This lake has everything going for it. There are only five cabins (some were more like houses!) and for the past three times I have been there, there has been no other fishers to speak of. When I did see a couple swinging flies/lures around, I could tell they weren't doing very well. Some of the owners I talked to seem clued out as to what they have, not even knowing what kind of fish were in the lake. Many lakes that I have gone to over the years have at the most 20% cabin occupancy at any given time. The young people seem uninterested in the outdoor experience. Overprotective parents think it is too dangerous for their kids. My, have things changed! This is all very good for fishermen, at least in the short term! In the long term if we don't have many fishers to follow us, we may see more program cuts. But for a lake like this with natural species, it is great. This lack of fishing pressure certainly is a factor. I also believe that the few of us who do fish there know how to safely catch and release fish.
If you ever get the opportunity to go to a private lake with no public access, you will experience fishing the way it should be, and perhaps could be if we were more pro-active in getting the Ministries to change regulations and to crack down on harvesting fish. At the FMZ Council meetings on Bass we didn't deal with catch limits as we were told that most people release bass, but I am beginning to wonder if that is really true.
Some of these five pounders could be 20 years old. That is a "senior citizen". I don't take my fish out of the water by the mouth and hang it vertically for a picture like you see everywhere, even by the professionals who should know better. Why don't you try that with your grandpa next time you visit him at the old folks home. Hey Gramps, lets have a picture and grab him by the jaw. Think about it. These large bass are coming to end of their lives. Their jaw structure is probably as weak as Gramps. Probably OK for the little tykes. Leave Gramps in the water! A biologist told me that hanging a fish by its mouth vertically will start to rearrange its internal organs.
These fish were not jumping into the tube. The take was very subtle and the best results were with slow jerking retrieves down about 10 feet after having cast to shore. Leech imitations seemed the best. Even my orange maribou Jansen Leech was catching but green worked when the sun was out and darker colours when it was overcast. It seems that the LM are overtaking the SM. Let's hope that is not a trend everywhere. We were using balanced leeches until the massive pike chewed them off.