The following article was written based on an interview with Mark Lovering who is a seasonal camper at Lake Forest Resort on the north shore.
Q: How long have you been fishing Great East?
A: About 9 years.
Q: What species are found in Great East?
A: Rainbow trout, lake trout, pickerel, sunfish, black crappie, perch, small and large mouth bass.
Q: What is the best strategy in the spring, before Memorial Day?
A: The Temperature of the water is critical, below 50 degrees everything bites. Even Lake Trout will venture into shallow waters. The Second Basin and Scribner River are good early in the season for all species. Fish the shallow waters with surface lure; popper plugs are exciting when a bass hits on the surface. You can use a “rattletrap lipless crank bait” (a plastic small fish imitation which is retrieved) or a “Senko” plastic worm which can be rigged weedless by threading the hook thru the tip and embedding the point in the body. These colorful worms wiggle as they sink and are irresistible to bass.
Q: What about after Memorial Day?
A: When the water temperature reaches 60 degrees most species retreat to deeper waters. The female large mouth bass spawn in the shallow waters and lay their eggs in about a week. The smaller males guard the nest for a month afterwards. A few bass, pickerel, and perch stay in the Basin and River all summer. A night crawler and bobber will still provide a youngster with a chance to catch a fish.
Q: In the summer– June, July and August– where are the opportunities?
A: The large mouth bass, which is what I primarily fish for, move to large rocks 15 to 30 feet deep. These are found off points and around islands and rock shoals, sometimes several hundred feet away. You must fish down on the bottom. I use a double tailed grub or other “creature” lures which simulate crawfish, on a ”football” jig and let it sink. I have caught several lake trout while fishing for bass with this rig.
Q: What do you recommend for rods and reels?
A: I provide closed face spin reels, Zebco type, because they are easy for my guests to use, and fluorocarbon line because it transmits the feel of the lures. For more experienced fishermen, open faced spin reels or casting reels with braided line are popular.
Q: How does the weather affect the fishing?
A: When a cold front passes, play golf! The fish will not be active. When it is windy, a spinner lure below the waves will raise fish. The temperature and clarity of the water are important.
Q: And finally, what do you like best about fishing?
A: I like being out on the water, enjoying the sky and the weather. I see eagles, ospreys, Canada geese and loons and their young: every bird, fish and reptile interacting in a beautiful environment. When you work indoors as I do every day during the week, being out on Great East Lake on weekends is the