By Jerry O'Bryant
March 12, 2006

Lake Baccarac LodgeMy fishing partner, Larry Marshall, and I were taking another of the frequent on-lake breaks we had to take at Lake Baccarac last week to repair our fishing tackle. While Marshall and I were scratching our heads trying to figure out what we were doing wrong, our able fishing guide Martin' was taking the busted tackle in stride and calmly went about assisting with the repair chores. Had we gone to the touted ''big bass'' reservoir in Mexico with inferior gear? Was there something about the way we used our tackle that had caused so many glitches and bass-fishing pit stops?

None of the above. Simply put, the size and number of largemouth bass we caught were breaking our lines, bending the treble hooks on our lures or, in four instances, either breaking our hooks or lure bodies or pulling the trebles completely off our lures. Sound a little fishy? Believe it.

Not all of our six-man party, including Abilenians Don Paige and Dr. Price Brock, Marshall of Plano, Joe Roe of San Angelo and Jim Stultz of Brady, had such great action in such a short period of time, but action was what Paige and Brock had during one short morning on Baccarac. According to Don and Price, the day started off slow with not many bites during the first hour after sunrise - however, the topwater bite soon exploded with Price catching a 12-pound, four-ounce monster on a Pop R, then hooking one around nine pounds that got off the hook near the boat. Not including the escaped nine, the two longtime fishing buddies boated 60 bass, 15 of which weighed more than five pounds - all before 11 a.m. Price's 12-4 was the big bass of the trip for our group.

Now do you believe the busted tackle story?

One of the great parts of that four-day trip was that a majority of the fish, and certainly the largest bass, were taken on topwater lures and diving baits. On a normal outing in Mexico, the Texas-rigged plastic worm or lizard will account for the most fish, but this trip was action-packed from day one with some really savage strikes and larger bass taken on diving and topwater lures. There is surely ''something'' in the water at Baccarac that makes the fish there so strong and fight so hard. The broken line problem Larry and I had was on 30-pound test braided line (from two separate boxes), and we quickly solved that by going to 40-pound test Stren Super Braid. The broken and bent hooks, and smashed lures, occurred with lures that all of you bass chasers use every day.

A good example of the ''abused lure'' problem we had was the one Model A medium diving crank bait I had in the tackle box. The shad-pattern colored lure was hot from the get-go and there's no telling how many nice bass the lure produced before I lost it when 30-pound test line snapped on a hook set. All kinds of pain and anguish were expressed because it was the only lure like that in our tackle, but we fished on around that particular spot for about 30 minutes before preparing to leave. As we motored past the spot where the Model A was lost, Martin' spotted my prize lure floating on the lake's surface, and I was happily reunited with the premo bass producer. The bass that had the lure had spit it out or rubbed it loose about 20 yards from where she broke my line. Luckily it was a floating/diving type bait.

About two hours and many fish later a robust bass glommed onto the Model A and snapped the lure in half. We never saw the fish, but I had the diving bill of the lure still attached to my line and the bass swam off with the rest of that precious lure. More pain and anguish.

Back at the lodge, that noon camp director Rene Salazar listened to my sad Model A story and tipped us off that Fat Free Shad diving lures were equally as effective and loaned me one of his solid white FF Shads, which he assured us was a hot color. Rene was right and the diving lure fishing/catching/mauling continued almost unabated throughout our stay.

Lake Baccarac Lodge is located some 70 miles due east of Los Mochis, Mexico, which is situated on the west coast of Mexico. The lodge is new, completed in 2005, and can accommodate 28 anglers in fine style. Like many of Mexico's fishing lodges or camps, Baccarac is on a high bluff overlooking the lake. But unlike many of those other lodges, Baccarac is blessed with a fine chef who cranks out some great meals (very little fried food but great sauces and steamed vegetables) and an accommodating staff that never stops working. Our trip planner, Gene Ditmore with Abilene Charter and Tours, set up our travel with Southwest Airlines from Midland to El Paso and Volare Air Charter Co. from El Paso directly to the lake. Volare flies most of Baccarac Lodge clients in Cessna 421, six passenger planes. That leg of the trip takes about 2-and-a-half hours. Lake Baccarac Lodge operates the unicom radio station on 122.8 for the arriving and departing aircraft at Bacubiritio. Terry Hollan has planes arriving from many places with King Airs and Jets availalbe.

You can fly into Los Mochis on Aero Mexico or Aero California and then take a 2-and-a-half hour van ride to Baccarac Lodge, but the schedules of both airlines into Los Mochis have been shortened or discontinued and the cost of the Volare flight is about the same - but a heap more convenient. Don, Price and I left Abilene at about 6:30 a.m. and arrived at the lake about 2:30 p.m. that same day.

Baccarac Lodge is the best-managed Mexican fishing camp I've visited. Manager Rene Salazar will quickly solve any problem you might have - from the loan of hot fishing lures and advice on how to use them to making sure the lodge's daily laundry service is on time. The camp's 18-foot Crestliner boats are new and equipped with 60-horsepower outboards and electronically controlled trolling motors that are guide operated from the rear of the boat. The lodge's boats are extremely well maintained, and the guides couldn't be more helpful. Give Baccarac Lodge five stars on your rating meter. Do the same for Lake Baccarac - there was at least one 12-pound bass and a number of 8s, 9s and 10s caught each day we were there.

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