For live and premium content, sign up for our email newsletter and we'll send reports directly to your inbox

Sign Up Now!

Anglers who like to keep up with the newest largemouth bass lakes and get in on that early "bonanza-type" fishing that occurs when a lake first opens should focus their attention on western Mexico, where two lakes are set to open this fall. So says correspondent Gary Kramer in the following report. It’s worth noting, perhaps, that the hawg-busting bubbas of the world haven’t yet heard of these lakes but they will soon, according to Kramer. In a phone call at press time, he said an entire regiment of bass writers is converging on these waters. "Tell Angling Report subscribers to hurry," he said.

Gary Kramer writes: "The first lake that’s opening this fall is Lake Agua Milpa near the city of Tepic in the Mexican state of Nayarit. The lake was created in 1993 by impounding the Rio Santiago and two other rivers, creating a massive reservoir that is now 65 miles long, averages four miles wide and has 140 miles of shoreline.

"The lake will open to fishing for the first time October 15; until now only exploratory fishing has occurred. At present, bass from three to six pounds are common and a 9.6-pound bass is the current lake record. These fish are Florida-strain largemouths that were planted in Agua Milpa as fingerlings when the reservoir started to fill. With abundant cover and few predators, the bass have grown quickly. There is an abundance of brush and lots of structure, including steep drop-offs, rocky shoals and even waterfalls.

"Unlike the other lakes in western Mexico that are at elevations ranging from 500 to 1,000 feet, Agua Milpa is at the 2,400-foot mark. Because the other lakes are at relatively low elevations, the summer heat can be oppressive and most of them are closed during the summer months. In contrast, the elevation of Agua Milpa should allow for good fishing and comfortable weather year-round, although the best months for fly fishing will be from December through February.

"As regards how to get in on this fishing, long-time outfitter Billy Chapman Sr. (*) in cooperation with Richardo Balderrama is in the final stage of completing a fishing lodge on the shores of Agua Milpa. The lodge is air conditioned and will have 16 double rooms, each with a separate bath. Chapman will be using 20-foot Mexican style pangas with 48-horsepower Yamaha motors. A four-night/three fishing day package will cost $975, which includes guide service, accommodations and transportation from Tepic.

"The drive from Tepic is an hour over paved road. Aero California (*) has the only air service from the US to Tepic and makes a daily flight from Los Angeles, with a 20-minute stop in Manzanillo. As of this writing, a round-trip ticket costs about $350….

"The other new reservoir is Lake Huites, which is located about 50 miles northeast of the town of El Fuerte in Sinaloa. Lake Huites is 22 miles long and about two miles wide, and was formed when the Rio Fuerte was dammed in March 1994. Prior to impoundment, northern-strain largemouth bass moved upstream from Lake Hidalgo and Lake Dominguez to populate the fledgling reservoir and in 1994, Florida-strain largemouths were stocked. Currently, fish in the two to five-pound class dominate the catch and the current record is eight pounds.

"The lake opened to fishermen for the first time earlier this month. Long-time Mexico outfitter Ron Speed (*) in cooperation with Balderrama Hotels and Resorts has built a lodge in the village of Techobampo, virtually on the shore of the new lake. The lodge consists of four new 80-foot mobile homes plus a restaurant and bar. The boats are new 17-foot center console Fishers with 55-horsepower Mercury engines. Packages start at $1,095 for four nights and three days of fishing. This price includes lodging, meals and guided fishing. It does not include any costs for transportation to the lodge.

"There are several ways of getting to the lodge, but your best bet is to fly direct from Los Angeles to the nearby city of Los Mochis on Aero California (*); a round trip ticket costs about $175 as of this writing. You must then take a 3 1/4-hour van ride from Los Mochis to the lodge, which costs $140 per person."

Previous reading
Found! Dirt-Cheap, On-Your-Own Fishing
Next reading
Unusual Salmon Fishery Develops Near Seattle