This episode takes place at the eastern end of Lake Ontario, two days after the Bass opener.
“To me” says Pete “opening day is like New Year’s Day: full of resolutions and promises. In my case, it’s pretty simple: set the tone for the season right now – go big or go home! Boating a five pound plus Smallie or even one approaching a six in the next day and a half, here, in this well-known bass fishery, would set a benchmark for the next 5+months”.
The Smallies he’s after should be just off their spawn, probably hungry, possibly still somewhat belligerent and therefore hopefully aggressive. If all this works out, Pete could be in for a hey-day; and, the way the solunar science is lining up for the next 48 hours, boating a giant or 2 is very achievable.
This episode actually starts the evening before Pete’s trip out into the lake. “I had a few hours of daylight left so I figured I’d try to get a feel for the mainland fish, so I could prep for the next day. I needed to have a plan for the big guys”.
Fishing near the city of Kingston Ontario, he beat the shore pretty good but could only come up with 1 nice Smallie on a dropshot. His overall impression was that, in this area, the post spawn period was done, and the fish had dispersed into cooler, deeper water. Not what he was looking for… but… with the water being cooler out at the Ducks, conditions should be perfect”!
MORNING OF THE DUCSK
The time is 7am and Pete’s making his way from the town of Bath to the Main Duck Island. It’s long ride, especially in the fog that’s sitting on top of the water. With Duck Is being so far away, Pete must put all of his confidence into his GPS unit.
Venturing out to Duck Island is pretty much an all day commitment. Even on flat water the journey still seems like an eternity… and not being able to see your destination on the way out… that’s just plain freaky! Once here though, it’s game on!
“I’ve fished here before, so I know the topography. The south west aspect of the island presents a huge flat with a very gradual slope from shore. This was going to be a low tech expedition: I have no waypoints in my GPS. All I have are my trusty polarized sunglasses which, by the way are perfect for seeing into the gin clear waters. I could also see that there were no fish close to the shore- too shallow and too warm”.
BIG BRONZE BASS
Since the extreme shallows were a write-off, I begin my fishing about a hundred meters off shore, zigzagging parallel to the shore casting in all directions, using primarily spinnerbaits and jerkbaits for the aggressive fish and the occasional tube and dropshot for the lethargic ones. I know they’re there because I can see the occasional cruiser highlighted against the pale rocks.
“I popped fish here and there but nothing was looking consistent. I’d get one on a Spinnerbait and then it would go dry. I’d change to a Jerkbait and get one, and then it would go dry… same with the tube & dropshot”
After frantically searching for something different, Pete finally got on to a pattern. Focusing on the dark spots (which were actually boulders with some algae on them), he get two consecutive quality Smallmouth with a whacky rigged Senko on a dropshot rig. These fish were very aggressive. This says a lot of the fish’s attitude and sets the stage for the rest of the day.
“With pretty much any Dropshot bait my setup is rigged about a foot above my sinker, which will stay in contact with the bottom while I gently flick the rod tip up and down to keep only the bait moving. A 12″ drop is a good starting point when Dropshotting no matter where you are fishing”.
From then on it was on!!! Pete proceeded to catch a bunch of fantastic Smallies and had one of his best opening week “days” ever.
“I’ve done what I set out to do” says Pete “I caught a bunch of great fish, boated my 5’er AND A GIANT probably pushing 6! This definitely raises the bar and sets the standard for the rest of Smallmouth Bass season”… a tough feat to surpass!
GETTIN’ THERE with RAM TRUCKS
To get to today’s fantastic Smallmouth Bass fishing, I first drove on Hwy 401 to the city of Kingston Ontario. From there I traveled south on Gardner’s Road and then west on Bath Road to a boat launch in Collins Bay.