LAKE PICACHOS….RAINY SEASON EXPLOSION!As the dog days of summer start to wind down (hopefully), I wanted to give you good folks some good news on fishing in Mexico.
I just returned 3 weeks ago from fabulous Lake Picachos! I continue to tell you how awesome this lake is….how there’s never been a lake with more bass…how much fun this lake is to fish…or how beautiful our camp is on this lake…and how first-class everything is to include houses, restaurant, service and boats. Well, it’s ALL true! Every time I visit our lodge and the fishing at Picachos, I return totally blown away….every single time! This recent trip was no different. I hosted a group of 8 anglers at Picachos in mid- to late July. I knew we would be dealing with the annual monsoon season…which meant “most likely” rising water, possibly severely stained to dirty water…and of course lightning and torrential rain from thunderstorms. Also a lot of humidity from the storms and warm summer temperatures. Well, it turned out to be “all of the above” for most. Still, it did not adversely affect the fishing….NOT ONE BIT!
Let’s get right to it, shall we? We were there to fish 5 days…which as it turned out, coulda-shoulda killed us! By that last day, we were all too tired to lift our arms…let alone, get in a boat with the idea we were going fishing….casting. We gutted it out though and it only padded our already INSANE numbers of bass! This wasn’t just about catching numbers as we had a lot of quality size fish in the 4 and 5 pound range and even some heavier toads! George Harris of Illinois was making his first trip to Picachos and went with the idea that this would be all about catching numbers of 2 – 4 pound bass. He not only caught a lot more bass over 4 pounds than he expected to catch but also landed his largest bass ever…9 lbs, 4 oz!!! George also got to see yours truly lose a giant bass near the dam. Seems I do that a lot here lately but that’s neither here nor there and let’s not talk about it…well, let’s just say that George got to see it up close and personal and truly believed that bass I lost was “twice bigger”….I think George has been fishing in Illinois too long but I will say that I believe the bass was well north of 10 lbs…possibly a “teener” …seriously. Oh well, enough about THAT! Let’s talk about the others that didn’t get away. Carroll Price of South Carolina was also making his first trip to Picachos and landed several big bass. One of 8.8 lbs, 2 of 7 and 7.5 lbs and several others in the 6 lbs class. His fishing partner, Ron Carpenter, a former NFL legend defensive lineman with the Cincinnati Bengals, also landed one of 7.5 lbs and a lot of quality bass in the 4 – 6 lbs class! Their friends, G.W. and Jerry, landed a ton of quality bass on Oldham’s spinnerbaits and even topwater up to 6 lbs (4 over 6 lbs). My largest “that didn’t get away” was 8.5 lbs.
Quick fishing story that took place during this fantastic trip. On the afternoon of the 2nd day, I was fishing with George Harris up the river. We had only been fishing about 45 minutes after lunch. We decided to slow things down and go hunt for big fish on one of my more brushier spots near the river. The kind of spot you better go straight vertical or risk losing your lure. We hadn’t caught anything big but we had 19 in the boat already for the afternoon. I get a call from my good buddy and spinnerbait maker, Terry Oldham. He wanted to know how fishing was (?) and after a few minutes, he decided to share a little tidbit with me about a great “hump” he found on his last trip near the end of May. He said “If the water depth is similar to what it was in May, those bass should still be on it.” After getting the directions, George and I headed to Oldham’s “secret honey hole,” which took us all but about 10 minutes to arrive and another 5 minutes for me to graph it with my Lowrance sonar. Once I had this hump located, I positioned the boat so we could both make casts to it. On my very first cast, I hooked two bass on my Strike King 10XD crankbait. That told me this hump had to be loaded with fish. Well, it was….boy was it loaded! After fishing Oldham’s hump for 1 hour, 20 minutes, George and I went from 19 bass to 212 bass!!!! We landed bass mostly from 3 lbs to 5 lbs but I did land two over 6 lbs! It was absolutely INSANE! Every cast it seemed…and when we didn’t catch one on a cast, we were like “Oh no, did they move out to deep water?”…then the next cast would produce a fish. Here’s another part of the greatness of that hole and afternoon of fishing….Like on my first cast where I landed two bass on one cast…I repeated that 11 more times! Yes, in the hour and a half that we fished that spot, I caught two bass on one cast/one lure 12 times!!!! George did the same 4 times on a smaller crankbait. We stopped fishing after an hour and a half not because the fish moved or quit biting, but rather we saw one of our other boats of friends and simply gave them the spot as we were just too darn tired to catch another bass! The guys we gave the hole to, immediately started catching them like George and I did….and when they got tired of it and moved on, we gave it to another boat of friends…and they wrecked them as well. That spot never stopped producing the rest of the trip…right down to the final hour and day of fishing. It was just absolutely insane!
Topwater good? You bet it was good! In fact, every morning there were at least 3 of our 4 boats (2 anglers per boat) that came in at lunch claiming to have caught bass on topwater all the way until 10:30 – 11 am!!! Honestly, it really didn’t matter what lures we used. Just grab something in the tackle bag/box and toss it out there! Every day the monsoon storms would roll in about 4:30 – 5:00 pm, which is normal for this time of year. Since we ALWAYS place safety #1, the guides were instructed to return to camp when lightning was within 5 miles. We would all race back to the lodge, let it pass (about 45 minutes to 1 hour), then go back out and fish until dark…which was around 8:30 pm. Even with an hour or so of “down time” every boat managed to catch 150 – 250 bass per day! We all agreed we could have caught even more but just simply couldn’t hold up to constant catching and many times just sat in the boat, drinking a beer or soda or water and look at each other like, “You fish…I’m going to take a break”…well, there were A LOT of breaks! That my friends, is about as good as bass fishing gets!
I see more and more evidence of Picachos nearing that “trophy” status. We’re not quite there yet but it’s coming sooner than you might think. It could happen this coming season as I do expect more bass of 10 lbs or larger to be caught this year than ever before. Still, I will hold off on classifying it a trophy lake….but only because we have two other lakes in Comedero and El Salto that are as good as trophy bass fishing gets and if one wants strictly trophy bass opportunities, then that’s where one needs to be…or at the very least, package one of those with Picachos in the same trip!
Now on to those other two great trophy bass lakes….
LAKE COMEDERO/LAKE EL SALTO…BIG BASS HEAVEN!Lake Comedero – Folks, I can’t stop telling you how strong I feel about the amount of giant bass that are in Comedero. If you’ve kept up with my updates and particularly my January 2016 Update…www.ronsfishingblog.com/january-2016-mexico-update/. where I told you about the giant that broke my heart, then you should know how I feel about Comedero and the vast amount of giant bass in that lake! Since it’s nearly 3x larger and deeper than El Salto and Picachos, it takes longer for the water to cool on the surface coming out of the monsoon and tropical storm seasons. Therefore I do not open our camp on this lake until December and close by the end of March. It’s not that you can’t catch big fish there in other months but these 4 months are PRIME for having the best chance to hook multiple big bass! Also, what makes Comedero so great is that it’s not a “feast or famine” trophy bass lake. Like many other trophy lakes, you either catch a big one or you catch a handful of small ones while trying to hook that big one. NOT COMEDERO! Comedero produced over 75 bass per boat/per day last season. No, not everyone hooked or landed a giant but at least for those that didn’t land one, many caught a lot of bass and many from 5 – 7 lbs! It’s truly the best trophy bass lake I’ve ever fished and I am really excited to get the season opened there again! December is when that water cools down and those big bass have been deep for 5 or 6 months (or longer). When they move to the shallows in December, it gets REAL! Giant bass explosions on topwater! Spinnerbaits….crankbaits….plastics…doesn’t matter as they’re feeding like crazy and fattening up for the upcoming spawns that take place in Jan, Feb and March! If one is looking for a double-digit size bass and even one in the “teens”, then Comedero is your lake! It’s truly a trophy angler’s paradise! We are only going to open for 4 months and many dates already taken. You should call NOW if you want to get in on this season’s big bass action! El Salto – Well, what can I say about this great lake that I haven’t already said or what you don’t already know? It’s a lake that just keeps churning out big bass in the 8 – 11 pound range and last year our largest was 12 lbs, 6 oz! It also produced near 100 bass per day/per boat, which is amazing considering it opened in 1990! This just goes to prove what I’ve always said about the west coast mountain lakes in Mexico….that by having deep water access, the local commercial fishermen will never fish these type of lakes out. They do in much shallower lakes like my father witnessed while operating in eastern Mexico in the 70’s. Lakes that the local fishermen could get their nets to or near the bottom….but not in lakes like Comedero, El Salto and Picachos. It will take an act of Mother Nature to wipe these type of lakes out. The real advantage of fishing El Salto is that it’s located halfway between Picachos and Comedero…making it an excellent opportunity to combine it with either Comedero or Picachos…..OR BOTH! Yes, we have groups of anglers that fish all three lakes in the same trip! Since El Salto and Picachos are not as big and deep and are located closer to the Pacific coast, they don’t take in nearly as much water as Comedero during the monsoon and tropical storm season. Therefore the water temperature doesn’t take as long to cool down. This is why we open two months earlier (Oct) at El Salto and Picachos. Usually by October the bass are either already in the shallows or moving to the shallows….and feeding like crazy! Also, everyone that has visited us at El Salto absolutely love our lodge and service. We receive tons of calls and e-mail feedback during the season after customers return, bragging not only on the lodge, food and service but particularly our GUIDES! Many of our guides have 15 years or more experience. You’ve heard me say it time and time again…that the guide holds the key to success or failure on these types of trips. It’s true….. Call us today to experience this fantastic bass lake!
TOURISM CONTINUES TO GROW FOR MAZATLAN…FLIGHTS FILLING FASTER!!!
This is no joke! I’ve seen an increase in tourism for Mazatlan the past 3 years and now it is getting to the point that the hotels in Mazatlan are staying full and seats on the few flights from U.S. are filling MUCH SOONER! I know we’re in the dog days of summer here in the U.S. and when it’s miserably hot like it is now, it’s difficult to think about setting up a trip south of the border or somewhere like Mexico where one thinks it’s even hotter. Still, I am serious when I say that if you plan on going to one of these lakes this coming fall/winter/spring or to Mazatlan, you better get your air and hotel reservations NOW! We’re hoping that Continental will reconsider adding back their non-stop direct flight from Houston but that may very well be wishful thinking on our part. Right now you have non-stop flights to Mazatlan from Dallas (American Eagle …small plane), U.S. Airways from Phoenix and Alaska Air from LAX. For those in the Midwest to back east in the U.S. , that means you really only have TWO options on flights to Mazatlan…with most choosing Dallas/AA Eagle flight…small plane. Just a heads up here, folks. Get your flights and hotel reservations booked NOW!
CURRENT LAKE CONDITIONS AT COMEDERO, EL SALTO AND PICACHOS!As I stated at the beginning of this update, I was just at Picachos three weeks ago. At that time, the lake was 60% full from the ongoing monsoon rains. As of today, that has changed dramatically since I left. I called our lodge manager “Chino” at Picachos and he said the water level is now about 20 steps from our restaurant. That would put the lake level at approximately 90% full. That’s GREAT NEWS considering we still have a few more weeks of the monsoon season left and then starts the tropical storm season! In other words, it looks inevitable that we will open in October with a FULL lake! That’s always great news with regards to the fishing. I’ve also contacted my general manager Carlos Lizarraga about the water level conditions at Comedero and El Salto and he informed me that both of those lakes are similar to Picachos. So again, GREAT, GREAT NEWS! We’re anticipating another great season of fishing on these three incredible bass lakes!!! This doesn’t happen every single year…as many of you know who have fished them. So in years like this one, it’s definitely in one’s best interest to take advantage of these type of years!
RON SPEED JR’S ADVENTURES OFFERS XPRESS BASS BOATS…THE BEST IN MEXICO!!!Those of you have fished with us at one of these three lakes know about our awesome XPRESS BOATS! We knew from the beginning that we were getting the best bass boat for these types of rugged lakes (brushy and rocky). For those of you have only read our updates but still have yet to experience fishing with us, you should know that our customers absolutely love our bass boats. XPRESS really does make the best all-welded bass boat on the market and they’re absolutely perfect for fishing these lakes. Throughout the season I get calls from our returning customers saying they love them, don’t change them AND….wanting to know where to buy one for their fishing at home. They take waves/wind very well, giving our customers a much smoother ride that doesn’t beat you to death. They can navigate through the heavy brush, whereas wider and heavier fiberglass boats don’t do so well. These are the icing on the cake for the extra mile we go to in order to please our valuable customers. We believe we have the best service, food, guides AND BOATS! Most if not all of our customers believe the same…which is why we receive a HIGH volume of repeat business each year! Oh and….we also have as much experience doing this as anyone in the business. From learning from my father, one of the pioneers in this business that spent 43 years operating in Mexico, to my near 30 years of doing the same, well, I think we know what our customers like and how to please each and every one!
Call us today to book your trip to one or more of these three great bass lakes….three of the very best bass lakes in the world!
RON SPEED, JR.