Moose Bay Company
John Herrick’s Smallmouth Trips
Moose Lake & Birch Lake
August 24-30, 2007
My best friend Jonathan and I visited John Herrick’s Moose Bay Company up in Ely, Minnesota to try some of the fabulous smallmouth trips we have heard through various media sources. We stayed for five full days and had a guide for the first two days canoeing into Birch Lake where we caught some nice walleyes and smallmouth. For the remaining three days we casted the shallow flats, jigged with big sucker minnows, and trolled the shoreline in 25 feet or less for northern and smallmouth in Moose Lake. It was a fantastic time!
My dream was to land a smallmouth over 20 inches. Two trips devoted to smallmouth. On this trip it happened… It was the fourth day of the trip. End of August and autumn was just around the corner. Calm, sunny skies early morning became cloudy and overcast during the afternoon. We casted all morning and catching a few smaller smallmouth and northerns. We decided to try our luck on the windward side of the lake and trolled the rocky shoreline ranging from 2 feet to 15 feet. I was trolling a 5″ pumpkin pepper colored curly tail grub on 8 lb. test line and Jon was using the same set up only the lure was pearl color. As we passed over a ridge my lure bumped bottom twice and shortly after I got a hit that bent my rod in half… I set the hook and my drag was screeching and line was peeling. A couple of runs underneath the boat had me really concerned as I was thinking this line is going to break and I will never see what this fish is. Moments later I got it close to the boat and my friend Jon netted it… It was a smallmouth! A big smallmouth at 21 inches! My biggest and personal best. I got a couple photos and released her in hope of catching her again in the future.