Fall 2020 Newsletter

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

FALL HAS FINALLY ARRIVED…IT’S TIME TO GO FISHING!!!

Yes that’s right, folks…Rainy season is ending, fall has arrived, which means it’s time to head south and catch a bass!!!

JW Peterson with just one of many Comedero monsters he has landed over the years.

Actually we have been open at El Salto and Picachos since July. The rainy season did not have an adverse effect on the fishing…if anything, it’s enhanced the bite! Over the past 3 months, we’ve had groups fish at El Salto and Picachos. Comedero is still catching rain/water higher in the mountains but barring a hurricane or tropical storm in the next 3 or 4 weeks, the rains at El Salto and Picachos are near the end. Picachos has been…well…it’s been Picachos. The lake produces non-stop action on a daily basis. The lake is near full and that seems to scatter the schools of BIG bass but in the not-so-distant future (November), those bigguns will begin to school up bigtime. The overall numbers per day, per boat continue to amaze and send anglers home ecstatic!!! El Salto is primed to have a great fishing season as the water level was at 71% on October 5th. I’ve always preferred these mountain lakes for BIG bass start the fall season with less than a “full lake” as it makes it easier to isolate those big schools of trophy bass. Even if the water level doesn’t rise again between now and November, the lake is in great shape. Some of our guides have been out recently to check the fishing and it’s been fantastic! That’s great considering September is NOT one of the better months to fish the lake considering the water surface temps from the summer rains are generally on the warm side and those bigger bass hanging out much deeper.

Lake Comedero on the rise

Comedero rains started later than El Salto and Picachos…and just a little over one month ago, Comedero water level was at 38%…but as of 3 days ago, it’s already come up to 52%. If you’ve fished that lake, you know that was A LOT of rain/water coming into the lake to bring it up that much as Comedero is twice the size and depth as El Salto and Picachos. As I stated, Comedero is still catching water as I type this update. I expect that lake to have a HUGE bounce back year (from last season) provided we do not receive all the unseasonably rainfall after November 1st as we did last year. Last year we had the flood of the century take place Thanksgiving Week (late Nov), again over New Years Eve and again late Jan/early Feb. First time I had witnessed that at Comedero for those times of year since the El Nino flood hit us in Jan/Feb 1992.

John Speed with a lake Comedero Giant!!!

Things are looking great for the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 Season! It’s time to make your reservations for the upcoming season!

PICACHOS PROVIDES FISHING TRIP OF A LIFETIME FOR KIDS AND FAMILY!!!

Mel “Pappsy” Farley with a nice lake Picachos Large Mouth!!

I have stated many times in past updates how important I believe it is for parents to take their kids hunting and fishing…to introduce them to the great outdoors. My father did this with my brother, sister and me. He believed that if you can get a kid started fishing early in life, it will be a “good distraction” from all “the bad” this world presents to young ones. My father was coaching at Malakoff H.S. in the 60’s…he also guided on Cedar Creek Lake during the summer months. He took me bass fishing and I caught my first largemouth bass at 4 years old. Then he coached at Hemphill H.S. from 1970 – 73’…and guided out of Six Mile Marina on Toledo Bend Reservoir during the summer months. I was blessed to be able to fish “The Bend” at a young age and right after it opened. The fishing was incredible…especially to a young boy like I was then. Then he introduced my brother and I to the now famous Lake Guerrero in 1974. I was 10 years old at the time. I thought I had died and gone to Heaven. It was my first experience with “100 bass” days. I was hooked on fishing forever after that trip! I’ve done the same with my two sons when they were as young as 5 years old. They were introduced to fishing and hunting…more on the hunting as I took them to the deer stand at early ages.

L to R Matt Conner, Lane Gregory, Jenna Gregory and Lacie Gregory having fun at lake Picachos!!

Now, fast forward to September 2020. One of our wonderful customers, Mel Farley, and his daughter Lacie, have been fishing with us at Lake Picachos and El Salto multiple times each season for the past 5 years. Lacie decided it was time for her to introduce her two kids, Jenna and Lane, to Mexico bass fishing and Lake Picachos. Lacie and her dad Mel booked for September. They also brought friends Matt Conner and Christie Ball. Lacie’s kids are 11 years old (Jenna) and 7 years old (Lane). I knew Picachos would not disappoint…and boy it didn’t! Since it’s been a long, long time since we’ve had kids this young at one of our fishing operations, I had to make sure we were prepared to have very small life-jackets…and Gatorade! LOL. The entire family had a wonderful time and caught TONS of bass every day! However, I think it made the bigger impression on Jenna and Lane…the two young ones. Lacie called me the other day and said she and her son Lane were traveling in her car, and Lane said “Mom, life is just great”…Lacie replied, “Yes it is but why do you say that?” Then Lane replied, “You know…you know Mom”…then he explained that he was referring to his recent fishing trip of a lifetime to Picachos. He told her, “I’m ready to go back, Mom!”…Lacie told me that she and her dad Mel will be in hot water if they return to Picachos again without the kids. LOL.

Lane Gregory showing off his big catch at lake Picachos !!

Mel told me another story about he and his 11 year old granddaughter’s (Jenna) fishing experience one day at Picachos…One afternoon he and Jenna pulled up on the last fishing spot of the day. Jenna caught 4 bass in a row fishing from the back deck of the boat. Jenna said, “Pappsy, the bass are not on the bottom, they are suspended! Just throw it (lure) and start reeling real slow!” She then caught 11 in her next 15 casts. The next day Jenna fished with Mel’s friend Christie Ball. At lunch that day, Mel asked Jenna how she did…how was her fishing that morning? Jenna replied, “Pappsy, we did good but the fish were on the bottom!” …Now if that doesn’t bring a smile to your face, nothing will. Folks we’re talking about two kids, 7 and 11 years old! These stories really do make me smile and I just wish more and more people would introduce their kids and grandkids to fishing and hunting. The world would be a much better place! This lake, Picachos, is such an easy trip for those that don’t want hard travel such as long van rides and produces a lot of action…especially for kids. The van ride from the Mazatlan Airport to our lodge is only 50 minutes on average. Our beautiful lodge with new 5-star restaurant, is located right at the water’s edge. Again, it’s an easy easy trip and easy lake to access!

L to R Christie Ball, Jenna Gregory, and Mel “Pappsy” Farley

There were a total of six (6) in their group to include Jenna and Lane. In 3 1/2 days of fishing at Picachos, the group landed 1241 bass! That is by Mel’s and Lacie’s count…and yes, they carried and used those “clickers” to keep count. I think I’ll be seeing the group back at Picachos in the near future…Jenna and Lane included. 🙂 See below for more photos from their wonderful experience! Check out those BIG grins on the kids’ faces! Warms my heart!

RSJA CAMPS CONTINUE TO OPERATE WITHOUT ANY VIRUS CASES!!!

As I mentioned in my last update (August 2020 Brazil, Mexico and Covid-19 Update), we have entertained anglers/customers at our El Salto and Picachos camps since July 1st without a single customer reporting testing positive for Covid=19. In fact, not one single customer has returned and reported feeling ill. Also as stated in my August 2020 Update, we have taken necessary precautions to prevent the spread of this virus. All employees are required to wear masks at all times when customers are present or close by. We continue to sanitize the camps before customers arrive and immediately after customers depart. While we are not making it mandatory for customers to wear masks in the camps, we do offer plenty of masks for those that want to wear one OR want a fresh mask.

If one believes the masks work for preventing the spread of this virus, then it will be very difficult to catch Covid-19 while traveling. Most, if not all airports require face coverings (mask) to enter the gate areas. Most, if not all airlines require the use of face coverings to board the plane and that policy includes for the complete duration of the flight.

I have instructed ALL drivers from the Tour Guide Association in Mazatlan, the same drivers that pick up all RSJA customers at the airport and transport to and from our camps, that there will NOT be more than two customers per bench seat in the vans. In other words, no “elbow to elbow”…plenty of space between passengers. The drivers will have masks available at the airport prior to anyone boarding the vans. Again, that’s for those that choose to wear a mask.

Despite the obvious ongoing debates regarding masks and whether or not they work, we will have them available at all times. I have my own opinion about them but I won’t share. Let’s just say I wear them where needed or when asked to enter a place of business.

I will be traveling to Mexico soon as always. I will be at our camps this season as normal. I am one of those with “underlying conditions” as I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes 17 years ago. I take multiple medicines to treat my Diabetes and it’s a constant battle. If you have it, you know very well the battle I speak about. That said, I am 56 years old and whatever years the Lord has planned for me to remain on this earth, I’m going to spend that time NOT living my remaining years in fear. Every person in this world has different health issues and what’s good for me may not be good for the next person. Still, for me, I am not going to stay locked down and “hope” there’s a cure or vaccine coming soon. In MY humble opinion, this virus is here to stay for a while…just like many other viruses that have come down the pike in my lifetime. We must learn to go on and live our lives…just the same as we have with the flu and other viruses that have vaccines …but the flu virus still lives among us.

You choose what you feel is best for you. I only give my opinion because I have taken on a handful of calls from customers since my last update and those customers wanting my opinion. Well, I am certainly no doctor or scientist…meaning, I know about as much about this virus as you or anyone else that’s not in the medical profession. In other words, I’m no expert and don’t claim to be. I’m merely passing along my opinion and stating that I choose to go on with life. I’ll be in Mexico and Brazil in the coming months. When I’m not in Mexico or Brazil, I’m going to be sitting on a deer stand…or hunting quail…or just relaxing with good friends in our hunting camp in west Texas. Back in early September, I participated in our annual dove hunt in Coleman, Texas with family and friends. We went to eat at one of the several great steak restaurants in Abilene, TX…rode in my truck with a full cab of people. Nobody got sick, nobody worried about getting sick. WE WENT TO HAVE FUN LIKE ALWAYS…and nothing, including this virus, was going to stop that from happening! In case you’re wondering, do I believe this virus exists? Absolutely. No denying it. I’m simply stating that I am going on with my life as I’ve always known it…with “some” wise precautions taken.

Just a final reminder…we are taking all necessary precautions in our camps to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Mazatlan beaches and hotels have been open and operating since July 1st. Tourism in Mazatlan is coming back faster than expected. You do what you feel is BEST FOR YOU. I will be hunting and fishing like always.

BRAZIL…ALL BUSINESSES HAVE REOPENED IN MANAUS AND THE STATE OF AMAZONAS!!!

Yes, Brazil is ready to rock and roll again. The only holdup is American Airlines non-stop direct flight between Miami and Manaus will not be reinstated until December 3rd, 2020. That will be just in time for our Jan – March season! They have strict protocols for businesses in Brazil and particularly Manaus and the Amazon and our crew in Brazil is following to the letter with their nature tours aboard The Otter and other motherships for eco-tours. The sanitation process aboard the Otter will continue into the future or as long as needed for safety purposes.

The Rio Negro and it’s vast amount of tributaries is next up on our fishing location and schedule. Last season (Jan – Mar) saw our BEST fishing in the Negro in the past 10 years! Every group/trip hooked a lot of big peacocks over 20 lbs and many of those that were landed ended up being the angler’s largest peacock bass ever! There is no doubt in my mind that the mighty Rio Negro and it’s fishing has returned with a fury! Of course as well all know, water level has everything to do with fishing…particularly with river systems in the Amazon Basin. Last season proved the giants are still there and maybe in the largest numbers I’ve seen in over a decade!

Tired of staying locked down? Come on down and enjoy this great adventure! As I’ve stated many times over the past 30+ years, this trip is not just for the diehard angler….NO SIR! This trip is BIG ADVENTURE! Yes, the peacock bass is the most powerful fish, pound for pound, that swims in any body of water…and it’s also the most fun fish to catch. Those massive and deafening topwater explosions are impossible to describe to those that have yet to experience them. Still, you do not have to be a skilled angler nor one that is crazy about fishing to enjoy THIS TRIP! Flying over the fabled Amazon Jungle in a chartered plane, capturing photos and videos of the jungle from high above. Living aboard a 5-star floating hotel in The Otter Mothership…air conditioned cabins with private shower, air conditioned restaurant, 3 lounge decks (one with bar), tackle room and providing you with all lures, line and fishing rods…you only bring your own fishing reels for this trip!

Our fishing guides are THE BEST IN THE AMAZON! All have at least 15 years experience in guiding American fishermen and several have been with us from the beginning in the Amazon…since 1993. The boats are American-made all welded and 17′ in length. These boats have two large fishing decks, front and back and equipped with first class Yamaha 60 HP 4-stroke engines. The boats are also equipped with powerful thrust Motorguide trolling motors.

Our manager, Franz Shuler, is one of the best managers I’ve ever had in my 33 years in business…both in Brazil and Mexico. He’s fluent in several languages to include English. Franz understands the concept of sportfishing and he knows the Amazon jungle and it’s natives better than anyone I know. Franz will be happy to take you into the small villages to meet with the local natives of the Amazon for trading for souvenirs (boat paddles, spears, bows, arrows, etc) or just to take photos and learn more about the culture of the natives and the Amazon. This includes bird watching as there are literally hundreds of different bird species and other wildlife close to where you will be fishing. As I said…BIG BIG ADVENTURE!

Last…no other houseboat fishing operation in the Amazon has more years and experience than we do. From Ron Speed Jr’s Adventures down to the manager, staff and guides. There is a reason we’ve been around this long…we do things right and many of our customers come home VERY HAPPY. They also feel safe when booking with us because they know we place SAFETY FIRST. ALWAYS!

George Harris has made over 20 trips to the Amazon with RSJA…landed these two beautiful peacocks on ONE CAST!

Come down and experience this high adventure and fishing trip of a lifetime! You’ll be glad you did!!!

TIME TO PLACE THOSE OLDHAM’S JIG AND SPINNERBAIT ORDERS!!!

If you’ve subscribed or followed my “Blog” updates in the past, you’ll know how much I recommend Terry Oldham’s jigs and spinnerbaits….whether that’s for using in Mexico or here in the U.S. If the good Lord took all my tackle and lures away and told me I could use just one lure the rest of my days, I would choose a spinnerbait…an OLDHAM SPINNERBAIT! The spinnerbait is so versatile as it can be fished deep, shallow or even on the surface. Most of my life I have used the spinnerbait for locating bass as I can cover more water with it until I find a pattern and locate a concentration of bass. Once I find them, then I’ll hunker down and fish that area slower….generally with a jig…an OLDHAM JIG! Terry Oldham started sponsoring me in the early 90’s when I was active on the Tournament Trail. I can’t tell you how many times I placed in the money or tournaments I won while fishing Oldham’s jigs and spinnerbaits…but it was A LOT! Now I don’t just fish jigs and spinnerbaits exclusively as I change it up “at times”…but I can honestly say that if you see me on the lake, you’ll notice I’ll have many rods rigged with Oldham’s jigs and spinnerbaits. Terry really goes the extra mile when building his lures as he uses extra heavy duty hardware. I won’t fish anyone else’s jigs or spinners.

Call Terry Today to get your order placed. He’ll be at our camps in Mexico this season…as always…helping locate those bigguns for our valuable customers! That’s why it is imperative you place your order NOW…as he’ll be in Mexico A LOT this season! If you already have a trip booked with us for this coming season, you need to give him at least 30 days notice with your orders. He has MANY orders to fill.

Terry Oldham/Oldham Lures
Office: 800-596-2436
Cell: 512-406-1588
website: oldhamjigs.com

If you call Terry’s cell and there’s no answer, please send him a TEXT message. Tell him you’re going fishing with Ron Speed Jr or read Ron Jr’s update…and text him your number to give a return call. He’ll get back with you soon! You won’t be sorry!

GOOD FISHIN’ AND GOD BLESS,
RON SPEED, JR.