It was back in July of 2012 when Fish’n Canada’s Pete Bowman had the honour of fishing with Keith Beasley from the very popular Canadian hunting television program Canada In The Rough. They fished for Largemouth Bass and they had a hoot!
If you don’t know it, Keith is almost as avid an angler as he is a hunter—he loves it that much. If asked for a species preference, Pete says he’d put his money on Keith placing Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass on top of the list.
Since that 2012 trip, they’ve talked and talked about a second trip and it finally came to fruition in the summer of 2018. Their chosen destination was Paudash Lake near Bancroft, Ontario.
Paudash Lake is in south-central Ontario just southwest of Bancroft along Highway 28. The lake is also just north of Silent Lake Provincial Park in Haliburton County, 27 kilometres south of the panhandle of Algonquin Provincial Park. The nearest communities to Paudash Lake are the village of Cardiff and the hamlet of Paudash.
Technically, Paudash is actually two lakes: ‘Paudash’ and ‘Lower Paudash’. They are located on the Crowe River—near its headwaters—which flows into the Trent River at Crowe Bay north of Campbellford.
Paudash Lake has several different sections within it: Lower Paudash Lake (Outlet Bay) to the east, North Bay to the north, Joe Bay to the southwest, and Inlet Bay to the northeast. The lake has a maximum depth of 151 feet. Fish species include Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, Lake Trout, Perch, Pumpkinseed, Northern Cisco, White Sucker, and a variety of small baitfish.
THE BASS OF PAUDASH
Paudash is known for its numbers and size of Bass. It is also known for the large amount of fishing pressure it receives every summer. Between pleasure fishing and tournament fishing, things have gotten a bit tougher. That said, the lake is still one of the best Bass lakes in all of Ontario—you just have to work harder to get ’em.
On this trip, the guys unfortunately had some bad timing. Not only did the Bass just recently spawn, but a Bass tournament was held on the lake just days before. Two strikes against them.
Pete and Keith hit Joe Bay first and quickly found that the main lake weed beds were holding fish. The closer to deep water, the better. This is a typical summer pattern. Simply rig up a worm, craw, or soft stickbait Texas-style and sooner or later you’re going to get hit.
Their next trek took them to the north end of the lake. Although it looked more like Smallmouth water, they did happen to tie into a few Largemouth, including the largest of the trip: a largie pushing four pounds.
“That nice Largemouth had quite a story to it,” recalls Pete. “Keith threw a bait into a small, isolated, shallow weed clump and saw a big smallie peek out and then take off into the thick stuff. Keith and I both threw a ton of baits at the clump knowing someone was home. Finally, I threw a light Ned Rig in and that gorgeous Largemouth came out and pounced on it!”
Obviously, polarized glasses are a must in most fishing situations, including this one.
The guys finished off the trip by fishing Lower Paudash and found that either docks or rocky shorelines with weeds, wood and pads worked well, along with deep cabbage weed patches.
This was a great trip for Pete in that he feeds off Keith’s bass fishing enthusiasm. “If this guy can’t get you pumped,” says Pete, “then you best stay in the cottage and play some Xbox!”
A while back an angler named Ned Kehde was seeking out a way of making his half-day fishing trips into a “catching fish after fish” outing. He didn’t care if they were all giants or not, he just wanted fish—for Bass, to be exact.
Long story short, he came up with the Ned Rig. It’s a simple finesse rig consisting of a mushroom style jig head and a soft plastic which is simply a small (2.5 – 2.75”) version of a soft stickbait (commonly called a Senko).
It doesn’t look like much, but little Ned does catch fish.
Pete, Keith and the production crew stayed at the perfectly-situated Anchorage Resort on Paudash Lake.
The resort offers fully furnished cottages, great docking facilities and a well-maintained boat launch on the property. It also has a private lakefront trailer park with 34 large well-treed sites over seven acres and 650 feet of waterfront.
Lodge owner Brian Stubbings brags not only about the summer Bass fishing on the lake but also about the ice fishing opportunities the lodge has to offer.
More and more families are heading to Anchorage each winter for an ice fishing getaway.
OTHER PLACES TO FISH AROUND THE AREA
The lakes and rivers near Bancroft, Ontario are nothing short of phenomenal as far as fishing is concerned. We’re not sure why, but the Bass in this area grow big. Other lakes like Eels, Chandos, and the well-known Elephant and Baptiste Lakes are great Bass fisheries that are very close to the Paudash/Bancroft area.