LAKE EL CUCHILLO MEXICO
Location: in the state of Nuevo Leon in northeastern Mexico, a 1-1/2-hour drive on paved highway from the town of Monterrey
Size: 40,000 acres at full pool
Lake record: 14 pounds, 9 ounces Largemouth Bass
Facts: The newest Mexican Mecca for trophy bass is El Cuchillo. The lake is still unfamiliar to most American anglers but harbors an almost untapped gold mine of big bass.
Opened to fishing in 1994, El Cuchillo is home to a mix of northern largemouths and Florida bass, a combination that promotes the growth of huge bass with nasty attitudes. Be sure to beef up your line and tackle so you’re ready to handle these tackle busters. Anglers fishing recent tournaments have weighed in good numbers of 10-pound-plus fish.
El Cuchillo is a catch and release lake, and commercial fishing isn’t allowed, both of which promote growth of bigger bass. The water is not used for irrigation or power either, so lake levels do not fluctuate much, a bonus for visiting anglers.
Fishing tips: Many visiting anglers work big plastic worms and lizards through the lake’s plentiful trees and submerged brush to nab big fish. But reports indicate the best fishing for double digit hawgs may be around the many small earthen dams and irrigation canal systems flooded when the lake was built. Inundated buildings and road beds also produce monster bass, and areas where any of these features intersect can be real gold mines, especially in water 10 to 20 feet deep. Favored local lures for El Cuchillo’s giants include Texas-rigged, 10-inch-plus soft plastics, big jigs rigged for snag-free retrieves and deep-running crankbaits.