Okuma Goes Savage at Lake El Salto, Mexico
That evening we were feeling pretty good about our
fish until we compared notes with the rest of the crew. The Tackle Warehouse
guys had also done well and Joey had boated similar quality fish while Corey put
on an absolute crankbait clinic landing good numbers and quality, and Jeff also
did well but missed two absolute beasts on topwater frogs early that morning.
The Okuma team bested all of us with Brandon landing a 9lbr. and Sam catching a
10lb. fish. Not only had they caught the best quality fish they also told us
that they had caught over 100 fish off a single point. We all wanted to know
what lures they used for this feat and it turned out the productive bait was the
Savage Gear Sandeel.
Sam lands a huge bass
The next day Cal and I fished with Brandon from
Okuma and our guide was Hono himself. We loaded into a Ranger glass boat and
head out to find some big fish. Unlike many outfits on the lake that primarily
use aluminum flat hull boats Pro Bass Adventures does have a number of Ranger
boats which provide a larger more comfortable ride and more stable fishing
During the trip I caught a few
aggressive Tilapia on blades
There is a common saying that the guides” know
where the fish are” and this is literally true when it comes to Hono. He
routinely positioned the boat at very specific angles, often very tight within
structure (as in literally hugging half submerged trees and under branches), and
would point to a very specific area and detail a set of instructions like “there
is a six pound fish that lives here so cast and retrieve slowly and it passes
between the branch there is an underwater highway, then wait and set the hook.”
Set the hook huh?
Hono really knows where the fish
Early that morning he told me to grab a jerkbait
and point at an area densely populated with dead trees and asked me to cast
right into it. “What about the snags?” I asked. “If we lose it I’ll buy you a
new one,” Hono replied. I said goodbye to my soon to be snagged jerkbait and
flung it right into the trunk of the tree and as it fell and hit the water I
made a single jerk and a six pounder absolutely crushed it.
Brandon lands a fish with the
This scenario of Hono telling us not only where to
fish but exactly how to fish resulted in a few more lunkers and I was a
believer, whatever he asked of us we did and it worked. We were catching fish on
a variety of baits including the Savage Gear finesse hardbaits but we wanted to
experience what Sam had talked about the night before when he described pulling
countless fish off a single point.
Working the point with Sandeels
We headed to what looked like a long unassuming
point lined with submerged timber and started out cranking with a variety of
different long lipped deep divers. After about 15 minutes we still had no fish
to show for but Hono was convinced the fish were there and told us maybe the
fish desired something more subtle, and asked us to tie on the Savage Gear
The Sandeel is actually a saltwater lure and
features a slender realistic looking jighead and a paddletail swimabit body.
Though designed primarily for fishing vertically this lure can be dragged or
jerked like a soft body swimbait and the tail exhibits a tight swimming action.
The jighead is armed with Japanese carbon steel saltwater grade hooks and the
tails come in a variety of patterns. These tails are relatively durable and
showcase luminous layered patterns as each is hand poured.
Hono nets a big fish off the point
In the very first cast Brandon caught a healthy
looking two pound fish and before he could get the fish into the boat I was also
hooked up. First double of the trip, but it certainly wasn’t the last, this
occurred a few more times over the next half an hour as we proceeded to
absolutely milk the point for fish after fish. The Sandeels were slaughtering
them and the sharply angled jighead was doing a fine job not only helping the
bait get down quickly right into the heart of the strike zone.