St. Marys October

This scene appeared directly in front of the lighthouse. The sunrises from the east facing windows are nothing short of spectacular!

Fish'n Canada heads to Northern Ontario for fall largemouth bass

Fall is a great time to target largemouth bass in the St. Marys



Largemouth bass are fast becoming North America’s favorite game fish. Hands-down, it’s the top dog in the USA and it is constantly gaining fans north of the border.

The largemouth is very much a southern, warm water fish (which is why the U.S. loves them so much). It thrives in water temperatures in the 70's and 80's Fahrenheit. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t survive in warmer or, in Canada’s case, colder water as well. By the way, in Canada we use Celsius so the aforementioned temperatures are the low to mid 20's.

For this episode, Pete was looking to add a largemouth show into the season’s mix but he wanted something a bit different. He wanted to travel north. 

bruce bay cottages welcome sign
Right from our arrival, we felt very welcome at Bruce Bay and Sault Ste. Marie.

Enter Tyler Dunn, a young and up-coming fishing guide based out of Sault Ste. Marie in the Algoma region of Northern Ontario. When Pete and Tyler first talked over the phone, they quickly got onto the fall bass subject (Pete knew of the amazing smallmouth in the area) and finally when largemouth came around Tyler perked up and said the St. Marys River is loaded with them and the fall is a great time to target them.

“Instantly booked into the Fish’n Canada calendar!” said Pete.

Timing is a funny thing and usually it is bad for our film crew. For example, if it has not rained for a month, you can pretty much guarantee it will when our cameras come out. On this trip (October 17 & 18), however, we were in full peak Algoma fall colors. This normally happens a week or two before our dates. We finally catch a break…what a spectacular and unique backdrop for a Largemouth Show.

shoreline of lake huron
The shores of Lake Huron are breathtaking.

THE FISHING

After launching the Princecraft, Tyler suggested that they fish a few different bays that load up well with largemouth through the summer. He knew some great fall transitional areas that the bass use annually, so it was a great place to start.

tyler dunn guiding with largemouth bass
St. Marys River fishing expert Tyler Dunn holds up one of many largemouth taken on this shoot.

In no time, the boys were into gorgeous largemouth. Pete caught his first couple of fish on a single blade spinnerbait by working it almost like a jig in 6 to 8 feet of water.

“I love slowly creeping a Spinnerbait close to the bottom in the fall,” says Pete, “if the water isn’t too cold, largemouth can’t seem to resist it on certain days. The trick is to not work it too fast.”

pete bowman with largemouth bass
This was Pete’s first largemouth of the trip taken on a single blade Spinnerbait.

In the meantime, Tyler threw an array of presentations including Rattle Baits, Senko’s, Creatures and Jigs…all of which worked.

The keys to success were weed clumps as well as rock. Those two ingredients always spell MONEY when it comes to largemouth fishing and especially in the fall.

“This largemouth shoot,” said Pete, “very much lived up to Tyler’s description. He was 100% confident that we’d catch lots of them and he was 100% correct.”

pete bowman with bass
Pete holds a beauty he caught on a Yamamoto Flappin Hog.

Although Pete and Tyler did not catch any giants, Adam Vallee, a friend of Tyler’s as well as a local guide representing Angling Algoma, caught some absolute beasts while scouting around for new guiding and tournament areas.

adam vallee angling algoma with 2 bass
Local fishing guide Adam Vallee hoists up two giants he caught while probing new water in the St. Marys.

Pete said, “This is one sleeper largemouth fishery!”

tyler dunn guiding with largemouth base
Tyler, being the giant of a man that he is, does not do justice to this 4-pound largemouth but believe us, it was all of 4!.
pete bowman release bass
Pete puts one back just before the camera shuts down for the night.

A TRIP UP-RIVER

To end this shoot off, Pete could not resist a shot at the rapids area directly adjacent to the city of Sault Ste. Marie. This area is one of Tyler’s favorite to fish and there is good reason why. It’s a world-renowned, all-round fishery for trout and salmon. Resident rainbow and steelhead as well as chinook, coho, and Atlantic salmon all frequent this area. The beauty of this spot is it is very accessible to anglers.

fish'n canada pinecraft boat
Tyler Dunn does his thing by running the Princecraft FNC1 up the shallow rapids of the St. Marys River in search of trout.

For Pete’s last hurrah in the “Soo”, they bombed the Princecraft up the rapids (we should say Tyler did because Pete more than likely would have crushed the lower unit of the Merc on the first attempt), dropped back in neutral and cast the insane current looking for fish.

After a few drifts Pete indeed smacked into a gorgeous little steelhead that blasted through the water like a speed demon.

“What a way to end off this shoot,” says Pete, “catching a Turbo-steelie in the world famous St. Marys River right downtown Sault Ste. Marie, during the peak of fall colors and of course annihilating an untouched largemouth fishery with big Tyler Dunn…that, my friends is the epitome of a great fishing trip!”

SHOOT ACCOMMODATIONS

aerial view of bruce bay cottages and lighthouse
What a stunning view.

Our accommodations for the week was at Bruce Bay Cottages and Lighthouse. Sounds weird right…a lighthouse? Well friends, it may be the most unique place an angler and their families can stay. It is perched high atop a point overlooking Lake Huron and it is spectacular. To describe it here is quite difficult but as you will see from the availability if trying to book, it is a tough one to secure. You have to check it out!

fish'n canada bruce bay cottages and lighthouse sign
Our crew like to document everything!
bruce bay lighthouse
Converted from a working lighthouse to an awesome place to stay.

BTW, if the lighthouse is booked, they have an array of cozy cottages on their huge property.

bruce bay cottages and dodge ram truck
Whether you stay at a cottage or the lighthouse, Bruce Bay has you covered.

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