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Smallmouth Bass Fishing in Ontario

Ontario Smallmouth Bass Fishing

DESCRIPTION: This species is found to range in size from 14 inches to 17 inches, and exceeds 18 inches to produce world class trophy fishing. Also known as black bass, these fish are typically dark green in colour and have 8-15 pronounced to vague, thin, vertical dark bars down the sides of its body. Its eyes are red and sometimes orange in colour. It dorsal fin has 10 spiny rays, almost needle like, located on its back. The lack of sharp teeth allows the angler to “lip” this species, as you can put your thumb in its mouth and support its lower jaw with your forefinger to land it in the boat.

Smallmouth Bass are very aggressive in the spring when they are spawning or on their “beds”. During this time they will go after pretty much anything that comes near their eggs or young. A good pair or Polarized sunglasses will make a huge difference when fishing Smallies during this time. When they are done on the beds they will settle in 16-20 foot depths off or rocky shoals and reefs ~ this is the time when jigs and leeches are most successful.

DISTRIBUTION: A wide range of lakes offer this feisty fish, mostly in the southern region of our area. Big Vermilion, Little Vermilion and connecting waters, Minnitaki, and Southeastern Lac Seul host excellent waters to fish for this species. This fish will spawn in late spring (late May to early July) when the water temperatures are between 55° F and 68° F. As summer progresses, this fish will move to deeper waters off reefs and rocky points usually in 10 feet to 20 feet of water. The fall produces some of the biggest Smallmouth Bass in the area where they are caught in stump fields, weed beds, and off rocky points.

ANGLING METHODS: There are three different stages this species goes through in relation to forage. At specific times of the year, this fish will predominantly seek either leeches, minnows, or crayfish. The key to fishing for this species is to be prepared to use any one of the previously mentioned species as bait, or typically, have artificial tackle which represents any one of these baits. While this fish is spawning, it will not hesitate to strike at anything which passes close to its nest. This is an ideal time of year to use top-water baits, crankbaits, and jigs tipped with a rubber worm or a leech. As the season progresses, jigging becomes more productive as they may be in deeper waters.

TROPHY SMALLMOUTH BASS FISHING: Like the Northern Pike fishing, all the lakes we fish hold good populations of Smallmouth Bass and the opportunity to catch a trophy Smallmouth Bass is tremendous on any one of the lakes. Our office staff and guides will help you make your decision as to which lake you want to fish for trophy Smallmouth Bass depending on what other species you would like to fish for that day and what time of year it is.

Hardware Suggestions
  • 4’6” to 7’ one or two piece
  • Ultra Light to Med-Lite action, fast tip.
  • Spinning rods are most common.
  • We carry a full line of fishing rods should you want to pick up a new Bass rod when you arrive.
  • Guide Choice: St. Croix Premier 5’6” Ultra Lite Power, Fast Action, 2 – 6 lb. 1/32 – 3/16 oz..
  • Sized to match length and action of rod.
  • Capacity to hold 90 yards of 8 lb test line.
  • Guide Choice: Pflueger President Spinning Reel Model 6925X.
  • 8 lb monofilament or florocarbon line recommended.
  • Guide Choice: Viscious Advanced Copolymer 8 lb.
  • Black 1/16 – 1/8 oz lead head jigs.
  • Black Marabou Jig—1/16 oz
  • Heddon Tiny Torpedo—assorted colours
  • Rapala Rattlin Rap ~ RNR 05 of assorted colours
  • Mepps Aglia Size 3 ~ B3D
  • Any type of smaller hard body baits for early season.
  • Guide Choice: 1/8 oz black jig tipped with a leech.
Key with this species:
  • Your Walleye rod will work for this species – just adjust your line weight to 8 lb. test
  • Bass love leeches
  • In many circumstances Bass fishing requires a little finesse.
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