Jackson: Pre-rigged worm to the rescue again

Updated 7/12/2017 7:24 PM
  • Phil Wein displays one of the many bass he caught during a fishing trip to Canada.

    Phil Wein displays one of the many bass he caught during a fishing trip to Canada. Submitted photo

ATIKOKAN, Ontario -- I really hate to admit this, but there are too many wilderness lakes here for me to do any justice. What I simply mean is this:

Over five days, I fished five lakes teeming with smallmouth bass. And Camp Quetico is the perfect place to headquarter.

Next to Gangler's North Seal River main lodge and its outposts, this camp truly deserves a high ranking for access to great bass fishing as well as lodging and food. And for a drive-to lodge, the lakes I experienced had not shown the slightest degree of abuse.

Surprisingly, I rarely saw another boat when my guide took us through narrow passages and huge expanses of open water.

"Getting its due" is a catch-all phrase. And in this case catching smallmouth bass is the "due," with off-the-chart catch numbers.

Lakes and rivers throughout the Midwest have experienced deserving accolades as well as a mad rush to catch these dark-skin guerrilla fighters that have become the true darling of Chicago-area anglers.

The northern edge of this Canadian rocky repository has always been a favorite destination of mine since I started probing the areas of the Quetico Provincial Park. But this time I wasn't in the confines of the park, where visitors often sleep under the stars.

Every day brought me to a new horizon of crystal clear water mixed in to massive outcroppings of disgorged boulders left in place as reminders of those tremendous glaciers that created their own paths in a series of meltdowns.

And when I was told I could easily access 43 close-by lakes holding untold aquatic treasure, my mind raced through a fantasy of getting lost in this wilderness while inching my way around areas of earlier mankind.

Over the past five decades, I generally chose locations in far northern Canada to fish where others had barely scratched an impression. These were fly-in lodges with northern pike and lake trout large enough to become the main topic of conversation when I would sit down to supper back at a main lodge.

So I was totally knocked over with the quality and quantity of smallmouth bass rushing to grab a lure I tossed into their lair.

Camp Quetico sits on the banks of Eva Lake, and it is an easy to location just close to 800 miles north of the northwest suburbs. By my standards, the camp's cabins are 5-star, with guides and meals close behind.

I never once used a crankbait or spinning bait, but rather stuck with wacky worming and Little Action Mac pre-rigged setups. And it was the "Macs" that performed the best.

We didn't weigh the fish, but rather measured these beauties by inches with the jumbo bronze backs almost hitting the 24-inch mark.

For a cost of around $1,500, we enjoyed a real booming explosion of outstanding smallmouth fishing for five days and nights.

If you go

Where: Camp Quetico at Atikokan, Ontario

Contact: (807) 929-2266

Email: bgiles@campquetico.com

Web: www.campquetico.ca

• Contact Mike Jackson at angler88@comcast.net, catch his radio show 7-9 a.m. Sundays on WGCO 1590-AM (live-streamed at www.1590WCGO.com) and get more content at www.mikejacksonoutdoors.com.

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