Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu)
If you're looking to beat you new personal best smallmouth, look no further than the mighty Lake Simcoe. Without a doubt, Lake Simcoe is one of the best inland lakes for trophy Smallmouth Bass in North America. Its about the size of the smallmouth, not necessarily the quantity in Lake Simcoe .
With the introduction of round goby and the strong baitfish and crayfish populations, these bass have plenty to feed on. Fish in the 6lb, 7lb and even 8lb range are caught annually. In addition, this fantastic fishery has maintained its status due to the majority of anglers who voluntarily live release the larger bass. These large fish then continue to reproduce and and also offer other anglers to catch a fish of a lifetime.
Dave Chong - Fish Hard Dream Big, with an incredible Smallmouth Bass taken from Lake Simcoe. This fish was over 8lbs and was caught using a Lucky Craft Pointer 100DD in Skeets Magic color. This fish was live released.
On Lake Simcoe, there is no lack of possible smallmouth holding area's with large islands, shoals, docks and endless sandy/rock shorelines littered throughout the lake. Typical hotspots include fishing around the main islands; Fox, Snake, Thorah, Georgina and Strawberry Island and the adjacent rocky shoal area's. Aside from the obvious rocky shoal area's, smallmouth will hang around clean sand bottom's or a combination of rock, sand and weed. Also, bottom transitions from soft to hard bottom can attract bass.
After opening season, Simcoe is known for its great shallow water sight fishing. Many anglers use dropshots/jerkbaits/spybaits in depths ranging from 2ft to 15ft deep along sandy/rock/gravel area's looking for hungry smallmouth. Calm, sunny days are best for sight fishing and can provide some of the best early season bass fishing. Working around rock piles, shoreline sand/rock flats and any kind of rocky projections can pay off.
As the season progresses into the summer, bass will migrate from shallow spawning area's to other area's of the lake. Although, bass tend to move deeper throughout the summer, smallmouth can still be found cruising shallow area's looking for an easy meal.
Deeper structure fishing can pay off during the summer, this may require a lot of idle time, graphing and cruising to find schools of active fish. Look for deeper transition's, boulders or any structure outside of the norm to locate pods of fish. Typical smallmouth baits that work throughout the summer including drop shot baits (goby or minnow imitation), jerk baits, spy baits, tube jigs, ned rigs, spinnerbaits, worms and hair jigs.
When the water temperature starts to cool down in the fall, smallmouth begin to feed heavily in anticipation of the long winter ahead. Although they are a warm water species, smallmouth bass will feed well into October through November right before freeze up. They tend to transition from eating a wide range of forage during the summer to primarily a minnow based diet in the fall. As the water temperatures drop in the fall, smallmouths will begin to migrate deeper to their over wintering areas. Its not uncommon to catch feeding smallmouth in depths of 20 to 50 feet of water on Lake Simcoe. Most Simcoe anglers find minnow presentations like deep diving jerkbaits, swimbaits, drop shot's, and jigging spoons as productive options.