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If you've ever wanted to catch four- to seven-pound bass one right
after the other from sunup to sunset, then Lake Huites in northwest
Mexico is the place for you.
A group of outdoor writers was invited to fish in paradise, and
I was fortunate to be among their numbers. Stan Warren and Soc
Clay (two names you might know from reading outdoor magazines), Joe
Arterburn (Cabela's senior outdoor communicator), and Ken
Chaumont (of Bill
Lewis Lures) rounded out our group. The group was led by Benny
one of the partners in Lake Huites Lodge.
Joe Arterburn and I were boat mates, along with guide Florencio
Lozano who did everything from tying on our lures, pointing to the
bass targets, and removing the fish to operating the trolling motor,
and opening our refreshments.
Huites, a canyon reservoir used for irrigation, runs for
more than 30 miles through the mountains. The lake was drawn down
when we fished it and was still 250 feet deep. The lake and lodge
are located in the foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental
Mountains in the state of Sinoloa not
far from the Sea of Cortez - an exquisite setting.
Here's a snapshot of a typical day: Each morning about five a young
lady brings you coffee in your room; you rise to eat breakfast about
30 minutes later; in another 30 minutes you are driven down the mountain
to your boat; you get in one of the roomy boats with comfortable
swivel seats and the guide in a back seat operating the tiller; the
guide ties on the lure that works for the area he has selected; you
cast and catch largemouth bass until you're driven back up the mountain
for margaritas, lunch, and a siesta; about 3:00 you go fishing again;
after sunset you return to the lodge; and then margaritas, a luscious
supper, and sleep. That's your routine for three days. Sounds rough,
The bass weren't too choosy about the baits they hit. We loaded
the boat with bass on Cabela's Real Image Shad (a large deep-diving
crankbait) and spinnerbaits, 12-inch Power
Worms and other large
soft plastics, 1/2-ounce chrome and chrome/blue Rat-L-Traps (that
matched the size of the shad), Pop-Rs, Spit'n
Images, and jigs.
Joe and I caught our largest bass with the Real
Image Shad casting
in water about 25 feet deep and bumping the tops of cacti and trees
at about 12 feet. We caught more bass over five pounds in 30 minutes
than I've seen in years.
One other successful technique was dropping 12-inch worms vertically
into cacti. We'd watch the line for a tick and then set the hook.
Speaking of line, you need to spool on 30-pound test. We all used
FireLine to handle the fish in the brush and trees. I failed to mention
that the lake was flooded without removing any of the vegetation.
Bass love the cacti best. The fleshy green exterior is gone, and
the wooden skeleton left behind. It has a very unusual and easily
identified configuration. Only when using topwater baits could a
lighter test line be cast without fear of being broken off in the
By the third day my desire of catching big bass had been sated -
my stomach was sore from using it as a base for my rod butt. Joe joined
Soc Clay that last day, and Florencio and I cast topwater plugs much
of the afternoon. I wish we had begun topwater sooner. The bass were
tearing up the top. Most anglers love to see bass blow up on a lure
and this Florida strain largemouth ate anything that came close,
no matter the time of day. It was the perfect way to end the most
memorable fishing trip of my life.
Fellow anglers, I'm convinced you will come away from Lake
Huites with the same feeling of completeness
as we did: served extremely well by the lodge--treated as royalty--and
having caught bass heavier
than five pounds TNTC - too numerous to count.