One of the greatest perks of my career choice is exploring new, unspoiled angling adventures across our beautiful province of Northern Ontario.
With thousands of lakes, rivers and reservoirs, there is never a shortage of variety no matter which region we may decide to explore and one of the finest regions for warm water smallmouth bass is bordered on two of the greatest of the Great Lakes, Superior and Huron, which is called Algoma Country.
Algoma Country is located in Northern Ontario and is a place that has to be experienced! The inland geography with its old growth forests and countless rivers, lakes and streams mean Algoma is home to astounding wildlife and fishing and hunting opportunities that will simply yearning to return. Its landscapes will make you gasp. Its people will make you feel welcome. The summer is a playground of fresh water, warm weather, countless waterways to fish and no crowds.
On a recent early summer trip to Algoma, we decided to book our accommodations with a family friendly location near Thessalon, Ontario called Birch Lake Resort and plan daily trips to nearby lakes for smallmouth bass.
Thessalon is a town located at the junction of Highway 17 and Highway 129 on the north shore of Lake Huron. It is surrounded by, but not part of, the municipality of Huron Shores, and is part of Algoma District.
This region of Algoma abounds with lakes and rivers that have both numbers and trophy sized smallmouth with very little angling pressure a short hop, skip and jump off the major highways winding through this area.
Some of the lakes and rivers in this part of the region include Birch lake, Basswood lake, Lake Jobamageeshig, Tunnel lake, Chiblow lake, Wakomata lake, Bright lake, Cranberry Lake, and many more to name a few that harbour excellent smallmouth bass fishing.
Our host location, Birch Lake Resort, is the ideal vacation resort for fishing, hunting, and camping. It is the perfect retreat for individuals, families, or small groups. When you stay with them, you'll experience a quiet and relaxing getaway in any of the lakefront cottages. The property is situated just 10 minutes from Thessalon, on the north shore of Birch Lake. Because of the location, they have a wonderful, sunny southern exposure with clear, scenic views of this secluded and peaceful lake.
We stayed in Cottage Five, one the most spacious and popular cottages available with a large patio area that overlooks the lake and is close to the docks. A two-bedroom cottage is further from the lake but offers more privacy and can sleep 6 comfortably. The kitchen has all the amenities for a home cooked meal, the perfect cottage for a family getaway or group retreat.
Another attractive reason to visit this region of Algoma Country is the longer open season for bass with some parts of the region having a ‘open all year’ bass season.
As a sidebar note, these smaller inland lakes offer excellent bass fishing opportunities because visiting anglers have respected the resource by practising catch and release with larger bass and protecting the future fisheries for the next generation to experience. Please consider the same practise when visiting these unspoiled amazing fisheries. Our trip was in mid-June with bass in every stage of the spawn and countless locations on each lake we fished.
From classic mid lake rocky shoals and reefs to island points, rocky shorelines mixed with sand and isolated weed beds that harboured dozens upon dozens of smallmouth bass ranging from one to five plus pounds and a few heart-breaking bass in the six plus pound range that spit the hook!
Almost any tactic or lure you wish to fish for smallmouth in warm water conditions will catch fish on these lakes. For varieties sake we changed it up from lake to lake, using everything from splashy, noisy topwater lures to hard baits including crankbaits and jerkbaits to soft plastics including tube jigs, crawfish imitations and all kinds of Ned rigs and drop shot baits, they all caught bass.
We visited lakes with locations that harboured big schools of roaming bass and other lakes had classic spots that screamed ‘bass live here’. I literally caught fish just about everywhere I fished. Not all were bragging size, but for the sheer fighting power of a smallmouth bass, hooking countless numbers of fish on any given day equals success in my books and will for you as well.
Consider the Thessalon area of Algoma Country this year when planning your much-deserved vacation with family or friends. I can guarantee you this, you will be hard pressed to find so many lakes, with so many bass and so little angling pressure anywhere else than right here in beautiful Algoma.
Who knows we just might bump into one another on one of these amazing warm water bass lakes this year?