On the Hunt for Trophy Bass at Lake El Salto

on the hunt for trophy bass

Chronicle of a Fishing Adventure

We set out to confirm the existence of trophy bass at Lake El Salto.

Why the need for verification, you may ask? Well, it’s no secret that us anglers have a knack for embellishing our catches—let’s call it what it is. Furthermore, it’s common knowledge that lake operators tend to sprinkle a bit of “marketing magic” over their fishing spots. Their enticing slogans often promise encounters with “monster bass” or “trophy bass,” leaving us wondering if these claims hold water. Now, let me be clear: I’m not suggesting that a fishing spot’s worth is solely determined by the size of its bass. Other factors, such as fishing frequency, seasonal availability, presence of natural features like nets or lily pads, weather conditions, and the quality of service and infrastructure provided by lodges, all play a role in the allure of a fishing destination. In essence, each lake possesses its own unique charm.

Revista Angler - foto de portada

Take a look at this advertisement, with a “generous touch of photoshop”, where it looks like the largemouth bass is half the size and weight of the angler, as if it weighed 50 kilos! I decided to omit the name of the lodge so as not to burn anyone.

Now, let's dive into our El Salto adventure.

Bright and early, we departed Mazatlan for Lake El Salto, taking the scenic route to Culiacan. In just an hour and a half, we arrived at our friend Sigui’s lodge—an experienced angler and seasoned businessman with over 30 years of bass fishing under his belt. True to form, Sigui greeted us at 5:00 a.m., engaging in lively conversation with American anglers and ensuring smooth operations within the lodge.

After a quick cup of coffee, we wasted no time heading to the lake. Waiting for us there was Victor, fondly known as  el “Tarillo,” renowned as one of the top guides on Lake El Salto—although he’s quick to assert he’s the best. With spirits high, we boarded the boat and set off. Within moments, el Tarillo halted the boat at a secluded bend, and we began casting our lines. After just two attempts, we hooked our first catch: a modest largemouth bass, its shimmering green hues offering a glimpse of the treasures that awaited us.

Navigating deeper into the lake, we made our way to a spot affectionately dubbed “El Gato,” as per El Tarillo’s guidance. Playfully bantering with fellow guides along the way, El Tarillo shouted, “You guys have pornographic view for fishing, all you see are cocks no bass!” eliciting laughter from our group. Upon reaching our destination, we wasted no time in reeling in some impressive bass. Were they trophy-worthy? Absolutely—especially if you define trophy bass as those surpassing your personal weight records or coming tantalizingly close.

And the fishing is on!

Amazing Bass catch 6.6 lbs El Salto 1

Here is Camilo, my brother, catching a trophy bass of almost 6.6 lbs (6.45 lbs), which he fought with all his strength

Here I am, catching one of 5.7 lbs.

Camilo Bass catch 5.2 lbs El Salto

Another one of 5.2 lbs

And one of 3.9 lbs, along with another one that we didn’t weigh

But what about catch rate?

Well, that largely depends on your angling prowess. As intermediate anglers, we averaged between 4 to 5 catches per session, with four of them boasting trophy size. Meanwhile, a group of American anglers we encountered at the lodge, seasoned veterans of Mexican lakes, averaged between 7 to 8 catches per session, with an average weight exceeding 4.4 lbs.

 Here is William Armstrong, one of the Americans, in the middle of catching a largemouth bass. Filming these catches with a drone is quite a challenge.

And as for the bait of choice?

Throughout the day, we experimented with a plethora of options: shallow, trolling, and an array of plastic lures rigged with Texas rigs and free jigs. However, the standout performer—and what we’d dub the “secret to success” (indeed, a hot commodity at Sigui’s lodge)—was the Magnum Superfluke in Watermelon Red. Adding a dash of chartreuse garlic essence to the fish tail proved to be the cherry on top. So, if you plan to visit El Salto, be sure to pack this winning combination.

El Tarillo showing the bait and a largemouth bass we caught with it.

First-Class Guides, Boats, and Lodge.

The service was impeccable. El Tarillo, our guide, epitomized everything one could hope for in an expert of his caliber. With an intimate knowledge of the lake’s every nook and cranny, he effortlessly led us to prime fishing spots, prescribing the perfect bait for each scenario. Couple that with his infectious humor and captivating storytelling, and El Tarillo emerges as a quintessential guide of Lake El Salto. Under Sigui’s stewardship, the other guides at the lodge are equally well-trained and proficient.

Equipped with state-of-the-art technology—including radar, GPS trolling, and remote control— El Salto lodge’s boats provided us with every advantage on the water.

Sigui’s daughter, Yamely, with her expertise in gastronomy and customer service, added a delightful touch to our lodge experience. From greeting anglers with ice-cold lemon margaritas at the end of a fruitful session to crafting mouthwatering dishes like ceviche and shrimp “a la diabla”, her contributions were nothing short of exemplary.

As night fell, we made our way back to Mazatlan, arriving home within an hour and a half. Thanks to the unparalleled quality of trophy bass fishing (confirmed), Sigui’s leadership, and the proximity to Mazatlan, it’s safe to say that Lake El Salto is a premier destination for bass fishing in the country—a world-class experience in every sense of the word.

angler Fidel Vidal showing off a largemouth bass at Lake Aguamilpa, Tepic, Nayarit
Fidel Vidal
Co-Funder en Nomonday | + posts

Fidel Vidal was born on March 3, 1981 in Mexico City, his family moved to Mazatlan Sinaloa when he was a young boy and has been living there since then. He is a fishing writer and expert in digital marketing strategies and marketing of adventure tourism and fishing.

Specialist in writing articles for blogs that focus on the diffusion of national and international places and fishing from an advertising approach.

Also, he is Co-Founder of Nomnday Fishing in Mexico since January 2021, a Start Up company dedicated to the commercialization of sport fishing services in the world, where he also serves as Director of Marketing and Opening of fishing spots.

Studies

He has multiple studies and training in Digital Marketing, e-Commerce, advertising campaign strategies, data analysis, among others.

Publications

Article for blog “The great bass fishing circuit in Sinaloa México” – 2021.

Premios

Each of the captures he has had.

Fishing sites implemented

He has been responsible for the development of marketing strategies, image, promotion for the sale of sport fishing services in:

  • Lake Picachos
  • Lake El Salto
  • Lake Baccarac
  • Lake Huites
  • Lake El Varejonal
  • Lake Mahome
  • Lake El Sabino
  • Offshore fishing at Cabo San Lucas
  • Offshore fishing at Mazatlán
  • Fly fishing at Xcalak

Expertise

  • 2016-2021. Co-Founder of the Digital Marketing agency AwiwiChannel
  • 2019-Actual. Co-Founder of Sulasula.mx, agency dedicated to the promotion and commercialization of tourism experiences and short-term vacatonal rentals
  • 20221-Actual. Co-Founder of Nomonday Fishing in Mexico, platform for the promotion and commercialization of all-inclusive sport fishing services.

Personal Life

A passionate Angler, lover of having a good time, promoter of fishing in Mexico and firm believer of the catch & release model. He speaks 2 languages (Spanish and English) but makes himself understood by everyone everywhere.

His favorite fishing spots are: Lake Picachos, Lake Aguamilpa, and as a good “pata salada” (a local term for Mazatlán natives) the port of Mazatlan.

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