Shield Rock & Kukagami Lake Smallmouth Bass
It all began with the very first cast. Gotta love it when that happens!
Kukagami Lake is located in Wahnapitae, about an hour east of Sudbury, Northeastern Ontario. This beautiful and very scenic lake is approximately 19.8 square-kilometers in size and home to smallmouth bass, lake trout, and walleye. There’s plenty for these species to eat, as these crystal clear waters are teeming with baitfish.
Although I made just a quick visit to the lake for a day and a half over the summer, it didn’t take long to experience some great smallmouth bass fishing while there making for a memorable experience.
While visiting Kukagami Lake I stayed at the Sportsman’s Lodge Wilderness Resort, located right on the shores of the western section of the lake. This beautiful and rustic resort is just steps away from the lake, with a private beach, dock and gorgeous views of the water. George Robbins and his family are fantastic hosts. And the food is super delicious, too!
After unpacking our belongings at the lodge, we set out on the lake right away. I launched my boat just down the road from the resort. My fishing partner, Eric, parked the truck back at the resort and I picked him up on the dock. Off we went to explore this new body of water.
In Search of Smallies
Both avid bass anglers, we had smallmouth on the mind. Chasing these fish never ceases to amaze me, and I love their colour and how hard they fight. The jumps can be stressful, but it’s all part of the fun as soon as they make it to the net.
I pulled up to a rocky island and fired my first cast with a drop shot rig tied on. Seconds after it landed, I set the hook on a nice smallmouth. Woo hoo! It was certainly an encouraging introduction to Kukagami Lake. After that it took a little while to get into some more fish, which made us think maybe we became confident too quickly.
Eventually we figured out a consistent pattern, and it was fish after fish for both Eric and I. We were even catching double headers (both hooking into a fish at the same time). There are some cottages and houses on the lake but as we went exploring, we saw that much of the lake is undeveloped offering some stunning views. There’s just something special about that Canadian Shield that is so breath taking.
Patterning on Kukagami Lake
Kukagami Lake has many islands, nooks, and crannies to explore. It’s truly a gorgeous spot. We found that areas with chunky rock sloping down to deeper water was where the smallmouth were holding. The chunky rocks and boulders were key areas, as without these features, the lake didn’t produce for us at all. It seems these types of smaller rocks (as opposed to the massive shield rock) are better areas for bait to take cover with the bass following closely behind.
A drop shot was our most effective presentation, mimicking just what the fish are eating. We also saw loads of tiny perch, another food source on the lake.
We did a little bit of searching for lake trout and walleye, and even trolled for a little while before a storm rolled in on our first evening there. It was pretty amazing to see so much bait on the sonar, but unfortunately we weren’t able to entice any walleye or lake trout this time.
The wind kicked up quite fiercely on our last day in the afternoon but with so many islands and bays, there were lots of areas to tuck into and we continued to pick up some fish until it was time to depart.