In this Fish’n Canada episode Ang and Pete head up to the Sherwood Inn in the Muskokas and meet up with Roy Armes and Scott Jamieson of Cooper Tires as they hit this virtually un-fished scenic area for Pike and Bass. Angelo and Roy hunt for giant Northerns while discussing the tire industry. Meanwhile, Pete and Scott look for the legendary Muskoka Smallmouth Bass.
It’s early morning at the docks of the Sherwood Inn. The last mist rises from a perfectly flat Lake Joseph, one of Ontario’s most picturesque bodies of water. We can’t think of a better setting for a Fish’n Canada episode. The plan is for Pete and Ang to meet the boys from Cooper Tires—our newest corporate partner—at the docks with our duet of Princecrafts and get them onto great fish!
Pete says, “There’s something to be said about mornings in the Muskokas. I defy you to find a more peaceful and tranquil setting. It’s early fall and we couldn’t have hand-picked a better day for fishing. A warming trend has moved in. This could definitely trigger big fish into biting!”
Angelo joins in, “Sharing the boat with me today is Cooper Tires’ Big Kahuna, the CEO, Roy Armes, whom I’ve been told wields a pretty mean fishing rod! I always feel it’s important to connect with our corporate partners and get to know them and their products. And for my money, there’s no better place to do it than the bow of a boat. The fact that he’s an accomplished angler makes my job that much easier. My goal is to get Roy a trophy Northern Pike without having to travel to the Arctic Circle to get it!”
“While Ang is taking Roy out for big Northerns,” says Pete, “my job for the day is to put Scott Jamieson, Cooper Tires’ Director of Product Management in North America, onto some of these untouched Muskoka Bass. We’ll start on smallies and then maybe move to Largemouth later on.”
Angelo and Roy started scouring the shorelines in Lakes Rosseau, Joseph and Muskoka, looking for the giant Northern Pike that hide amongst the cover. You may be wondering if any fish live in the Muskoka Lakes, let alone big Pike, and the answer is a resounding yes. Our fishing guide, Captain John Blanchard, has lived his entire life on these lakes and has proven to us in the past that these lakes are alive and kicking with gamefish!
BACK TO PETE AND SCOTT
“I’m not sure if Scott has as much experience in a boat as Roy,” says Pete. “But I’ll tell you what, he’s doing a number on these Muskoka smallies and enjoying every minute of it!” Simply put, Scott was a great learner and was finessing a drop shot rig in the clear water of Joseph like he’d done it a hundred times before. The power of fishing is pretty amazing.
Jumping back into Angelo and Roy’s boat, they had been having a somewhat slow day after their first Pike when all of a sudden all hell broke loose! Roy leisurely cast an inline spinner into the shoreline trees when he was suddenly jolted by what ended up being a giant Northern Pike of over 40 inches and over 20 pounds—a rare occurrence in places other than the extreme far reaches of Canada’s north.
Late in the afternoon, Pete noticed a tree lying in the water. Being as obsessed as he is with Largemouth, he just had to take a look. Sure enough, there were two Largemouth swimming—a nice one and a pig!
Pete says, “I looked at Scott and he said catch ’em!”
For the next hour plus, Pete sat in that one area throwing everything in the book to try and fool that pig: wacky Senko, finesse worm, jig and pig, shaky head. Then finally he got one. It wasn’t the giant but it was a great fish.
Pete continued to try for the elusive hog and finally got a pick up on the Senko. Unfortunately, the line broke! Believe it or not, though, he still didn’t think it was the big one.
“I hate defeat,” says Pete. “Especially from a huge Largemouth. But just then I remembered that Ang and Roy brought along some big minnows for their Pike fishing. So I gave Ang a call and told him about the giant I’d pinpointed under a tree that wouldn’t bite my stuff. But might take a big shiner, I said. Get Roy’s butt over here ASAP. I’ll put you right on her.”
SHOWDOWN AT SUNDOWN
Angelo and Roy arrived just at sunset and Pete quickly went over the story and showed the boys exactly where the fish should be. It didn’t take much explaining. Ang and Roy are both seasoned anglers and adapt very well and very quickly.
Roy plunked that big shiner in the exact spot Pete suggested and after what seemed like an eternity—but was actually less than a minute—Roy reared back with a great hookset. The big Bass tried its best to tangle around a tree limb, but somehow Roy maneuvered it into open water.
“Now we got him!'” Ang screamed. But no sooner were the words out of his mouth than the minnow and hook were out of the Bass’s mouth. Ouch.
Despite the outcome, this is one of our favourite television fish sequences of the season and one that shouldn’t be missed.
All in all, it was a great day on the water with the Cooper Tire guys!