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Summer Largemouth Bass

Here’s a typical Northern largemouth bass. Notice the gorgeous dark green hue. Ontario largemouth bass are a great example of how fish turn out living in fantastic water conditions. • Credit: Fish'n Canada
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Summer Largemouth Bass

Fish'n Canada fishes in the French River while the Beasley Brothers fish in the Bay of Quinte

This Fish’n Canada episode is made up of split hosts Ang and Pete, as well as Kevin and Paul Beasley. Our Fish'n Canada guys are up on the French River fishing near Lake Nipissing while the Beasleys are on the Bay of Quinte in Southern Ontario.

Although these two areas sound at almost extreme opposite poles of the country, the fact is that both waters the boys are fishing are very similar.

The Beasley Boys mostly work the massive lily pad fields in and among the main shore and islands in the Belleville, Ontario section of Quinte, while Angelo and Pete work a back bay with standing reeds as well as the entrance to a small river which also has a reed bank.

Beasley Brothers Bass Fishing
Paul and Kevin Beasley scoured the lily pad beds in the Bay of Quinte and came up with a bunch of great largemouth like this one. (Photo credit: Fish'n Canada)

“Pulling weedless frogs over the pads,” says Kevin, “is one of our all-time favourite ways of fishing for and setting into largemouth.”

Paul says, “It’s about as heart-stopping as seeing that big buck stop broadside at 25 yards.”

Meanwhile, Pete and Ang are working their gin clean water with four-inch Senkos on a light line. "If you think pulling a frog through the pads is heart-stopping,” says Pete, “then try using six and eight-pound line in the pencil reeds. . .that’s just crazy!”

Angelo concludes, “Sometimes you just have to do whatever it takes to get the job done.”

06 Angelo Bass FishingAngelo Viola unhooks a typical northern Ontario largemouth bass caught on a soft plastic in a standing reed bed near the French River. (Photo credit: Fish'n Canada)

The Bay of Quinte is primarily known as a walleye fishery; however, it has really come on strong in the last decade for largemouth bass. There is a smallmouth population as well but definitely not comparable to the largemouth. Most people think the largemouth boom is due to the introduction of Zebra Mussels. They filter the water so much that the newfound clarity promotes more, deeper and healthier weed growth.

Another weed in the bush for largemouth bass is the French River. Again, this is known as a walleye river with an amazing Muskie population as well, but largemouth runs freely in almost all the back bays.

Ang: “We discovered largemouth on the French years ago during our filming of The Last Cull, a fishing-based reality show. Headquarters for TLC was North Bay, Ontario, however,  many of the contestants were making the long haul all the way across Lake Nipissing to the French River end of the lake and bringing back big bags of Largemouth. This really opened our eyes.”

Pete: “Fast forward a number of years and on our first trip to Chaudiere Lodge, low and behold, a new and enlightening discovery for us: Northern strain largemouth... and lots of'em.”

We feel this episode is not only a great example of the geographic diversity of Ontario’s largemouth bass, but it also says loads about changing fisheries, as well as keeping an open mind when looking for fish species.

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