On this episode, Pete Bowman teams up with Captain John Blanchard as they head to a Smallmouth Bass Mecca in Northern Ontario. They fish three very distinct locations with one goal in mind: catching lots of Algoma Smallmouth. Everything from topwater to drop shot baits are employed in this dog days of summer episode.
SMALLMOUTH BASS ADVENTURE
“Today’s Fish’n Canada show is what I call a Smallmouth Bass adventure,” says Pete. “We’re fishing at a Waterfalls Lodge in the Algoma Region of Ontario. Their list of game fish consists of Northern Pike, Walleye and Lake Trout. However, their main species is the Smallmouth Bass and they have multiple locations to fish for them. We are going to concentrate on three distinctly different areas.”
You may remember John Blanchard was featured on last year’s “A New Era” episode which led directly into this year’s first episode, “The Next Big Thing”. John has fished with both Angelo and Pete on previous shows, for Walleye and late-fall Smallmouth respectively. When Pete asked John if he wanted to come along for this shoot, John immediately jumped at the opportunity.
This shoot took place during a brutal heatwave in Southern Ontario. That said, it was down to the grind, summer heat tactics for those Algoma District smallies.
“We were hoping to find fish in the deeper water of the main lake by using our electronics, ” says Pete. “If they are deep, smallies usually school up and getting more than one fish is possible.”
But, as luck would have it, that wasn’t the case. There were no deep-water groups of fish to be found. So it was down to the good old school method of casting and reeling, covering as much water as possible.
THE BIGGEST THRILL IN BASS FISHING
As the day progressed Pete and John managed loads of Algoma Smallmouth, but only the odd good one. The decision to hit some main lake points as well as any structure and cover in between was a good one. Believe it or not, out on a single log in almost 30 feet of water, a gorgeous Smallmouth rocketed up to engulf a topwater bait—one of the biggest thrills in Bass fishing!
Destination two of the boys Waterfalls Lodge smallie adventure took them in a totally different direction. They mounted a couple of ATVs and set out for one of the Lodge’s secret Smallmouth Bass lakes.
“I love these little back lakes that are really hard to access,” says Pete. “There’s always the thought of casting where no other bait has dropped… and giant fish waiting to smash a bait.”
Pete continues, “This is one of the best little side trips I have had in a long time at a lodge and is definitely something I would highly recommend. But remember to book early as they only allow a couple boats on the lake at one time.”
Pete and John’s final fishing destination at Waterfalls Lodge was Denvic Lake. This lake is part of the system that the lodge has access to, so you will have to travel a very short distance to access this beautiful little body of water. This is also where the name Waterfalls Lodge came from. And indeed, there were smallies right adjacent to the falls. The water is gin-clear here so sight fishing is an option.
This lake is small enough that if you have a trolling motor on the bow of your boat, you can cover most of the shoreline in a single day. Main lake points and rock banks that dropped off quickly were the tickets here, while the bait of choice was a 4″ Yamamoto Shad Shape Worm on a drop shot rig. Natural colours seemed to work best.
In closing, this is an amazing trio of smallie waters—tons of fish in each area and the spectacular drive-to scenery that the Fish’n Canada crew has become accustomed to up in Algoma country!
POP R AND THE CHUG BUGS
On every Bass trip in the warmest part of the season, The Fish’n Canada team always brings along a supply of topwater baits. It goes without saying that at the right time, surface presentations are not only fun but very effective! On this shoot, John used a Chug Bug while Pete used a Pop R. If you want to consider something out of the popping world, then a walking lure like a Zara Spook or Spittin’ Image works great, or even a prop bait like a Torpedo. Remember to give the fish some time after the initial strike before you set the hook.