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Clear Water Smallmouth Spectacular

Clear Water Smallmouth Spectacular

Visiting Eastern Ontario's Opeongo Mountain Resort in Eganville on Lake Clear.

Smallmouth bass fishing on lakes with clear water can sometimes be tough.



Clear water conditions can sometimes force you to use finesse tactics, locate fish in deeper water, or fish during low-light conditions for the easiest bite.

These were the preconceived notions we had before arriving at our road trip destination in eastern Ontario, at Opeongo Mountain Resort in Eganville on Lake Clear. The name of the lake best describes the water clarity, but unlike the aforementioned, the smallmouth bass fishing was anything but tough. In fact, the bass fishing was awesome!

And not just with so-called finesse tactics like drop shot, or with lighter fluorocarbon lines and small bait; rather, we caught a large number of bass with swim baits, top water poppers, and jerk baits.

Lake Clear is six miles long and approximately 3/4-1.5 miles wide, almost 5,000 acres. The lake offers a variety of soft to hard bottom, with lots of scattered weed growth that attracts smallmouth, largemouth, northern pike, walleye, and panfish like bluegills and yellow perch. The lake is also famous for lake trout fishing in the deeper haunts. There are 18 islands on the lake and back bays that attract a lot of pike.

Opeongo Mountain Resort features clean, cozy cottages with lakefront views, air conditioned with kitchens and bathrooms. From microwave to coffee maker, they supply everything to make mealtimes as easy as possible. They also have shaded campsites available and a restaurant right on the beach called the Moose that offers full service dining from May to October. A marina with gas, boat ramp, and boat rentals are also on site. The resort is 100 miles west of Ottawa, approximately 32 miles from the closest city of Pembroke.

Fishing in Lake Clear isn't hard to learn. You don't have to be a pro to find fish on this lake. The many back bays, island points, sand flats, scattered rock piles, and deeper weed growth all hold some of the finest fishing in eastern Ontario.

We fished the sand flats leading to deeper water with scattered weed growth with Strike King Swim-N-Shiner swim baits on a screw lock jig head in 3/16 oz. on 10-pound line with spinning outfits, and found thick-bodied smallies in the two- to four-pound range simply casting to the shallower flats while positioning our boat over the deeper edges.

A simple countdown method of "one-steamboat, two-steamboats, three-steamboats" and then start your retrieve worked best for us.

These same sand flats and edges leading to deeper water produced some amazing topwater fishing, with smaller popper baits like the Strike King KVD Splash. Long casts and slow "pops" produced some of the best strikes.

For variety, we switched up to our heavier casting outfits and largemouth tackle and fished the deeper weed beds just out from the boat ramp, enjoying a great afternoon of picking the pockets in the deep weed for both largemouth bass, pike, and walleyes.

Although the fishing is what originally attracted us to Lake Clear and Opeongo Mountain Resort, the relaxing, family-friendly atmosphere of the resort and safe sandy beach made for some great fish tales after dinner with other guests while watching the sun set over the lake.

Looking for that someplace special this year that offers excellent fishing, clean spacious cottage and a relaxing vacation atmosphere that the entire family can enjo? Look no further than Opeongo Mountain Resort in eastern Ontario. We're looking forward to returning this year. Visit www.omresort.ca, email them at info@omresort.ca or call 1-800-565-9623 or 613-754-2054.

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