As the Beaver aircraft touch the water on Gamble Lake, our group (including my wife, Ginny, her best friend from school and her husband) embarked on a smallmouth venture that was next to none. Gamble Lake is a world-class small mouth bass and lake trout fishery. It is unparalleled in quantity and quality of these species. Pound for pound the small mouth is the greatest fighter and most exciting fish in this area.
As we unpacked the Beaver and organized our gear on the dock I couldnâ€™t help but notice that there were a fair amount of smallmouth bass hanging around the dock. Not wanting the others to notice, I quickly assembled the members of the group and gave each of them a task to perform before we chose the boats and hit the water. My plan was to get others busy and I would get into some fishing before the rest could discover what I was doing.
The gold jig with a Berkley Power Tail and a leech slowly filtered down until it rested on the bottom right next to the hiding spot of the bass. It was exciting to watch. After the jig had hit the bottom, the leech began to stretch out and wiggle in a way that would turn any fish inside out. Soon a nose and two eyes slid out from under the dock and studied the jig only for a second. With a tremendous rush, the fish snatched up the jig and ran back under the dock. The fight was on! The bass fought with leaps, jumps and all kinds of aerial tactics. My friends took note of the action on the dock and the unpacking and preparation was terminated so they could also get in on the action. This same scenario repeated itself many times throughout our stay at Gamble Lake.
Prime summer habitat for smallmouth bass is an area where you have rocks and fairly deep water, perhaps 8 to 20 feet or more. Good examples are sunken islands with rocky tops, deep water points and submerged rock piles. One key type of rock that I have found that smallies love are the small round rocks that look like Civil War cannon balls. When I find this type of structure I know that there has to be a smallmouth present. In a typical smallmouth lake in Canada, the bass leave the bays where they have been spawning and move into the main lake. Once there, they set up along the deep water points, islands and rock strewn bottoms. The number of smallies that will hold around prime areas will astound you.
When you catch one bass, concentrate on the general area where you found it because bass tend to gather in loose groups at this time. The warming water starts bass into their summer time ritual of feeding heavily on crawfish. This feeding frenzy makes crawfish-colored crankbaits extremely effective. Three of the best colors I have found are red, green and brown crawfish patterns.
A suspending lure, like a Rapala Husky Jerk, is easy to throw and produces the best results. It also allows you to slow down and even stop your retrieve.
The retrieval can be executed a variety of ways. This bait is effective whether you simply cast it out and reel it back, go at different speeds or use a stop-and-go retrieve to allow the bait to suspend. This lure works well because it stays in the strike zone longer. Change your patterns and presentation along with varying your retrieve until the fish tell you what they want.
To get the best action from your lure, I recommend using a 7' G-Loomis rod along with a slow-retrieve reel. Line size depends on the depth of the fish and the amount of cover, generally 8- to 12-lb. test Berkley XT works great. My best presentation came from gold and red jigs with a Berkley Power Tail, tipped with a Leech, or a Berkley Power Worm. Another gamble that many fisherman take when they hear of a bass lake that is a fly-in are the accommodations. Let me assure you that the accommodations at this lake are far from any gamble. The camp consists of a cook shack, with a large kitchen and eating facilities. You can enjoy the company of all in your party in the cook shack or take the time to reflect on the day by sitting outside on the deck. The 8-man facility is roomy and comfortable with a frame bunk house separate from the authentic log cooking cabin. A real Finnish sauna sits near the water inviting you to relax after a day in the boat. Even if the weather is hot there is nothing like a hot sauna and a dip in the cool lake before bed. Families, sportsmen, church groups, and businessmen alike find the quality of fishing and the beautiful setting worth returning to year after year.
Oh! I almost forgot another exciting aspect of the whole trip. If you are looking for more heart stopping action, then the adjacent lake Doan will have a cabin on it in 2002. Doan Lake is located between Irene Lake and Gamble Lake, and is connected by the Gamble River. Doan Lake is a waiting jewel. This lake has been untapped for many years and Falcon Outfitters is now building a brand new facility to share this destination with you. This will be the only facility on the lake. Previously accessible only by portage to the few diehards who would portage from Irene Lake, Doan Lake has unsurpassed northern, lake trout and small mouth bass fishing which can be expected on a lake that has been virtually un-fished.
At Gamble Lake the facilities are run and operated by Brad and Karen Greaves. They can be reached at either Ignace Airways and Outpost or Falcon Outfitters. In fact, if you want to see pictures of some of the bass that we caught as well as the camp itself log onto www.falconoutfitters.com. or Ignace Outposts LTD, Ignace Airways Brad and Karen Greaves, Box 244 IGNACE ONTARIO, P0T1T0 CANADA 1-807-934-2273 office, 1-807-934-6647 fax or on the web at: email@example.com or www.ignaceoutposts.com.