Largemouth Bass are fast becoming North America’s favourite game fish. Hands-down it’s the top dog in the USA, and it’s constantly gaining fans north of the border.
The Largemouth is very much a southern, warm water fish (which is why the US loves them so much). It thrives in water temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s Fahrenheit. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t survive in warmer, or in Canada’s case, colder water as well. BTW, in Canada we now use Celsius, so the aforementioned temperatures are the low to mid 20’s.
For this episode, Pete was looking to add a Largemouth show into the season’s mix, but he wanted something a bit different; he wanted to travel north.
Enter Tyler Dunn, a young and up-coming fishing guide based out of Sault Ste. Marie in the Algoma region of northern Ontario. When Pete and Tyler first talked over the phone, they quickly got onto the fall Bass subject (Pete knew of the amazing Smallmouth in the area), and finally when Largemouth came around, Tyler perked up and said the St. Mary’s River is loaded with them, and the fall is a great time to target them.
“Instantly booked into the Fish’n Canada calendar” says Pete!
Timing is a funny thing, and usually it is bad for our film crew. For example, if it has not rained for a month, you can pretty much guarantee it will when our cameras come out. On this trip (October 17 & 18) however, we were in full peak Algoma fall colors. This normally happens a week or two before our dates. We finally catch a break… what a spectacular and unique backdrop for a Largemouth Show.
After launching the Princecraft, Tyler suggested that they fish a few different bays that load up well with Largemouth through the summer. He knew some great fall transitional areas that the Bass use annually, so it was a great place to start.
In no time the boys were into gorgeous Largemouth. Pete caught his first couple of fish on a single blade spinnerbait by working it almost like a jig in 6-8 feet of water.
“I love slowly creeping a Spinnerbait close to the bottom in the fall” says Pete “if the water isn’t too cold, Largemouth can’t seem to resist it on certain days. The trick is to not work it too fast.”
In the meantime, Tyler threw an array of presentations, including Rattle Baits, Senko’s, Creatures, and Jigs… all of which worked.
The keys to success were weed clumps, as well as rock. Those two ingredients always spell MONEY when it comes to Largemouth fishing, and especially in the fall.
“This Largemouth shoot” says Pete “very much lived up to Tyler’s description. He was 100% confident that we’d catch lots of them, and he was 100% correct”.
Although Pete and Tyler did not catch any giants, Adam Vallee, a friend of Tyler’s, as well as a local guide representing Angling Algoma, caught some absolute beasts while scouting around for new guiding and tournament areas.
Pete says, “This is one sleeper Largemouth fishery”!
A TRIP UP-RIVER
To end the shoot off, Pete could not resist a shot at the rapids area directly adjacent to the city of Sault Ste. Marie. This area is one of Tyler’s favourite to fish, and there is good reason why. It’s a world renowned, all round fishery for trout and salmon. Resident Rainbow and Steelhead, as well as Chinook, Coho, and Atlantic Salmon all frequent this area. The beauty of this spot is it is very accessible to anglers.
For Pete’s last hurrah in the “Soo”, they bombed the Princecraft up the rapids (we should say Tyler did, because Pete more than likely would have crushed the lower unit of the Merc on the first attempt), dropped back in neutral, and cast the insane current looking for fish.
After a few drifts, Pete indeed smacked into a gorgeous little Steelhead that blasted through the water like a speed demon.
“What a way to end off this shoot” says Pete “catching a Turbo-Steelie in the world-famous St. Mary’s River, right downtown SS Marie, during the peak of fall colours, and of course annihilating an untouched, Largemouth fishery with big Tyler Dunn… that, my friends is the epitome of a great fishing trip!”
Our accommodations for the week were at Bruce Bay Cottages and Lighthouse. Sounds weird right… a lighthouse??? Well friends, it may be the most unique place an angler and their families can stay. It is perched high atop a point overlooking Lake Huron, and it’s spectacular! To describe it here is quite difficult, but as you will see from the availability, if trying to book, it is a tough one to secure. You have to check it out!
BTW, if the lighthouse is booked, they have an array of cozy cottages on their huge property.
OTMP go fish ONTARIO
Did you know?
GETTIN’ THERE with RAM TRUCKS
To get to today’s non-stop river fishing, I first drove north on hwy 400 to hwy 69. I next turned onto hwy 17 heading north west, and took that all the way to the town of Bruce Mines. I finally turned south on Bruce Bay Road, which took me to Bruce Bay Cottages and Lighthouse. Even if you’re not into fishing, this destination has a very unique accommodation experience, in that you can overnight in the authentic Lighthouse that sits high atop McKay point, overlooking beautiful Lake Huron. We defy you to try and find a “cooler” place to overnight than this one! From the cottages and lighthouse, there’s an abundance of boat launches throughout the area.