Outdoor Writers Impressed

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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 Cummings, 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.

Lake Huites LodgeLake Huites, a canyon reservoir used for irrigation, runs for more than 30 miles through the mountains. The lake was drawn down 120 feet 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, huh?

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 trees.

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.