What a different year 2020 has been! I guess that would be an understatement, with a pandemic all over the world and being quarantined for the better part of three months, so it was sure nice to get out fishing.
Leo and Ron worked with a skeleton crew and headed up to beautiful Lake of Bays in Muskoka, Ontario for some great smallmouth bass fishing and it was like the fish had never seen a lure before.
After checking into the lodge we headed out to the Lund to go over our Garmin lake maps on our fish finder looking for structure before even launching the boat. There are two reasons for this, one is to mark any hazards that we might encounter out there and also to mark some fishing spots like points, sand, weeds and rock as this can eliminate so much time instead of just driving around looking for spots.
After dropping the boat in, we noticed a river less than a kilometre away and stopped to fish it and it was a good thing we did. There was current coming out of the river and as you got out in front there was a sandbar that went from two feet of water to 30 feet of water in seconds. It was like a major sandbar with a sharp drop off, talk about a perfect spot for smallmouth to ambush bait. We pulled out search baits looking for fish…Leo pulled out a Rapala husky jerk and I pulled out a 13Fishing swimbait to cover water and see if the fish were feeding on top of the sand, on the edge or on the bottom. We made maybe three cast each and Leo tagged in to a smallmouth just off the edge and we were off to a really good start. Smallmouth are funny fish, when they're on structure there is usually more than one and that was good news for us as we caught three more fish off that spot before the fish knew we were there.
The thing I have noticed with smallmouth, you will catch a few fish right away and then they will kind of shut down once they know you're there. But once they are used to you being there you can usually get a few more bites, so we hung around for another 20 minutes and picked up one more before we decided to move on. The great thing about the Garmin maps is that we can look around the lake for similar structure so we did just that—looking for sand or sandbars that drop into deeper water. The good thing about Lake of Bays is that there are all kinds of structure to fish—if the fish are on sand you can find sand, if they're on rock you can find rock and we have seen fish just chasing bait fish in 80 feet of water.
The next spot we hit was almost the same as the first but it was a lot larger, the sand went down the shore about a half kilometre and the drop wasn’t as sharp but the wind was blowing towards that shore which sometimes loads bait along the ridge. We started a little deeper as we did get some fish deep on the first spot. As we worked the edge, Ron decided to throw a Rapala Skitter V (that is a great top water bait made by Rapala) towards the shore, literally in two feet of water on the sand. With the first twitch, an explosion happened, a three-pound smallmouth on a topwater bait. That has to be the best way to catch fish!
Leo and I went down that shore throwing topwater baits to catch twenty more fish but they were all the same size, two to two and half pounds. We were looking for bigger fish, so we went and hit some rock points that had wind blown on them and BANG, it happened! We hit the first point and Leo hooks a four-pounder, we went to the next point and it was my turn to get a four- and half-pounder, it was nearing the end of the day and went and hit one more point and Leo boated a five-pound plus fish which made our trip, we went back to Lake of Bays Lodge and had a nice BBQ and talked about our day on the water.
Nothing beats getting back to a great resort and some awesome fishing after a lockdown.