Smallmouth bass can be found in thousands of Ontario's rivers, creeks, and lakes. Largemouth thrive in warmer waterbodies with shallow cover. In lakes with diverse habitat, largemouth territory overlaps that of smallmouth bass, making for exciting angling action.
Smallmouth are most active from late spring to late autumn and can usually be found in more open water or along rocky points, drop-offs, or shoals.
When targeting smallmouth try curly-tailed jigs, crankbaits, shallow-diving spinnerbaits, in-line spinners, streamer flies, or crayfish imitations.
Largemouth bass are most active from early summer to early autumn. They can typically be found in areas rich in aquatic plants, as well as in areas that have a lot of flooded stumps, logs, standing timber, and brush.
Popular lures for largemouth are plastic worms, top-water lures, shallow-running crankbaits, weedless spoons, as well as buzz- and spinnerbaits.
Live bait is also effective for both species. Leeches, minnows, and juicy night crawlers rigged beneath a float or with split shot on the bottom will draw strikes. Smallmouth are particularly fond of crayfish, especially soft-shells that have just moulted.
SMALLMOUTH BASS FACTS
Ontario's record catch
Average sizes: 1 to 3.5 lbs (.45 to 1.58 kg)
Habitat and temperature: Live in deeper water, often around rocks, sand, or gravel areas. They prefer water temperatures under 70°F (21°C).
Biology: Spawn in late May and June in fanned-out bottom depressions. They deposit their eggs in shallow, gravelly areas. Males guard eggs and fry.
Ranges: Species range from Manitoba eastward along the north shore of Lake Superior, continuing as far north as Temiskaming, and then south.
LARGEMOUTH BASS FACTS
Ontario's record catch
Average sizes: 1.5 to 4 lbs (.68 to 1.8 kg)
Habitat and temperature: Inhabit shallow, warm waterbodies with aquatic vegetation, submerged wood, man-made cover, and rocks. They prefer 79 to 81°F (26 to 27°C) water.
Biology: Spawn in late May and June in fanned-out bottom depressions. Largemouth prefer vegetated, quiet bays.
Ranges: Species range from Manitoba eastward along the north shore of Lake Superior, continuing as far north as Temiskaming.
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