This episode on Lake Temagami is an incredible wilderness treat. The area has become a legend for hikers, paddlers, campers… but especially for anglers. Part of the appeal is the rugged terrain, where massive cliffs plunge deep into the lake, while a long and varied shoreline presents habitat for a number of species of sportfish.
Long time Fish’n Canada fans will remember Angelo being here a number of years ago with the legendary Roland Martin. After that absolute beauty of a trip, we knew we had to bring the Fish’n Canada show back to Temagami.
Watch the entire Roland Martin episode with Angelo from 2005: click here. YouTube video opens in a new window.
COVERING THE WATER
Now, as it turns out, one of our guests who we featured on a show last year is a huge fan of Roland – and he’s been chomping at the bit to fish some of the same waters he has. Knowing that, Angelo made a quick Call to Mr. Roy Armes of Cooper Tires and he “instantly” change all plans to make it. Roy was now using Temagami as a short break between meetings in Ohio and the UK – it’s a one-day adventure that Pete happily gave up his boat seat for.
Angelo says “As bad luck would have it, a front has set in and wasn’t about to break until tomorrow. With this cold weather, the big Smallies seemed to be hiding. Oddly, we’ve seen good evidence of Pike and also something that we never expected… Roy catching a Lake Trout while he was drop-shotting for Smallmouth in around 25 feet of water… VERY COOL!”
They covered a vast amount of Temagami water; the north arm, the north-west arm, the south arm and even into Cross Lake at the extreme south east portion of Temagami. They threw everything at the book at the fish as well from topwater to sub-surface presentations in 30+ feet deep.
IT’S A NEW DAY
As the sun began to set on this chilly Temagami day, the already cool weather started to get downright cold, making the Smallmouth even less active. It really was poor conditions and unfortunately for Roy, and he only had 1 day. The true die-hard angler that he is though, he stuck it through and he and Ang managed to catch good numbers all day long… just no hawgs.
Pete says “It’s a new day, and a new opportunity for getting some of those finicky Smallmouth into our boat. It was a tough day yesterday for Ang and Roy – when two guys with that much experience are struggling, you know the conditions aren’t in your favour. But if there’s one truth in fishing: Every day is different. The weather broke and sun has come out, today is my lucky day… at least weather wise. We’re going to miss Roy, who flew off to continue on business travels, but we’re ready to get to work”.
THE TRAILER HOOK
As Pete eluded to in the show, adding a Trailer Hook to a Spinnerbait when conditions are less than favourable is a very good idea. A Trailer Hook is not to be confused with a Trailer (a soft plastic added for colour and action), it’s simply an extra hook added to the bait to up hooking odds. A Trailer Hook has an extra large eye allowing it to pass over the barb of another hook.
Why use a Trailer Hook? Smallmouth Bass are a classic example of a species that sometimes warrant a Trailer Hook. When the weather turns bad or simply the mood of the fish “turns off” Smallmouth will often times slash at or bump a bait. We feel they are trying to injure their prey and then possibly carry through with the kill. By adding the Trailer Hook many times those short strikes equate into a hookup and a fish in the boat.
There are 2 ways of attaching a Trailer Hook to a Spinnerbait. The first is shown in our image where a piece of surgical tubing is slid over the eye of the Trailer Hook which is then placed over the main hook through the now rubberised eye. The other option is to first put the eye of the Trailer Hook over the main hook eye and then stick a small piece of tubing on the main hook to stop the trailer from falling off.
Always have a collection of Trailer Hooks available when fishing Smallmouth with Spinnerbaits.
On this day the boys discovered schools of tiny baitfish. Yesterday’s tough day might soon be a memory.
Angelo says “After a day of cold temperatures and even colder fishing luck, I’m hoping a few changes will make all the difference. A new partner, new locations, much better weather… When you’re in a hot spot like Temagami, the fish will eventually turn on. Sometimes consistency is the name of the game. But sometimes it’s good to switch things up. The past two days have proven that a bit of difference can mean all the difference. And that’s particularly true when it comes to bait. The boys are going to throw everything in the book at them today!
Pete: “We’re hoping our improved luck pays off, as we head into some of Angelo’s old stomping grounds. Last time he was here with Roland Martin, the fish were literally jumping into the boat… man I’d love to duplicate that day!”
Well their day actually did turn out much better. Hitting humps points and wood with traditional baits gave the boys a great catch (plus many followers), however the turning point was when Angelo dropped a Yamamoto D Shad into a weedbed that extended from a point. Almost instantly he nailed a gorgeous Smallie. As all this happened a huge ball of baitfish busted the surface nearby so the boys knew this could be a dandy Hotspot. Ang switched between the D Shad and a Dropshot rig while Pete tried Jerkbaits, Spinnerbaits and Dropshotting as well. As time passed, they pounded the Smallies and Ang even bonused out on a fantastic Walleye… the surprise of the day.
GETTIN’ THERE with RAM TRUCKS
To get to today’s great fishing on Lake Temagami we first drove north from Toronto on hwy 400.
Next we headed north on hwy 11 just past Barrie.
From there we turned west on the Lake Temagami Access Road to a great public landing and boat launch.
Then, a short boat ride took us to Blue Haven Lodge.
HOTSPOT brought to you by SAIL
N46° 53.926’ W79° 58.686’
This week’s Hotspot is a protected bay on Cross Lake which can be accessed via Lake Temagami. The waypoint on your screen will get you there. Although Smallmouth prevail here, an incidental LakeTrout or Pike is a welcome bonus.
Try a topwater or jerkbait on calm days and follow that up with a dropshot rigged shad or minnow imitation.
Take care when navigating Cross lake as it is yet (as of this writing) to be charted on Navionics Maps.
Check out our Hotspot Section, exclusive to members of the Fish’n Canada web site.[/ms-user]