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

Mike Sanders & his guide with one of several 10 pounders he and J.W. Peterson landed recently at El Salto!!


El Salto guide Jorge Rodriguez showing off this El Salto Giant!!

It’s happening, folks! It’s been a long time since I’ve seen big bass numbers this great at El Salto…and last year was pretty darn good! However, not even last year’s great season compares to what our customers are experiencing NOW!

Randy Davis is showing off his GIANT recently caught at Lake El Salto!!

Remember my last two updates with regards to the high water in the fall and the “soured water” from the two hurricanes last August/September? I mentioned it would probably be slow through the fall …and it was…but I also mentioned for the “long term” the lake filling would be GREAT! Well, as predicted, we’re seeing the positive effects of having a completely new and full lake coming out of the monsoon season last fall AFTER a drought year where the water level in El Salto reached an all time low of just 15%.

Mike Fallon showing of this El Salto hawg!!!

Now then, it’s very important to continue reading as this will explain why I believe we’re not only going to see an incredible finish to THIS FISHING SEASON but also for the upcoming couple of years on El Salto.

Mike Kinchen with this beauty he took from Lake El Salto!

Every year we see the water level drop daily during the “dry season” in these western Mexico mountain lakes as they are used primarily for irrigation and water supply. This happens from November through June each year with June seeing these lakes at their lowest. Then sometime in July every year, the monsoon season begins and the water level begins to rise. The monsoon season officially ends near the end of October or after “Tropical Storm Season”…sometimes the lakes are full by that time but most years they’re NOT full…just higher than they were at the end of the dry season. On average each October and coming out of monsoon season, the lakes will be around 70% at El Salto and Comedero…but Picachos is almost ALWAYS FULL as it’s located on one of the larger watersheds in western Mexico and doesn’t require a full monsoon season to fill.

The reason we get a “new lake” every year in the fall is due to what is known as a “Trophic Upsurge”… a fancy phrase fisheries biologists like to use to describe what happens to a lake that catches a significant amount of water after a long drought. My good friend and outdoor writer, Matt Williams, wrote an article recently for FISHGAME.COM that mentioned this “Trophic Upsurge” that I have referred to many times. Here are some notes from Matt’s article…

Jonathan Lieghton is all smiles showing of his El Salto pig!!

During these extended periods of low water, large portions of the lake bed that are normally covered by water are exposed to direct sunlight. This spurs the growth of various sorts of terrestrial vegetation that is native to the landscape. Almost like liquid fertilizer, very rich nutrients fill the lake when water levels begin to rise and vegetation begins to decay…(which first causes that “soured water” effect that I’ve previously mentioned). This will promote an explosion in plankton growth…which will benefit everything from forage species to game fish such as bass, catfish and crappie. The jungle of flooded cover also provides juvenile fish good places to hide from predators. This usually results in high recruitment among one or more year classes of fish. This ultimately leads to banner fishing several years down the road as they mature. Also known as “the new lake effect”…trophic upsurge can make a tired or old fishery seem new again.

Well there you have it, folks! This is nothing new to me as I’ve been operating on these mountain lakes in western Mexico for over 35 years now. We do get that “new lake effect” every fall coming out of monsoon season BUT it can be a somewhat minimum new lake effect if the lake doesn’t fill or only rises 25% or less. However, when a lake is super low as we saw last June on El Salto and Comedero and the lake(s) were to fill…then the effect is multiplied! We are seeing that RIGHT NOW on Lake El Salto! Guess what? It’s only going to get better as for the past month we’re seeing it get better DAILY…not weekly but DAILY! The next 4 months should be off the charts incredible! Again, it’s been a very very long time that we’ve seen the big bass numbers this good on El Salto. IT’S ON FIRE!!!

Another satisfied Salto customer!!

More on the incredible big bass numbers at Lake El Salto…

Our good friend J.W. Peterson with one of the many 10+ pounders he has landed at El Salto over the years!!

Last month J. W. Peterson and his fishing partner Mike Sanders landed 41.7 lbs on their 5 biggest bass, with their two largest bass weighing 11.8 lbs and 10.7 lbs! The next morning or first half day, they landed 38 bass in the morning with 33 lbs as their 5 biggest bass. That included 9.5 lbs and 8.3 lbs toads….ONLY in the morning! They finished with 39 lbs on their 5 biggest bass for the day! During the week of fishing, J.W.and Mike landed 6 bass over 10 lbs to include a 12.3 lbs bass caught by Mike, 2 over 11 lbs and 3 over 10 lbs! This does not include the incredible numbers of bass in the 7 – 9 lbs range landed by J.W. and Mike Sanders! Most of their bass have been caught using a Senko on a 1/4 oz Shaky Head jig as well as a Carolina Rigged Big Fluke (Tilapia color).Trip of a lifetime? Well, these two great anglers have certainly experienced some very memorable days on El Salto and Comedero over many years…but according to J.W., this ranks near the top!

Randy Davis landed bass of 10.1, 9.0 lbs on Jan 24th…and his partner Tyler Morris landed a fat 8.8 lbs lunker. Randy also reported losing a couple of giants at the boat!

Todd McClure with another El Salto Monster!!

Lewis Helson and his partner caught 56 bass in one day (Jan 29th) and Lewis landed TWO bass of 9.5 and 9.1 lbs!

Clint Tench fishing with Bob Samford manage to catch a bunch of fish in the 5-7lbs range.

Bob Samford and Clint Tentch  had a good run at El Salto in early March landing several fish over 7 lbs . Bob’s big fish was 8,8lbs and had another 8.56lbs!

Bob Samford landed this nice 8.8pounder along with a few other quality fish back in February!!

Stuart Hunter, a long time RSJA and El Salto customer, hit the jackpot on the 15th of February when he landed 42 bass to include his biggest of 9.8 lbs! Stuart was fishing ALONE! The day before Stuart, again fishing alone, landed 30 bass total with a 8.9 lbs toad as his largest.

Dave Parsons, another long time RSJA customer, and his friend Wayne Foster landed 80 bass total on February 14th… with Dave reeling in a beautiful 8.19 lbs hawg!

Mike Fallon and his fishing partner Eric Starnater had a week to remember as they averaged 50+ bass per day and numerous bass in the 7 – 9 lbs range!

Eric Starnater used a “Rage Craw” to trick this huge El Salto bass!!

Stan Watts and Gary Watson landed 71 bass in one day with Gary hauling in his best of 8.1 lbs!

Ric Younkin…we cannot leave our good buddy Ric out of this report. Rick loves fishing his “Gunfish” topwater lure on El Salto…and on January 31st, Ric struck paydirt with a gorgeous 8.11 lbs giant…ON TOPWATER!!!

From back in January “Mr Topwater” Rick Younkin showing us just one of the many topwater hawgs he has caught for the last several years!!

Jim Behnken group absolutely destroyed the 6 and 7 lbs bass during their trip during mid-Feb….including a couple of 8 lbs bass! The number of 6’s and 7’s was just ridiculous!

Jim Behnken and Dr Steve Ingram doubled up with these two trophy bass at Lake El Salto!!

Well I could go on and on but you get it…El Salto big bass has been INSANE! The big bass bonanza at El Salto hasn’t slowed down in the first 15 days of March either. More bass OVER 10 LBS and numerous bass between 6 – 9 lbs! It’s really to the point that I don’t have enough room in these newsletters to mention all of them but we’ll catch up in the next newsletter/update. Just know that we haven’t seen numbers of big bass like this at El Salto (past two months) in a long time! There seems to be no slowing down!

EL SALTO IS ON FIRE! We’re not only seeing the big bass catches explode but the number of bass caught daily are also increasing. What a difference a month or two makes…and it’s only going to get better…as predicted.

Leon Davis with his huge El Salto bass!!!

The months of April, May, June and July could be historic for El Salto! The bass will have settled in on their “summer pattern” and will be much easier to isolate! Some of our best fishing over the years has occurred during those summer pattern months. I’m talking A LOT of BIG BASS! Now is the time to take advantage of the lake level being higher than in recent years and the bass in a feeding frenzy! We have our “Family Discount” in place for the summer months and this would be an opportune time to take that special one to El Salto or Picachos for a fishing experience of a lifetime! Don’t miss this golden opportunity! Book it TODAY!


Cody Magdziak with a this fat bass he caught recently at Picachos!!

Lake Picachos is…well, it’s Picachos! The lake continues to pump out HUGE numbers of quality bass and non-stop action! The only change we’ve seen is there have been some bass of 9 lbs caught over the past couple of weeks and even a few 8 lbs. We’ve also seen the number of 5 – 7 lbs bass increase during that time. That makes me extra excited because the best time for big bass on Picachos hasn’t arrived yet….APRIL, MAY, JUNE AND JULY! As you’ve probably read many times in my updates, the big Gizzard Shad spawn almost always takes place from late March until early May! This is when those big gizzard shad move up on those mud bans and flats to spawn. These shad are so big that it requires a bass of 4 lbs or bigger to eat/swallow them. So they draw the bigger bass in Picachos up from the deeper water! If you want the best of both worlds (numbers and size), get there in April! The big bass are in a feeding frenzy and you don’t have to fish in that 25+ feet of water to catch the bigguns! A deep running crankbait or swim bait or Carolina Rig with a Big Fluke or big spoon will catch them…and lots of them!

More and more quality fish are showing up at Lake Picachos!!

Then we head into May where those big bass settle in on their summer pattern and make them easier to find/isolate. Those big bass will bunch up on deeper ledges and humps, anywhere from 20′ – 35′ of water! That’s when I pull out my Oldham 1 oz Tilapia colored jig with a Rage Tail Rage Craw in chartreuse pepper color as my jig trailer….and go to work! Terry Oldham loves to fish his big jigs but in recent years on Picachos, he has divided his time between his big jig and a HUGE spoon! I guess it’s working for him because he consistently lands big bass on Picachos in the 8 lbs and bigger class! May and June will see basically the same patterns for big bass…deep ledges and humps in 20 – 35 feet of water. However, if you just want numbers and don’t care about size, you can still catch all the fish you want in 10′ – 18′ but most will be 2 – 4 lbs…with occasionally a 5 or 6 lbs bass thrown in. Like with El Salto, there seems to be no slowing down at Lake Picachos! These next 4 months at Picachos are going to produce the best average on size for the entire season…don’t miss out!

Our long time customer Dave Krantz and Picachos guide showing this beauty caught in February!!

I really can’t remember a time in recent years that we’ve had two lakes this hot AT THE SAME TIME!!! Again, the filling of both lakes last August/Sept, created a slow fall for fishing, only to set it up for a magnificent second half season explosion! We’re witnessing it right now…our customers are experiencing it, RIGHT NOW! If you had planned to take the year off, this was the wrong year to choose…at least the second half of this season. You still have time to get in on the big bass bonanza at El Salto…and also get in on the best big bass months of the season at Picachos! We have our “Family Discount” in place for the summer months and this would be an opportune time to take that special one to El Salto or Picachos for a fishing experience of a lifetime! Don’t miss this golden opportunity! Book it TODAY!

More proof the bass are growing up in Picachos!!!


There isn’t a tremendous amount to report on BUT…what we do have to report on is OUTSTANDING! We just started hosting groups again this past January…the first time in almost two years or since the Pandemic started. It’s been mainly due to airlines canceling flights…not necessarily due to that “v word”…but thank the Lord we’re back up and running again!

Our good friend Robert Carter from Fishing World was all smiles after landing this GIANT peacock!!!

Group #1 in January saw only 5 anglers show up…there were actually around 10 booked to come but at the last minute part of the group had to cancel. This left just 5 anglers but that didn’t stop them from hammering A LOT of BIG peacock bass. Get this…in 6 days of fishing, this is what 5 anglers caught…

Casey Harrison showing off his HUGE peacock bass!!

  • 367 total peacock bass
  • 23 peacock bass over 10 pounds
  • 9 peacock bass over 15 pounds
  • 4 over 20 pounds
  • *Tim Gillean had big fish honors with a 22 lbs. Danny Gillean had a 21.5 lbs, 19 lbs and 18 lbs. Jay Roncinski had one of 21 lbs.

Tim Gillean proudly shows us his Trophy Peacock he landed in January 2022!!

That’s just incredible numbers…even if there had been 10 anglers total…but for FIVE ANGLERS ONLY? Again, just incredible!!!

Group #2 arrived behind Group #1 and they put on a show as well. Here are the numbers  (Total of 9 anglers)…

A typical peacock bass EXPLOSION !!!

  • 447 total peacock bass
  • 26 over 10 pounds
  • 12 over 15 pounds
  • 3 over 20 pounds (20,20,22)
  • Biggest 22 pounds
  • *Shawn Burris caught the three over 20 pounds!
  • *All fishermen caught at least one of 16 lbs and most fishermen caught one of 18 lbs!

Again, another amazing trip for landing BIG peacock bass!!!

Group #3 didn’t catch as many numbers as groups 1 and 2 but they kept the pace going on BIG PEACOCKS! Here are the numbers for this group  (8 total anglers)…

  • 192 total peacock bass
  • 16 over 10 pounds
  • 9 over 15 pounds
  • 4 over 20 pounds (21 lbs, 21 lbs, 22 lbs and 23 lbs)
  • *Richard Frazier landed the biggest peacock at 23 lbs

Again, not a lot to report “at this time” but these 3 trips that got us started back up were INCREDIBLE. Our next fishing season will begin in September on the Uatuma and Jatapu tributaries. The fishing and water level in those two rivers has been consistently good during those months and for the past 29 years with fished there. I love fishing the Uatuma and Jatapu tributaries. LOTS OF BIG PEACOCK BASS!!!

Our long time customer Michael Novy with his beautiful peacock bass!!

The Amazon Otter houseboat is one of the nicest riverboats you’ll ever see. Every cabin (double occupancy) has it’s own a.c. unit and private bathroom. This boat has a bar and two lounge areas along with a hot tub. The staff is second to none in the Amazon with most having 20 years of experience or more…and that includes the guides which are also second to none. It’s a total 5-star operation…from accommodations to meals and boats, motors and guides! Franz is our manager aboard the Otter and there’s not a better one in the Amazon. Franz will be happy to take you on a little tour through the Rain Forest to visit and trade with the natives. You just can’t find a better trip with HIGH ADVENTURE combined with fishing for the most fun fish to catch in the world…the mighty PEACOCK BASS! Now that things are opening back up, it’s time to book that trip of a lifetime!

God Bless and Good Fishin’,

Ron Speed, Jr.


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