Fishing & Boating News

Three Bass over Six in Thirty-one Days

by: Michael Banks, DDS,

Mexican Bass
Photo by Michael Banks, DDS
Texas Bass - 6.11
Photo by Michael Banks, DDS
(Mar 11, 2017 - )

I’ve never caught the quality bass in my lifetime I have caught the past thirty-one days.  For full disclosure I have never in my lifetime fished as much as I have the past thirty-one days.  The connection has to be – the more one fishes, the more opportunity one has to catch quality bass.  Another aspect to catching quality fish is one must fish where quality fish are located.

I went out of the country to catch the first one on January 31 – 6 pounds, 12 ounces.  My fishing partner for this trip was talented bass fisherman, Randy Gorham.  Monday was a travel day, flying American Airlines from Dallas, Texas, to Mazatlán, Mexico, and then a two hour van ride to Ron Speed Jr.’s Adventure’s fishing camp on Lake El Salto.

There was also a bass club group of 12 fisherman from Tennessee in camp.  They were rotating guides,  but we had the same guide, Enrique, for the four days we fished.  The Lakeview Bass Club were very friendly, and we enjoyed sharing camp with them.

The schedule for fishing at a Speed camp is leaving at daylight before sunrise and fishing until noon.  Returning to camp for lunch with an hour’s rest and then returning to fishing until sunset – a full day of fishing,  but we are there to fish. 

Our first morning we met Enrique and had about a fifteen minute boat ride to a secluded cove to begin our day of fishing.  The temperature at dawn was upper 50’s which made the boat ride rather chilly,  but once the sun rose we shed our jackets as the temp got into the 80’s.

We usually start out using topwater lures for about an hour and then switch to plastic Senko, flukes or lizards for the rest of the day.  Our “go to” lure for topwater is a Yellow Magic.  A Yellow Magic is a computer engineered lure with an internal rattle, produced by a Japanese company.  This lure (pictured) has double treble hooks with a receded lip which makes a characteristic “whoope” sound when jerked floating on top of the water.  The characteristic sound of a bass taking the bait is a “ker-whop” with sometimes the louder the sound, the larger the bass.

We were rigged and began casting as soon as the boat stopped with Enrique lowering the trolling motor to move and manipulate the boat.  Excitement was high with the first casts of the trip. 

Enrique moved the boat to a land point at the end of the cove and I made a cast to eight feet off the end of the point.  I twitched the Yellow Magic and there was a very loud “ker-whop” with a splash as my lure disappeared.  A full second wait to set the hooking on a topwater take should be given to allow the fish to fully take the bait. I waited and set the take – my rod almost bent double right away.  I started cranking on the reel – the fight was on.  In my peripheral vision I saw Enrique moving quickly from the front of the boat for the net, reaffirming to me this was a good fish.

I didn’t let up on cranking the reel to play the fish until the fish was in sight close to the boat.  Enrique skillfully netted the fish and I had my first catch of the trip which turned out to be my best catch of the trip – 6 pounds, 12 ounces!  The attached picture tells the story – sun just coming up, light wind, hat backwards from the boat ride, jacket on because of the coolness of the morning. The smile on my face because of a great catch on the first catch of the trip.

We boated an average of a hard count of 100 bass per day with Randy out catching me three to two.  He had his largest of 7 pounds 9 ounces and 7 pounds even on the last day within fifteen minutes of each other.  It was a great trip; we’re going back in May.

Back to Texas. My second bass weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces caught on February 18 and the third weighed 6 pounds 7 ounces caught on March 2.  Both were caught kayak fishing on a private lake in which I have a membership.  Both were caught using a weightless, weedless plastic frog.

This lake is full of hydrilla grass and lily pads with stumps and laydown logs making manipulating difficult with any boat other than a kayak.  These factors also make landing a fish after a strike and the take to be tough.  These fish know when hooked to dive to wrap the line on a limb or stalk and pull off the hook; therefore, I make short cast and crank fast on the reel with a take.  Only about half of the strikes result in landing the fish.  But I love dragging a frog over the pads and the strikes are exciting.

The 6-11 bass got stuck on a log on the top of the water and I was able to paddle over to lip it before it pulled off.  The 6-7 was hooked on a very short cast with no obstructions in the way, so I cranked her in.

It was a great thirty-one days of fishing catching three bass over six pounds,  which I doubt I can beat – but I’ll try.

Until we put in again,

Texas Bass -6.7
Photo by Michael Banks, DDS
Frogs & Yellow Magic Baits
Photo by Michael Banks, DDS