Bob Mauldin

Air Temp: 63/65F early morning & late evening. Siesta Time 80/89F

Weather: Warm and sunny with a slight breeze. 60 degrees in the morning, 80s in the


Water Temp: 76/79F

Average number of bass per boat per day: 60 - 80

Largest bass caught: 12.3 pounds

Topwater Baits:

Lobina Lures Rio Rico poppers or Yellow Magics: white, white with sparkles and

bleeding shad

Pop, n image Heddon, Baby Bass color

Heddon Zara Spook and Lucky Craft Sammy: shad, chrome with black top and white.


Storm WildEye 4 -inch Swim Shads: Shad, white with chartreuse top and pearl

Yum Money Minnows: 5-inch in foxy shad, hologram shad and herring with 5/0 or 6/0,

1/8-ounce weight hook.


Eight-inch Zoom Lizards: watermelon, watermelon red flake and black with blue tail

Yamamoto Senkos, Yum Dingers or Bass Pro Shops 5 & 6-inch Stinkos: watermelon,

watermelon red flake and black with blue flake

Zoom super fluke white

Berkley Power Worms: 10-inch, black with blue tail, watermelon and red shad


Bomber Fat Free Shad & Rapala DT16 Crankbaits: medium & deep divers in citrus

shad, hot mustard and fire tiger

Rat-L-Traps: & -ounce in silver with blue back and silver with black back

Rapala X-Rap or 4 to 5-inch jerkbaits: white, clown and shad

Tip of the week:

Add a 5/0 weighted hook to a 5 inch Yum Money Minnow or similiar soft plastic swim bait so that the hook barely protrudes from the top. With the larger weighted hook, the bait sinks faster. Let it hit bottom in about 10 to 15 feet of water and retrieve it extremely slowly just off the bottom. Pull it through submerged trees and let it drop into the branches. Bass often slurp baits on the fall.

Five Friends Each Score Personal Best Bass


As the host and producer of various outdoors television shows for Bass Pro Shops and a 2008 inductee into the Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame, Jerry Martin fished and hunted around the world. In all that time, he never caught a double-digit bass until he fished Lake El Salto recently.

Martin and his four best friends grew up together in Thayer, Mo. They went all through school together, graduating from Thayer High School, Class of 1966. Over the years, they kept in touch and try to reunite for fishing or hunting trips whenever possible. This year, Martin convinced the others to make the biggest trip of their lives and visit Anglers Inn at Lake El Salto. They didn't leave disappointed. "This trip was very special," said J.W. Nelson of Salem, Ark. "We started fishing at 5 years old and fished all of our lives. This year, we wanted to go to the best place where everybody could catch a lot of fish and have a great time. That's Anglers Inn at Lake El Salto. Jerry told us about it, but it was more than we expected."

Each of the five caught a personal best largemouth bass. Jerry caught a 9.5- and a 10-pounder on back-to-back casts with a 10-inch black and blue Berkley Power Worm fished Texas style in about 15 feet of water. Lewis Childers, who still lives in Thayer, caught a 10-pounder on a 12-inch green pumpkin plastic worm. His cousin, Keith Childers of Marshfield, Mo., and Nelson each landed bass approaching 8 pounds. "The fishing was absolutely awesome," Martin said. "The fish averaged about 4 pounds, but we caught a lot of 5- to 7-pound fish. Our best baits were 8-inch lizards, but my best bait was a 10-inch worm. Green pumpkin was the better color in the morning. Then, bass wanted black and blue. The key for bigger bass was fishing a steep bank with timber on it close to deep water where the bank broke into a creek channel 10 to 14 feet deep."

John Sawyer topped them all. The Jonesboro, Ark., angler landed a 12.3-pounder, one of the largest fish caught this season at Lake El Salto. The fish inhaled a white six-inch swimbait, but John had a little help from his guide, Armando. "On the morning I caught the big one, I already had 37 fish including several 6-pounders that mostly hit 8-inch lizards," Sawyer said. "I decided to try something that I never used before. We got to a cove and I asked Armando to show me how to work a swimming minnow swimbait. He made one cast, said this is how to fish it, set the hook and gave me the rod. People don't have to be great fishermen to catch big ones at Lake El Salto if they just listen to their guide."

Besides the lunker, Sawyer caught more than 110 bass with many in the 3- to 9-pound range at Lake El Salto. In all, the five amigos landed more than 500 bass in 2.5 days, which included five personal best bass and three double-digit bucketmouths. They also tempted a frenzied school of jack crevalle with topwaters off Mazatlan before heading home.

"For the first hour at El Salto, we had a lot of topwater action, mostly on Pop-Rs in white or chrome with blue or gray backs," Jerry said. "As soon as the sun got on the water, fish went about 6 to 8 feet deep and deeper as the sun rose. We caught some of our biggest bass on plastics in 10 to 12 feet of water near submerged trees, but also caught some on white and chartreuse spinnerbaits. On the final day, we fished a flat bank in two feet of water at 11 a.m. and started ripping fish on a spinnerbait."

At both El Salto and Mateos, topwaters produced excellent action. Brett Whitehead of California caught a 10.5-pounder on a silver and black Zara Spook almost a lunchtime. Wesley Wolfe of North Carolina caught a 10-pound, 13-ounce lunker on a Sammy topwater bait, again at midday. He also caught several fish in the 6.5- to 8-pound range. For consistent big-fish action, though, swimbaits topped the list. Slowly retrieve a 5-inch Yum Money Minnow in hologram shad, Tennessee shad or foxy shad just over the bottom. Use a weighed hook inserted into the plastic and barely poking out the back. Count down 10 to 15 seconds so the bait sinks and retrieve it as slowly as possible.

Texan Tim Barber caught a 10-pounder on a Yum Money Minnow on his first cast near a point. His partner, Danny Hale caught a 9.8-pounder on an identical bait. Fellow Texan, Steve Barnett caught his two biggest fish, one a 9.5-pounder, on a hologram shad Money Minnow. He also caught some big ones on Carolina-rigged black and blue lizards. Other significant El Salto catches, Bill Arwood of Ohio landed a 10-pounder that smashed a chrome and blue Rat-L-Trap. Fishing with his son, Jagar, Darin Halbleib of Texas caught his 10-pounder on a black and blue jig. Jagar caught most of his fish on watermelon lizards with some topping 7 pounds.

Phil Thomas of Florida caught a 10-pounder on an 8-inch watermelon red flake lizard in 15 feet of water. Art Tatum and Michelle Healy didn't catch monsters, but they used watermelon lizards and motoroil worms to catch more than 100 bass a day with a 4-pound average. Michelle landed one nearly 8 pounds, shy of her 10.4-pounder from a previous trip. "Anglers Inn is the Disneyland for fishing," Michelle said. "I've been to Lake El Salto twice this year and absolutely love it. I had the most amazing massage I've ever had and the food is incredible. I can't wait to come back."

Fish Species: Largemouth Bass
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Lake El Salto Trophy Bass
Lake El Salto Trophy Bass

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Bob Mauldin

About The Author: Bob Mauldin

Company: Mexico Bass Fishing Adventures

Area Reporting: Mexico

Bio: n Mexico, mild climates and abundant forage translate to perfect habitats for trophy bass. In these lakes bass can grow up to two pounds a year and ten pounders are always a possibility. Mexico bass fishing is not just a fishing trip, it's a completely unique Mexican Vacation experience which many of our clients choose to relive over and over again. At these Mexico bass lakes you're just one cast away from that ten pound plus trophy bass! At the end of the day cool margaritas are sipped as you reflect on the days catch and plan your strategy for tomorrow. For bass anglers it doesn't get any better than this.

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