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Ontario Smallmouth


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A buddy and I are going to Ontario in a couple of weeks (Sept 6-11) to fish for smallmouth.  This is our first time making the trip, and we will be fishing about 2 hours north of the US border.  We will have access to 2-3 small lakes about 500 acres each.  Any advice on lure selection, seasonal patterns, etc. would be greatly appreciated.  

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I heading up there on Friday, but about 8 hours, maybe a bit more north of the border.  It's a very large lake.  Maybe you can translate the info to the lakes you'll be fishing.  Last year we caught smallies as shallow as 5 feet but most were in 18 to 30 feet of water.  Hot spots were shoals, deep points.   We did a lot of fishing with bait, mainly night crawlers, but if you can get minnows or leeches give them a shot.  We also did well with soft plastics, mainly twister tail jigs.  I did some fly fishing and the hot fly was a crayfish pattern.  This year I'm adding Ned rigs and drop shotting to the mix.  See if you can find out what type of baitfish are in the lake.  Lures, minnow, shad and perch and crayfish imitations.  Jigs, should be able to get by with 1/4 oz jigs.  Colors, we use a lot of jigs with chartreuse in them, but they may not work as well further south.  Soft plastics, shad, crayfish, twister tails, Senkos Colors, green pumpkin, white, yellow, olive, black.  It you're drop shotting, keep the hook 12 to 18 off the bottom.  You still may be able to get some top water action in the evening.  Look for beaver huts, fallen timber in small bays. You may have weeds or lily pads down there.  The bass are fattening up for winter.  What I noticed was the smaller bass were higher up on the shoals.  The larger ones were deeper.  Good Luck.

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Thank you Fallser. That’s a lot of good information.  It’s really helpful in giving me an idea of what to take and where to start looking for fish. Thanks again. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/27/2022 at 2:12 AM, Craig Baker said:

Thank you Fallser. That’s a lot of good information.  It’s really helpful in giving me an idea of what to take and where to start looking for fish. Thanks again. 

Update on the trip?

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1 hour ago, PaulVE64 said:

Update on the trip?

The trip went great.  We went through Canoe Canada Outfitters in Atikokan, Ontario and stayed at their Half Moon Lake lodge.  They have several lodges on various lakes in the wilderness.  The cabin we stayed in is very rustic with an outhouse.  We flew in on the afternoon of Sept. 5th and flew out on the morning of the 11th.  We had access to three lakes and about a 3-4 miles stretch of river joining two of the lakes.  Half Moon Lake, where the cabin is located, is about 500 acres.  A 1/4 mile or so portage from the north corner of Half Moon was Elsie Lake which I'd guess is a few thousand acres.  A short portage out of the south end of Half Moon put us in the Turtle River, and 3-4 miles down the river was the Ann Bay section of White Otter Lake.  We caught a total of 393 smallmouths, 26 northerns, and 1 walleye.  We could have caught a lot more northerns and walleye, but we didn't target them at all.  All the ones we caught were accidental.  The smallmouth average was about 2 pounds with the biggest fish being in the 3.5 to 4 pound range.  Most all our fish were caught on poppers, crankbaits, and inline spinners.  If you'd like any specific details, let me know.

 

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  • 1 year later...
On 10/23/2022 at 9:51 PM, Jerkbait said:

The trip went great.  We went through Canoe Canada Outfitters in Atikokan, Ontario and stayed at their Half Moon Lake lodge.  They have several lodges on various lakes in the wilderness.  The cabin we stayed in is very rustic with an outhouse.  We flew in on the afternoon of Sept. 5th and flew out on the morning of the 11th.  We had access to three lakes and about a 3-4 miles stretch of river joining two of the lakes.  Half Moon Lake, where the cabin is located, is about 500 acres.  A 1/4 mile or so portage from the north corner of Half Moon was Elsie Lake which I'd guess is a few thousand acres.  A short portage out of the south end of Half Moon put us in the Turtle River, and 3-4 miles down the river was the Ann Bay section of White Otter Lake.  We caught a total of 393 smallmouths, 26 northerns, and 1 walleye.  We could have caught a lot more northerns and walleye, but we didn't target them at all.  All the ones we caught were accidental.  The smallmouth average was about 2 pounds with the biggest fish being in the 3.5 to 4 pound range.  Most all our fish were caught on poppers, crankbaits, and inline spinners.  If you'd like any specific details, let me know.

 

I just reread this thread, so it's a shameless BUMP, I know.

What prompted me to respond now is that for the first time since mid November that I've had three consecutive days of sun and a bit of breeze. River still has ice packs in some parts but the right stretch might get stacked up with smallies or walleye or pike. 

I may be fishing soon.

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