Jeff Gustafson Column

Three weeks ago, I got to go on a dream fishing trip for any bass angler: three days in Mexico with a group of 28 guys—all put together by Shimano Canada.
Along for the trip were guys from Shimano’s head office in Peterborough, sales reps from all across Canada, retailers from all parts of the country, and a few pro-staff guys.
Also included in this group were Bob Izumi and Dave Mercer—two of the top TV fishing personalities in the country. How cool is that!
Our destination was Lake Baccarac. After a five-hour bus ride from Mazatlan on Mexico’s west coast, we arrived at our resort—just in time for a fine Mexican dinner.
The food at this place was excellent throughout our stay and the accommodations were top-notch. Breakfast was served every morning at 5:30 and we were on the water by 6.
Each day we fished until 11 a.m., then came in for lunch and a siesta before hitting the water again until dark.
I have been to Mexico a few times now and this was the best fishing I’ve ever experienced for big fish and numbers. We estimated our group of 28 caught between 3,500 and 4,000 largemouth bass over the three days.
I know in my boat we had more than 100 fish every day. It was incredible.
The largest fish of the trip was a 12.5-pounder to go along with numerous 10s and 11s. Bob Izumi told me this was the best bass fishing he’s ever experienced—and that this could be the best bass fishery in the world right now!
No matter what type of lure you wanted to throw, you could catch fish on it at this lake, although nearly all of the big fish were caught on deep-diving crankbaits and large swimbaits fished in deep water around humps and long points.
Rapala DT16 crankbaits and six-inch Storm Wildeye swimbaits were my top two baits. I did get a nine-pounder on a topwater bait the first morning, which was pretty cool.
The hit was explosive—it actually looked like a toilet was getting flushed and my lure disappeared.
So how was it hanging out with Izumi and Mercer? It was awesome. These guys are class acts. Both of them have great personalities and are exactly in real life as they are on TV.
We had a great time at night talking fishing, telling stories, and doing a lot of chirping about who is the best angler. This was a dream fishing trip for me and one I will not soon forget.
• • •
Congratulations to the team of Paul and Coel Forsyth, along with partner Ben Scott, all of Kenora, who won the Lund Angler Young Angler regional event up on Red Lake over the past weekend.
Coel landed a six-pound monster, which earned him big fish honours, as well.
They now get to compete in the AYA championship taking place on Lake of the Woods in August.

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