3 Great Baits For Northern Bass

Try these baits and catch giant smallmouth bass in Ontario.

You booked your fishing vacation. The lodge website says it is a great location for big bad Ontario smallmouth bass. So what baits should you bring with you?

If you’re anything like me, you have way too many options to choose from. But here are three bass baits I've used to catch giant smallmouth everywhere I have fished for them across our province.

1. Tube Jigs

Tube jigs seem so old-fashioned to many bass anglers these days because of the influx of so many new baits and techniques to catch smallmouth bass, but the tried and true tube jig is high on my list on any new body of water regardless of the time of year, spring, summer and fall.

You can fish tube jigs throughout the entire water column by altering the size of the jig head you insert into the tube jig and choosing a handful of your favourite colours, you prepared to catch bass.

Snapping tube jigs off bottom or on the first shoreline ledges usually find active roaming bass.

I will fish these tube jigs on a medium-action spinning rod and reel combination with a fifteen-pound test braided line and a fluorocarbon leader tied directly to the jig eye. The braided line increases strike to hook up rations with virtually no stretch whatsoever regardless of how far you cast and the leader is invisible.

2. Topwater Bait

Regardless of which top water bait you choose or prefer, these noisy splashy hard baits call smallmouth bass from long distances and can be fished all day long, not just sunrise and sunset. Baits with noisy props and cupped lips that spit water and cause even more noise on the surface are my favourites, biting smallmouth just love to smash these baits all season long.

topwater bait

3. Jerkbaits

Jerkbaits can be fished at virtually any depth depending on the styles and sizes you choose but they are an excellent bass bait to fish from the cooler late spring conditions throughout summer and into late fall.

Something about a suspending jerkbait drives smallmouth mad and triggers them into striking even if they are not actively feeding.

Northern Ontario has virtually thousands of lakes and rivers filled with smallmouth bass of all sizes, shapes and colours, bringing these three proven baits will help you find bass faster and make them bite.

Enjoy your vacation and remember how the catch and release of trophy bass works. 

angler smallmouth bass fishing ontario
About Karl Kalonka

It's possible Karl's love for fishing began as early as the age of five. His parents took the kids on weekend trips across Ontario fishing for panfish, catfish, and bass. "I started with a bobber and worm from the time I was five years old," says Karl. These days, he has the enviable task of doing what he loves for a living, travelling across Ontario fishing, filming and producing two outdoor series, Extreme Angler and Crappie Angler TV.

Recommended Articles

Don’t Be Afraid Of Muskies

Muskies are fish of 10,000 casts and are found in large bodies of water in Northwestern Ontario.

5 Places to Shore Fish

Fish’n Canada shows you where to go shore fishing in Ontario.

Summer Fishing Patterns for Multi-Species

Bob Izumi discusses tips for different species and how to catch them when summer temperatures soar.

Top 5 Baits for Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass

What baits do you use to target bass? Find out why these 5 are the best!

Top 5 Flies for Smallmouth Bass

The inside scoop on bass flies from the hosts of The New Fly Fisher.

Lake of the Woods

10 Facts You Didn't Know

Summer Smallmouth

Bass Techniques to Help You Catch a Trophy

Summer Brook Trout

Expert Advice for Fishing Ontario Lakes

Eating Northern Pike

The Best Recipe to Cook This Fish

5 Keys To Canadian Muskies

The fish of 10,000 casts; an elusive predator fish with legend and lore.


Fishing for Largemouth Bass in the Parry Sound District

Beasts of the Musky East

Eastern Ontario is a hotspot for musky anglers with big waters that hold giant muskies.

Igniting the Spark

Don't Overlook Carp Fishing in Ontario

Hidden Musky Gems

The Musky Hunter shares 3 favourite musky hot spots across Ontario.

Lake Nipigon Adventure

Fishing for Lake Trout, Walleye & Pike

Discover the 3 Best Bass Fishing Lakes in Ontario

Check out these lakes for hard-fighting smallmouth bass on your next fishing trip to Northern Ontario.

3 Great Ontario Walleye Destinations

Karl of Extreme Angler recommends must do walleye lakes in Ontario.

Balsam Lake Walleye

How to Use Snap Jigging to Catch Walleye

Nipigon Brook Trout

Experience some high caliber Trout Fishing in Northwestern Ontario.

The Best of Both Worlds

From spring right through to late fall there are species that you can target close to the home base in the Spanish River