As I've written a coupla times earlier it was Lois who made the trip possible. That trip with Rod back in '66 never left my head. But, somehow, I never saw myself in the picture when I gave East Pike Lake a thought as to a revisit. Most often I recommended it to other people, my brother-in-law, guys I worked with. If someone brought up bass fishing I gave 'em the old, "You ever fish for smallmouth? " If they said yes, or even if they said no, I'd tell 'em to give East Pike a try.
Now, East Pike isn't a world class smallmouth bass lake by a long shot. To bring that about a body of water should be ten square miles or more. The bigger the better. I've seen some fine bass come out of the lake but twenty-one inches is the top. And they're few and far between. World class water would pop out a two footer every now and then. Twenty inchers, if not common, would come as no surprise.
But as far as numbers go, it's a fine body of water. A few dozen to the boat in the evening is no more than a good night's fishing. Top that off with being able to reach East Pike, camping gear and all, in an hour and a half. An ambitious fisherman can even stay in a lodge and day trip some good action. Not bad at all.
Everything about the BWCA screams smallie. Clean water, rubbled bottoms, excellent food sources. Came as a surprise to me that not a one swam the waters near the border with Canada till the turn of the twentieth century. Seems the Minnesota DNR stocked them from the trains that once traveled the border country. The bronze backs found the place to their liking, bred and spread out. They're still doing it. Check the Boundary Waters guides from thirty years ago and you'll find numbers of lakes that held none. And today those same lakes are fine bass waters.