River Dwelling Largemouth Bass

Memquisit Lodge, Lake Nipissing ON

This is one of our rare Largemouth Bass shoots that quite honestly, we love doing. We say rare because there aren’t many outfitters that cater to the poor ol’ Swamp Donkey. Normally it’s Walleye, Pike, Muskie, and Smallmouth that take precedence.

On this trip, we hit some of the backwaters of the mighty Lake Nipissing. Lodges like Memqisit in Nipissing’s west arm cater to a multitude of species including the Largemouth Bass. 

With this body of water being so vast, we’ve put on a lot of miles over many years, covering a lot of area, looking for new and distinct waters to fish. We even added in some “never before seen” Fish’n Canada footage where we fished some shallow, thick reeds and pads on a stretch of one of the many incoming rivers to the big lake.

In the main body of the show, we are fishing more of the classic northern Ontario rock, wood, and weed situations. Largemouth Bass love all three of these types of cover and structure. When you put 2 or 3 of them together, that’s the juice!

In this area, we concentrated on soft plastic baits like Yamamoto’s Heart Tail and Megastrike’s Fat Shad swimbaits. If the fish here had been pressured over the years from lodge guests, or just bass anglers in general, we wanted to throw something different. This is a great bait, by the way, to throw either on a swimbait jig head, a swimbait wide gap hook, a Texas rig, or Carolina rig. All work extremely well with these soft plastics.

On the top is a Megastrike Fatshad swimbait and on the bottom is a Yamamoto Heart Tail swimbait. They’re both killer baits!

THE SECOND WAVE

As we said earlier, we included in this episode another shoot from a while back that has us pitching jigs into heavily reeded shorelines. This was a fun shoot as we were positioned in relatively open water, however, the Largemouth were in the heavy stuff. Sometimes just on the edge and other times well back. 

With heavy flipping gear in hand, spooled up with heavy line, we pitched, flipped, and fired cast after cast into the jungle, waiting for that tell-tale POP on the jig.

“This was a fun day,” Pete says “in that the fish were positioned both on the edge of the weeds and also well back. With two anglers like we had, the front person can pitch the outside stuff, hitting all the points and easily accessed, fishy-looking cover. Then the back-positioned person can fire way into the nasty stuff, seeking pockets, points, or thicker clumps.

Here’s an overhead diagram depicting an image of what the guys were fishing in. The 2 arrows on the left show the lead anglers’ targets. The 2 arrows to the right show the targets that the further-back angler should hit. It’s best to hit one side, then turn around and hit the other.

Jigs & chunks were the deal for the day, however, punch baits as well as an array of other plastics would have worked.

“The problem with jigs,” says Ang “is that although they’re made weedless, they still pick up strands of weeds. Especially in thin, grassy stuff. A percentage of your casts will ultimately come back fouled. That said, when that jig is clean and working, there’s not a better big fish bait for this situation”.

Here’s an example of a good “grass” flipping jig. The head is skinny, the hook tie is vertical vs. horizontal and the hook is beefy. Add a nice chunk and you’re in business.

CONCLUSION

Both of these Nipissing locations were great for a couple of days of Largemouth fishing. As we said, we don’t get to enjoy many shoots with old bucketmouth as our quarry so, when we get the chance, we love it!

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Exploring new water can be extremely difficult and frustrating even when fishing for species that you’re familiar with. Taking…
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