Lake St. Francis Smallmouth – Fishing with Electronics

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For this shoot, we were back to one of our absolute favourite fishing destinations in all of Canada, Lake St. Francis. This place has given us some of the best Smallmouth Bass fishing we’ve ever encountered. The number of Smallies here is incredible and there are some real tanks to boot!

We had a quick chat with local buddy Ryan Flaro and he put us in the direction of some active Smallmouth he’s been fishing at that time. 

It didn’t take long to tie into a bunch of active Smallies. In fact, we believe Ang’s first cast with his dropshot was interrupted by a nice fish and within seconds Pete set into another for a doubleheader on our first casts! That doesn’t happen too often, trust us!

We’ll bet our next 4 or 5 casts all had either a fish in the boat or a lost fish. It was that quick. As we worked this breakline carefully (around 15-20+ feet deep) we constantly watched our Garmin screen. If we saw fish, we’d stop, anchor the trolling motor and fire out casts.

A drop-shotted toad from Franny

We caught all of our fish dropshotting small finesse baits with a ⅜ to 1⁄2 ounce weight. Although we normally use Yamamoto’s Shad Shape Worm, some of our best producers were Berkley’s Max Scent Flat Worm and Flat Nose Minnow. We would either drift with the current or if we had a little sweet spot in an area, we would anchor lock the trolling motor and cast up current and drift our baits down.

Three dropshot baits we recommend. Top is a Berkley MaxScent Flat Worm, middle is a Yamamoto Shad Shape Worm and bottom is a MaxScent Flatside Minnow.

Although the phenomenal fishing throughout the morning was as good as it “usually” gets, it was Ang’s encounter with a denizen of the deep that got all of our blood flowing.

He hooked into a Smallmouth that we guessed at the time was somewhere in the 2 ½ – 3 lb range. A nice one for sure. The fish actually came up and almost jumped but it didn’t. It fought a few more seconds as a Smallie of that size would and could do and then all of a sudden, an insane drag-pulling run ripped from Ang’s reel. It was actually hilarious hearing Ang yell “I’ve never felt a Smallie as strong as this… what the hell’s going on”???

We thought maybe it was bigger than we first figured simply because a 2-3 pound Smallie couldn’t come close to pulling like this one was. Ang wondered if we were that far off with our predictions.

At one time during the fight, Pete said that maybe he had a Muskie on but again they had no idea as to what truly was happening.

Well all of a sudden from the depths below the boat, a giant silhouette started to appear. Indeed it was a GIANT muskie… holding Ang’s hooked Smallie in its mouth.

Unfortunately, the big predator opened its big set of jaws and the Smallmouth swam free. I say unfortunately because we honestly wanted the audience to be able to see such an amazing sight. The fish was too deep and our camera operator couldn’t quite make it out.

We talked to Ryan later and told him this story. He said “oh yeah, we’ve hooked it a few times… it’s one of those like you guys caught years ago… a high 50’s!”

What a great experience that was (not so much for the Smallie though it still swam away).

Fish'n Canada

The Fish’n Canada Show first aired in 1986 with phenomenal success. In 1988 the program went coast to coast on CBC, the first North American weekly fishing show to broadcast on a national network. In 1992 the show went into syndication adding Global Television Network, prominent CTV and affiliates, and several cable networks. The move resulted in unprecedented fishing audiences. With the addition of WFN U.S. and The Sportsman Chanel Canada today the Fish’n Canada show dominates the airwaves with a national weekly reach of 3.5 million and ama of over 450,000 easily making it one of the most-watched “outdoors” programs in North America.

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