There’s a sportboat captain I know in San Diego. Each year he takes his crew on a bass fishing vacation. They go to a place called El Salto in Mexico. I don’t know exactly how or why it is so, but catching 6s and 8s there is commonplace. The reason they go there, though, is to catch double-digit bass. Catching a double-digit bass is a lifetime achievement; for many, a trip like El Salto offers the best opportunity to catch one.
In Mexico, local anglers call trophy bass lobina trofeo. In this article from FINS’nTALES, Dr. Rogelio Villareal talks about his lifelong quest for lobina trofeo.
At six years of age, I had my first encounter with a real lobina trofeo (trophy black bass). At that time we were fishing a river close to the town of Sabinas Hidalgo in Nuevo León, México. Every summer vacation, my aunt Eva Villarreal used to take all the gang of kids and cousins, sisters and brothers and best friends fishing to this river.
For best results, we were all armed with large bamboo poles, each with a long strand of monofilament, an orange and red float, and a big hook. With the able assistance of lively Mexican sardinas we would present the delicate offering to the lobinas in the river.
One morning, while fishing the beautiful river, something different happened. There was this big wooden log abruptly entering the river, and the color of the water around the log denoted deep water. Using my bamboo pole, I directed my live sardine to the shaded side of the obstacle.
The flotador did not follow the water current course as it always did before; this time as soon as it touched the river’s surface, it disappeared abruptly. There was no rap-tap! Just a sólido strike. The bamboo pole was bent to its maximum and my breathing was getting heavier, building to a raspy crescendo. Suddenly, the lobina jumped skyward trying to get off the hook, and the rest was historialost. The grande lobina snapped the línea without difficulty.