Alyssa from Barrie, ON getting ready to gently release one of her gorgeous, Georgian Bay smallmouth bass. She really tore them up on a couple spots!
What happens when you get a week of good weather, the Full Moon Phase and a bunch of amazing guests in the boat every day? Lots of smiles and lots of fish! Guests of www.busheyangleguidedfishing.com have been having some great trips lately for smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye and muskie. Weed growth, water temps and forage are all nearing their peak right now, and the fishing has been spectacular.
Alyssa and Josh were winners of a Full Day guided trip with www.busheyangleguidedfishing.com, through a contest I ran with my great friends at the 705 Anglers Group, on Facebook. They came up and did an amazing job! If you're looking for first-class day on the water for your next special occasion, don't forget that I do specialized plans and pricing discounts for Couples, Anniversaries, Birthdays, Graduations and so on. Josh tagged this beautiful walleye on a jig and grub combo off a weedy shoal. Way to go buddy! Even in that clear water, bright baits are a great producer on bright days.
Speaking of great deals on great fishing trips, Alex from Wasaga Beach, ON was up for a day of walleye fishing with me for his 14th birthday. Great gift idea, Dad! This kid made his day count, catching some beautiful Muskoka Lakes walleye.
Every guest that books a trip for a special occasion goes home with a tackle pack, compliments of www.busheyangleguidedfishing.com. Alex with his lucky Reef Runner hat that I included in his pack. He released this nice walleye on one of the Reef Runner crankbaits I gave him, too! Hooked for life, now.
We fish a variety of fun, hands-on techniques for summer walleye. Alex kicked his Birthday trip off with this beauty! Walking 3-way rigs and dropshots through wood and boulders takes touch, feel and good patience. He did an amazing job landing this one on a Mepps Trolling Rig, baited with a leech.
Being able to release and retrieve line fast-- while following the bottom with large weights--is one of the keys to staying on summer walleye. Super-light reels with the flippin' switch option are the only way to go. These Quantum Energy PT baitcast reels are the go-to for both me and my guests.
At www.busheyangleguidedfishing.com BIG largemouth bass are a way of life! You can expect fish over four pounds daily, with plenty of fish over five pounds in the mix. We target the biggest largemouth possible, using a range of casting, flipping and pitching techniques. Monster frogs, like Live Target's 3/4oz model, flippin' jigs in the 7/8 to 1 oz size and big, 5" Bass Magnet Flippin' Tubes are the tools. Greg from Barrie, ON was looking to learn how to frog fish and I was only to happy to show him the ropes. Think he figured it out?
Greg with a pair of back-to-back giants he scored, before a quick release back in to the slop. Those are really big bass, friends. Greg's a gigantic dude, his hands are the size of my landing net. Big rods, big line and big frogs are a good way to turn any monster bass into a biter. They'll spawn next spring and make more big ones!
Dan joined me up on Georgian Bay all the way from Markham, ON looking for his shot at some monster bucketmouths. He brought his A-game with the flippin' stick and big plastics, let me tell you! Big tubes were the play that day. The hot, bright weather had some real good fish buried in thick, mixed vegetation. These Georgian Bay largemouths really do set up shop in some predictable, prime spots---and they run these spots like a king on his throne. Anything that makes an appearance is getting inhaled, crushed and swallowed. Here's a few of Dan's better fish!
Easily my most productive flippin' tubes are these 5" monsters, from Bass Magnet Lures. Locally produced right here in Ontario, they've just got it all: the perfect profile, unreal colours and they're really durable. I play around with trimming skirts and adding a little extra scent/colour with Spike It dyes. These 2 here are real killers on both largemouth and smallmouth bass. And you won't find a better company to deal with, either!
Last and certainly not least, my Editor at Ontario OUT OF DOORS Magazine, Ray Blades came up for some fishing and filming. If there's anything more fun than casting crankbaits to walleyes on deep humps, I don't know what it is! Ray's a great guy and we look forward to getting the boat whenever we can. Here's a beauty he tagged on a firetiger Rapala Rippin' Rap. Rapala introduced that bait a few years back and between ice jigging, spring pike, summer bass and summer walleye, this thing is a complete machine. Outstanding lures! We released all of our walleyes that day, talk about fun! Overcast, breezy weather gets those fish snapping, and bombing crankbaits is one of the best ways to catch 'em.
Want to know the best part, friends? August and September are by far the best months of the summer for multispecies fishing. The bite only ramps up, from here. Come take your shot! The best fishing is still yet to come...
A solid Simcoe smallmouth that took a Bass Magnet tube in a little, sandy opening inside a rock bed.
Those glassy, calm smallmouth trips on Lake Simcoe are pretty few and far between. She’s a windy body of water, without a lot to get behind and hide. Luckily, we had some perfect weather days right around the second week of July, so we took a few shots at some good, post-spawn water. Right off the bat, two of the biggest factors affecting how I fish for Simcoe smallmouth are: 1) tons of slimy, clingy algae that coats pretty much everything along bottom and, 2) huge pods of multi-coloured, multi-sized gobies littering the areas I fish.
All that moss and all of those gobies are pretty unique to this lake. You don’t find that kind of stuff on many other inland lakes. Working rock piles, shoreline sand/rock flats and any kind of rocky projections that tickle their way out into 14 to 17 feet of water has been the strategy. The biggest difference maker on this lake is not wasting time with all that algae gunking up your baits. On lots of spots, you’re fouled pretty much the second your presentation touches bottom. And on top of that, gobies of all shapes and sizes are quick to swarm all over anything that’s within about six inches of the lake’s floor.
A crazy looking Simcoe goby, half black, half brown. That's a Pulse-R in a very good colour: Stewart's Pro Blue.
The distance between my sinker and bait varies constantly. I use dropshot weights with the little snugger clip and always tie my rigs with plenty of tag line, so I can move the weight over a range of positions. Lots of the best Lake Simcoe bass spots have a real mix of rock sizes—some of which bulge up several feet above the bottom. I don’t want my bait too low. I want smallmouth to see it, hovering over head. Over cleaner bottom, I’ll often compress my rig way down, to as little as a foot between weight and bait. Whether I’m simply dragging dropshots using my electric motor or fan casting them, I play with my tag/weight distance until something sticks.
Over that mossy bottom, pencil-style weights pick up way less junk than round or bell-style. Every few minutes I’ll clean it off my weight, too. Don’t just leave all that moss there. It can easily shoot up your dropper line to your lure when you drop the rig down. That’s a key little detail. I think a sinker coated in weeds and moss also loses some of its sound, tapping the rocks.
The size and colour of the gobies really varies and I tend to fish a range of colours that resemble them. Some are jet black, others are almost a transparent green and others are a sandy, milky brown. Smallmouth eat them all. It’s awfully tough not starting my day with a smoke, a green pumpkin and a brown camo. I like fishing a lot of blues and blacks, too. There’s a million baits soft plastics for dropshotting and they all work.
I like covering water and hunting for smallmouth on big bodies of water, like Lake Simcoe. Quick drifts or casts with a dropshot can be every bit as deadly as working them slower or vertically. Action-tail plastics, like paddletails, are one of my aces. You don’t need a huge, hammering tail for smallmouth to find your rig in that clear water. A little flicker is plenty. I fish full-size, Pulse-Rs from BFishN Tackle a lot. They’ve got heavy ribs for extra water displacement, a super-soft, pot belly profile and exceptional tail action. They just look like any number of things a smallmouth will eat, this time of year. Any time it’s windy or the boat is moving fairly fast, try dropshotting with a paddletail. If that bait’s moving, it’s calling bass.
Counting down and slow-rolling grubs or paddletails is another great method. One part spinnerbait/crankbait and one part subtle jig, this is just another way to work multiple depths with baits that smallmouth eat and stay hooked on. Skimming anywhere from just over the rocks to right under the surface all works. Bass club these things just like any crankbait or spinnerbait. Just slowly reel them along, with the odd pause. It’s a really fun way to fish. Pulse-Rs and Bass Magnet Shift’R Shads are two of the best plastics I’ve used. I like that I can get both brands in a huge range of good, clear water hues. Fish that aren’t reacting to surface baits, twitch baits or spinnerbaits have been all over slow-rolled plastics lately.
Things are changing, as we head towards the mid-summer peak on Lake Simcoe. A million spots, a million smallmouth and plenty of fun ways to catch ‘em. See you out there!
Bruce contacted www.busheyangleguidedfishing.com in hopes of getting into some walleye. We set the dates, got out and got it done! We used a variety of methods, from drop shotting to trolling crawler harnesses and crankbaits behind planer boards. Steady action for 2 solid days on fish from 22 to 26 inches. Great job, buddy! Walleye fishing in the Muskoka Region is as good as it gets...and it really cranks up come August and September!
Late June means big bass on a huge variety of lakes. I've been booking fishing charters on Georgian Lake Simcoe and throughout central Ontario. Smallmouth and largemouth fishing has been exceptional! Big largemouth love big flippin' jigs! We're playing more of a finesse game for the better smallmouth. Ryan from Toronto made a big splash on largemouth, patiently working Bass Magnet and Jackall plastics through wood, reeds and new lily pads. Check out these back-to-back toads he released.
At www.busheyangleguidedfishing.com, I work my butt off to put guests onto the biggest fish possible. Now and again, I make a lucky cast, myself! Here's a beautiful smallmouth that sucked up a craw-coloured Pulse-R paddletail + Precision Jig combo for me the other day.
As always, Georgian Bay kicks us out some nice pike in June. The key is having surface temps rising up through the 60s and into the low 70s. Some nice fish are out on shoals and near new cabbage. The weed growth this year is really nice! Rock-weed combos that break into 15 to 20 feet of water are prime. Ryan dinged this beauty 15 casts into his trip on a smelt-coloured twitchbait. Beautiful release, buddy!
Last but not least, what's June without some big lake trout action? We've had some outstanding lake trout fishing charters on Lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay this month, both downrigging and vertically jigging. The two best tips I'd offer anyone targeting these fish in June? Find the bait and fish a minimum of ten feet over the trout you're marking. Make them chase up. A variety of Williams, Savant and Meegs spoons have kept the downriggers firing. Jigging with 3/4oz Reef Runner Cicadas and 1oz Pulse-R's is also a ton of fun. No expertise or experience needed, I'll put you right on top of the lakers and you hammer 'em.
There's still plenty of May left to go. What a awesome month to be on the water! Take a scroll down to see what's been going on lately...
What an action-packed time of year this is! Pike, walleye, lake trout, whitefish, perch, you name it. Surface temps have bounced around a fair bit on Georgian Bay, Lake Simcoe and inland lakes. We've had a decent smelt run and a couple good runs of suckers, too. Not only that, but a few solid bug hatches. A variety of good foods around leads to fairly predictable fishing right now.
Lake trout fishing is always a blast this time of year. The question most days is 'how many do you feel like catching, and how do you want to catch 'em?' Multiple depths, multiple techniques and big smiles. You can't beat it! Lots of methods work, but the best way to catch lake trout--by far--is slow trolling. Best trolling speeds for lakers are typically under 2mph. 1.5 to 1.7 is my sweet spot. You can catch 'em up over 2mph and in that range, spoons are dominant. I had a group of ten anglers the other week and they all went home with sore arms. And maybe a few blackfly bites.
Jesse with a Simcoe dandy that blasted a Williams Savant spoon on a bluebird day. High skies and super-clear water means 3 things when I'm picking spoon finishes: FLASH, FLASH, FLASH. This girl swam away strong after a good scrap in that cold water.