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Event Article

Okuma Goes Savage at Lake El Salto, Mexico (continued)

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 platform.

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 are

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 Sandeel

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 Sandeels.


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 for Brandon

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.  

After an hour the Sandeel continues to crush them

Next Section: Salvage those Sandeels!