3 Must Fish Ontario Hotspots for Smallmouth Bass

Everyone has a bucket list. Die-hard bass anglers have many.

Here are three of my favourites for both numbers and the size of smallmouth bass in Northern Ontario. I will include one angling lodge operator per region for your consideration when booking a trip to each region in Northern Ontario for smallmouth bass.

1. Algoma Country

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Algoma Country used to be the best-kept secret in terms of huge numbers of big bass and low numbers of anglers who fished for them, that has changed since yours truly and other TV shows and media platforms have highlighted the world-class smallmouth bass fishing available in this northern region of the province. Does Algoma Country still have world-class smallmouth bass fishing, absolutely?

Our crew never misses an opportunity to plan road trips to this region shortly after ice-out all the way into late October in search of the super-sized smallmouth that inhabits just about every lake, river or stream in the region, not to mention the golden opportunities to catch a bass of a lifetime on any outing, it really is that good!

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Bass anglers love fishing with different baits, presentations and tactics, that’s just who we are and fishing for smallmouth bass in Algoma Country means you can usually catch both numbers and trophies fishing any which way you choose, whether it be topwater baits, hard jerk baits, soft shad baits, tube jigs, drop shot, crankbaits any way you like to catch them, you can do it in Algoma Country due to the wide variety of lakes in the region.

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Northern Skies Resort is close to a wide variety of lakes and rivers with excellent amenities and accommodations with a safe sandy beach, boat ramp and family-friendly atmosphere.

2. Northeastern Ontario

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Northeastern Ontario is just a hop skip and jump from the big city of Toronto but is loaded with prime smallmouth bass fishing lakes and rivers with extended open seasons and relatively low numbers of anglers during weekdays on the popular lakes we fish. Whether it's Lake Nipissing or any of the smaller surrounding lakes located a short distance off Highway 11 or a bit further north into Marten River or Elk Lake district and Gogama, the scrappy smallmouth bass can be found with very little effort.

Some of our most memorable road trips for smallmouth bass have taken place in Northeastern Ontario and the opportunities for both easy drive-to or remote locations abound throughout the region.

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Some of our favourite ways to fish in this region are with suspended jerk baits or topwater baits to locate numbers of bass and then picking up a 2.5-inch tube jig or Ned Rig with a soft plastic trailer like an imitation crawfish is usually the ticket to bigger bass regardless of which lake or location we have visited.

The region has a wide variety of vacation destinations on most of the lakes that range from family-oriented to diehard angler amenities including docking, boat ramps, cottages, bait and local guides to help you shorten the learning curve on any new lake or location you decide to visit.

Bear Creek Cottages is located on Lake Nipissing attracts a lot of families and hard-core bass fishermen alike as the owner offers a hands-on approach to helping each guest enjoy the trip of a lifetime and offering helpful tips to catching smallmouth bass in the area.

3. Sunset Country

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And finally, it’s Sunset Country and its vast wilderness opportunities that draw bass anglers from across the world to experience the non-stop bass fishing available in this region. We have made countless trips to this region and can honestly say we have NEVER been disappointed in terms of the bass fishing or the gracious hospitality of every angling lodge operator we have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

One of our favourites is definitely Rainy lake, with its countless locations and absolutely perfect natural habitat for smallmouth bass, it truly is a bass fishermen’s bucket list location.

I can honestly say I have probably caught more smallmouth bass on Rainy Lake on hot, sticky slick calm days on noisy topwater baits than anyplace else. The lake has that many smallmouth bass!

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And when you consider the countless number of islands, rock shoals, reefs, points and boulder-strewn areas found just about everywhere on the lake, you will truly think you are in bass heaven. As mentioned, topwater baits are great in Northwest Ontario, with soft shad baits, drop shot rigs and tube jigs all must-haves in your boat. 

This region of Ontario is simply blessed with some of the most remote smallmouth bass fishing opportunities on planet Earth just waiting for you to experience.

Camp Narrows Lodge is a great location on the lake, with accommodations, docking, meal plans, lake knowledge, you name it, the owner knows how to treat its customers.

Now is the time to get back to enjoying your life.

Visit some of Ontario’s finest smallmouth bass fishing locations and make those memories that will last a lifetime.

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.

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