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Weeds and Rice and Everything is Nice for Bass

Fishing for Bass on Rice Lake at Tower Manor Lodge



Anglers worldwide know that bass are attracted to weedsrich, thick, weedsand the more the merrier, right?

How about weeds near rocky island points for smallmouth and largemouth bass?

Or maybe large lily pad fields for top water bass fishing with plastic frogs?

If this sounds ideal to you, then Rice Lake is the place for you!

Rice Lake is located in southeastern Ontario in Northumberland and Peterborough Counties, and is located on the Trent-Severn Waterway. It’s 32 km long and 5 km wide; Indigenous people called it "Pemadashdakota" or "lake of the burning plains."

Rice Lake is fairly shallow and was named for the wild rice which grew in it; it was harvested by the Indigenous people of the area. The Village of Bewdley sits on the west end of the lake and the town of Hastings sits on the east.

aerial view of rice lake

The lake is a favourite tourist attraction and is recognized for its recreational and sports fisheries. Some vacationers we met said Rice Lake is said to be the lake with the most fish in Ontario which includes pan fish, walleye, muskie, crappie, and bass; we came for the bass were not disappointed!

We stayed at Tower Manor Lodge, located just east of the Village of Bewdley, and having their own boat ramp and docking systems made our daily excursions into the lake that much more easy and convenient. Tower Manor Lodge offers clean housekeeping cottages, trailer rentals, and seasonal RV sites as well as a trailer park and campgrounds.

The cottage we stayed in had ice-cool air conditioning, new appliances, satellite color television, and spacious bedrooms that made our stay a pleasurable one.

tower manor cottage
(Photo credit: Tower Manor Lodge)

When we arrived, the lake was in full bloom, meaning the weed growth was perfect for the kind of bass fishing I like: in the weeds, on top of the weeds, and along thick, deep weed lines. Rice Lake is on most navigation systems, so locating prime fishing locations is easier than you may think on your boat's sonar system or electronics.

In addition to the railroad track that crosses the lake (which is clearly marked), three red and green buoy marker crossing locations are available for boaters travelling east or west on the lake.

I located some new, thick weed beds with a mixture of two to three different kinds of weeds in the same location in approximately 8-10 feet of water, situated off an island point, and began dunking and pitching soft plastic baits, rigged weedless, into the thickest stuff I could find. Rigged on a 7' 4" heavy action St. Croix casting outfits with 16-pound fluorocarbon line, and a one-quarter ounce worm weight pegged against the wide gap hook; this ensures stronger hook sets and the ability to pull bigger bass out of the thicker weeds once hooked.

It didn't take long to locate bass once I found the thicker weeds in the vast weed beds and hooked a solid 3-plus-pound smallmouth bass living in the same thick weeds where I was expecting largemouth. Talk about a scrap! These brown bass of Ontario do not know when to give up, ever!

angler with bass
(Photo credit: Karl Kalonka)

I was here to enjoy the fishing and not necessarily for dinner, so I took some quick photos of my catch and released the fish back into the thick weeds from which she came.

Marking the location on my fish finder, I made wide circles around the exact location the first fish came from, stayed within 50 feet of the waypoint on my GPS unit, continued to probe the thickest weeds within the vast weed bed, and proceeded to hook a bunch of chunky 2- to 3-pound-plus largemouth bass. On several occasions, I caught up to three fish on three consecutive casts to the same weed clump.

Talk about exciting bass fishing!

angler with bass
(Photo credit: Karl Kalonka)

We had the time of our lives fishing the thick weed beds of Rice Lake, and I am sure if you make the trip once, you will return to this angling gem that continually attracts family vacationers and anglers across North America who continue to call Rice Lake the lake with the most fish, year after year, season after season.

Visit with Tower Manor Lodge Cottages & Campsites on Rice Lake, Bewdley Ontario. Visit: www.towermanorlodge.com Phone: (905) 342-2078 Email: towerman@eagle.ca

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