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Lake Huites Lodge - Terry HollanAlthough Terry Hollan is now considered to be one of the foremost authorities regarding bass fishing in Mexico, his intense passion for bass fishing was not spawned during his youth.

"Bass fishing was not an activity I was exposed to at an early age," says the Amarillo, Texas resident and founder of Reel Mexican Adventures, a company providing bass fishing adventures to Mexico. "In fact, I was not introduced to bass fishing until the late seventies or early eighties. However, from the time I made my first cast, I knew I would enjoy the challenge of the sport. The idea of enticing a predator to want to attack something that is lifeless, something that I had to make appear real, was very appealing to me. During the first few trips, bass fishing seemed easy enough, almost too easy, as I was primarily fishing out of the private stock tanks around the Texas Panhandle. Since my personality requires that I pursue everything at 100%, I soon lost focus of my fishing pastime due to commitments with school, work and my real estate endeavors. Obsessed with body building and physical fitness, the idea of sitting in a float tube drinking beer and waiting for the fish to bite lead to a diminishment in my desire to continue the activity, at least as I was practicing it."

"It was not until several years later, after a real estate depression and a severe back injury that I felt the need to test my angling skills again. This time, however, the ease of stock tank fishing was no longer available. The landowners had leased most all of the good ones out to hunting or fishing clubs. So, off to the local boat dealer I went. I figured, 'what the heck,' a bass boat with horsepower had got to be the way to go. I tested my skills in every area lake, sometimes traveling 150 miles one-way, three times a week to fish the most productive waters I could find. My friends and relatives insisted that I was a good angler. I often reflected on those early days of bass fishing for me, a time when fishing the private stock tanks yielded 40-50 quality bass without breaking a sweat. Now relegated to fishing public waters, a great day was 10 bass with three being keepers."

Not satisfied with facing the possibility of repeated 10 fish days and small bass, Hollan knew there had to be large bodies of water that would yield results similar to those stock tank lakes. His bass fishing career would change forever, after good friend Mark Gill and his father recanted stories of their bass fishing exploits in remote Mexican lakes for more than 25 years.

"Mark's dad, Ed, was truly one of the first pioneers to travel throughout Mexico before pavement was even a thought," says Hollan, President of X-TREME ANGLING, LLC, a Texas-based company, managing international angling travel companies, angling internet sites and a bass fishing enterprise in Mexico. "Mark began telling me of the trips and catches that he and his dad were experiencing in Mexico. Wow! Photos of guys holding up 13 and 14-pound bass!"

Two weeks later, Hollan and Gill were on the road to Mexico, towing high performance bass boats at breakneck speed in search of this so-called bass fishing paradise. Two days later, they arrived at Lake Baccarac.

"I must admit, I did have some doubt about the phenomenal catches that Mark and Ed reported after each trip," reports a skeptical Hollan. "However, after my first cast of the day, while standing on a point, yielded an 8 pound 9 oz. bass, I knew that their tales weren't exaggerated. By lunch that day, a fellow angler caught two fish over 11 pounds. My fishing partner a 9 pound 8 oz. fish."

From that point on, Hollan was enamored with Mexico, its people and, of course, the bass fishing. He spent every waking hour planning out his upcoming schedule to Mexico. Would it be Guerrero? Maybe Baccarac? What about Novello or Mateos? In several months, Hollan tested the waters at them all.

Hollan's passion for bass fishing in Mexico became contagious, as many friends and acquaintances wanted to experience what Hollan had found on his numerous angling forays "South of the Border." In 1993, Hollan launched an angling travel company - Reel Mexican Adventures. In the beginning, it served only to pool funds together to make sure the expenses of his many personal trips were split equally. Then he began booking a few trips to Baccarac and those bookings allowed him to fish for free.

"As my fledgling Mexico bass fishing booking agency had started, I kept hearing tales of a new Mexican lake that was being secretly stocked with Florida Strain bass," he points out. "So every time we passed by El Fuerte, Mexico on our way to fish a lake, we stopped to check on progress of this new lake, Huites, named after the town that was flooded when the dam was closed. I told Mark Gill at that point that it was time to think big. Let's get a concession on the new lake, build a room or two and have a place for some of our very best friends to come catch bass.

"The first thing I did was contact Mexico City's tourism department. After several conversations through, an interpreter, I picked up a few bits of useful information. But my most productive conversation was when I called Ron Speed. Ron had been doing business in Mexico for years at Guerrero, El Salto and Commedero. Ron was very courteous and provided me with all the information I needed to establish a lodge. Within a week after our conversation, I was second only to Speed himself to have a concession on the lake."

During his pre-lodge preparation in the town of El Fuerte, Hollan befriended Jose "Pepe" Castello, who helped him search for the right location on Lake Huites. The most important thing he did was introduce Hollan to his future partner - Rene Salazar - a talented young man, who was a guide working for his parents who maintained a bass fishing operation on a nearby lake.

"At the time of our first meeting, Rene was helping another operator build a camp named Campo Buena Vista," Hollan reflected. "We received the plans for Camp Buena Vista and it seemed adequate enough for such a remote location. However, it wasn't until we entered into a business relationship and starting sending customers to the camp that it became apparent it was of inferior quality and mismanaged. The customers that we worked so hard to get interested in this new Lake Huites started to become a little testy with the facility. That was about the time Ernest Walker, a friend and client, came along and said, "This is a first-class lake and it needs a first-class lodge."

Since Huites had been only open to American anglers for a few months, Hollan knew he could establish a new lodge and still be in the relative infancy of the boom that was to come to Huites. He and Ernest Walker, another self-proclaimed bass fanatic, knew that Huites had the potential to be perhaps the best bass lake they had ever fished. They decided to build their own lodge and named it Lake Huites Lodge.

Today, Lake Huites Lodge, is considered the "gold standard" by which the other lodges are judged. And Terry Hollan has continued his enthusiasm for bass fishing in Mexico.