Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu)

If you're seeking to surpass your personal best in smallmouth bass fishing, look no further than the illustrious Lake Simcoe. Undoubtedly, Lake Simcoe stands as one of the premier inland lakes for trophy smallmouth bass in North America. The lake's reputation is primarily attributed to the size of the smallmouth rather than the sheer quantity.

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. 

Lake Simcoe's thriving population of round goby, baitfish, and crayfish provides an abundant food source for these bass. Annually, anglers manage to reel in impressive specimens weighing between 6 to 8 pounds. What sets this fishery apart is the conscientious approach of many anglers who voluntarily practice live release for larger bass. By doing so, these impressive fish continue to spawn, affording other anglers the opportunity to catch the fish of a lifetime. Lake Simcoe offers an abundance of potential smallmouth habitats, including expansive islands, shoals, docks, and an array of sandy and rocky shorelines spanning the entire lake. Popular fishing spots encompass the main islands such as Fox, Snake, Thorah, Georgina, and Strawberry Island, as well as the adjacent rocky shoal areas. In addition to the prominent rocky shoals, smallmouth bass can be found in proximity to clean sand bottoms or areas with a combination of rocks, sand, and weed. Bass are also attracted to bottom transitions from soft to hard substrate.

Following the opening season, Lake Simcoe is renowned for its excellent shallow water sight fishing. Anglers often utilize dropshots, jerkbaits, and spybaits in depths ranging from 2 to 15 feet, targeting sandy, rocky, and gravel areas where hungry smallmouths are known to frequent. Sight fishing is most productive on calm and sunny days, particularly during the early season. Exploring rock piles, shoreline sand and rock flats, as well as rocky protrusions, can yield favorable results.

As the season progresses into summer, smallmouth bass tend to migrate from their shallow spawning areas to different sections of the lake. Despite their tendency to move to deeper waters, smallmouth can still be found prowling shallow regions in search of easy prey.

During the summer, deeper structure fishing can prove fruitful, although it may require considerable time spent idling, graphing, and surveying the lake to locate active fish schools. Look for deeper transitions, boulders, or any unconventional structures to identify groups of fish. Effective smallmouth baits for the summer include drop shot baits (mimicking gobies or minnows), jerkbaits, spybaits, tube jigs, Ned rigs, spinnerbaits, worms, and hair jigs.

As the water temperature cools down in the fall, smallmouth bass intensify their feeding activity in preparation for the forthcoming winter. Despite being warm water species, smallmouth bass continue to feed well into October and November, just before freeze-up. During this time, their diet primarily consists of minnows as they transition from a diverse range of forage consumed during the summer. With falling water temperatures, smallmouths migrate to deeper areas for overwintering. It is not uncommon to catch feeding smallmouths in depths ranging from 20 to 50 feet on Lake Simcoe. Minnow presentations, such as deep diving jerkbaits, swimbaits, drop shots, and jigging spoons, are widely favored by most anglers seeking productive options during this season