**1. Endless Smallmouth Bass**** [BRACKET "Ontario"] **
Straddling the Ontario-Minnesota border, 227,000-acre Rainy Lake is one of the best places I've ever discovered that's big enough to share. There are nearly 2,000 small, rocky islands dotting the main lake, which together with a convoluted, craggy shoreline and countless underwater humps and reefs form ideal habitat for big smallmouths. Oddly enough, the fish are sometimes lonely. Whereas the lake's southern end, including Voyageurs National Park, tends to be busy, we never saw more than four or five other fishing boats each day in four days of fishing north of the border.