Had a blast on the most recent road trip filming big fat smallmouth bass in crystal clear water conditions in the Highlands of Ontario.
Took a little extra time due to the longer drive to and from the lake on this trip, but man, was it worth it!
Headed to number of locations that featured small pea gravel and rock mixed with sand and leading to deeper water and/or weeds and decided to focus my attention to the fact alot of these northern bass we`re schooling up in both deep and shallow locations and putting on the chew big time in preparation for winter.
To make a long story somewhat shorter, I was correct on both counts. These smallies we`re bunched up in small schools and bashing schools of minnow right before my eyes in six to ten feet of water on the gravel-rock locations.
I stayed back from the location and made slightly longer casts, as not to spook the fish, and swam the grub directly over the same locations I could see the lighter gravel spots on the rocks. Each time my grub entered one of those areas, a fish either ate my grub or tried to eat my grub!
What these fish lacked in overall fighting ability due to the cold water temps, they sure made up for in sheer size and bulldogged hard in tight circles beside the boat.
I stuck it out on location number one until the bite slowed down then searched for similar areas with the same characteristics which included rock, pea gravel, close to deeper water and sometimes weed mixed with gravel and rocks, all deadly locations for smallies.
Actually visited one similar area a little to quickly and as I was putting the trolling motor down, saw four real big smallmouth swim away from me off into the deeper water. I know I would have caught at least a couple of these fish if I was not in such a hurry to be on the spot, so I left the area for a short while and came back approx. one-half hour later and on cast number one, nailed a huge brown bass that hit the grub so hard, I thought it might be a muskie on the shoal instead of bass. But, once hooked, this big brown beast did everything it possibly could to break free, but also found itself resting in the bottom of my trusty Lucky Strike Basket net.
Boxed a few fish in the livewell before heading to another similar location.
Took some photos of the big gals and released them all to live and fight another day.
My tackle choices for the day included my St.Croix Legend Xtreme six foot three inch medium action spinning rod, Ardent Fishouflage spinning reel, ten pound fluorocarbon line, one-quarter ounce jig head and four inch Strike King Rage tail grub.
That was it, didn`t need any specialized equipment like sonar, side imaging, bla, bla, bla, found these fish the good old fashioned way, by trial and error and instincts that told me where these fish SHOULD be at this time of year.
Sure, there are many options for locating and fishing for deep schooling fish this time of year, but, I get a whole lot more enjoyment from seeing schools of big fat bass cruising the shallower water and attacking my bait like it was a real baitfish.
Until next time, fish hard, fish extreme.