The Best of Both Worlds

From pike to bass, the Spanish River is a great base for reeling in a variety of species.

A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to stay at Blue Heron Resort up in Ontario’s Algoma Country. My visit was during the mid-summer period and the fishing was on fire. The absolute best thing I like about going to a place like this resort is that the fishing opportunities are endless. From spring right through to late fall there are species that you can target close to the home base in the Spanish River, or you can run as far as you like, venturing west or south to the large expansive waters that are there.

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The spring fishing for walleye can be dynamite in the Spanish River and in the bays nearby. The post-spawn fish can be caught using live bait or artificials. Personally I’ve never used live bait on the many trips I’ve done fishing this area on the northern shore of Lake Huron. Traditional ball-head jigs like the Berkley Essentials in 1/8, ¼ and 3/8-ounce sizes will do the trick. Some of my favourite soft baits to put on the jigs are the PowerBait 3” Ribbontail grubs; 3.8” Power Swimmers and Gulp 4” grubs and 3” minnows.

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As these walleyes progress into the summer they can be found on the breaks into deeper water on the many points, shoals and saddles in the area. The pike are abundant both in the coloured, fertile waters of the Spanish River and throughout the clear, open waters of the main lake. Early in the season they are predictable and easy to find in the shallow, weed filled bays near their spawning areas. As the season progresses many of the larger ones relate to rock or deeper weeds.

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If I had to pick two of my favourite baits for northern pike they would be the Berkley War Pig crankbait and soft plastic swimbaits in 4” to 5” sizes. The vibrating action and noise of the War Pig makes it a great approach for covering water. The subtle PowerBait Champ Swimmer or Power Swimmer are other choices that can be worked both shallow and deep. The cool thing about both of these completely different lures is that bass and walleye will eat them as well if they’re in the area where you’re targeting pike.

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Smallmouth bass fishing in this area is about as good as it gets. At one point I hooked a five-pound plus smallie on a sand flat. It hit on a long cast and, as I got it near the boat, another one the same size was following it. I was taping a show at the time and after I landed the fish I had drifted about 40 or 50-yards from where I initially hooked it. On my next cast I lowered my dropshot rig below the boat in about six-feet of water and the big follower ate it. I honestly do not think these fish had ever seen a lure…just the way I like them!

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The bottom line is that there is so much water available to fish, both close to Blue Heron Resort and as far as you want to run, it makes this place a real fishing paradise.  

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About Bob Izumi

Bob Izumi is a Canadian professional angler, and the host of Bob Izumi's Real Fishing Show. He is most known for his success in bass fishing, and was awarded angler of the year in 2004.

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