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Northern Ontario Fall Smallmouth, a cold, but fun trip


Way north bass guy

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Just got back from a couple day trip to my parents place in the Elliot Lake region of Ontario. It’s about 1/2 hour north of the northern most shore of Georgian Bay, about 3-1/2 hours north of where I live. 
 

This area is blessed with hundreds of lakes, many are filled with massive smallmouth that probably don’t get more than one or two boats a year on them, and many people target walleye or trout up there and think of bass as almost trash fish. That works just fine for me ?
 

Usually I’m up there earlier in the summer when it’s warmer, and this was a short couple day trip. 
Water temps on the two lakes my dad and I fished were about 55 deg. Air temps on day one were about 45 deg and rain, day two saw temps barely above freezing, with a mix of sun and snow flurries. Not enough to be miserable, but still not super comfortable with the winds blowing hard out of the north all day. 
 

Usually in the summer we can pretty much guarantee 100 fish days between the two of us, this time the numbers were much lower than that, but the average size was much better. 

Day one was a short one, fished about 2-1/2 hours between rainstorms, and got about a dozen bass between 3 and 4-1/2lbs. All fish came on a mid depth crankbait, spinnerbait or jackhammer.

 

Day two was much colder, super windy, but at least mostly dry. We got about 25 bass and a bunch of small pike. Almost every fish came on a green pumpkin jackhammer in 12’ or less. We did get a few on a drop shot, but mainly stayed with the moving baits due to the heavy winds. Got some nice fat ones on day two, with the largest settling right at 5.8lbs on the Rapala digital scale, and our best five would’ve been about 24lbs. I lost two more that were every bit as big as the 5.8, and these guys hit that jackhammer like a freight train!

Although I wish I could’ve stayed longer, it was still a fun couple days and I plan to get back up there next spring for some pre spawn fishing, to see if we can break 6lbs ( in most of Ontario, bass season is closed in the spring, but this far north it’s open year round).

Heres a few pics, first one is the largest of the trip. 

CBC55690-7B24-4A77-885D-925B50726A36.jpeg

79715094-5D83-4194-B82A-E305C55EBE18.jpeg

4158D2EE-D2F8-4208-9076-58207234EF73.jpeg

B5057FCB-5DE0-41BA-ADD5-D0BC9C085709.jpeg

42B7C0D4-2E30-4D1A-95CA-FD9DBDBAAC40.jpeg

8EF19178-EF86-46B2-8E0E-6A4C15D9025D.jpeg

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3 hours ago, Way north bass guy said:

Just got back from a couple day trip to my parents place in the Elliot Lake region of Ontario. It’s about 1/2 hour north of the northern most shore of Georgian Bay, about 3-1/2 hours north of where I live. 
 

This area is blessed with hundreds of lakes, many are filled with massive smallmouth that probably don’t get more than one or two boats a year on them, and many people target walleye or trout up there and think of bass as almost trash fish. That works just fine for me ?
 

Usually I’m up there earlier in the summer when it’s warmer, and this was a short couple day trip. 
Water temps on the two lakes my dad and I fished were about 55 deg. Air temps on day one were about 45 deg and rain, day two saw temps barely above freezing, with a mix of sun and snow flurries. Not enough to be miserable, but still not super comfortable with the winds blowing hard out of the north all day. 
 

Usually I’m the summer we can pretty much guarantee 100 fish days between the two of us, this time the numbers were much lower than that, but the average size was much better. 

Day one was a short one, fished about 2-1/2 hours between rainstorms, and got about a dozen bass between 3 and 4-1/2lbs. All fish came on a mid depth crankbait, spinnerbait or jackhammer.

 

Day two was much colder, super windy, but at least mostly dry. We got about 25 bass and a bunch of small pike. Almost every fish came on a green pumpkin jackhammer in 12’ or less. We did get a few on a drop shot, but mainly stayed with the moving baits due to the heavy winds. Got some nice fat ones on day two, with the largest settling right at 5.8lbs on the Rapala digital scale, and our best five would’ve been about 24lbs. I lost two more that were every bit as big as the 5.8, and these guys hit that jackhammer like a freight train!

Although I wish I could’ve stayed longer, it was still a fun couple days and I plan to get back up there next spring for some pre spawn fishing, to see if we can break 6lbs ( in most of Ontario, bass season is closed in the spring, but this far north it’s open year round).

Heres a few pics, first one is the largest of the trip. 

CBC55690-7B24-4A77-885D-925B50726A36.jpeg

79715094-5D83-4194-B82A-E305C55EBE18.jpeg

4158D2EE-D2F8-4208-9076-58207234EF73.jpeg

B5057FCB-5DE0-41BA-ADD5-D0BC9C085709.jpeg

42B7C0D4-2E30-4D1A-95CA-FD9DBDBAAC40.jpeg

8EF19178-EF86-46B2-8E0E-6A4C15D9025D.jpeg

What do you mean Bass season is closed in the spring.....I assume you just mean closed in terms of keeping the fish.     


Nice fish, great job!

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33 minutes ago, AlabamaSpothunter said:

What do you mean Bass season is closed in the spring.....I assume you just mean closed in terms of keeping the fish.     

Number of northern states do close the season. MN closes bass, walleye, pike and muskie the end of February...can't even target them during the closed season. Muskie opens up early June, walleye and pike the middle of May with bass have a C&R only season from middle to end of May, when you can finally keep them if you want.

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1 minute ago, MN Fisher said:

Number of northern states do close the season. MN closes bass, walleye, pike and muskie the end of February...can't even target them during the closed season. Muskie opens up early June, walleye and pike the middle of May with bass have a C&R only season from middle to end of May, when you can finally keep them if you want.

Wow, and that's ridiculous imho.   Red Snapper are highly monitored and limited, yet you still catch them out of season for example.

 

That really is mind boggling to me.    

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11 hours ago, MN Fisher said:

Number of northern states do close the season. MN closes bass, walleye, pike and muskie the end of February...can't even target them during the closed season. Muskie opens up early June, walleye and pike the middle of May with bass have a C&R only season from middle to end of May, when you can finally keep them if you want.

Been that way for longer than I’ve been alive up here. Bass season closes end of November, and doesn’t open for most of southern Ontario until nearly the end of June. Can’t even attempt to fish for them during those times, and if you do catch one while say pike fishing, you have to immediately release it. Sometimes it’s a pain cause I’d like to try some prespawn fishing when they get up shallow to feed well before they actually spawn, but there’s plenty of other stuff to chase in the spring so it’s not the end of the world. There’s a lot of smaller lakes up here that would be absolutely obliterated if the season was open during the spawn. These northern fish take a LONG time to grow, and the meat hunters would quickly decimate the population in the spawn if allowed. I can live with a closed season, especially when it makes for such great fishing later in the year. 
 

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Thanks for sharing!!!! Totally beautiful part of the world and fish I would dream of!

Glad you get to fish with your dad! That's something I truly miss. Those memories live on though.

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