February 2021 Mexico Fishing Newsletter
FISHING HAS EXPLODED ON LAKES EL SALTO AND PICACHOS…SMOKING HOT!!!
Tired of Old Man Winter yet? If so, I know of a few lakes where it’s warm, sunny, beautiful scenery and thousands of bass waiting to attack your favorite lure! As I type this, I noticed the forecast for the next 10 days in Dallas, TX where the overnight low temperatures are predicted to reach 15 degrees and a windchill of 0…yes, ZERO! Instead of hermitizing yourself inside your house, just know that you’re a 2 1/2 hour plane flight from Dallas or Phoenix to warm sunny Mazatlan, Mexico! Sounds great…right?
Folks, I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen fishing this GREAT on two of our lakes at the same time. Yes, we’ve had one lake red hot and the other two luke warm…but nothing like what we’re experiencing with El Salto and Picachos right now. It’s truly amazing!
Let’s start with El Salto…
Through tireless efforts by our Foundation members (The 4 operations on the lake), we’ve seen the amount of commercial fishing nets reduced over the past few months. For those of you that have fished El Salto in the past, the number of fish wasn’t really a problem nor was the fishing overall. Yes, some time periods were slow and even awful…but for the most part, the fishing met expectations. So the fishing wasn’t nearly as big of a problem as were the ridiculous amount of commercial fishing nets. For the past few months and hopefully for the foreseeable future, the number of nets are greatly reduced. Many times in the past I would hear back from customers telling me the fishing was fine but the lake was “no longer fun to fish”…because of so many nets. While there are still nets and always will be, at least for now there are not nearly as many…and it shows in the fishing. WOW…IT SHOWS!
What we’ve seen happening on El Salto right now is a significant increase in both numbers AND SIZE since last season! Many boats are catching over 100 bass per day (2 anglers) and even one boat of Bruce Carter & Steve Gyton landed 204 bass in one day with their biggest 6.9 lbs. That same day Andy Kovach & Keith Keitch landed 147 bass up to 7.1 lbs, Buddy & Jeff Wise caught 116 bass to 7.8 lbs and Cody Chilos & Monsey Woods landed 65 fish BUT they had a big bass of 8.86 lbs! That’s just ONE day in January. Shall we continue?
Jan 20th: Jeff Wise, while fishing alone that day, landed 56 bass up to 8.15 lbs on chrome Rat-L-Trap in 15 ft of water.
Jan 30th: J.W. Peterson & Stuart Hunter landed 105 bass up to 10.0 lbs on Tilapia colored Rat-L-Traps in 4 – 6 ft of water. Stuart landed the 10 lbs hawg!
Jan 31st: J.W. Peterson and Stuart Hunter landed 130 bass up to 11.4 lbs. Stuart once again landed that 11 lbs giant! They also landed big bass of 8.3, 8.2, 8.2, and 7.8 lbs! All big bass were caught on 1 oz white Oldham spinnerbait in 6 ft of water!
Feb 1st: J.W. Peterson & Stuart Hunter landed 99 bass up to 10.38 lbs (Yes, Stuart again landed the biggun). They also landed big bass of 8.6 and 8.34 lbs. Again, all on Oldham 1 oz white spinnerbait in 5 – 12 ft of water!
Feb 2nd: Jim Johnson & Bill Skinner landed 30 bass BUT…they also landed two giants of 11.8 and 10.8 lbs using Chart/White Oldham Spinnerbaits in 5 – 10 ft of water!!!
Feb 4th: Travis Moore & Bo Powell landed 90 bass up to 10.0 lbs on deep running crankbaits in 15 – 20 ft of water!
Feb 4th: Brandon Harris & Andy B caught 106 bass up to 8.8 lbs on watermelon/red Brush Hogs in 4 – 12 ft of water!
There are numerous other outstanding catches/reports for the past few weeks that I did not list. However, you get the idea from this small sample of reporting. You can visit our Fishing Reports page for Lake El Salto on our website to see the other great catches!
Friends, this lake is fun to fish again and I strongly recommend you consider El Salto in the near future while it’s exploding with great NUMBERS AND SIZE! Due to the current great fishing, I’ve moved some extra Xpress Boats to El Salto and increased capacity to 24 anglers! These lakes, like most lakes, recycle every 5 – 10 years and what we’re currently seeing at El Salto is one of those years it’s come back in a BIG WAY! Customers also love our beautiful lodge, great food, great service, BEST bass boats (Xpress) and the most experienced guides on the lake! Come experience it yourself. Lupe is happy and singing louder than ever! Fernando Jr (co-manager) is doing a great job and everyone loves him and Lupe!
LAKE PICACHOS…QUICKLY BECOMING THE “TOM BRADY” OF BASS LAKES? G.O.A.T.???
Umm, where shall I begin? What should I say that I haven’t already said about this incredible fishery? Well, I am going to share with you what two of our wonderful customers David & Cindy Bednar recently wrote to me. However, before I share David & Cindy’s recent update, let me say that we’re seeing more and more BIG bass show up in Picachos even though the numbers have not declined. In fact, the numbers are higher than normal in the last month!
Here are a few “BIG FISH” reports from early January…
- Jan 5th: David & Marty Laos landed 120 bass up to 10.0 lbs on Tilapia colored Rat-L-Traps in 20 ft of water!
- Jan 6th: Kirk Reust & Jimmy Smith landed 260 bass up to 9.0 lbs on white Flukes in 20 ft of water!
- Jan 6th: David & Marty Laos landed 201 bass up to 10.0 lbs on Baby Bass Flukes in 25 ft of water!
I realize that’s just 3 big bass in two days of fishing on Picachos in January. However, it simply proves what I have been saying for a long time about there being BIG BASS in Picachos but the angler must commit to fishing deeper than the normal 0 – 15 feet of water. Those big bass will NOT stay too long in shallow water as they do NOT want to compete with the smaller and faster swimmers (bass) for food…not if they can find adequate food, water temp, oxygen and protection from fishing pressure (sport fishermen and commercial fishermen). If you noticed above with the 3 reports of big bass, look at the depth. As we get later into the season and the temperatures begin to rise, so does the water surface temps. By May those big bass are settling in on the annual summer pattern…and most BIG BASS will be anywhere from 20 feet to 35 feet on deep ledges and humps. However, despite being deeper, they’re easier to locate and isolate. This is what sonars are made for….yes? 😉
This lake never ceases to amaze customers…or me either. I’ve been working in this Mexico bass fishing business for 34 years now. I started fishing Mexico’s best bass lakes when I was 10 years old and learned everything about bass fishing AND these great Mexican bass lakes from my father…one of the Pioneers that started the full lodge/guided fishing in Mexico 51 years ago! I’ve been blessed to fish every great lake in Mexico and I can without hesitation tell you that I believe Picachos has the potential to be THE BEST BASS LAKE ever…not just Mexico but the best lake in the world! I do not stand alone with that opinion as I have many very loyal customers that have fished with me for 20 – 30 years that fish Picachos with us every year and tell me the same thing! It’s truly an amazing lake! The same I talk about being able to fish legendary Lake Guerrero when it first opened, I suspect many years from now there will be a lot of people that say the same thing about “Legendary Lake Picachos”….it’s on track to becoming the G.O.A.T.!!! Every year we entertain our good friends from Major League Fishing (M.L.F.) and that’s TWICE each season! Executive V.P. Don Rucks and his team always return from every trip saying “It just keeps getting better and better…every trip!” I agree with them! By the way, if you do not already watch their show…YOU MUST! The best fishing on cable tv…bar none! Don and his staff just returned from another outstanding fishing trip to Picachos and will return to Picachos in two more months! Again, they come TWICE each season…that’s how much they love Picachos!
Testimonial from David & Cindy Bednar (From Cindy) on their recent trip to Picachos…
David & Cindy fished 9 1/2 days at Picachos and landed 2,467 bass combined. That number could have been higher had they not returned to camp every day at 5 pm. Just too exhausted to fish that final 1 1/2 hours. NOTE: David & Cindy fish three times each season with RSJA and that’s approximately 21- 30 days of fishing with us each season. Normally they split the trip by fishing half of their days at El Salto and the other half at Picachos. However, this season they fished ALL days at Picachos. Their first trip this season was back in November. On that trip they broke their all time best catch (numbers) record with 282 bass in one day! This trip they broke their all time best THREE TIMES in the same trip! Take a look. 🙂
“Wow! What an awesome trip we had! We went down this trip thinking there was no way we could ever beat our record from our November trip, and had decided we were not even going to try. We had made up our minds that we would just do some leisurely relaxed fishing and not even worry about that “clicker”…!!! However we still ended up breaking our records from last trip! Here are our numbers from the 9 1/2 days of fishing this trip…
Day 1: 160 Bass
Day 2: 167 Bass
Day 3: 250 Bass
Day 4: 255 Bass
Day 5: 292 Bass (Broke previous record of 282 bass in one day last November) Cindy’s comments about this day: “This broke our previous 1-day record set on our last trip! I would estimate at least half of these fish were 3+ pounds and more than a dozen were 4 pounds and bigger! We caught over 100 bass IN ONE HOUR alongside a creek bed in one of the arroyos close to San Marcos Creek, using Oldham spinnerbaits and also crankbaits. WOW…was that ever fun! We haven’t found a gang of fish like that for a while!
Day 6: 321 Bass (Broke previous day’s all time record)
Day 7: 250 Bass
Day 8: 158 Bass
Day 9: 460 Bass (Broke record again) Cindy’s comments: “WOW! Another personal record! The fish were turned on and jumping on our crankbaits almost every cast! It was a total blast!”
Day 10: 154 Bass only fished in the morning until lunch….yes, 154 bass landed by NOON!
Total Bass Landed in 9 1/2 days of fishing: 2,467 Total. Their daily average was 247 bass in that 9 1/2 days! Almost all bass were caught on Oldham spinnerbaits and Crankbaits!
Folks, it really doesn’t get much better than that as far as non-stop action for bass fishing! Those of you that have experienced Lake Picachos fishing, can relate. As great of a lake as it is for numbers and action, there are “some” big bass to be had while fishing Picachos. They’re in there for sure!
COVID TESTING AT RSJA LODGES GOING SMOOTHLY IN EARLY DAYS!!!
As I mentioned in my last update two weeks ago, the CDC is now requiring all air travelers coming back to the U.S. from Abroad, to present a “negative” SARS – CoV-2 test result. The test must be administered no more than 72 hours from departure day/time or leaving Mazatlan. To help make this as hassle-free for our valuable customers as possible, we are arranging for Lab Technicians from clinics in Mazatlan. to travel to our lakes/lodges and administer the test to our customers while they are in for lunch at midday. This mandatory test went into effect on January 26th. Thus far we haven’t had any problems with the testing and all appears to be working according to plan. I will say that I have learned that this test is being offered in the Mazatlan Airport but you must arrive AT LEAST 3 HOURS prior to departure in order to receive the test results in time. I do not recommend waiting until that final day and moments before departure. However, it is good to know there is another backup option at the airport.
Another Testimonial from Cindy Bednar regarding the “testing experience” for her and David while at our lodge on Picachos…
We left the USA to head down to Mexico on January 25th, a day before the CDC requirement on tests went into effect. We knew that RSJA would ensure that all was taken care of, so we did not hesitate to head down as planned. We did think it was very important to be certain we did not have COVID before we went down there – both for ourselves and more importantly, to protect the wonderful staff and other guests at the camp. Therefore we had a COVID test completed a couple of days before we headed down there.
You guys did an awesome job of setting up the process for us to be tested prior to our return flight home. Two days before our flight home, the lab technician was waiting for us in the dining room when we returned to camp for lunch. After he collected our sample, we sat and had a cold beer and lunch while we waited for the results…which only took about 15 minutes. He presented us with a report showing “Negativo” for both of us, which we presented at the Mazatlan Airport upon checking in. All went super smooth!
As I shared with you after our trip in November, I want to once again say how impressed we were with the procedures that the staff are following related to COVID-19 mitigation. The extra cleaning and sanitizing that’s happening and all of the staff are wearing masks.
Once again we have to say what an awesome job Jorge is doing as manager. He is an absolute GEM! All of the staff at the camp are outstanding. We appreciate them so much! Also, the camp is looking absolutely fabulous too!
Looking forward to our next trip in March…only 6 weeks from now!
Cindy & David
There you have it folks! So far, so good on the testing! It’s been smooth over at our El Salto lodge as well.
Let me remind everyone going to Mexico with us of what I suggested in my last update a couple of weeks ago. That is…we STRONGLY recommend getting tested for COVID PRIOR TO YOUR TRIP…and within 24 – 48 hours (max) of departure day. Why is that, you may ask? Well it’s pretty simple…and two very good reasons. 1) It is best to know if you have COVID prior to traveling and being around other people…especially large groups like we have a lot of the time in our lodges. This could prevent you from possibly spreading the virus to other guests at the lodge as well as staff members. 2) With the now mandatory “negative’ test result required in order to return back home in the U.S., it is almost imperative to get tested 1 or 2 days prior to traveling to Mexico…even if you don’t have symptoms, you could be asymptomatic but will still test “positive”…and if you test positive prior to going to Mexico, you will know to NOT get on that plane…cancel the trip and reschedule…because if you are positive and go to Mexico, you will most likely test positive down there in Mexico and have to wait an extended period before you’ll be allowed to board a plane and return home. So if you can test negative ONE DAY PRIOR to your trip, and we’re having you tested down there TWO DAYS PRIOR to returning home, that doesn’t give too much time to catch the virus and test positive in Mexico. Hopefully I explained that to where you understand. Basically I am saying there are TWO very good reasons to get tested 1 – 2 days prior to flying to Mexico for your trip. If you receive a positive test BEFORE your trip, do not worry. Yes you will have to postpone your scheduled trip but we will issue a FULL CREDIT to use for a future trip or when you reschedule.
OLDHAM JIGS AND SPINNERBAITS…NEED TO ORDER NOW!!!
If you read the entire update on both EL Salto and Picachos, you will have noticed many of those big fish landed at EL Salto were on Oldham Spinnerbaits! I prefer his 1 oz, chart/white color, with the double willow blades…big size #7 gold color on big blade! Big bass absolutely love it!!! You will also have noticed/read where David & Cindy Bednar absolutely tore them up at Picachos on Oldham spinner baits! The spinner bait pattern should stay great through April. However, when May rolls around, it’ll be big bass on deep ledges and that means …OLDHAM JIG BITE! The Oldham jig bite normally never goes away…but I absolutely love it when May arrives! Call Terry Oldham NOW before he heads to Mexico in a few weeks and delays in orders will happen. Cell: (512) 406-1588; or (800) 596-2436.
God Bless and Good Fishin’,
Ron Speed, Jr.
Ron Speed Jr’s Adventures