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Largemouth Bass At West Bay Cottages

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Largemouth Bass At West Bay Cottages

An Aerial Shot of West Bay Cottages • Credit: Fish TV

Fish TV takes a trip to Northeastern Ontario



It was mid-August, and the Fish TV crew headed north to beautiful Lake Nipissing to shoot a show.

Before we get in to the fishing, let’s talk about the accommodations at West Bay Cottages. They are located on the west bay of Lake Nipissing in Northeastern Ontario with six small quaint cottages.

This family-owned resort makes you feel right at home. Jim and Mimi are fantastic hosts and will help you with anything you need to make your stay comfortable, with brand new boats and motors to rent, a great dock, and some fun water toys to enjoy. The cottages come with a BBQ and fire pit for cooking, also TV with satellite on the rainy days you can’t get out on the water. This place is sure to make you want to come back!

Now, let’s talk about the fishing! West Bay has so much to offer when it comes to fishing different species—from smallmouth to pike to trophy muskie, and the walleye fishing is unbelievable with fish catches up to 60 fish a day!

But for our adventure, we were after the Largemouth Bass. West Bay isn’t really known for its Largemouth Bass, but there are locations that are just filled with them, and they are literally untouched as a lot of people focus on the walleye. The key is to look for creeks and back bays that have a ton of weeds and lily pads, and that’s what we focused on when looking at the map, even before we got started.

When it comes to Lake Nipissing and the West Bay area, you had better have a good Garmin GPS unit, with rocks just under the surface and all over the place. A Garmin GPS unit will map out the safest route to get you to these back creeks and bays so you can enjoy every minute of these jumping Largemouth Bass. When we finally reached our destination and got to our first creek, I was getting a little worried.

The vegetation wasn’t up, very little weed and hardly any lily pads; we fished the area for about two hours and never got a bite. But this was only the first creek, and if you look at the map, there are several creeks in West Bay that you can access. So with not a bite, we decided to check the next one, and as we were getting close I could already see the difference with lily pads already up on the outside of the creek and weeds all over the mouth of the creek that had been up for a while. Right then I knew we were going to get some fish, there was no doubt about it.

The first cast Leo took, he hooked into about a 2-pound largemouth, and we hadn’t even got near the mouth of the creek. Now let me explain: when I say creek… this isn’t a creek that is running shallow water down some rapids, this is a creek that is at least 6 to 7 feet deep in the middle, and will have lily pads and weeds on each side right to the banks. The perfect creek will have deep water in the centre; the deeper the creek, the better the fishing will be.

So back to the fishing! As we worked our way in to the creek we spotted bait fish, blue gill, perch, and others. This is a fantastic sign—when you see this, you know there will be fish in the creek. Between Leo, myself and Jeff we must have had 20 rods out on the deck of the Lund, not knowing whether the fish are going to be on the edge of the deep water or right back under the pads and weeds in the shallow water on the bank, so it was a process of elimination. We worked the deeper weeds on our way in and caught a few small fish, but just weren’t on the bigger ones.

The thing is, when you are catching fish steady like that, it is hard to make a move because you are having fun. But we knew that there are big fish in Lake Nipissing, so we decided to head in off the main creek channel and head into the thick cover and towards the bank.

Well, are we ever glad we did! The fish started moving all over the place and they were in 2 feet of water or less. The problem was that they were very spooky. When it comes to big fish in shallow water they can feel everything under the water, from the sound of your trolling motor to dropping something on the bottom of your boat. So we started moving our way back in very shallow water, but what we would do is use the MotorGuide trolling motor and push our way through the weeds and then drop our PowerPoles.

For those of you that don’t know what a PowerPole is, it is a shallow water hydraulic anchor that will hold you in to place up to 8 feet by just pushing a button. Then once the PowerPoles were down, we would just sit there for about five minutes or so until the fish settled down, and then we started casting in any direction. With all the rods that we had on the deck, we would end up with one rod each in our hand: an 8-foot heavy action rod with an R-type reel with 65 lb suffix 832 braided line. With the 8-foot rod, we could make really long casts (and that was a key) with the 65-lb text braid, we could get the fish out of the heavy cover, so equipment is a must when you are fishing shallow water Largemouth Bass.

Once we were quiet and fished the area that we anchored in, we would take our MotorGuide trolling motor a little further and drop the poles again and make long casts. After six hours of top water fishing between Leo, myself, and Jeff, we caught over 30 Largemouth Bass from 2 to 4 pounds, and we never saw another boat all day.

So the next time you head up to West Bay Cottages, make sure you pack a Garmin GPS, some Rapala heavy action rods and some Terminator frogs, and you will have a blast just like we did!

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