I just got back from my 2019 Canadian Fishing trip at bear lake camp and I wanted to share with you my experiences on the island. We left early on the 4th of july to break up our driving into 2 days. Stopping in St Helen at my friends summer place for the night gave us a relaxing start to the next leg of our trip. From St Helen we went over the Mackinaw Bridge into the U.P. so that we could cross over into Canada in Sault Ste Marie. From the Sault we drove to Espanola Ontario to spend the night at Pinewood Inn. We would be catching our boat ride to the island early the following morning and wanted to be on the docks before 8am ready to go. We got there at 7:45 and the boats had already dropped off the returning guests and were waiting for us to board. It is surprising how much stuff 5 guys can bring on a 7 day fishing trip. That is us backing down a pickup full stuff. There is another truck waiting to unload also.
We loaded the boats and left for the island. It would take approx 45 mins to get to the island we would be on. We had to pass through a series of lakes to get back to the largest lake in the chain, Bear Lake.
The owner of the lodge, Major Bill Drane, was one of the captains to pick us up and gave us a little history lesson on the area as we were working our way through the passes between lakes.
The further we went back the more secluded it became until we finally came up on the Lodge. He made 1 pass around the island then took us to our cabin on the other side of the island.
After unpacking everything and making sure the beer was on ice we went outside to take possession of our boats and get our equipment ready to fish.
we had lunch, got all of our rods rigged and decided to take out the boats for our first trip. I was going to troll first so I took out a boat solo while the rest of the group followed our guide John Myers to an area of the lake that might hold some walleye. They all took off and when I went to go I found out my boat would not get on plane, it just would not get going. After several attempts to take off I lifted the motor to see that the prop was badly damaged. I went back into dock and contacted the Major. Within a few minutes his mechanic was at our door ready to check out the boat. We agreed to swap the boat for another and he would fix the prop in the morning. By then the rest of the group was already back in with fish to clean. Walleye, Pike, lake trout and small mouth bass were on the table in the cleaning station.
They had caught enough fish for a fish fry the next day and some to save for another meal.
Crawler harnesses or 1/4 oz jigheads tipped with a crawler were the best setups. The lake is very deep in areas but these fish all came in an area that was only 16' deep surrounded by 30-40' . We would never have found this if it were not for John. John went with us but he took his wife Sandy so they stayed in another cabin. John has fished this area for over 20 years and his knowledge of this lake was invaluable. It didnt hurt that he was an old high school friend also. everyday John gave us an area to try and took us on several day trips. I know I would have gotten lost many times if it were not for him. A map of the area is a must and a fish finder with built in gps is not a bad idea either.
The more we got comfortable with the lake and the surrounding area the more we fished further away from our base camp. on Weds Ben Rock and I as well as John and Sandy prepared to fish on a back lake for bass and pike. We had to carry all of our equipment as well as a small 2hp gas motor for each boat so we packed as carefully as we could and ventured out.
here is a photo of john, our pack mule carrying as much as he can. The path to our first lake was rather steep and I really felt it. We saw moose tracks on the trail and with the size of those tracks I was glad we did not see the moose.
We made it past the first lake, removed the motors and walked another steep trail to get to lake bassoon, our destination.
John told us the lake was full of bass and it did not disappoint. The 4 of us caught and released a ton of small mouth and large mouth as well as a crazy amount of pike.
It took approx 2 hours to get back to Lake Bassoon from our cabin so around 3pm we decided to head back.
Thursday was our day of bad weather. It had been nice up until then. We were able to fish in the morning but by afternoon the clouds moved in and the winds picked up. The rains soon followed. We had hoped the winds would lay down near dark but it blew all night long. Thursday night we went with plan B and they taught me how to play cribbage. It was the only time we got the cards out. The rest of the time it was perfect fishing weather.
Friday morning the wind died down and the lake was fishable again so we all headed out one more time to see if we could connect with a few more fish.
Everyone caught fish and we have proof in our photos except for 1. Th organizer of the event, Dan Hudolin. He caught a nice 25" walleye the last day and we were catch and release by then so I did not get a photo of it... Sorry Dan.
All I could find was the little walleye he caught.
John and Sandy also posed for photos with their catches. Sandy caught so many bass and walleye her wrist was sore.
John with another nice walleye!
We gave up our boats friday around 6pm and then went back to the cabin and started to tell fish stories and make our last dinner in camp. We had to get up at 6am to be ready for pickup at 7am so it was time to pack up and clean the cabin.
6:30 we had moved all of our stuff to the docks and waited for our rides. We had fun but we were ready to start the drive home.
Here we all are at the dock at Lang Lake Resort. Our trucks are loaded and the trip home begins.
I would definitely go back to the same area and fish again. I liked the seclusion without having to do a fly in. The camp host Major Bill Drane was very accommodating and took care of anything that came up. If you are considering a trip like this in the future look them up. Great place to relax and catch some fish and enjoy some of the Canadian wilderness. Check them out here.