Joey Monteleone is nationally known as a guide and bass fishing instructor via TV shows, magazine, radio and seminars all across North America. You have seen his articles in BASSMASTER, IN-FISHERMAN, and BASSIN' magazine and others. Joey has made numerous TV appearances as well as serving currently as "guide" on the award winning show TENNESSEE'S WILD SIDE. For over 15 years, Joey has been outdoor editor of INSIDE THE OUTDOORS on legendary radio station 650 WSM. Comments from Joey:
Where the Record Swims
Quietly going on in a remote part of the province of Ontario, Canada is a quest to produce a new record smallmouth bass. By application of some science and a healthy dose of common sense, Richard and Kaylene Foley owners of the Pine Cliff Lodge are optimistic that the record either will or currently swims in the waters of Sandybeach Lake. Complete and comfortable, reasonably priced accommodations are available at the lake.
The criteria to increase the odds of a new Canadian record are clean water, intelligent fishing pressure, abundant food supplies and a catch and release policy. All these criteria are met in the Dryden Ontario lake. The presence of smelt as prey for the bass coupled with leeches and most important, crawfish guarantees a legitimate shot at producing a record. Bass of any species will eat the most available forage; given a choice they will eat crawfish. Crawfish are candy for bass. For every five pounds of crawfish a bass consumes it gains a pound. That's high energy food. It's no accident that when crawfish molt, (this generally happens in late July thru early August) the bass in this lake begin to load up. They feed ravenously in preparation for the winter.
The current Canadian record for smallmouth is nine pound and thirteen ounce; an eight pound three ounce giant came out of Sandybeach recently. Trophy size smallmouth above the five pound mark are common. In order to break the record the fish has to have the capability of attaining the length and the girth to shatter the record, these fish do. The fact that world class Northern Pike also are there, proves the point that the water quality and correct food sources are available. Managing the resources is not a new concept. Hunters and fisherman have become adept at understanding eco-system and population control to provide top quality outdoor experiences for themselves and future generations. Pine Cliff Lodge offers both.
A peek into the tackle box of a trophy smallmouth bass fisherman would look something like this: Traditional baits, like top water poppers, Strike King Spit-N-King in color #583 Blue Gizzard Shad, or #502 Bad to the Bone are excellent choices. Smallmouth will rocket out of deep water to take a bait from the surface. An oversized buzzbait will also draw vicious hits from the brown bass. Surface lures should be fished in spots that offer bass transition from shallow to deep. Shallow and deep are relative terms. In the case of smallmouth think of five to eight feet as shallow water. The number one rule for vacationing anglers is to not try to force largemouth techniques on a smallmouth bass. Largemouths relate to structure, smallmouths relate to deep water, secondary structure and bottom contours.
A favorite lure of mine is a Strike King Premier Plus 3/8 ounce spinnerbait. I alter it by replacing the back blade with chartreuse blade, leaving a silver Colorado blade in front. Cast this lure out and use a slow steady retrieve. For spinners, target holding areas that transition from five feet to depths of twelve to fifteen feet. If there is any type of cover for the fish to use as an ambush point, throw the bait past the cover and use a brief hesitation in your retrieve. Bass see this as an injured creature and their predatory instinct kicks in.
If soft plastics are your thing, a pearl colored grub fished on a ¼ ounce leadhead is deadly regardless of where you fish. A lighter weight bait may require the use of spinning tackle and 8 pound test line. Make sure your drag system is set correctly, big smallmouth have a big pull. A jig fished along the bottom with slow hopping retrieve is best to simulate the movement of the coveted crawfish. Match the color of the crawfish and the natural swimming motion and you're sure to boat several bass. Try to fish natural hide outs of the crawfish. Ledges, drop offs, and any rock piles or boulder rock are perfect places. I prefer baitcasting equipment to handle the bigger baits. I also prefer the retrieve and heavier drags found on the bait cast reels. When fishing for smallmouth I use the lightest line I can get away with, which maybe ten or twelve pound test line. Keep in mind a proper drag set is critical when using light line. You may also want to tangle with the huge Northern Pike that swims the same waters. Anything big, loud or shiny is like to draw the attention and hit of a huge Northern
The Foleys can manage the lake, the questions is; can you manage to boat the next record smallmouth? Hope to see you up at Pine Cliff Lodge.
I'll be Tennessean Ya'
For more information contact the Foleys at firstname.lastname@example.org
SMALLMOUTH BASS FISHING TACKLE
I would recommend 4 to 8 pound line for smallmouth bass fishing at our Ontario fishing lodge. I do not recommend steel leaders, so get ready to lose lures to northern pike cruising smallmouth bass waters. You will need a rod and reel that can cast a lure from 1/16 oz to 1/2 oz in weight. We recommend Grandt Rods for a great custom fishing rod made in the U.S.A. and with an Unconditional Lifetime Warranty. Mention Pine Cliff Lodge, and receive a 20% discount from all online pricing.
All American Pro Series (mid modulus rod)
007 - 6'6" Medium Spinning
C07 - 6'6" Medium Bait Casting
XLH70 Series (high modulus rod)
XS160ML - 6'0" Medium Lite Spinning
XC160ML - 6'0" Medium Lite Bait Casting
XS166M - 6'6" Medium Spinning
XC166M - 6'6" Medium Bait Casting
BEST LURES FOR SMALLMOUTH BASS FISHING
Mepps Thunder Bug size #1 & #2 any color
Mepps Long Aglia Dressed size #0 & #1 any color
Rattlin Rapala size 5 any color
Mann's Baby Minus 1 and Minus 4 - bone, gray ghost
Bill Dance Bomber Square A - baby thread fin shad
Bandit 200 and 100 Tennessee shad, blue gill, salad bar
Rapala Skitter Pop size 7 silver/black
Rebel PopR size 2" or 2 ½" Tennessee shad
Blue Fox Vibrax Flash size 1 and 2 any color
Soft Plastic Tubes 3" any color
Soft Plastic Grubs 2" and 3" any color
Soft Plastic Flukes 3" and 4" any color
Our Ontario fishing lodge carries $8,000 in tackle inventory to support your smallmouth bass fishing trip.