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beeflover

Anybody advise me on great smallmouth fishing lakes/resorts?

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We are a couple of bass nuts who only catch and release smallies. We've talked for over 40 years about doing a Canadian trip and we're goin someplace this summer!

I'm from Minneapolis area and my brother from Nebraska, want a week of dynamite smallmouth fishing. Can you advise any lakes to look at in Central to Western Ontario or Eastern Manitoba? We want numbers and size potential.

I want to drive my own boat up there and we're takin wives and granpa so we want a pretty nice resort. Not expensive but nice cabins.

We are looking for anyplace in Canada that might be even better smallie fishing than Lake a the Woods or Rainey.

Any help is appreciated.

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I have a boat in outpost cabin located on Pipestone Lake, about an hour from Fort Frances, Ont. It is a great smallmouth fishery. You boat in & the ride is about 20 miles from the landing on Clearwater Lake. There is a mechanical portage that takes your boat from the Clearwater side over to the Pipestone side. It is a really neat system and this really limits the fishing pressure to mainly people staying on Pipestone, not many day fisherman. The lake also has walleye, northern, muskie, lake trout, & and some largemouth along with the smallies. You can get more info from our HSOforum www.gnofishing.com

and if you have more questions, feel free to contact me.

Lucas Adams [email protected]

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For numbers and size, LOTW can be awesome. I have also had some great trips on Crow Lake, but I've also done horrible as smallies on lake trout water have no problem going from 6" of water to 40' when the weather changes. For consistently boating numbers and size, Rough Rock Lodge on the Winnipeg River is my favorite. You have lake and river areas, weeds, rocks, timber--everything a smallie could want. They also have a half dozen portage-in lakes. I've only been in two of them and the smallies were BIG! Check them out at [Note from Admin: Please read forum policy.] Otherwise they will be here for the Northwest Sportshow in Minneapolis at the end of March. If your brother is from Grand Island, NE he might even know the owners!

Brett Erickson

www.thornebros.com

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The Canadian side of Rainy Lake is one of the top smallmouth fisheries in North America. Spend a week during mid-June and you will meet lots of 19 to 21 inchers. However, if you want to go to Rainy better get your reservations for June ASAP.

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I'll put a plug in for Lake of the Woods. THere is no shortage of bass here. Smallies, and big mouth bass. Lots and a chance to get into 3-5 lb fish.

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My personal preference is Rainy Lake in June...make your reservations now, because places fill quickly this time of the year. LOW is good as well, and crow also has lots of bass...but Rainy has my heart...I have found that the average size on rainy is bigger.

anyhow just my two cents...

Take Care and Good Luck Fishing!!

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There are some great SMB lakes to try without the traffic that you will find on Rainy or LOW. Check out a few of these resorts Hawk Lake, Happy Landing Lodge, Ross' Camp, Bayview lodge, Camp Manitou, Caribou Falls Lodge, and Green Island lodge.

Good Luck

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Another great option is a fly in where you are the only cabin on the lake. Dogfly & Grant lake are both excellent smallmouth fly in lakes. You can get more info @ www.lmflyin.com. Any questions, let me know, and I can help you find what you are looking for. [email protected]

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Ive fished all these lakes mentioned here! If your looking for something with less crowds I would say try lake despair!

From here you can get into clear water and up to pipe stone if that is something you would like to do for a day!

Despair is a great lake for smallies size and #'s much like rainy! you can also boat into footprint and jackfish lakes without going over any portages and are all much the same as rainy as far as type of lake and fish! [Please read forum policy] check this resort out they have great cabins with all the comforts of home! this is important if your taking the wives! hope this helps!

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When did you fish Dogfly & Grant for smallies? I should remember you as I have worked with L&M for the past 15+ years. There are some good smallmouth on Despair, but the tournament in recent years has been somewhat of a controversy with the size of water and being hard on the fish. Alot of traffic during the tournament and a few weeks prior with the pre fishing. It does offer some good fishing, but not with the remoteness of some of the lakes lakes mentioned in the other posts.

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Hey Superbee,

TheGuN must be fishing on Despair in either April or Nov., otherwise any open water on this lake is very busy. The lake is very small for the amount of boat travel on this lake. There are a lot of other options out there for great smallie fishing on less traveled water.

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My family has a cabin on the lower manitou! The only lake I have not fished is grant!~(I was more less talking the drive in lakes since that is what he is looking for)I was on Grant with the snow machine a week or so ago! the manitou has a lot of smallies in areas of the lake but not to many with much size! although in the spring of the year if you take the boat up into Edward lake they spawn in there in large #s and there are some true trophy's

I was not trying to discredit your resort or fishing lake I was just stating my opinion!

Back to the point!

Any of these lakes would make for a great trip! You will catch bass, they would all be a great adventure!

The main reason I said Lake Despair is the options on where you can fish (what lakes you can boat into) The fun mechanical portages you can take! this is also a shallower lake that has better #s of bass than say Pipestone! (a trout lake) Im not saying pipestone dont have bass because I know it does! pipe stone you can catch large mouth bass and you wont find them in despair! they tend to be on the small size but offer some good catches! another thing pipestone has that despair dont is MUSKY and Trout these also make for a fun day!

If you looking for Bass and only Bass I would fish shallower walleye type lakes over deep clear trout water!

Just my .02

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I have lived on the Clearwater/Pipestone/Jackfish system for well over 12 years and Pipestone is the lake noted for phenomenal bass out of those lakes. Clearwater is noted for some good bass and a few large walleyes, while Jackfish and the south portage lakes are noted for better walleye and good bass. That is why most all of the camps from Clearwater go down on the south lakes is so there guests have better walleye fishing and head to Pipestone if the guests are primarily looking for bass. It all depends on who you talk to and how you like to fish as well. If you are looking for the best drive in smallmouth lake, it would be Rainy hands down in most peoples opinion. I personally don't think many lakes can compare if they have much pressure on them.

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I have fished dogfly more than most ever have. A 3 1/5 pounder is a big fish in this waters. Rainy lake offers way bigger fish. Pipestone and clear water are like the revolving door. Way tooo many boats competeing for the usable water for me.

I would checkout the camps in North west bay in Rainy lake. Start with camp narrows and birch poimt next. For numbers and size, not much can even come close.

R_D

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The gun and superbee, I have been going up to despair every year for about 20 years now. We go through lake despair lodge, and then travel through the river sytem and then up through what we call "the rapids", then we keep going angling what i would say Northwest and go through what we call"the cut"... Do youknow the area I am talking about?? When you say you fish despair for smallies - where do you have the best luck?? On the main lake - or do you ever get up where we are - i think the general area is referred to as jackfish. If we go all the way to the far Northwest corner there is a small cabin at the end by a little creek. i think on the other side of the cabin is a lake - I have parked the boat anbd walked up to the cabin before and you can see the lake right there - and I think that is Pipestone? Anyway, if you have any good spots let me know if you dont mind....i am all catch and release for all northern, bass and walleye. Oh yeah - if youknow any good northerns spots too - that would be great. i go up every Fall and would be glad to post a report here - or share notes any time!! Thanks!!!! Hoffer

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The lake you are talking about seeing is called Ottertail. It has some really good walleye fishing and good smallmouth as well.

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You have fished it more than most, you must be busy. You have been fishing all over the place the way it sounds. I don't understand why you fish anywhere else when Rainy is "world class" and the traffic and fishing is better than any other lakes mentioned. I should assume all the camps on Rainy don't have any openings on them as well with the fishing it has.

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Hoffer shoot me an e-mail and ill send ya a marked map!

for bass and pike! as far as walleyes go just take a fire tiger huskyjerk and twitch them threw the weeds! youll get a lot of nice walleyes out of any of the weed beds!

[email protected]

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superbee

did you get any snow up that way yet?

any slush on the lakes! im not sure if you got much snow in the last few weeks!

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We got a good bit when you were getting hit with storms, but since then just light dustings. I have not found any slush on the lakes in the Pipestone area. I am heading up to the Manitou in the next couple of days and let you knwo what I find. Are you heading up this way for another trip? We have gotten around 10-12" around here, but I hear up by Beaverhead Island on the Manitou they have alot more. Best to travel on sled now and leave the bikes at home.

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hey thanks for the info!

I may be headed that way in 2 weeks just for a week end! ill be going out to the manitou so tie me some trout up would ya!

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Superbee - Thats the lake I was thinking of...i asked my buddy what it was after I posted that. TheGun - you have mail!!!!

I would like to get a small boat in there - but I dont know how to get a boat over to that lake other than maybe drag it up and over? If you know this area - our cabin is the newer grey one that is about 1 mile past "the cut". You go right by it on the way to the northwestern most part of the lake...it is before you get to what we call "ross's beach". The area around the corner where there is a sandy beach. The cabin used to be kind of red - but it got hit by lightning about 4 to 5 years ago - and was rebuilt nicer than ever - and it is now a light grey. My buddy is up there right now for a week of snowmobiling and ice -fising. It is interesting that you mention the firetiger in the weeds for eyes. i sometimes go just outside the heavy weedline in the many bays up there by the cabin - and fast troll in about 8 feet of water with a firetiger ratllin rap - I often hit my nicest walleyes while doing this - not alot - but the ones I catch are nice. Last year, we found alot eyes in 18 feet or so...and caught many trolling with spinners etc...but almost ALL of them were real small - like 8 to 10 inches...have you noticed this? I would also love some areas up there to target for some big northerns - like fast trolling. I appreciate the help from you both - and its nice to know someone on FM that knows the area. Thanks again!!

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That is exactly how you will have to get it in there. You will have to do this daily if you want to fish the lake, it is illegal to just put a boat in a lake and leave it. As a resident we can permits from the MNR if they approve it, but nonresidents are not allowed. It might be easier to rent one from one of the camps unless you have a light boat.

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