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Breaking fish off…. and a Mexico discussion


…..that pic pretty much sums it up around these parts today. I have been getting Mexico calls, texts and an email after the last very much sub par trip over there. I also got an email today from a gentleman in Houston that wanted to know what the deal was with my boat having so many break-offs this year.


Let’s address the break off issue and then move into the Mexico discussion. Break-offs are up yet again this time of year for a variety of reasons.

#1 and probably the biggest culprit is the retama bush.


Those things sticking out are as sharp and unforgiving as anything on the planet. For whatever reason the bass down here love to be in amongst these things. Often times when you catch a fish it will be all marked up from rubbing up against the prickers. (a lot of folks confuse the marks with gar bites) I used to NEVER fish the jungle here on Falcon. I was a deep structure guy 12 months out the year. The lake has evolved to the point where you have to be seasonal to stay on the majority of these fish. Unfortunately that means playing in the jungle until they start pulling water for irrigation. (which is soon)


#2 being lazy and NOT retying often.

You all have read my reports and know that at times Falcon and Sugar have been a tuff nut to crack. What that means is lulls in the fishing action happen and with that comes the attitude of “hey my lined is nicked up …..hell with it, I haven’t had a bite in an hour anyhow”. No sooner does that thought cross your mind and bang! A straight up walrus is destroying you.


#3 these are ELITE level fish down here.

Most people across the country and even in this state have no idea just how difficult it is to pull an 8, 9, 10, 11 lb type of fish through a straight up jungle. I have the best equipment money can buy and these beasts still find every little flaw….whether it be from a terminal, line or technique standpoint.


The fish I broke off yesterday had all three of these elements in play. About 30 minutes before I hooked that big ole gal I got snagged in a retama and jerked my line through it to free my lure up. In doing so it put several nicks in my 65 lb power pro braid. (#1 retama) I looked at it and didn’t want to take the time to re-tie as I knew we were nearing the end of the day. A few pitches later? blam…..the fight was on. (#2 being lazy and NOT retying often) This fish was an absolute giant and pretty much was not stoppable in that jungle. I was pulling as hard as a 215 lb human being could pull when the line popped and I nearly stumbled over board when it happened. That would of shot up the charts to “instant classic” level. (#3 ELITE level fish exposing any flaw possible) And there you have it folks in a …..

Wallnut shell

Next up…..Mexico discussion and where to go fish in Mexico. Before I start typing and getting into this please understand that these are MY opinions and they are based both on first hand knowledge and the knowledge of other friends and clients that have been on my boat.



That’s the big question that is on everyone’s mind. If I thought my life was in danger going over to any of these lakes in Mexico I would not go. Pretty simple. Bacarrac, Salto, Picachos, Oviachi, Sugar, etc, etc. I have zero issues with going over to any of those lakes and would not hesitate to do so. Don’t believe everything you read folks. Mexico is a beautiful country with wonderful people over there at every turn.


#2 where should I go?

This is the second biggest question….let’s take a look.

NUMBERS LAKE – Picachos and there isn’t a close second. Problem is that 90% of your fish will be under 4 lbs. I had a friend just get back and nobody in their party broke the 6 lb mark. If you like whacking on fish there is not a better option on the planet right now.

TROPHY LAKE – If your main goal is to catch an 11, 12, 13, or 14 lb fish your best option without question is Sugar Lake. Problem is that although the ceiling is incredibly high, the floor is incredibly low. My second option would be Bacarrac for a trophy level fish. Problem is that most outfitters have stopped servicing the lake for various reasons. None of which I will discuss here. (Denny Brauer just had an incredible trip over there….)

El Salto – A great lake to fish for numbers of fun quality bass. 4 to 7 lbs with the opportunity at an Elite level fish as well. No real problem…..Does Salto have the ceiling Sugar or Bacarrac have? Absolutely not, but the floor is as safe and predictable as they come. You are guaranteed a 5 lb fish and several of them.


I hope this helps you all make your decision and I wish you the best of luck regardless of whether you go for the trophy, the numbers or the safe bet. If I can help you hunt for the Mexico trophy of a lifetime drop me a line. I owe ole Sugar a beatdown.


I am back on Falcon Lake tomorrow with a father/son duo. Then I will be off Saturday due some terrible weather heading in.


Hasta Manana,




Casey scores first ever Largemouth Bass on Falcon Lake


It’s not too often I get folks that catch their first bass on my boat, but when it does happen it sure is cool. I am looking forward to Casey breaking his personal best many times over in the not so distant future. Today was once again pretty dang stingy out there. The last time Don was down he straight up smacked ole Falcon around at will and laughed about it. The last time Tony was down he went FULL ON Hank Parker Jr. with a spinnerbait. Falcon got a measure of revenge and kicked me in the pants at the end of the day to boot. I broke off an absolute giant today… 173rd this year. (at least it sure seems that way) I am not going to go into detail. Tired of talking about the 100’s of “the one that got away” to be honest. That was our only big bite of the day unfortunately. It’s a treat having Don and Tony down when they can break away from a hectic work schedule. Tony is a man after my own heart…..I swear he could fish 76 hours STRAIGHT and still want more. Thanks for bringing Casey down men…..hopefully that fish will be the start of a looooooooong bass catching career.




March 2015….In like a lion and out with a Brockenhammer

I struggle at times writing this report. I refuse to sugar coat or lie about the happenings down here on the border. Has this approach cost me some jobs? You bet your ass it has. What I am about to write about this past guide trip to Sugar Lake will probably cost me some jobs in the not so distant future as well. It is what it is and I will take my lumps and medicine like a man….that much I can promise you.


My Boyzzzzz from Illinoiszzzzz got in Sunday afternoon and we headed out on Falcon to get a few bites under our belt before heading to Sugar Lake. We hit the Velero gas station and I bumped into two gentlemen that leave their boat at Sugar quite a bit. I gave them a hard time about Not being at Sugar. They told Vaughn in Broken English that they had caught two fish at Sugar Lake over the weekend for a tournament. I laughed it off and told Vaughn that they must have meant FALCON and not SUGAR. Sooooooooo off to Falcon we go and Brock got us on the board quickly, but not a lot else was happening and we put it on the trailer after fishing a couple hours with minimal action. We get up bright and early to head off to Sugar Monday morning. we get to Sugar and launch the boat around 9:00. We fish to til 3:45. We boated 2 fish and maybe have 4 other bites. I drop them off so that they can go get some grub, shower and rest up. I went back out to see if I could get a deep crankbait or crig bite up and running. Noooooo dice. The areas that I had some damn good success with last week were all chalked up due to the nasty wind we have been having down here. I could not for the life of me find clean good looking water until today with the help of Mr. Jimmy Behnken. I finally got into some great water in the last hour and half of their trip. Did we boat any walruses? nope……did we have chances? We sure did and that’s a lot more than we can say about Monday’s adventure. I love my boyzzzzzz and it really kills me to have em come down here for an absolute turd fest of a fishing trip. Did it prevent my man Brock and I from having a kick ass time? Nope……Vaughn talks about him being a “black cloud” when he comes down. Meh…..I don’t believe in that shit. What I believe in is fishing and Mother Nature……both can be one MEAN S.O.B.


We had some tough fishing this March and arguably the worst March of my guiding career. Even with all the gloom and doom we still had some magic. I want to thank all of you that spent your hard earned money to come see me this March whether it was a banner day or a terrible day. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your business.


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russ IMG_6380.JPG

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April Fools will be spent on Falcon Lake with my man Tony and Don. They are bringing a guest tomorrow as well for a lil Falcon Lake fun. I will post the happenings tomorrow night. It’s 11:31…..time for bed.





A big bag of freakin MEH

Falcon Lake…..come on man. I could barely sleep last night with dreams of walruses dancing in my head. I picked up The Candy Man and Captain Carry at the buttcrack of O’dark thirty. We made a direct B-line for the walrus hole…..aaaaaaaaand drum roooooll. (Insert fart noise) Luckily these two men are seasoned Falcon Lake and fishing vets. They have been there done that and get it. It still doesn’t change the fact that today was a major disappointment by any measure. Next up? Brockenhammer and Sir Vaughn.



A scouting run with “The Fish Whisperer”

I called Gary last night and told him to meet me at the dock with his boat and we would go run some water together. To say it paid off would be a mild understatement.



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I am very much looking forward to tomorrow’s guide trip with Cary and “The Candy Man”……then? It’s my Boyzzzzzzz from Illinoiszzzzzzzzz. Feels like it’s been 6 years since I have seen ole Vaughn, but in reality it has only been 6 months. He’s bringing down the BROCKHAMMER this trip…….





Pops is kicking some ASS!…….

I have been nervous in the service the past month or so waiting for my Dad’s hip surgery D-Day. Yesterday was the day and I am happy to report he is doing well. He is by no means out of the woods as he has a looooong road of therapy ahead of him. I spoke to him this morning and he is already exceeding expectations with his mobility. Pain meds?……Tylenol as in just a bottle of over the counter Tylenol. Typical Dad.



Love ya Dad!!!!!……..can’t leave out my number 1 fan either. Love you too Mom and I want him doing wind sprints by the time I get up there!




That’s as tough a day as you can have on any lake in the country. My first spot sucked and we had very manageable winds for it. I did get on some fish, but by the time I did the wind was gusting 20 plus. It is what it is…..I have tomorrow and Friday off due to the terrible weather heading in for tomorrow. I have to be honest I am VERY much looking forward to the time off. I can’t remember my last day off the water.




Back on Falcon

Took out JC and Bob today for a lil Falcon Lake action. We got into the fish and were straight whacking em. I lost a straight stud walrus on a spinnerbait about 10 feet from the boat. That was our only big bite of the day unfortunately. We also had to leave the area we were whacking em in. We never really got locked back in afterwards. We have another day tomorrow and will report the findings from the festivities. 


Sugar Lake with two of the most interesting men….

the most interesting

What a fun freaking trip. Our biggest fish of the trip went 8.89.



I want to make sure I am clear on one thing. Much like Falcon nothing is coming easy on Sugar Lake. These men worked their ass off and fished as hard as any two human beings could possibly fish. The first day could of been EPIC. We had roughly 8 fish on that were well into the 8+ pound range and we only boated the one. I was the culprit on three of those fish and before you go calling me a P…….

pussy cat

…..I challenge you to come on down and try your luck at the Sugar Lake hand to hand combat fishing with these freaks of nature. Today the big fish bite just wasn’t there for us. Did we catch some nice fish? sure, but I really do not think we had a single fish on that would of hit the 8 pound mark. The biggest fish of the day was my 7 lber (not pictured) that I caught in the last 15 minutes. I pulled a Norman Deep lil N out and decided to crank the middle of the last drain we were in and jackpot. Needless to say I wish I had one more day with these guys……Ole David Fritz would of had nothing on us. I am back on Falcon for the rest of March and into April. My April and May are wide open at the moment. I literally just had the 11th of May book up about 30 minutes ago. Cya all tomorrow!


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and my new favorite pic of 2015……drum roooooolllllll.



Cliff gave me the best compliment while we were driving back to Zapata. “I really enjoyed fishing with you Jay. It was like fishing with an old friend.”


Gracias hombres



Falcon Lake tougher than a 2 dollar steak today….Sugar Lake 2015

My last two trips where pretty dang tough, but and it’s a big but…..I got bailed out by nuclear bomb outbursts that saved the day. Today? Nada…..just a slllllloooooooooowwwwww grind with very little to show for our hard work and efforts. We still got a beautiful pic of Leslie holding a Jr. Walrus. They are heading back to Virginia tomorrow bright and early. Thanks for the opportunity you two.



Speaking of bright and early…..I will be heading to Sugar Lake at O’dark thirty tomorrow morning with “The Fish Whisperer” and “Catchin fish Cliff” tomorrow for a two day trip. This will be my first trip to Sugar in 2015. I am looking forward to getting these men on some game changers. Mr. Behnken and Mr. Law just got back from over there and the common theme between them? Quality freaking fish and a lot of them. I certainly DO NOT claim to be a Sugar Lake Legend by any stretch. Have I put in an INSANE amount of time and money for Sugar? Yes, let there be no question and really too much of both to be honest. I am sooooooo looking forward to putting that time and money on the table down there and let the chips fall where they may. I am also looking forward to establishing and maintaining some great relationships over there. Mr. Carlos Olivares and Chuy Morales are border lake studs and I am really looking forward to the opportunity of getting to know those two better and learning a thing or two in the process.


See ya in a couple days.




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