeks of the season but that’s not a given… just more of a prediction based upon my 35 years of business in Mexico and 52 years of experience in bass fishing. I look at the BIG PICTURE and the big picture here is that when we start fishing in October with full lakes or close to full lakes, we usually have a great fishing season… right up until the monsoon season begins in July! I would expect this fishing season to not be different. Always play the percentages and the percentages say “GET TO LAKES PICACHOS AND EL SALTO THIS SEASON…IT’S GOING TO BE AWESOME!!!”

Water in cove leading up to the camp at Lake El Salto.

Water going over the dam at Lake Picachos.

GREAT INTERVIEW WITH TWO LONGTIME FRIENDS AND CUSTOMERS…DAVID & CINDY BEDNAR!!

BRAZIL PEACOCK BASS UPDATE!!!

I apologize that we haven’t been able to bring you any updates on Brazil Peacock Bass fishing in a long time… and that is because we haven’t had any anglers go in over a year due to the constant Covid lockdowns last year. However, we were all set to start fishing again this Fall Season. BUT… American Airlines pulled the non-stop direct flight from Miami to Manaus, thus causing all of our Fall customers to reschedule for Jan/Feb/Mar as well as Fall 2022. Currently our Jan/Feb/Mar customers have booked for their air schedule for Dallas to Sao Paulo and to Manaus… or those that live in the southern or eastern part of the U.S. will fly Miami to Sao Paulo to Manaus! The good news is that we’ll be operational again by January and our crew is READY TO GO! I will update you on any news regarding the non-stop flight (Miami/Manaus) as soon as I hear anything. As things start to settle down and get back to “normal” regarding this “V,” I would think or expect American or another airline to start up a non-stop direct flight from the U.S. to Manaus. Again, I’ll update as soon as I know or hear anything. Please watch our newest and fantastic Peacock Bass Video below that features my good friend and Major League Fishing Pro Angler Edwin Evers! I think you’ll like it….A LOT.

NEW BRAZIL PEACOCK BASS VIDEO FEATURING M.L.F. PRO EDWIN EVERS!!!

MLF Pro Angler Edwin Evers.

Folks, please take a few minutes to watch our newest Peacock Bass video featuring my longtime friend and M.L.F. Pro Angler Edwin Evers! Edwin has made numerous trips with me to Brazil for peacock bass fishing! He’s planning his next trip with us in Fall 2022! Please watch… and enjoy! If you’ve never experienced the mighty Peacock Bass, you’ve been missing out! Add in the big time adventure of being on a 5-star floating hotel (Amazon Otter Houseboat) cruising around the various rivers/tributaries of the Amazon Rainforest… visiting and trading with the natives… and having your heart stop a hundred times from the thunderous topwater explosions of the mighty peacock bass! This is high adventure… and if you’re not yet sold, then watch this video. You won’t be able to resist. 😉

COMBINE SOME SURF & TURF IN MAZATLAN DURING YOUR FISHING TRIP!!!

Many of you have experienced the beautiful city of Mazatlan in the past. For those of you that have yet to experience it, well Mazatlan is a first-class beach resort city. In the past 10 years, the government has invested in making it MORE BEAUTIFUL. There are many new first-class hotels that have been built and more still under construction. The reason I mention this is because Mazatlan has become more popular than ever in recent years… and the reason for that is more and more tourists are learning about how wonderful of a tourist resort it is and how it continues improving each year. That said, we have recommended El Cid Resorts to our customers for the past 22 years. In 1999, we made the move to El Cid and have never been happier. El Cid Resorts in Mazatlan offers 4 different hotels for your preference. Most of our customers stay at El Cid Castilla Beach hotel, which is 5-star and located right on the best part of the Mazatlan beaches. Next to El Cid Castilla Beach is the El Cid El Moro Tower Hotel, which is El Cid’s luxury suites/rooms… again, 5-star and FIRST CLASS! Then you have the Marina El Cid Hotel located further north of the tourist zone (Golden Zone) and it’s designed more for those wanting to experience some great Deep Sea fishing! Rooms/Suites there are also 5-star and first class. Finally you have the El Cid Grenada Hotel, which is designed more for those wanting to get in a day or two of GOLF… it’s their Country Club Hotel and it’s also 5-star and first class!

El Moro Tower Hotel

There are MANY fun things to do and wonderful places to visit while in Mazatlan. For those wanting to combine some first-class Deep Sea fishing during your bass trip of a lifetime, we can arrange your saltwater fishing with Marina El Cid’s Aries Fleet — the best in the business in Mazatlan! Again, they’re the best in Mazatlan with first-class offshore boats and guides! You can also go take a tour to Deer Island and enjoy a day of snorkeling while there…. Maybe a day at Stone Island…. Enjoy a spectacular Mazatlan Sunset Tour aboard a trimaran…. Personally, I love visiting the OLD Historic part of Mazatlan and taking in a delicious dinner at Pedro Y Lola. There are NUMEROUS things to visit and enjoy while staying in Mazatlan. My advice is to plan to arrive Mazatlan a day or two early and enjoy all it has to offer before you go battle all of those bass at El Salto and Picachos, because I doubt you’ll have much energy to do it AFTER fishing. Again, just some helpful advice. Either way, Mazatlan is a GREAT place to visit and especially if you decide to bring family along!

Marina El Cid Hotel

Marina El Cid Room

Last, should you decide to combine a day or more in Mazatlan away from bass fishing with us, and you need a tour guide to take you to various places you desire to visit, then let us know before your trip. We can get the drivers we use from the Tour Guide Association and Taxi Union to be there and work FOR YOU! All are bilingual and all are SAFE drivers! Really good people that have years of experience and a great track record.

Beautiful Mazatlan sunset.

Good fishin’ and God Bless!
Ron Speed, Jr.



Spring 2021 Brazil & Mexico Update

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

PRAYERS NEEDED FOR CHRIS HOUSTON AND ENTIRE HOUSTON FAMILY!

Christ Houston landed this hawg at Comedero in 2015

Before I get to the Brazil and Mexico fishing updates, there is something MORE IMPORTANT to share with you. Our dear friend, Chris Houston, loving wife of TV fishing legend and pro angler Jimmy Houston, suffered a brain aneurysm on Monday, April 5th…which led to a massive stroke. Chris has been receiving around-the-clock medical care at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center. Jimmy and his family have remained by her side day and night. Please, I ask you prayer warriors to add and keep Chris, Jimmy, daughter Sherri and son Jamie in your prayers. Chris is one of the kindest and sweetest women you would ever know. I’ve been close with the Houston Family for over 30 years. They are as good as gold and strong in their faith with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God Bless the Houston Family.

Chris, Jimmy, Sherrie, and Jamie

PICACHOS…MAKING MORE AND MORE LIFETIME MEMORIES!!!

Richard Carlie with one of the many 6 pounders he landed at Picachos!!

I won’t spend too much time talking about how great this lake (Picachos) is because you’ve read it over and over and over again. I will, however, share testimonials from customers and groups as they share with me. The following testimonial was sent to me by one of our longtime dear friends and customers, Richard Carlile. I started in this business in 1987, one year before we opened our camp/fishing operation on Lake Comedero. In the first year or two after opening at Comedero, Richard decided to give us and Comedero a try. It would not be his last trip at Comedero and here 32 years later, Richard and his friends are still fishing with us in Mexico! I suppose we must be doing some things right? Richard and his friends just returned from Lake Picachos where they claimed to have a fantastic experience…that includes lodging, meals, guides, boats and just the overall service and not just the catching. Please take a minute to read Richard’s story regarding his last morning of fishing with partner Mark Miller. Another memorable lifetime experience! Picachos continues producing such experiences!

Mark Miller showing off one of the many 6 pounders he and Richard Carlile landed the last morning on Picachos

“First off, our trip was great, the new improvements to the lodge are fantastic! Food and service was wonderful. But one morning of fishing with myself and Mark Miller was something crazy. Starting off, we asked our guide to skip the numbers kind of thing and go after grandes…big bass! About 8 o’clock we pulled up to a flat That I think was about 30 feet deep. Mark had this jumbo deep crank bait. One! I have my normal deep crank baits but nothing like this Gargantuan green tennis ball sized bait of his. He cranked it down as hard as he could and then wham! A 5 pounder! Couple of casts later a six pounder! Two or three casts later another five, another six! I’m over there with a normal size crank bait running down 15 feet and pretty much getting nothing. Mark probably caught 15 before he hung the bait and lost it. We tried other things, slow rolling a spinner bait, adding an ounce more weight to it. But it just wasn’t working. So we decided to try somewhere else. We ran up the lake to a new spot and our Guide told us “Plastico”. We made several casts into the area where he pointed and got nothing. We were about to leave to go to another spot when a few really nice size fish broke the top chasing some shad. I grabbed a medium running pearl colored crank bait and we laced about 40 up. All between 3 and 5 pounds! Really beautiful fish! When it slowed down we went to another spot and when we got there there were two guys in a boat paddling and fishing. We noticed he was throwing one of those god-awful huge crank baits like Mark lost that morning. So we asked our Guide to go over there and let us visit with him. Long story short is we offered to buy his bait! He offered it for $10 and Mark couldn’t get his wallet out quick enough! He smiled as he traded the bait for the $10 bill from Mark and reached down and picked up two more off the floor of that little paddle boat. So quickly I asked him what he would take for the other two. He said he couldn’t sell those because he was still fishing. Again long story short, he and I settled on $20 apiece for those! Little did he know that I would have paid him 100 apiece easily! Anyway so back to the morning spot we went. First cast we lost one of those baits! But for the next 20 minutes or so it was wild and crazy again with five and six pounders. We got to where we quit taking pictures as it was getting close to noon and we didn’t want to miss any casts! Mark then lost his bait to a stump and I didn’t want him to feel left out like I did earlier so we quit. When we got to the camp our Guide told us we had 84 total bass that morning. We believe we had about 20 over 6, another 20 over 5, the remainder being between three and five pounds. We had no small fish! This was from 2 spots of about a 50 yds square. There really has to be an unbelievable amount of those size fish in those kind of places on that lake. They may not always be easy to find but getting into them sure can be memorable and make for a lifetime experience! Thank you again Ron Speed Jr’s Adventures for allowing us wannabes to have these kind of experiences!” – Richard Carlile

Tanner Dewey is proud of his 2 for one catch on Picachos and Dad Steve is all smiles because his is bigger!!

Folks, you cannot imagine how many stories like this one we receive almost weekly from returning happy customers! The lake is amazing and it just seems to be getting better and better each year…particularly with the size quality. These lakes don’t last forever and as they age, they start to cycle. Right now Picachos is still fishing like a NEW LAKE! Don’t look back and say “I wish I had fished the lake when it was new or great”….the opportunity is still available.

Mike Gable with his Picachos Hawg!

Lake Picachos is for every type of angler…rookie, novice, semi-experienced and even the most seasoned angler. That said, I cannot think of a lake in my lifetime next to Lake Guerrero in the early to mid-70’s that offers more to the young angler. If you want your kids or grandkids to learn how to bass fish and fall in love with bass fishing, LAKE PICACHOS IS YOUR LAKE! When I was a young boy and my father was still coaching high school football at Hemphill High School, my father would take my brother and I fishing on Toledo Bend Reservoir. The lake was new and a good day between the three of us was about 25 – 30 bass…but my father caught the majority. I didn’t know how to fish a worm or Texas rigged plastic. I was trying but just couldn’t get the hang of it. Then in 1974 my father took our entire family to his still under construction El Sargento Lodge on Lake Guerrero. While my brother and I enjoyed catching over 100 bass per day on that Lucky 13 topwater lure, my father made us spend an entire two days fishing nothing but a Creme Worm. I hated it…well, for the first 30 minutes…but that’s about all it took me to finally grasp the concept of fishing a worm for bass. The reason I learned so quickly that first worm fishing day on Guerrero is “trial and error”….one must have many opportunities to learn from mistakes when learning how to fish a certain type of lure or pattern. Well, my brother and I certainly had many opportunities on Guerrero in the 70’s to learn how to fish any lure made in the tackle industry! Lake Picachos offers the same opportunities….and not to mention, it’s a barrel of fun! Two bird with one stone!

Jena and Lane Gregory (daughter and son of our friend Laci Gregory) enjoy the boat ride at Picachos!

So with that, let me announce that we will not be closing our camps this summer on Lakes Picachos and El Salto! Last year our season was interrupted in March (2020) due to Covid and the non-essential travel restrictions. However, we reopened the two camps on July 1st and they’ve been opened since. The fishing was absolutely fantastic during the summer-monsoon months…and maybe even better than in the “normal” season. I will tell you “most” days, the heavy monsoon rains don’t start up until late afternoon in the mountains. Fishing most of the day is under sunshine or just partly cloudy. The storms build all afternoon and then hit between 4 – 6 pm…and most of the time last 1 – 2 hours. The storms return late in the night and are finished before first light to go out fishing the next morning. It doesn’t get dark that time of year until around 8:30 – 8:45 pm…so most days when the storms hit late afternoon, we come in and take a 1 – 2 hour break (from the lightning), then head back out for another 1 – 2 hours of fishing. Therefore on “most” days, we’re still able to get 8 – 10 hours of fishing. If you want to get your kids in on the best bass fishing in the world while they’re out of school, we’ll be open…at BOTH LAKES! Remember our 2 for 1 special on family members!

A view from the top of the stairs of our beautiful lodge at Picachos

LAKE EL SALTO STILL PRODUCING THE BIGGUNS!!!

Chase Ammirata landed this 12+ pounds fish of a lifetime in March at lake El Salto!!!

Well, since our last update in February, not much has changed at Lake El Salto…and that’s a very good thing! As mentioned in my last update, the fishing at El Salto is the best I’ve seen in years. More and more of those bigger bass showing up again with a lot of bass landed in the 6 – 8 lbs class. That said, last month (March) we had a young man by the name of Chase Ammirata land a giant 12 lbs hog! The bass wasn’t your normal short and fat type of Hybrid-Florida strain. No, this fish was exceptionally long (30″)! Chase landed this giant in less than 10′ of water on a watermelon colored Zoom Magnum Lizard (8″). We’ve seen more and more big bass landed more shallow this season than in the previous 7 or 8 years! One group caught almost all of their big bass (7 lbs and larger) on Whopper Plopper topwater lures…and they had a couple over 10 lbs!

Larry Ward tricked this 8 pound beauty into biting on a recent trip to El Salto!!

We’re now able to accommodate and fish up to 24 people at the camp! We renovated some of the houses/rooms we have not used in years and now they’re in great shape and ready to go! All rooms have tv’s for your viewing pleasure. We plan to add some entertainment games such as horseshoe pits and cornhole boards. Some of you have mentioned this in the past and we’re finally going to offer such. They should be in place and ready to go in early to mid-May. Those of you who have been to our El Salto camp know that we offer an outside bar under the big “Capuli” tree with big screen tv so you can watch your favorite sports team or movies.

Not to be outdone, Evelyn Ward shows Larry she can catch the big ones too!

Currently the lake is low but so are “most” of the lakes in Sinaloa and in western Mexico. For some lakes that may be a problem but for El Salto that can be a very good thing…especially after the nets come out of the lake. The official date that all nets have to be out of El Salto is May 1st. Now don’t hold our feet to the fire on that exact date as I have seen in “some” years where they left the nets in the lake a few days and even up to one week after May 1st. However, I’ve never seen them in the lake after the first week of May. When the nets come out around the first of May, that fishing becomes lights out! Those bass know when the nets are in the lake as the commercial fishing season takes place during the main “dry season”…and during the dry season that water can be very clear most of the time. So the bass can see…and they know…and they “usually” hang out deeper when there are a lot of nets in the lake. You add low water and no nets on El Salto, and that equates to GREAT FISHING! Those bigger bass are much easier to isolate and pattern! Since we’re going to have BOTH operations on El Salto and Picachos open this summer, I honestly believe we’re going to have some great numbers of bass caught and bigguns too…especially bigguns at El Salto! Like with Picachos, we offer the 2 for 1 special for family members this summer! A great time for you to bring that someone special in your family or kids and grandkids…a great opportunity for them to catch that big bass of a lifetime!

BRAZIL PEACOCK BASS FISHING AND THE AMAZON OTTER…ALL SET TO RESUME THIS FALL! HALLELUJAH!!!

Now this is a classic peacock bass topwat explosion!

That’s right, Folks! After being shut down in Brazil for over a year…which wiped out our Fall and Winter seasons on the Uatuma and Rio Negro rivers, it “appears” all signs are a GO starting this fall! According to reports from our folks in Manaus, Brazil, things are starting to open back up in Manaus and the Amazon. Flights from Miami appear to be ready to resume before or by the time we start our fishing season in September! Thank you, Lord! Since we missed all of this past season/year with the shut downs, there really isn’t much to report other than things are looking great to reopen and we’re VERY EXCITED! I know a lot of our customers are also excited as they had their trips cancelled and had to move to this coming season! As I receive more updated news, I will pass along but right now we’re taking reservations for this coming seasons (Sept/Oct in Uatuma and Jan – March in Rio Negro). You should also know that American Airlines are taking reservations for that direct non-stop flight from Miami to Manaus. Soooooo…GREAT GREAT NEWS!!!!

Long time friend Howard Hada with a huge peacock he caught on the Rio Negro back Jan 2020!!

LEW’S RODS…THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS AND WE OFFER THEM IN OUR CAMPS!!!


Yes, you’ve probably read last year where we started offering you Lew’s Rods to use while at our fishing operations in Mexico! This has been a MAJOR hit with our customers the past year as we offer some of Lew’s top of the line fishing rods they offer! I strongly recommend that you visit their website and also find a Lew’s Dealer in your area to purchase their rods that fit your style! I only use Lew’s now and could not be happier! Get you some Lew’s Rods and you’ll be happy too! Visit their website here: www.lews.com


RECENT PHOTOS FROM OUR EL SALTO AND PICACHOS OPERATIONS…ENJOY!!!

Our dear friend and promotional staff member Javier Rodriguez from Monterrey, recently visited our camp operations at Lakes El Salto and Picachos. These breathtaking photos include pics of the lodging, meals, scenic shots from the lake, etc. Get ready to get hungry when viewing the assortment of food pics…and yes, this is just a small amount of various food we serve in all of our lodges. Javier is very talented…a professional in all he does and especially with videos and photography! Here is a sample of his great work. Enjoy!

God Bless and Good Fishin’,
Ron Speed, Jr.
Ron Speed Jr’s Adventures