Smallies, Smallies, & More Smallies

Great Lakes smallmouth bass are a true prize in any bass angler’s books, but being able to travel through the Whaleback Region of upper Lake Huron near Spanish, Ontario to target them is just awesome!  The fierce, fiery, acrobatic means of those striped beauties makes for an incredible time on light tackle.

In August, three of us Jay’s staff members took to the road to join the folks from Fishing 411 TV in Spanish, Ontario in search of these plentiful bronze beauties.  After a 5 hours drive, we met up with the crew at Waterfalls Lodge and enjoyed a nice home cooked meal fit for a king!  Once settled into our rooms, we did what any group of fishermen does and that’s talk FISHING .  We determined that the first day would consist of doing the backcountry tour by riding quads and UTV’s to a small, very desolate lake that we were told is a smallmouth heaven.

After a sleepless night from the excitement of getting to explore new waters the next day the crew from Jay’s; Travis, Spencer, and myself (Bryan Darland) met up with the Fishing 411 crew and our guide for the day to lead us to this secret destination.  We hopped on the quads and began our wild ride through miles of back roads, two tracks, and small rock covered trails until we finally reached our destination.  We stopped at a glass calm, two-part lake with amazing scenic rock cliffs that just screamed deep drops and smallies!   We entered some old vintage, steel boats they had ready at a dock and began our venture across the lake in search of structure to learn what kinds of baits to throw and what kinds of rigs we’d need to get to them.  We set across the water and I was able to strike gold first on a drop shot rig with a small Big Bite Baits finesse minnow.  It didn’t take Travis long to figure out the deal and he was on the board as well with the next fish to the boat.  Once we figured out this pattern, we decided we better go meet up with the crew and share what we had learned to help them with another trick for their bag of options to throw at these fish.  Upon our arrival to the others, we soon realized this lake was infested with Smallies as EVERYONE was catching big numbers!

As the day progressed, the temperature just kept getting hotter and hotter and the fishing didn’t slow down any either.  We began to experiment with what lures we felt they “wouldn’t” bite because the fish were so aggressive and so plentiful.  After a day boating 70-80 smallmouth bass (conservatively), it was time to head back to the lodge and make a plan for the next day on the water.

Bryan Darland Store Manager

Years of service at Jay’s: 13 years of service

Years as a manager: 10 years as a manager (3 as Current Store Manager, 10 Fishing Manager)

Departments worked: Started in Fishing Department in 2003….Fishing Manager 2006…..Store Manager 2013

Interests: Major Fishing interests of all kinds. Also enjoy hunting whitetails, ducks, and other sporting game.

Bio: I am an avid outdoorsman with a huge special interest in chasing fish of all species and locations on the globe. I love tournament fishing as it helps to better myself through good friendly competition and forces me to continuously go outside of my comfort zone to stay competitive and on the cutting edge. My other favorite thing is getting others involved in the outdoors whether it be friends, family (especially my young daughter), or just the general public.

What I love about Jay’s: The number one thing I love about Jay’s is constantly being able to talk “Fun” on a daily basis. Customers, friends, and staff all can join together and share stories of their experiences in the outdoors creating our definition of family. Too many people dred going to work on a daily basis, we look forward to the next outdoor experience to either have shared from our guests or to share of our own, all while loving every minute of it!

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