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Mexico has emerged as the place where even the most fantastic bass-fishing
dreams come true. Transplanted Florida-strain largemouths thrive
in their south of the border domain to produce fisheries of incredible
potential. For any bass fanatic desiring to boat lunkers by the dozen,
a trip to one of Mexico's phenomenal bass factories is an absolute
must. I made my personal pilgrimage to bassing nirvana early last
fall. My destination was Lake Huites, high in the Sierra
Lake Huites is a relatively new fishing impoundment, having been
first opened to American anglers in the spring of 1997. A large reservoir-almost
30 miles long and comprising 30,000 acres at full pool, Huites supplies
life-giving water to irrigate the fertile agricultural regions throughout
the Mexican state of Sinaloa.
Arriving at Lake Huites Lodge late the first evening, our party
relaxed with a delicious dinner, a few margaritas, and some good
conversation before retiring for the night.
The next morning the twelve of us were up before dawn. After a hearty
breakfast, our guides loaded all the tackle and shuttled us to our
boats. Eager, but in no hurry, my partner and I were the last to
launch, content just to watch as the gathering dawn revealed the
first glimpse of the spectacular scenery that is everywhere on Huites.
Once underway, the fishing possibilities were almost unlimited. Dozens
of great-looking coves, points, and sunken trees along with plenty
of interesting shoreline all beckoned our attention. We relied on
our guide, Rene Salazar, to help sort things out for us. Rene methodically
moved us from spot to spot, and we took fish on a variety of lures,
with plastic worms accounting for the most bass. Mid-morning produced
the first of many Lake Huites monsters, when my partner nailed an
8-pounder on a watermelon lizard.
lunch, Rene wanted to try a different section of the lake. Plastic
worms and lizards continued to be effective. Late afternoon found
us working a shoreline adjacent to a shallow flat. Fish began breaking
the surface there, a few at first, then a near frenzy. A bunch of
bass had herded a school of shad onto the flat and were busting them
mercilessly. We quickly slipped within casting distance and began
throwing Rat-L-Traps into the fray. For 20 minutes, the action was
frantic. These fish only averaged about two pounds, but almost every
cast produced a solid strike. Just as things started to slow down,
a savage strike just 20 feet from the boat caught me off guard, breaking
As productive and interesting as my first day on Lake Huites was,
I still couldn't have imagined what I was in for on day two. Rene had a hunch about a certain cove, and we made our way there in mid-afternoon.
We drifted down the middle of it into an area that was between 12
and 17 feet deep. Rene began casting a chartreuse Fat
On the second or third cast a good fish clobbered the deep-diving
crankbait, and a short time later the seven-pound bass was in the
landing net. Rene handed me his outfit rather than waiting for me
to tie on a lure like he was using. He pointed to where he wanted
me to cast and set about anchoring the boat to hold our position.
It was a masterful call. My first cast produced an eight-pound largemouth.
A few casts later I landed a 6 -pounder, and shortly after that,
one better than seven pounds. My partner was also throwing a deep-running
crankbait with similar results, and our guide was getting plenty
of practice with the landing net.
hardly seemed possible, but I hooked a fish that seemed even bigger
and stronger than anything so far. The bass came to the boat quickly,
but stayed deep. I wrestled the fish to the surface a little at a
time. When I finally got a look at it, all I could do was gasp. It
was close to 10 pounds. To make things even more dramatic, the lure
came free the instant Rene slipped the biggest bass of my life into
the net. After a timeout for some photos and a cold drink, I switched
to an eight-inch, blue plastic worm and landed two more bass over
seven pounds. In a little over an hour, I had the bass-fishing experience
of a lifetime-catching six bass in a row over six pounds, including
my biggest bass ever. Not a bad afternoon's work.
But exceptional days are the rule not the exception on Lake
especially in terms of the size and numbers of fish most anglers
are used to. Here, boating 100 or more bass a day is not uncommon.
Huites largemouths average three to four pounds;
five- to seven-pounders are a common occurrence; fish of ten pounds
or better a constant
possibility. One can quickly become spoiled when exposed to this
kind of world-class fishing. And if catching numbers of huge bass
isn't satisfying enough, imagine not having to contend with jet skis,
water-skiers, and the armada of pleasure boats that churn so many
great bass lakes into a froth day after day throughout the season.
The few boats you are likely to see while fishing Lake Huites will
probably just be other small fishing craft like yours. Fishing pressure
itself is so light that you can concentrate completely on outwitting
the bass rather than competing with other fishermen for the good
The quality of the bass fishing in Lake Huites should remain outstanding
for years to come. First, it is a relatively new sport-fishery and
could possibly get even better. Because of its remoteness, fishing
pressure will probably not become intense. And most important, Huites has been designated a catch-and-release lake, allowing this spectacular
body of water to reach and maintain its full potential.
It probably goes without saying, but there's no need to pack light
tackle for a trip to Huites. Because of both the
hefty average size of the bass and the possibility of largemouth
of a lifetime on nearly
every cast, it is prudent not to be undergunned. Nothing will tie
your stomach in a knot like hooking the biggest bass of your life
on gear that can't handle a real bruiser. A stout bait-casting outfit
with 14- to 17-pound line would probably qualify as an all-around
outfit for Lake Huites bassing. Because of the limited
Huites bass are rarely line shy, so heavier line
provides an adequate safeguard without diminishing effectiveness.
Having at least one
reel spooled with 20- to 25-pound test line is also a \good idea
for situations where it may be necessary to manhandle a good fish
from sunken trees, brush, or other heavy cover.
During my trip to Lake Huites, plastic
worms and deep-diving crankbaits were
my most consistent lures. But on any given day, other fishermen
at the lodge reported success with just about every type of bait.
The important thing to remember is Lake Huites has
almost unlimited amounts of nearly every variety of structure, so
if you can't find
the lures the fish want, you can probably find some fish that want
the lures you have. Any bass fishermen with a well-stocked tackle
box will probably have a suitable \arsenal to do battle with Huites bass.
A short list of recommendations would include the following:
Plastic worms and lizards in 6-
to 8-inch lengths and longer. Most of the guides favored watermelonseed,
pumpkinseed, motor oil, and
similar colors. My two best worming sessions happened while using
an electric green Power Worm and blue Mann's
Manipulator, Texas-rigged on
4/0 worm hooks with 3/4- to 1-ounce worm weights.
The most popular crankbait was easily the Fat Free Shad in
1/2- and 3/4-ounce models. These deep-divers were certainly the ticket
for big bass in deep water. For working the flats and medium depths,
Rat-L-Traps inshad or chrome are a good choice.
Schools of shad and tilapia comprise the bulk of the forage base
for Lake Huites largemouths. The abundance of these
baitfish is responsible for growing and maintaining the lake's tremendous
population of trophy-sized
bass. Even though food is plentiful, Huites bass
are not complacent when it comes to their feeding habits. More often
than not, these
fish take lures of all types aggressively, and sometimes strikes
can be savage. Of course, like bass anywhere, there are times when
the fish in a given area are not inclined to feed. Therefore, it
rarely seemed worthwhile to spend too muchtime at any one spot that
wasn't yielding a fish or two. Usually, we found that the most productive
locations tended to pay off almost immediately.
LAKE HUITES LODGE:
Mexican Adventures offers all-inclusive packages for anglers at beautiful
Lake Huites Lodge. Even though the setting is remote, the accommodations
are first-rate and reasonably priced. It truly is a lodge with all
the amenities and a full staff on the premises, not a primitive fish
camp with huts or trailers. Fabulous meals are prepared by an expert
chef and served by the efficient staff. Daily maid service is provided.
The itinerary for a typical four-night, three-day fishing excursion
starts with a late-afternoon arrival in Los Mochis, Mexico. Members
of the lodge staff meet you at the airport and take care of all the
details from that point on. The trip to Lake Huites Lodge is a three-hour
drive, the last 20 miles over a rugged mountain road.
Upon arrival at the lodge, it's time for a fine dinner, a few of
the best margaritas anywhere, and a little relaxation before settling
in for the night. The spacious rooms are air-conditioned with large
beds and a private bath.
In the morning, a hot cup of coffee is delivered to your door with
the wake-up call, followed by breakfast in the dining hall, then
a quick shuttle to the boat launch. The 18-foot boats are stable
and roomy fishing craft, powered by 65 hp motors along with an electric
trolling motor. Knowledgeable, friendly local guides operate the
boat and work hard to put you on the fish, and there is always a
cooler full of cold drinks on board.
You return to the lodge around noon for lunch. After the meal, there
is time to relax or take a nap, then back to the lake in mid-afternoon
to fish until dark. At the end of the day, you wind down with a great
dinner followed by drinks and plenty of fish stories before turning
in for some well-deserved rest.
At Lake Huites Lodge, a full day of fishing certainly means a full
day of fishing.
After three days of dawn to dark bass fishing, you depart the lodge
after breakfast for the trip back to the Los Mochis and your flight
The season at Lake Huites runs from the first of October until the
end of June, making it ideal for a fall or winter getaway With your
reservation, management of Lake Huites Lodge will provide a complete
list of everything you will need to make your trip enjoyable and
successful including an up-to-the-minute list of the hottest lures.