This Fish’n Canada adventure takes place on Ontario’s famous Marten River, considered to be the gateway to Temagami. And just a kilometer away from old Hwy 11, sits Marten River Lodge, celebrating its 90th anniversary.
Lodge owner Ray Sapiano, promised our crew unmatched Smallmouth Bass fishing in both the 24 kms of the Marten River system as well as the almost never-fished back lakes, accessed only by ATV.
On this particular trip our Smallie adventure would start on the Marten River portion so that Ang & Pete could get some kind of indication of just what the fish were up to. By having the big Princecraft Expedition FNC edition loaded with all the goodies, it gives them every advantage possible… something that can “really” come in handy on water they’ve never fished.
With such a vast amount of water to fish as in the Marten River system, you would think that Smallmouth would be everywhere but, it never seems to be that way, no matter how great the reputation of the water! This is exactly what the boys experienced here. They fished miles and miles of good looking water however there were tiny pockets of fish spread out… probably a good thing for the good of the Smallie population.
With the above said, 1 single cast from Ang told the boys the underlying story… the fish were hunkered down and eating tiny minnows in an isolated, 10′ x 10’… cabbage-weed patch, just off of the main weedline!
“It’s funny how fishing patterns are discovered” says Ang “Pete and I cast our hearts out in an amazing portion of the river but were having a hard time. So in desperation mode I simply lowered a Dropshotted Yamamoto Shad Shape Worm in a small weed clump directly under the stern of the boat and wham… fish on!”
Pete says “one fish that Ang pulled out of the weeds spit out between 15 – 20 tiny minnows. That told us we were basically wasting time firing spinnerbaits, jerkbaits etc out off the weed edge. The Smallies were hunkered directly in the weeds and feeding on baitfish that were doing the same.”
This concluded the Marten River portion of the trip.
“So far” says Angelo “our northern Ontario Smallmouth trip has been very successful; we’ve fished the Marten River system in luxury with all our fancy gear.
Now however, the real adventure begins…
Back Lake Adventure
Marten River Lodge offers a unique alternative to the main water fishing. They have access to dozens of back country lakes that can only be accessed by ATV. Some are close to home base while others are a bit of a drive.
“Ang and I absolutely love these back-lake excursions” says Pete “not only is the ride in a total blast but usually the fishing is second to none as well”
This adventure was probably an hour in total driving starting out with trucks at the lodge and then ATV’s at a drop-off point into the bush. A backcountry ride like this can really pump an anglers blood knowing that untouched fishing is at the end of the trail.
The Smallmouth fishing ended up being astounding, with a few great incidents as well.
Probably the most memorable was when Pete, while taking a quick break eating a “beauty” lodge home-made cookie had a Smallie grab his tube jig as it was dragging along the waters surface at boat side! That’s right, these Smallmouth were like Muskie… fearless! As soon as Pete hooked his fish, Ang cast to and hooked up with an excited follower… and this went on for about 5 minutes! Fishing mayhem for sure!
Another great moment was when Angelo fired a long cast with a gigantic 7” Yamamoto Senko only to have it pounded by a big Smallie. In the boys minds that Senko was more of a Largemouth bait deep in the south… Mexico perhaps would be a good place but certainly not northern Ontario for SMALLMOUTH!!!
That day on the water was one of those special fishing days.
“This little Ontario back-lake adventure” says Ang “really capped off our Marten River expedition”, time for celebration with a round of Twizzlers for the boys.
This trip to Marten River Lodge truly was an all-in-one package… fishing the vast, classic Smallmouth habitat of the main River system, experiencing a wonderful and event filled back-lake day trip and of course spending time with great new friends… all with fishing as their shared connection.
OTMP go fish ONTARIO
Did you know?
GETTIN’ THERE with RAM TRUCKS
To get to today’s Marten River Smallie fishing, we first drove north on HWY 400. We then turned right onto HWY 11. Our final turn was a left on 64, then on to Marten River Lodge.