Bassin’ in Mexico

Let’s face it—winter in Northwestern Ontario starts to get pretty old by March. So I decided earlier this winter that I was going spend the first week of March in Mexico chasing around some giant largemouth bass.
My destination was Sugar Lake, about 25 miles over the border from McAllen, Tex. I made the trip with two buddies, Mike Christopher from Bemidji, Mn., and retired major-league baseball pitcher Dave Burba.
The three of us fished at Sugar in December last year and found the bite to be much better this time around in March. We hammered a pile of big fish.
We hired a guide last year to take us fishing at Sugar, and were very fortunate to hook up with a great guy, Chuy Morales, from Monterrey, Mexico. Chuy runs a brand new bass boat, and knows how to catch some big fish!
The week before we arrived, he won a two-day tournament at Sugar and had a Day 1 catch of 44 pounds for five fish—that’s nearly a nine-pound average!
Chuy picked us up at the McAllen Airport the day we arrived and took us across the line into big bass land. At the end of the trip, he dropped us back off at the airport, which was really convenient.
Our first day on the water was a nice break from weather in Canada. There was barely any wind and the temperature was in the 90s F. It was absolutely awesome.
The fishing was even better! I caught so many big fish that my thumbs were bleeding by the end of the day—a couple eights, some sevens, and a bunch of four-six pound fish.
We caught most of them flipping big plastics into standing trees, but were able to get a few good fish on crankbaits, topwaters, and swimbaits, as well.
Each day at Sugar, my best five fish would have gone between 30-40 pounds, which is pretty amazing!
If you go to Mexico, you need to beef up the equipment we use for bass around here. These are big fish and they live in heavy cover, so you need to bring flippin sticks, bait-casting reels, 50- or 65-pound braided line, and heavy hooks.
I had the right gear and still lost a number of big fish that tangled me up in the trees.
Water clarity is not great, so you need to pitch your baits right into the middle of these big trees to get bit. If you just flip the edge of the trees, your bites will go down significantly, so you have to get down and dirty in the thick stuff.
Unfortunately, if you didn’t get the fish out of the tree on the hookset, your chances of landing them were slim.
If you want to get away next winter, I would highly recommend a trip to Mexico. The weather is nearly always excellent and you will catch the largest bass of your life.
If you want to get in touch with our guide, Chuy, send him an e-mail at bigbass2@yahoo.com

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