Category: smallmouth bass-rivers

Hello Italo,I will be fishing for small/largemouth bass,pike, and wallye at a resort called Brennan Harbour located by the Spanish river and a small bay called Buswell. Can you provide some tips on how and where to catch these species?Thank you!

Posted on May 4th, 2021

Both Bass species & Pike will be around shoreline that are rocky and especially where there is aquatic vegetation. Largemouth & Pike will be in closer to shore and where there are larger weedbeds. Smallmouth will be more around rocky areas with sparse weeds like, point, bars & shoals. A good depth to target all three is 5-12′ water. Good lures to use for them are:

pike

-shallow running crankbaits like the Rapala Husky Jerk and the Dives To series in the 4-10′ models

spinner

-Vibrax #3 & #4 spinners and 1/4 & 3/8 oz. colorado bladed spinnerbaits

bass

-1/4 and 3/8 oz. jigs & 3-4″ plastic grubs (twister-tail, minnows, etc.)

For Walleye you can try fishing the middle of larger mud-bottom bays and along rocky drop-off points. A good way to locate them is to troll a worm-harness or shallow diving Rapala like the Jointed #7-#11 model. Once you locate one or two walleye on a spot you can anchor, or if the wind is not strong you can drift and try fishing jigs/plastic grubs as listed above…God bless you.

You can see excellent videos showing you all the above techniques by going to our Italo Labignan YouTube site and if you have any questions I would be happy to answer them through our website at Ask Italo.

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Hi Italo,I have been a fan for over 30 years and have a question about Drag River that is an off shoot of Canning Lake in the Haliburton Highlands. I was wondering if you had any experience fishing in the area and any advice for someone fishing in a river, Drag River, who prefers using worms and minnow bait versus a lure. Thanks for all the great information about fishing over the years and any help with my question. Patrick

Posted on August 14th, 2020

Hi Patrick, you are welcome! I have not fished the Drag River, but I have fished Drag Lake for smallmouth bass. You should do well fishing nightcrawlers on a 1/8 oz jighead or tipped on a small spinner and fishing drop-offs between 6-12′. I did well on Drag Lake using a Tiny Torpedo (top-water lure with a small propeller at the back). I think it would also work good in the river…God bless you.

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Hi Italo,Been watching you since I was a little boy, back then it was you and Henry. I live in the Kitchener Waterloo area and I’m blessed with easy access to Grand River watershed. I’ve had a lot of success when fishing Brown Trout near Fergus. However bass fishing is a different story. I have caught a few using top water poppers and plastic crayfish. I was wondering if you have any other recommendations. I fish the Grand itself and Shades Mills. I have not mastered plastics fishing yet, have issues recognizing the bite. So I would appreciate if you could recommend a hard plastics or spinner. ThanksJamie

Posted on June 17th, 2019

Hi Jamie, glad you have been enjoying our TV shows over the years. The Grand River is an amazing fishery from the northern stretches for trout right down to Lake Erie for bass, walleye and even steelhead that run up in the fall. My top producing bass lures in the Grand River are:

-Jointed #7 Rapala (you can reel it in slowly below the surface and when you fish shallower stretches that has heavier weeds, reel it in slower and even swim it across the top, I have had very good success with it.

-Vibrax #2 & #3 spinner. If the pools/runs are deep enough and there isn’t too much weed growth a Vibrax is deadly for smallmouths in the Grand. I cast it cross current and reel it in perpendicular with the current trying to let the spinner run deep but not catch weeds or the bottom.

-4″ tube/1/4 oz. tube jighead. The tube is deadly drifted along the bottom but in many stretches you’ll need to rig it “Texas-rig” to avoid getting hung-up on the bottom or catching too many weeds. Don’t worry about feeling the bite, when a bass grabs it it tries to eat it and you will definitely know a bass is on…God bless you.

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Hello Italo!I’m a novice fisherman that has only really targeted trout and salmon in my local Georgian Bay tributaries. Bass season is fast approaching and I would love to give that a shot! Catching bass at my friend’s cottage in Muskoka is a piece of cake, however, I don’t even know where to start in my area. I’m located in Thornbury, Ontario and sadly I don’t have access to a boat (but I may be persuaded to get a canoe). Can you suggest a location near me and set up to try my hand at bass fishing? Thanks!-Alex

Posted on June 7th, 2019

Hi Alex, all of the Great Lakes tributaries this time of the year and throughout the summer get migrations of smallmouth bass.  I suggest you fish the mouth and lower sections of the tributary nearest you from shore casting either a Vibrax #2 or #3 spinner, a Jointed #7 Rapala, or fishing 1/4 oz jigs and plastic grubs along the bottom. If you do end of getting a canoe you  will be access more water and in some tributaries like the Saugeen River, you can catch bass and musky pretty well in-bewteen all the dams, even way upstream…God bless you.

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Hello, I was watching the episode of Canadian sport fishing where you were targeting smallies in the grand river using soft crayfish imitation baits but didn’t catch the brand of bait. Real interested in getting a few for this summer. Any chance you could fill me in?Cheers

Posted on December 23rd, 2015

Those plastic crayfish were called “Sliding Sinker Crayfish”.

italo

I had purchased them on the internet. Not sure if you can still get them on eBay.

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Hi Italo,Do you think there are still any smallmouth bass in the Whirlpool or Niagara River that can be caught from shore? Or did they all move out into deeper water? Thanks!

Posted on November 8th, 2015

I have not heard of any caught recently either at the Niagara Whirlpool or at the Queenston, ON boat launch.

smallie_walleye

 

There should be some left, but they may have moved to deeper water. Last time I fished the Lower Niagara for them I was targetting them with vertical jigging spoons in water from 25-50′ and caught some fish, but it was not easy. The lakers are now in good numbers and the steelhead are starting to increase.

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Hi everyone: I have been beating my pc up trying to find out how to fish the banks of Niagara ( Ontario side ). I know there are places to walk to and fish but can you tell me how to get to them and where I can park the car as I have no boat. Many Thanks Leroy Seaton….London On.

Posted on July 28th, 2015

triggerx_tube

Hi Leroy,

Many areas to fish from shore on the Niagara River. Here you go:

-Upper Niagara, Fort Erie, ON: Fort Erie boat launch area for perch/smallmouth using a pickerel-rig on the bottom with 2-small live minnows. Fishing the shorelines from the small parking lot located just south of Southsides Bar & Grill (on the Niagara Parkway), down to in front of Southsides using 4″ tubes & 3/8 oz. tube jigheads bumped along the bottom for smallmouth. Fishing off the “wall” just north of the railway bridge at the end of Cartwright St., about 1 mile north of Fort Erie boat launch fishing tubes & pickerel rigs along the bottom for panifish and smallmouth. Fishing in front of Frenchman’s Creek (about 1 mile north of Cartwright St.), for largemouth and also fishing the shoreline both north & south with tubes for smallmouth.

-Lower Niagara, Queenston, ON: Queenston Boat Launch for smallmouth & walleye. Fishing tubes along the bottom for smallmouth and 1/2 oz. jigs for walleye or pickerel-rigs with worms/minnows.
-Niagara Whirlpool: Access located across from Niagara Whirlpool Golf Course tee-off blocks for the first hole (parking lot/trail). Excellent for smallmouth bass drifting 4″ tubes along the bottom.

God bless you,
Italo

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I am going to the Niagara Whirlpool in a couple of weeks and I am wondering what lures I should use there

Posted on July 20th, 2015

triggerx_tube_smallie

If you are targeting smallmouth bass best to fish a 4″ tube with a 3/8 oz. tube jighead along the bottom (drift it with the current). If you target musky, large swim-baits like the Storm Wildeye series will work well.

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Hey where is the best place to shore fish for largemouth and smallmouth bass in the Niagara region port Colborne area

Posted on July 15th, 2015

Best spot for smallmouth is the Niagara Whirlpool. For largemouth Gibson Lake off of Beaverdams Rd., (#67), east side of Gibson Lake.

italo_xrap_pop

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Hi Italo,I was wondering what are good places near Vaughan that have good bass fishing from shore?Thanks

Posted on June 17th, 2015

dave_evans_smallie

Any of the smaller lakes, or even Lake Simcoe will have limited shoreline fishing areas. Your best bet is to head south to either the Credit River or Bronte Creek and fish the lower stretches where the first pools are up from Lake Ontario. There should be good smallmouth bass fishing there. Fish small #5 Jointed Rapala, Vibrax #1 & #2 spinners and small 1/8 & 1/4 oz. jigs with 3-4″ plastic grubs along the bottom (including tubes).

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