This article previously appeared in the June 2007 issue of Sportsman's News and is re-printed here with permission.
7 MAY 2007
A CUT ABOVE
By Wayne Crowder
"Holy Cow!" My brother exclaimed from the back of the boat. I turned to look back after hearing what sounded like a beaver tail slapping the water, and saw him frantically reeling against his drag. His rod was held high as he maneuvered what appeared to be a monstrous largemouth bass through the clear water. Moments before, we were watching a frog I was working, bobbing up and down through the flooded timber near the water's edge. We were anxiously awaiting the anticipated blow up with every pause or hop over a branch. While watching, my brother Keith had cast his chug-bug out the back of the boat near an isolated bush. He turned his attention toward the front of the boat to watch for the next big bass to hit my frog, and then, BOOM! FISH ON!
days before, I met my younger brother at the
The flight into
As we approached our destination, the reservoir could occasionally be seen between the peaks and hills of the lush tropical mountains. The sun was setting and the water was sparkling like a diamond in a coal deposit. One of the lodge residents met us at the gate and helped us unload all our gear from the van. I noticed right away that the accommodations at the lodge were clean, safe, and tidy with a classic Sante Fe look to them. You could tell this was a labor of love for the owners, James and Debbie Luebker. We quickly put our gear in the clean and spacious rooms, knowing that an exceptional steak dinner was on the table in the clubhouse. I was so caught up in the image and smell of dinner I smacked the rim of my hat into the closed sliding glass door when approaching! Thankfully, it kept me from completely walking into it. The dinner was so good that it would have been worth the embarrassment!
Morning couldn't come soon enough, and at we answered the chow bell with a
breakfast spread that would rival a
the four of us met our guides, Chapo, and Chayo, who led us down
to our boats. The boats we fished out of were true bass boats,
with a spacious platform and a trolling motor on the front that
made a big difference compared to most guide services in
When we left the shore, the stars were slowly fading away to the bright purple and orange of dawn, and I felt a strange, dreamlike detachment from reality as we skimmed across the lake in the brisk twilight of the morning. We pulled into a bay, and within minutes I caught my first fish. The morning was humid and cold but the fish was warm, a stark contrast to the feel of fish back home.
Lizards, tubes, worms and spinner baits all worked. My brother had never caught a bass before, but was quickly welcomed to the club with over 25 fish before lunch! We released all but 5 small fish, weighing one to two pounds to take back for lunch. All of the guests shared stories of the morning’s catch on the short ride back to the lodge. It was a good thing we were late for Rodney had caught a ten-pound bass just after on big swimbait. We gawked at the photos on his digital camera as his smile lit up the lunch table.
Lunch everyday consisted of fresh salsa, fish and chips, beans, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and anything else we desired. Notes were compared during lunch and we quickly modified our gear accordingly.
The afternoon was focused on trying to catch a fish over 10 pounds. My brother and I laughed and joked and got to know the guide as he put us on fish time and time again.
By the end of the first day my brother and I had caught over 100 bass with a few tilapias and catfish mixed in. Many fish were over 5 pounds and a few were in the seven to eight pound range. We again compared notes over dinner and couldn’t believe the day!
The wonderful Mexican food Debbie made for dinner could only be rivaled by her bread pudding dessert. I can truly say Debbie’s food is better than going home to Momma’s house to eat. You had to be careful and watch what you said in the lodge for she remembered everything you said and would surprise you with a special drink or dish to make the experience even more enjoyable.
Just before lunch on the second day I was reeling in a huge bass, easily over 10 pounds, but when I got her to the boat she came unbuttoned. She actually stayed by the boat for what seemed like an eternity and then we all watched in awe and horror as she swam away. We went back to that spot several times over the next two days but never found her again. Keith’s biggest catch of the trip, the one I shared at the beginning of this story, came during the afternoon of the second day. I snapped a picture of him as he reached down to lip the eight-pound bass out of the water; it’s the only picture I have of him smiling.
Over the course of three days, the four of us had an amazing experience and we’ve all vowed to return next year and do it again. In one boat, Keith and I both caught several fish in the five to eight-pound range, and I had a few pushing nine pounds on the frog. In the other boat, Roy Hawk was a fishing machine, consistently catching more big fish. We all caught our personal best, saw some incredible scenery and not one of us got sick, which is a testament to the great way we were taken care of.
We’d like to thank Sportsman’s News for recommending the lodge and for giving us this wonderful opportunity to fish; and Powell Rods for sending Roy Hawk and the excellent rods we each got to use. Most of all, thanks to James and Debbie Luebker for memories that will last a lifetime.
Lake Comedero Lodge is
a five-star resort with a personal, almost family like touch.
James and Debbie Luebker are the epitome of southern
hospitality, and I have decided to adopt them as my
grandparents. Whether it’s James’ famous margaritas, or Debbie’s
shrimp heaven and ceviche, everything is made with love and
pride. The fishing makes