| Fishing Lake Simcoe - Smallmouth Bass
||Lake Simcoe has become a trophy smallmouth bass fishery, with fish in the 8 lb range caught annually. Although most bass average 2-3 lbs, it is not uncommon to catch multiple bass in excess of 6 lbs in a single outing. The lake has truly developed into a smallmouth bass factory, with an abundance of prime smallmouth bass habits, such as rocky points, shoals, shoreline timber, pilings and man-made structures such as docks. Lake Simcoe smallmouth bass have so many options, it is sometimes difficult to local the marauding schools of bass, but one thing is for certain, find the forage and you will find the bass.
The Lake Simcoe smallmouth bass natural forage includes, perch, minnows, and crayfish. Lures which mimic their natural prey are all effective. Crankbaits and jerkbaits in perch patterns, worked over shoals and around points at dawn and dusk are proven tactics for Lake Simcoe smallmouth bass. Tube jigs, either dragged along the bottom or vertically jigged also catch a fair share of bass. Favourite jig colours, include smoke, pumpkin, motoroil and purple. Another technique that has gained popularity in recent years is drop shoting. Drop shoting with small 4" senkos, or gulp minnows can be deadly when the bass are schooled and feeding heavily, especially in the fall. With the introduction of invasive species, like zebra mussels and round gobies, the Lake Simcoe smallmouth bass population has exploded. Zebra mussels with their filtering action have cleared the water up to 20 feet in some areas and smallmouth bass being visual hunters have benefited from the increased clarity.
|Furthermore, the round gobies have become a staple in the bass diet. These small aggressive invasive fish, reproduce quickly and inhabit prime smallmouth habit, such as rock piles and rocky shorelines, the same areas where smallmouth bass hunt for their favourite prey, the crayfish. Smallmouth bass being opportunistic feeders are gorging on the plentiful gobies. The Lake Simcoe smallmouth bass fishery has benefited greatly from this increase in biomass of forgeable species, hence created the trophy fishery we are experiencing today.
Some of the historical hotspots for smallmouth bass in Lake Simcoe include the shoals around Thorah and Strawberry Island, the shoals around Mara and McCrae point, the limestone shoals in lake Couchiching and the drop-offs around Snake Island and Kempenfelt Bay. Many bass tournaments are held on Lake Simcoe annually, with some record catches of bass being caught. Fishing can be difficult at times, due the heavy pressure, with smallmouth bass displaying what is known as "lock jaw". Experimenting with different lures, depths and locations and covering water to find active fish, can be productive. Once you determine a pattern that is working, the bass will usually cooperate, and you will enjoy some acrobatic leaps, from one of Ontario's hardest fighting fish.