Smallmouth At Lakair Lodge

Located on the West Arm of Lake Nipissing, Lakair Lodge caters to outdoor enthusiasts, and anglers who love spending time on the water and in nature.

It was a mid-summer August day and we’d had a heat wave here in Ontario for a week or so. As we started heading north to Lakair Lodge, everyone seemed to be heading off on vacation. There are all kinds of campers and trucks packed up for their summertime off. We were travelling North on the 400 Hwy to a little town called Noelville where Lakair Lodge is located. It’s only about a 4-hour drive from Toronto and you will end up between the West Arm and Lake Nipissing when you arrive at the lodge. The lodge has renovated all its cottages with up-to-date modern appliances, comfortable beds, and open-concept kitchens to cook your own meals after a day of fishing. With boat rentals and gas right at the lodge with a little store attached, you really don’t have to go anywhere but out on the water when you arrive.

Lakair Lodge boats and docks
Lakair Lodge main lodge interior

As we launched the Lund at Lakair’s private boat launch, we decided to change our game plan from our last visit to the lodge. Previously, we always focused on largemouth bass and have done very well with numbers of fish, and quite a few in the five-pound range! It was a hard decision to make but we made the switch and made it our game plan to target smallmouth bass this time. With the West Arm of Lake Nipissing, we knew that there would be really good fishing for smallmouth…when you come out of the lodge and make a left, you can fish the fifth biggest freshwater lake in Ontario—Lake Nipissing! 

With trophy muskie and large numbers of walleye and smallmouth by the boatload, we made the left and started looking at the map to see where we should start. Being mid-August, we started focusing on deeper off-water structure like underwater points that drop into deep water, deep holes and quick breaks or ledges that have deep water access.

Lakair bass fishing

When travelling through the waters of Nipissing, you had better have a good graph or you better know where you are going, as there are rocks that pop up everywhere and before you know it you might just be on top of one. Make sure you study your maps before venturing out! We made our way through the rocks and shoals to fish this deep underwater point that dropped into 20 feet of water. 

Lake Nipissing on a big scale is a relatively shallow lake compared to its size with an average depth of 15 feet, 20 to 30 feet considered deep. We hit this point, and we were catching some small fish in the 14- to 15-inch range, so we decided to move and fish another deep point.  

Lakair bass fishing

When Leo made a cast on this rock pile in about 3 feet of water with a 13Fishing Loco 110 jerkbait…BANG a four-pounder jumped clear out of the water, and it was game on! He landed the fish, but we still didn’t clue in. We thought it was just a lucky fish out wandering around, so we kept heading to the other deep point and started fishing and continued to catch smaller fish. After about the third deep spot we tried, only catching small fish, we decided to head back to the shallow shoal to see if that fish was a fluke or not. We discovered that it was no fluke, the big fish were up there feeding and sunning themselves. We must have caught and landed fifteen smallmouth off that spot from three to five pounds on topwater chug bugs and 13Fishing jerk baits. When they slowed down, we just looked on the map for similar spots and proceeded to catch about forty smallmouth in the 3- and f5-pound range. The moral of this story is, don’t get stuck on seasonal patterns. 

In summer you think, fish deep because the fish migrate deep, but fish love the warm weather, especially smallmouth, and they don’t mind getting up there really shallow to sun and feed. 

About Ron James

Ron has been fishing for over 35 years. He started fishing when he was just a youngster with his father Bill James (God rest his soul). He moved onto tournament fishing as his passion grew. With numerous wins and top finishes, the next step had to be taken. He met Leo, and the unstoppable force of Fish TV "is the best thing that has happened.

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