Urban Bassin' in the Lower Mainland
The Lower Mainland of British Columbia isn't known for its bass fishing, and with trophy salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon, you can't blame anglers for overlooking this non-native species. However, with the plethora of shallow, weedy lakes in the Fraser Valley, largemouth bass and their spiny-ray cousins have found a permanent home among the office buildings and shopping malls. While their presence in the region has been a hotly debated topic among local anglers, they have found a niche within the most densely populated area of the province, and offer great sportfishing when the trout fishing hits its midsummer nadir.
I managed to squeeze out some free time this B.C. Day long weekend between visiting family in Langley, so I decided to spend it chasing after some Lower Mainland hawgs.
I drove out to some familiar stomping grounds in Abbotsford, a swampy looking spot called Fishtrap Creek, where monster bass cruise amongst discarded shopping carts and computer monitors. Not exactly a pristine fishing spot, but easily accessible off of Mt. Lehman Road with a large parking lot and many access points off a paved walking path.
I didn't get out there until after 8 p.m. but it didn't take long to find some quality fish. Within a short order, I landed several fish in the 1 to 2 pound range and continued to take in fish steadily until just after 9 when it started getting dark. However, I kept hucking away, and finally tied into something solid shortly after a long cast. The fish quickly worked me into some thick weeds and I couldn't budge it from my position on shore. After trying to work it out for a few minutes, I was beginning to lose hope, but with one last desperate move I let out some slack line in the hopes that the fish would work itself loose. Somehow it did, and my next tug released it from the thick weeds. I quickly dragged the fish in, which I believed to be about two pounds, but I was wrong. This thing was easily four pounds, and thick. After a few pictures it was safely released to its watery home and I was headed back to the car. A nice Lower Mainland largemouth bass.
Lower Mainland lakes have a long growing season, and rarely ever ice up in winter. This leads to some of the biggest bass in Canada. Here are six of the top spots to try for bass in the area:
1. Fishtrap Creek, Abbotsford
2. Mill Lake, Abbotsford
3. Pitt Lake sloughs, Pitt Meadows
4. Minnekhada Slough, Coquitlam
5. Hatzic Lake, Mission
6. Albert Dyck Park, Abbotsford
Check out Riverside Fly and Tackle in Coquitlam for your bass gear. Reaction Fly and Tackle in Chilliwack and Wholesale Sports and the Army & Navy in Langley are also good spots.