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Five Must-Visit Ontario Bass Stops

Luigi DeRose with a couple of southern Ontario smallmouth bass. • Credit: Luigi DeRose
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Five Must-Visit Ontario Bass Stops

These are just five bass stops in Ontario that should be on your bucket list

Ontario offers some of the best bass fishing in the world. Diverse fisheries teeming with largemouth and smallmouth lure anglers from around the world. If you’re after record-book bass away from the crowds, then here are five hot stops to get you started.

Kawartha Lakes

The Kawartha Lakes region is a series of 15 lakes within the 386 kilometres Trent-Severn Waterway in central Ontario. Each lake and the connecting serpentine river system are unique in configuration and topography. From shallow lily fields in marshy back bays to deep, clear Canadian Shield granite rock shorelines, anglers always have something new to fish. Smallmouth and largemouth abound throughout the entire system. A variety of accommodation options is found in the numerous towns, lodges and provincial parks in the region. The Kawarthas is an ideal destination for the angler who enjoys a diversity of fisheries and techniques.

Guide: Mike Williams www.williamsoutfitters.com

Lake Ontario at Kingston

Kingston is blessed with beauty and bountiful fishing. Framing the eastern boundary of Lake Ontario, this gateway to the St. Lawrence River holds rocky outcrops and scattered islands amidst water that is clear, cool and full of life. Both green and brown bass flourish here and anglers should target rocky flats, island points and sunken islands in the main lake. Expect to catch record-book smallmouth on goby baits.

Lake St. Clair

Considered by many as the sixth Great Lake, Lake St. Clair links Lake Huron and Lake Erie via St. Clair and Detroit Rivers. Measuring 42 kilometres from north to south and 39 kilometres wide from the Ontario to Michigan shorelines, this lake is a smallmouth mecca. St. Clair is best known for numbers but smallmouth over six pounds are caught with consistency. Try working the vast sand flats with fast-moving baits or bouncing the bottom with jigs. When venturing into either river, expect pods of chunky smallmouth ducking strong currents behind rock and sand bars.

Guide: Jon Bondy lakestclairfishing.com

(Photo credit: Luigi DeRose)

Lake of the Woods

At over 4,300 square kilometres, this northwestern gem is immense. With thousands of islands, shoals and bays, this expanse of clear, clean water demand a top-notch GPS before you leave the ramp. The beauty of Lake of the Woods is that multiple presentations produce whether you’re pitching to largemouth bass in the shallows or focusing on deep breaks for smallmouth. Largemouths are sporadically located but the venture is worth it, considering the numerous 6 pounders available. Dozens of lodges, rugged scenery, pristine waters and countless opportunities make Lake of the Woods a must.

Guide: Dave Bennet www.davebennettoutdoors.com

Lake Nipissing

Located in central Ontario, Lake Nipissing reflects the ruggedness of the Canadian Shield. The only crowds you’ll encounter on the third-largest lake in Ontario (excluding the Great Lakes) will be the schools of smallmouth that roam the seemingly endless shorelines, shallow bars and boulder flats. North Bay, Sturgeon Falls and numerous smaller communities join a profusion of lodges offering accommodations and outfitting.

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