Winter 2022 Newsletter

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


Tree Plumbtree with his 10.68 lbs trophy he caught early January, 2022 at Lake El Salto!

In my Fall 2021 update, I mentioned the enormous amount of rainfall we received at both Lake El Salto and Lake Picachos due to two back-to-back hurricanes. This produced full lakes and even 107% water level in Lake El Salto. Lake Picachos reached 100% water level. The difference in the two lakes having high water was that Picachos was already close to full prior to the first Hurricane (Nora) arriving August 25th and therefore the decaying and soured water was over in Picachos prior to our first groups of the season arriving in October. However, Lake El Salto was at 52% when Hurricane Nora arrived in late August…which was up from 15% in late June. That 52% water level in late August meant we had received enough rainfall in July/Aug to germinate a vast amount of vegetation that the summer rains produce every year. Once the rainfall from the two hurricanes was finished with El Salto, we literally had thousands of acres of brush/vegetation submerged in water. Then a few weeks after being submerged, the “rotting” process began…in October. This usually causes a “soured water” effect all over the lake or majority of the lake…and when that happens, fish just don’t bite. Therefore the bite was very poor throughout the Fall months (Oct – Dec)…very poor! That said, I’ve operated on Lake El Salto for 32 years and seen this happen on several occasions during that time. I knew or “believed” the good fishing bite would eventually return as we got past the decaying period and definitely by January as the first wave of spawn bass begin to move up and feed/nest. Over the past two weeks, it appears that is starting to happen. Please read more below….

Mike Furnstahl showing off his El Salto Hawg from back in November


Mark Helms with his 12.5lbs Monster he caught at lake El Salto in Oct 2021!


Our good friend Bob Brown (L) from Lew’s and his son Hunter Brown (R) with their big bass from a recent trip to Lake El Salto!


As I mentioned above, El Salto appears to be getting over the “soured water blues” we experienced during the Fall Season (Oct, Nov and Dec)! While there were a “few” big bass caught this past Fall, they were far and few between…at least for El Salto standards! The numbers were very very low as well. However, it appears the soured water effect is almost gone and the lake is now showing signs of being on the verge of EXPLODING with Big Bass!!! Our great friend Bob Brown from Lew’s Fishing Rods/Reels was there the first week of January with his family and our great friend Lynn Reeves, The Godfather himself! On their first day of fishing, Hunter Brown landed a beautiful (and very long) 9.0 lbs Salto giant! The next day Bob landed a 7.8 lbs bass and also one close to 8 lbs. Everyone in the group either caught or hooked up with bass in the 6 – 8 lbs range with Hunter’s 9.0 lbs bass being the largest. The overall number of bass caught per day per boat (2 anglers) was still on the low side (15 – 20 average) but it was good to finally see the big bass showing up!

Jason Wilson used a watermelon red senko to trick this big El Salto bass!


The next group arrived following Bob’s group and the overall fishing for numbers increased for “some boats” as one boat landed 60 bass in one day…most 15 – 25. However, there were more big bass being hooked and caught. Jason Wilson, while fishing with our great friend, Gary Manos, landed a fat 8.11 lbs toad on a Senko in 8 ft of water! The group caught a good number of 6 lbs and 7 lbs bass. While this may not be anything to write home about for El Salto standards, it was considered MAJOR improvement from what anglers experienced in the Fall months. We could also see the fishing getting better and better each day…just as I predicted it would in early January. Their second day of fishing had Jason and Gary land 40 bass in one day with a good number of 7 lbs bass…and Mike McGowan and Leo Osborne did even better when they landed 52 bass that same day with several 6 and 7 lbs bass! On their final day of fishing, Jason landed a 9.0 hawg and Gary a 7.5 …both on Senko in 10 feet of water. They also landed 55 bass that day! Once again, day by day, group by group, the fishing was really starting to show signs of it heating up!

Our long time friend Mike McGowan took this El Salto beauty with Rojas fighting frog!


Now to the next group…just two anglers. Tree Plumbtree and his partner Randy Whited. These two knew the numbers were probably going to be lower than normal or in the past but Tree was adamant about going to the lake that gave him the best chance at a trophy bass…which is El Salto. Well, on their first day of fishing, Tree hit the jackpot when he landed a giant 10.62 lbs Salto lunker on a swim bait in 8 feet of water. Bigguns moving shallow….Great sign! Tree reported that their next couple of days fishing, they would hook and lose a couple of bass in the 8 – 9 lbs range. Again, 10 feet of water and shallower.

Wayne West showing us one of his El Salto TOADS while posing with friend and fishing partner Tom Fori.


So while the numbers are still not back to the normal 50 – 70 bass per day average per boat, they are improving…and the big bass are coming on strong! This is the main reason to fish El Salto anyway…one of the best lakes in the world for TROPHY BASS! The numbers will only get better as the water continues to fall in the coming days/weeks. As I stated in my Fall 2021 Update, the lake catching full will only make the fishing better in the latter months of the fishing season…especially in April, May and June…and even early July! Those are the last 3 – 3 1/2 months of the “Dry Season” and this year in those months should be INCREDIBLE!!! The months leading up to that (Jan/Feb/March) will see a lot of big bass landed due to those three months being spawn months. We always have 3 different groups of bass move in to spawn on full moon weeks during Jan – March. In short, the rest of this season is lining up to be amazing! So long soured water…it was nice knowing you…..well, NOT! Bye Bye anyway!

The 130 year old Capuli tree/bar/TV has been the perfect place to unwind after a long day of fishing at Lake El Salto.


Two of our Major League Fishing friends showing us doubles are a common occurence at Lake Picachos!

What can I say that I haven’t already said 100 times in these Lake Picachos updates? This lake never ceases to amaze! Like at El Salto, the water level is higher than normal at Picachos…and both lakes are BEAUTIFUL with the higher water levels. That said, I know our valuable customers come for the fishing first and foremost…above scenery or anything else. Just know that right now at Picachos, you can experience BOTH as the fishing is normal at Lake Picachos…which is GREAT! I’m going to sound like a broken record here but for those that haven’t read my updates in the past about this amazing lake, or have read but forgotten…this lake has BIG BASS in it. However, the majority of our valuable customers choose to fish Lake Picachos because of the insane action and numbers of bass they can catch daily. The beauty of this lake is that the angler, if he/she so chooses, has an opportunity to get BOTH! If one day a boat of two anglers want to go for numbers, then no problem…that is easy to accomplish on most days. If the two anglers want to move offshore and fish deeper water for the bigger bass (that’s where most big bass live in this lake right now), then the opportunity exists on Picachos. Naturally the catching/finding bigger bass in excess of 6 or 7 lbs is much more difficult than it is at El Salto because of the age difference in the two lakes. Lake El Salto was opened 32 year ago…but Lake Picachos opened a little over 8 years ago…which means there is a wide bridge of when the two lakes were stocked. Lake Picachos’ lake record is 12 lbs, 14 oz…at least that’s to our knowledge to date. Also to our knowledge, there have been 3 bass landed over 12 lbs since it opened in 2013. Last season (Fall 2020/Winter-Spring 2021) we had several customers land bass over 10 lbs. So they’re in there for anyone wanting to spend a day focusing on bigger bass and not numbers. My personal best (largest) on Picachos is 10 lbs, 08 oz and was caught on the river ledge in 24 feet of water….drowning an Oldham’s 1 oz spinnerbait in tree tops along that river ledge!

Mike Gable found this Lake Picachos beauty back in April of 2021.


For the past few weeks, we’ve seen our customers experience daily catches ranging from 80 bass per day to 180 per day…some boats well over 200 bass per day. The average catch per day/per boat (all combined) is right at 150 bass per day. Most bass caught have been 2 1/2 – 5 lbs…with lots of 3 and 4 lbs. Some boats have landed bigger bass…such as Terry Oldham (Oldham Lures) landed a 8 lbs bass his first day on Picachos last week…and caught it on a giant spoon! Oldham loves to fish a big spoon on Picachos…and he has been very successful finding a lot of big bass with that spoon! Oldham also landed 7 more bass between 5 – 7 lbs that day using that big spoon! Other boats landing big bass in the 6 and 7 lbs range and they include some of the guys from Major League Fishing (MLF) t.v. staff. Dan Hayes landed a 6.1 bass on a chartreuse Oldham spinnerbait (3/4 oz). Lance Lewis landed several bass in the 6 – 7 lbs range on Picachos. Butch Lansford got in on the big bass action with a couple of 6 lbs Picachos bass! Carl Vicars and Dano Ratchford landed 200 bass one day and Carl put a 6 lbs bass in the boat that same day.

Our MLF friend Dan Hayes with one of his many bass from a recent trip to beautiful Lake Picachos!


These are typical catches at Lake Picachos. It’s one of those lakes you can fish with your favorite lure and catch a lot of bass. There are so many different patterns that work at Lake Picachos due to the vast number of bass at different depths and all areas of the lake. Catching the bigger bass in the lake is a different story. As I’ve stated many times, if one wants more opportunities at the bigger bass in the lake, one must move offshore and fish deeper…sometimes MUCH deeper! For those looking to catch sheer numbers of bass, then fish your favorite lure…but I can’t stress enough that fishing crankbaits will produce MORE BASS than any other lures. I really love the Strike King 6xD, 8xD for sheer numbers…and the 10xD crankbaits (deeper running crankbaits) for both numbers AND BIG BASS!

Steve Dewey (L) and and Tanner Dewey (R) with Triple from back in April 2021!


Well there you have it…more incredible numbers of solid 2 – 4 lbs bass at Picachos with some bigger bass showing up too! The rest of the season should see the normal AWESOME catches!

Major League Fishing group relaxing after a long day of fishing.


A beautiful Picachos pre-sunrise ahead of safe light takeoff.


For those that have yet to fish with us in Mexico, know that we offer Lew’s Fishing Rods at all of our lakes/lodges! If you want to bring your own fishing rods to Mexico, no problem. However, for those not wanting to lug those giant heavy rod cases through airports, we’ll help supply you with fishing rods for your trip…and the Lew’s Rods are the best in the fishing world! If you’re wanting to buy a new rod or several rods, then I strongly suggest you visit their website to find that special rod made JUST FOR YOU! They have some of the biggest fishing names in the industry as part of their Pro Staff. Names such as Legendary Pro Anglers Denny Brauer, Shaw Grigsby, Kevin VanDam, Greg Hackney, Hank Parker, Jay Yelas and Mark Davis to name a few. There is a reason why these legendary anglers are part of Lew’s Team…because LEW’S IS THE BEST! Check out their top of the line fishing reels while you’re there. Again, they are SECOND TO NONE!!! I have bass fished for over 53 years or since I was 5 years old…and some years professionally. I’ve had numerous fishing rod and reel sponsors throughout the years but Lew’s fishing rods and reels are the best I’ve had in my hands…PERIOD! Give Lew’s a try…you won’t regret it!



Justin Rackley Shows there is proof in the pudding for attracting Giant Bass on Oldham Spinnerbaits!


I have mentioned in my updates many many times over the years that nobody makes a better spinnerbait or jig than Terry Oldham! In all of my years of fishing, I have landed 3 bass over 13 lbs…and two of those giant “teeners” were caught on Terry Oldham’s big spinnerbait! The other “teener” was caught on Oldham’s 1 oz jig! Terry patented his famous “screw lock” on his jigs/spinnerbaits to better help hold those trailers. The thing I love most about Oldham’s spinnerbaits is the big size #7 gold willow leaf blade he will put on for you. He will build the spinnerbait to your liking but I only use his 3/4 oz and 1 oz spinnerbaits with that giant cowbell gold blade. It is a BIG BASS producer! The flash and vibration that big gold blade throws off just sends the big bass into a frenzy! Many times I have experienced a slow bite and nothing seemed to work…but pick up that big Oldham spinnerbait and start getting “reaction strikes” because of that giant blade. Give Terry Oldham a call TODAY…or before he heads back to Mexico with me. You do not want to leave home without his jigs and spinnerbaits. Most of my rods in Mexico are rigged with just those two…big jigs, big spinnerbaits…and I usually don’t have a problem catching BIG BASS! Call Terry or send a text message to 512-406-1588. Text is better. Send him a text informing him you will be fishing with Ron Speed Jr’s Adventures in Mexico and he will get right back with you! His lures are so popular that sometimes it will require a month or longer to receive. Get your orders in NOW or you will miss out!!!


That’s right folks! Ron Speed Jr’s Adventures offers Xpress Bass Boats at all of our fishing operations in Mexico! This series of Xpress Boats are absolutely PERFECT for these rugged mountain lakes in western Mexico! They’re tough, durable and are designed to withstand the abuse from the rocks and hardwoods that are found in most of these mountain lakes. The decks front and back are spacious thus giving our valuable customers plenty of “safe space” from hooks flying as well as comfort. All of our boats offer Yamaha 60 HP 4-Stroke outboard engines, Lowrance sonars and powerful Minn Kota trolling motors mounted “up front” on the boat so our customers have the option to operate the trolling motor themselves. Of course our guides are ready to operate the trolling motors and they are experts at it…but some anglers simply want to do it themselves. The choice is yours! Ron Speed Jr’s Adventures continues to offer it’s customers THE BEST in fishing Mexico!!!


Fernando Tirado Diaz…missed but never forgotten.

It is with great sadness to announce the passing of our dear friend and family member of Ron Speed Jr’s Adventures of 35 years…Fernando Tirado Diaz. Fernando unexpectedly passed away last month on December 13th. If you have fished with us at any of our lake operations in Mexico, you may have been blessed to meet Fernando as he was part of our original team when we opened our operation on Lake Comedero in 1988. Since that time Fernando has been helping drive our customers to all 3 lakes …Comedero, El Salto and Picachos. He also helped drive customers to our operation on Lake Huites 20 years ago. Fernando was more than just a tour guide and chauffeur but was also a valuable asset to our company in many ways as he helped us in the camps when we were full and lacking staff help. He was always there to help us…and never had to be asked. More than anything, he was a great friend to me…a great husband, great father, great grandfather…and just a great person! In the 35 years of knowing Fernando, I never once saw him angry nor did he complain one time about anything. He was a happy person that was just happy to be part of this family and blessed to have his wonderful family. His son, Fernando Jr is helping carry on his father’s legacy as Fernando Jr. is our co-manager (with Lupe Cota) at our El Salto Lodge operation.

Fernando and his lovely, sweet wife Josefina.


Fernando Sr. and RSJA partner and general manager Carlos Lizarraga were best of friends.


Fernando Jr (L) shares a happy moment with his father, Fernando Sr (R)

Until we meet again…R.I.P. Dear Friend.


Good Fishin’,

Ron Speed, Jr.
Ron Speed Jr’s Adventures

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