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open quotesOften I have been exhausted on trout streams, uncomfortable, wet, cold, briar scarred, sunburned, mosquito bitten, but never, with a fly rod in my hand have I been less than in a place that was less than beautiful.close quotes
-Charles Kuralt
little fish
open quotes The true fisherman approaches the first day of fishing season with all the sense of wonder and awe of a child approaching Christmas.close quotes
-Robert Traver
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-Patrick F. McManus

Smallmouth Bass Fishing In Ontario

Northern Ontario is famous for its trophy smallmouth bass fishing. They love the rocky clear lakes with little vegetation and inhabit shoreline rocks and points, as well as offshore shoals, often in deep water. Wilderness Air can take you to the beautiful remote Canadian wilderness as we fly you in to your own exclusive lake. Stay in one of our deluxe outpost cabins, which are extremely well maintained and comfortable. Wilderness Air represents the best in smallmouth bass outposts!

For the best smallmouth bass fishing, we suggest Campfire Lake Outpost.

About the Smallmouth Bass

The smallmouth bass gets its name because the rear end of its lower jaw does not extend past the eye, while the lower jaw of a largemouth does. There is a shallow notch between dorsal fins and the body often resembles dark broken bars. The smallmouth bass usually matures around the age of three or four and can live up to 10 to 12 years. On a light line, the smallmouth is a spectacular battler, often jumping repeatedly and diving down into the depths. The average length for a smallmouth ranges between 10 and 20 inches. The Canadian record for the largest smallmouth bass is 10 pounds, 8 ounces caught right here in Ontario!

Smallmouth Bass Fishing Tips

  • Always remember that a smallmouth bass is very different from a largemouth bass! You need to approach it differently. Largemouth bass are found around thick weed beds, but the smallmouth bass prefer to hide out where the rock ledge drops off sharply.
  • Popular baits are crawfish, minnow, leeches and hellgrammites. Try using anything that resembles a minnow such as plastic worms and streamer flies.
  • If you're dropping live bait from the boat, the more legal lines the better. Lower minnows or crayfish down directly. It may take a little while before they respond, however when one does take the bait, it excites nearby smallies and you'll need to get the bait back in the water as quickly as possible after landing your smallmouth bass to keep the feeding frenzy going!
  • Remember that small mouth bass often group together by size. So, if you find a smaller-sized group, there will rarely be a bigger smallmouth among them.
  • Mid June through fall is the best time for catching yourself a big smallmouth! In mid-June, the smallmouths are on the beds, by fall they are in 10 to 15 foot depths. The avid angler should pack rattletraps, cranks and jigs, and be sure to use a marker buoy to stay with the school!

Visit our 10 fly-in fishing outpost cabins and read more about the amazing walleye, northern pike, muskie, bass and trout fishing.

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The Mystery of the World Record for Smallmouth Bass

No one has beaten the world record for smallmouth bass that was set by David Hayes on one sunny July afternoon in 1955. It was on that day that while trolling on Dale Hollow Reservoir, Tennessee, he landed an 11 pound, 15 ounce monster. To this day it still stands, blowing away its closest competition by a pound. However, it's a story that includes two lie detector tests and an angry angler!

The International Game Fish Association removed the record from their books, after discovering a written affidavit by John Barlow in which he stated that without Mr. Hayes knowledge, he had salted the weight by inserting weights into the fish at the Cedar Hills Dock, where the official weighing had taken place. Unfortunately, John Barlow had since died, however, before his death he took a lie detector test that he passed, where he stated he had salted the results. Shortly after the IGFA removed the record, so did National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.

Through the unwavering investigation of an American reporter named Larry Self, and an agent of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Ron Fox, another story has emerged. One that claims John Barlow was angry with the Cedar Hill Dock management after being told that he was no longer welcome there. Ron Fox arranged for Barlow's brother, Ira, to take a lie detector test to verify Ira's claim that his brother was nowhere near the Cedar Hill Dock on the day of the weighing. Ira also passed the test.

Another key piece of evidence was two identical weights at two different locations, the first of which Barlow was not present. Hayes had taken the smallmouth bass to the closest dock to be weighed before setting off to Cedar Hill, which had a certified scale. A police officer who was there at the time of the first weighing remembered the correct time and weight. There was no difference between the two weights.

Between Fox and Larry Self, they put together a six-inch thick file of interviews, eyewitness accounts and investigatory findings to support their cause and reinstate David Hayes' smallmouth bass world record.

The National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame has since reinstated the record. The International Game Fish Association is reviewing the case.