BassWestUSA - March/April, 2009, Page 41

heard the splash and knew it wasn’t one of the giant bass we sought. With the impact coming from above the surface, not below, California pro Matt Newman and I were not surprised to turn and see an osprey haul- ing a fish out of Mexico’s Lake El Salto. Full grown, the bird had plenty of wing power, but still it struggled to gain altitude with a solid 16- ounce tilapia in its talons. The bird had captured its


quarry, but the voluminous number of cichlid forage remaining in this 12,000-acre Sierra Madre lake con- tributes to conditions ripe for the pickings of anglers hunting lunker largemouths. In 1986, the Mexican government dammed the Elota River, thereby flooding steep valleys and creat- ing an impoundment that serves irrigatio n needs for coastal farmers raising a mixed bag of onions, tomatoes, corn, sugar cane and blue agave cactus

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