Pound for pound the gamest fighter to be found, smallmouth bass have thrived in Ontario's north woods lakes and are readily available to anglers. This species is a real thrill for the light-tackle enthusiast and an excellent fish for catch-and-release fishing, as they have no teeth to tackle with. You’re sure to enjoy Ontario smallmouth bass fishing at Lake of the Woods! Bass season is open all year round; however, it is catch-and-release only during the month of June.
Fishing Smallmouth Bass in the Spring
Where you'll find them:
- Smallmouth bass love rock and spend more than ninety percent of their time on this hard structure.
- Post-spawn smallies will remain close to shallow rocky areas of the lake until the temperature of the water warms considerably.
- Islands, points and shoals are the three preferred spots to begin your smallmouth search, starting each area up shallow and moving deeper until you connect with fish.
Topwater plugs, crankbaits and jigs are the preferred baits early in the season and "matching the hatch" by using crayfish coloured is a sure-bet to entice fish into the boat.
Summer fishing can often be a "hit and miss" attempt due to whereabouts of the fish during this time.
- Early morning and evening periods will usually find fish in shallow water aggressively feeding - this is where topwaters really excel and will lead to heart-stopping explosions on the surface.
- Daytime smallies will retreat to the safety of deeper water and will relate to depths from six to thirty-feet deep. The one thing they will relate to is structure, and having a dependable fish finder on board will become your underwater eyes.
- Look for humps, shelves and drop offs and work a jig over these underwater magnets.
- Due to the schooling nature of the smallmouth bass, once one is caught, there are sure to be more to come.
The fall time means one thing to a bass angler - BIG smallies. Fish at this time of year gorge themselves on crayfish and minnows in anticipation of the cold winter months. Searching for these hungry fish is the key to catching them, and concentrating on some of the spots you had success on earlier in the season will help you unlock the location factor.
- Points, saddles and shoals will hold smallies at this time of the year, however, the school will be situated farther from shore and in deeper water in comparison to their summer counterparts.
- Begin your search by finding water in the 20-foot depth and continue working until you hit 35 feet. Most of your fall fish will relate to water this deep and once you catch some, the remainder of the lakes' fish will be holding at this magical depth.
Rattle traps, cranks and jigs are the artillery for the fall enthusiast, and using a marker buoy to stay with the school and at the optimum depth will increase your chances of connecting.
Best Fishing Methods to Catch Smallmouth Bass:
- Casting or fly fishing using 4 – 6 pound test line
Other Recommended Tackle:
- Mepps 1, 2 or 3 with bucktail
- Number 7 Rapala
- Small crankbait
- Mister Twister
- Artificial night crawler
- Small Daredevle
- Rebel crawfish