All About the Bass, ’bout the Bass
June 15 is the opening of the season on Smallmouth Bass on Lac Kipawa. While many of us wonder what this fairly warm water species is doing up here, and what accounts for their recent flourishing in the North part of Kipawa, the reality is that they are here, they are big, and they fight like nothing else.
I remember as a kid how my brothers and I would drag a canoe through the bush to fish the small ponds behind our family cottage, those between Highway 101 and Kipawa. In those days it was rare to catch bass, yet those small lakes along the old rail line were full of Smallies. That was 35 years ago. So it stands to reason that these pesky and adaptable fish would eventually find their way into the Kipawa system.
Is this a bad thing? I don’t know, but if we believe that they have occurred here naturally, and that this is part of the ongoing evolution of the ecosystem, and that there is little we can do about it, then we might as well embrace them and go cast a Mepps. If you really don’t like them in our lake, then keep some for a shore lunch or to bring home. Out of cold water like this their meat is sweet, firm and free of parasites, unlike their warm water cousins. I have a great recipe for foil-baked bass fillets with fresh dill, cheddar cheese and sour cream if you want to see how good these guys can be on the gas grill.
Time will tell what the long term impact will be of having Bass in Lake Kipawa. But I do know that on the lake in Ontario where we were outfitters for almost twenty years prior to Two Moon Lodge, we saw that lake go from having no bass, to a being infested with Smallmouth. During that same time the Walleye population grew even more, to become a better Walleye fishery than it had prior to the Bass. The species that suffered was the Northern Pike. Their numbers seemed to decline inversely to the increase in Bass numbers.
Who knows what the future holds, but I do know that on a slow walleye afternoon, its great to go bass hunting.
Oh, and we have some fresh dill in the herb garden if you need some.