Algoma, specifically the St. Mary's River System and Sault Ste. Marie, is one of the most well known and top places to fish for salmon, trout, and walleye in North America. From rainbow, lake, chinook, and coho to pink and Atlantic salmon, we pretty much have it all, and are extremely lucky to be able to fish for the species right in the city.
One of the most underrated and least pressured species we have in our system is the largemouth bass. There really aren't a lot of people in our area who willingly go out and target these fish, or even know that they are around. I can count on one hand the number of actual bass anglers we have in our area. If you follow me, it won't take long for you to tell that I am one those bass addicts, and why I call this place a trophy largemouth bass fishery. With countless fish seen and caught in the 5-pound class, and numerous 6- and even 7-pound fish, I consider our fishery one of the best in Ontario. You would also be surprised by how many other lakes these fish are actually in our area.
If you are looking to catch some of these great fish, you definitely have to travel off the main channel and river areas. Try to find those major back bays off the main channel that have shallower water and cover. These fish love cover, and also shade. Cover can mean everything from weed beds, weed lines, lily pads, matted vegetation, rocks, wood, and man-made structures like docks.
Once you find these areas, there are just so many ways you can catch these fish. I could literally go on for hours about all the different ways, baits, and techniques to use—that's what makes fishing for largemouth bass so addicting and unlike any other style of fishing—but I'll just give you some of my favourite go to baits that everyone can use. When fishing in shallow heavy cover its hard to beat, the fun you'll have throwing a soft, hollow-bodied topwater frog around like a Live Target Frog. Nothing beats the rush of being able to visually see a bass blowup on your frog.
For fishing areas that are a little deeper like weed-beds and rock structures and, also the man-made structures like docks I have two favourites. My number one, but rigged two different way,s is a Wacky rigged or Texas rigged soft plastic stick worm like a Yum Dinger. A wacky rig just means you place a small hook directly in the middle of the worm, and a Texas rig means using a bigger wide gap hook to make the bait weedless; adding a worm weight in front on the bait will help in deeper water and to penetrate cover. Lastly, a skirted jig with a soft plastic crawfish trailer, like a Northland Jungle Jig, can be used in all these areas.
Hopefully these tips can help you to take advantage of another special fishery we have here. There are so many things to take advantage of in our area, and the quality of fishing is one of them. Largemouth bass aren't the best table fare, but are an amazing game fish, so I always practice catch and release with them. If you plan on taking some home, and this also goes for all fish, do not take more than you need. Respect the fisheries and practice catch and release, so we can always have these amazing fisheries to enjoy.