Day 2: Boat pairings stayed the same for the most part on Day 2 with the exception of a local guide joining us on our boat. Fernando would put us on fish and take us to some of his favorite spots on the lake while sharing with us his personal favorite techniques including crankbaiting and dragging a lizard.
Cranking it up for the crankbait rod wars!
True to form, the bite picked up on Day 2 and we witnessed first hand the acrobatic nature of the El Novillo bass. While fishing a clump of trees half submerged underwater, JIP was throwing a paddletail swimbait rigged for him the night before by Jonah. He cast it out to this clump of trees, turned the handle about three times when WHAM, a fish inhaled the bait. JIP set hook, and immediately, the five pound bass went airborne. JIP kept the tension on but we could see the line rising again and again the fish broke water. This pattern repeated itself several times as Cal stood by the side of the boat, lipper in hand, ready to grab the fish who teased us by rising slowly next to the boat only to dive once more. Then, a fifth and final time, the fish jumped and spit the bait out. What a battle!
Bill and Dean working plastics.
This day was much better seeing us land a variety of fish up to four pounds on cranks, paddletail swimbaits, jigs and plastics. Total count for Day 2 was roughly fifty fish in the boat for the TackleTour crew and similar numbers for the other two boats. We were putting it together.
A heron poses for a picturesque moment.
Sharing fish stories out on the porch at night, Dean exclaimed, "I thought these fish were supposed to be stupid? We have to really work for them." Referring to the fact that despite the numbers we were witnessing, fishing was, as usual, far from academic, but when you were on the right bait and color combination, it was magic time.
Cactus can be seen throughout the shore.
Day 3: On our final day on the water, we fished with Pedro Silvas, a former mayor of San Pedro De La Cueva, Jonah and Dean paired up, and Justin joined our hosts Bill and Bob for a tour of the town and lake.
On Day 3, we head out with Pedro Silvas, former mayor of San Pedro De La Cueva.
Cal had enough of the crankbait rod wars and pulled out his Mattlures swimbait rod determined to find where the bigger fish were hiding. Having already lost his Bull Shad slow sinking hardbait to the Dragon Bush, Cal decided to go with his collection of floating hardbaits to try and entice some of these crazy bass to the surface. JIP stuck to what proved to be the leading crankbait on this trip, his Norman DLN crank.
Cal tries the Randy McAbee approach to cranking.
Pedro’s favorite technique is topwater and he shared with us news of the red hot topwater bite on this lake that materializes during the summer. Only problem? Temperatures at El Novillo Lake in the summer regularly exceed 110 degrees Fahrenheit! To compensate, Pedro told us they typically fish from 4:30am to 10:00am retiring to the comfort of their homes during the middle of the day, and then returning later for the evening bite.
While JIP continues to tear them up on his Norman DLN.
As he was sharing this information with us, Cal pulled out his injection molded Black Dog Bait Company Lunker Punker and Pedro started salivating when Cal launched the bait clear across a promising point and walked it over the strike zone. “What’s THAT?” exclaimed Pedro. Soon after Cal’s explanation, the bait was in Pedro’s hand to for a try.
Justin pulls out his fly rod.
“I tell you what Pedro. Catch a big fish on that bait so we can take a picture with you and the fish and that bait is yours,” tempted Cal. Pedro asked how big, and Cal just told him, catch it first, and we’ll talk. From that point on, Pedro was on a mission to find us some exciting topwater action.
One of many fish Pedro cranked up in the morning.
Getting into those big fish