Hidden Gems
Bob Izumi's Real Fishing|Fall 2019
Every now and again we anglers are lucky enough to find lakes, ponds or creeks that feel so isolated from civilization that believing they are a reality is sometimes more difficult than finding them in the first place. Stumbling across, or being introduced to, a body of water with such enormous potential for catching fish is what any fishing enthusiast dreams of. Fortunately for myself, I have lucked out three times in one shot.
Charlie Ricottone

A cottage that I regularly visit; and by regularly I mean five to 10 times per year; has a lake that can sometimes be difficult to fish. I’ve spent the last 11-years learning the lake, perfecting techniques, tweaking presentations and, every so often, getting completely skunked. It is highly unpredictable, especially on the nights when the stars seem aligned to present the perfect fishing conditions but the results are no more than a litany of mosquito bites and practice casts.

Surrounding the lake that the cottage is on are three much smaller lakes that my fishing partner, Mike, and I visit at least once per year. The first is within walking distance from the cottage and the other two are less than a 10-minute drive followed by a few minute hike through the bush. Each one offers something different, whether it’s the size, shape, or depth, but the one thing they all have in common is that you’re pretty much guaranteed to get, what I fondly refer to as, “bass thumb”.

Lake #1

The smallest and closest of the lakes is narrow, measuring roughly 1000 feet by 300 feet. It is barely more than a pond, with the shoreline tapering to the water on one side and flat rock faces that measure up to 25-feet high on the other. Rumour has it that the lake was once dead and at some point lime was thrown into the water to balance the PH levels. I am not sure how accurate this claim is, but I have heard it from a few different sources, so my guess is that it must hold some truth.

This amazing little “practice lake” holds a slew of largemouth bass ranging up to just over three-pounds. They may not be the biggest, but they have some fight in them.

Since it’s so close, we have the option of taking just about any gear we want. Often, we use our standard medium or medium-heavy bass rigs, but taking a light action setup to this amazing little fishing hole can make for a far more exhilarating couple of hours. Small boats are left on the shore for anglers that know where to find them. The compact size of the lake requires no more than a trolling motor or a 1.5 to 3-horsepower gas motor to get around. Years ago we would only take paddles, but Mother Nature never wanted to cooperate. We found ourselves constantly rowing against the wind, as it tends to shift directions every 20-minutes or so.

Rock shelves, shoals, and deadheads hold countless fish that lie in wait for the right bait to come along. With such minimal pressure, the fish attack almost anything. From lipless and square-bill crankbaits, to topwater plugs and frogs, to virtually any soft plastic bait, this lake offers an excellent chance to practice hooksets and landing fish. Through the summer months the water is crystal clear and provides an opportunity to do some sight fishing. A wonderful little honey-hole, this lake is only the first on the list of my secret little hideaways.

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