Top 5 Baits for Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass in Ontario

A Fish TV host provides his top recommendations.

We wait all winter and spring for the ice to melt, the lake to warm up and the fishing seasons to begin. In parts of Ontario there are seasons for fish species like bass, walleye and trout, just to name a few, but the one that I think every angler can’t wait for is bass. Bass is one of the most sought-after fish in Ontario as they are so much fun to catch, whether it be in shallow water using topwater baits or deep water using jigs or dropshot baits, it's all very exciting.

Here are my top 5 baits for catching largemouth and smallmouth.

1. A terminator Flipping Jig


This bait catches giant bass be they large or smallmouth and you can fish it in heavy cover like thick weeds, around stumps, docks, pads, pretty well any cover you can find. It comes in a variety of colours and it has a weed guard that makes it virtually weedless.

2. 13 Fishing Loco jerkbait


This bait has proven itself over and over again. You can throw this bait on a bait caster with heavier line for largemouth or you can use the light line for open-water smallmouth. There is a shallow version and a deep, and they both work very well. When it comes to colour, I keep it simple…natural colours in clear water and darker with a little flash in dirty water.

3. Terminator Spinnerbait 


These baits have been around for years and still keep producing big bass all over the province. Again, with this bait, you can fish around thick weeds, rocks, wood and a variety of other covers like ledges and drop-offs. The colour I prefer is a white skirt with silver blades and in stained water, I like to use gold blades.

4. The dropshot


This bait has won quite a few tournaments over the years. You can fish it deep, you can fish it shallow, you can fish it in weeds and on rocks. When I fish it for largemouth, it is usually a bit shallower than when fishing smallmouth. When it comes to weights, I will go with the lightest weight I can get away with. The bait colours I like are black and blue for Largemouth and browns for smallmouth.

5. Rapala DT 10


And the final bait I would take with me if I had to only take five would be a crankbait. Rapala DT 10 would be my choice. I can cover a lot of water with this bait and you can work it fast or slow. I like fishing it on the sand, rocks, weed edges and mid-lake humps. The colour choices, minnow, crawfish and bluegill patterns work the best.

These are the five baits I would choose—if I could only pick five. But trust me I am really glad that I have a tackle box to pick from!

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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