Ice Fishing for Smallmouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass season is closed all winter on many Ontario lakes but not in the Atikokan area. We do have a couple of local lakes where it's legal to fish for pre-spawn Smallmouth Bass but there are restrictions. You are only allowed to keep bass less than 13.8 inches. This time of year it's almost impossible to catch a bass that small. As a result we refer to our winter Smallmouth vacations as a catch-&-release adventure.
In mid to late winter, the female Smallmouth are the ones feeding the most as they need the extra food to develop their clutch of eggs. Not only are most large trophy Smallmouth Bass female, you have the opportunity to catch them while they are full of eggs, which means an extra pound or two. A 5-pound summer bass is 6-pounds this time of year. If you want your picture taken with a monster trophy Smallmouth Bass, this is your best chance. Generally the bass are common in the 2 to 4-pound range but the average size does seem to be a lot larger in the winter.
Portable ice-fishing shelters, guides, heaters and ice-fishing gear rentals are available if you want them as part of a custom fishing package that we tailor to your winter vacation needs.