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Smallmouth Bass in Canada - Fishing Tips and Info

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Smallmouth Bass are a freshwater fish that is very popular species to target while fishing in Canada. Smallmouth bass prefer the cooler waters of Canada and are more prevalent in Canada than largemouth bass. In addition to their prevalence, smallmouth bass are very popular amongst anglers due to their incredible fight and acrobatics when caught – especially on the top of the water. This typically makes them an exciting fish to hook and a challenge to land in the boat. They are also an easy fish to target in that they respond to a variety of tackle including spinner baits, crank baits, live bait, and artificial worms.

Smallmouth can be caught up to 25", though most anglers will see them more commonly in the 11"-20" range and around 1-5 lbs. Anglers will notice that the size and shape of smallmouth bass varies greatly based on where it is caught. If caught in a river, the smallmouth bass takes on a thinner, more tubular, shape and its color is close to a dark brown. However, smallmouth bass caught in a lake will be a lighter yellow-brown color and appear more oval in shape. The diet of smallmouth bass mostly includes crayfish, insects, and other smaller fish.

Smallmouth Bass aren't considered as good of an eating fish as walleye but many anglers still enjoy eating smallmouth bass. As an informal rule, the colder the water they are caught in, the more firm and desirable the filets will be. Today, many fishermen practice catch-and-release fishing to improve fish populations and because of this Smallmouth Bass have thrived and are amongst the more sought after gaming fish for anglers to target.

Smallmouth Bass

Where to Find Smallmouth Bass in Canada

While smallmouth bass like cold water they are mainly found in the waters of Ontario and Quebec . Most fishing camps in Ontario and Quebec will have smallmouth bass fishing available. In the other provinces they are found closer to the US border, but much further beyond that and it's just too cold for these fish. If you were to look at a map of Canada they aren't found too much further North than the Southern border of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba in rivers, streams, and lakes.

Smallmouth Bass like structure and will reside near it whether in a river or a lake. Fallen trees, stumps, shoals and rocky structure along the shoreline are great places to fish for smallmouth bass. They are a moderately aggressive fish, meaning they may take some convincing to strike, but they will strike fast and hard once you have enticed them to do so. Since they search for food in deep water and top water alike, smallmouth bass can be targeted in a variety of depths and will both dive deep and rise fast to the surface (both in a matter of moments) when hooked and won't come out of the water without repeating this pattern a few times, which makes them a fun fish to catch and is why anglers seek these fish out.

Lures for Smallmouth Bass Fishing

Smallmouth Bass are consistently caught on a wide range of natural and artificial baits or lures, including crankbaits, hair jigs, plastic jerkbaits, artificial worms, spinnerbaits, and all types of soft plastic lures, including curly tail grubs or tubes with lead head jigs. Spinning reels or floating top water popper fly patterns and buzz baits are also popular for Smallmouth Bass fishing. For river fishing, spinning tackle or fly tackle has been the most successful for pulling in Smallmouth Bass in North America for years. Be sure to check to local/provincial websites for the specific conservation guidelines and regulations.

Additional Info

Top Fishing Trips for Smallmouth Bass


Anderson's Lodge
Anderson's Lodge
34 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $3,000 to $4,000 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $2,000 to $3,000 Per Person
Hawk Lake Lodge
Hawk Lake Lodge
4.6 out of 5 18 Google Reviews
6 - 7 Days: $2,000 to $3,000 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $1,500 to $2,000 Per Person
Kenauk Nature
Kenauk Nature
246 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $750 to $1,000 Per Person
Lost Lake Lodge
Lost Lake Lodge
112 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
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Marten River Lodge
108 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
Lookout Point Camp
Lookout Point Camp
106 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
Waterfalls Lodge
Waterfalls Lodge
99 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
Lake Obabika Lodge
Lake Obabika Lodge
4.8 out of 5 54 Google Reviews
6 - 7 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
Manotak Lodge
Manotak Lodge
51 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
Andy Myers Lodge
Andy Myers Lodge
47 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $750 to $1,000 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $750 to $1,000 Per Person
Island 10 Fishing Retreat
Island 10 Fishing Retreat
4.9 out of 5 46 Google Reviews
6 - 7 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
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Pine Cliff Lodge
46 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $750 to $1,000 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
Crow Duck Lake Camp
Crow Duck Lake Camp
4.7 out of 5 44 Google Reviews
6 - 7 Days: $1,500 to $2,000 Per Person
Wilderness Air Escapes
Wilderness Air Escapes
4.9 out of 5 43 Google Reviews
6 - 7 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
Ellen Island Camp
Ellen Island Camp
41 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $750 to $1,000 Per Person
Lake Herridge Lodge
Lake Herridge Lodge
4.9 out of 5 41 Google Reviews
6 - 7 Days: $750 to $1,000 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
Rainbow Point Lodge
Rainbow Point Lodge
41 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
Maynard Lake Lodge
Maynard Lake Lodge
39 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $2,000 to $3,000 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $2,000 to $3,000 Per Person
Camp Narrows Lodge
Camp Narrows Lodge
4.7 out of 5 39 Google Reviews
6 - 7 Days: $750 to $1,000 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
Olive the Lake
Olive the Lake
5.0 out of 5 38 Google Reviews
6 - 7 Days: $250 to $500 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $250 to $500 Per Person
Birch Dale Lodge
Birch Dale Lodge
4.8 out of 5 38 Google Reviews
6 - 7 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
Kesagami Wildnerness Lodge
Kesagami Wildnerness Lodge
36 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $2,000 to $3,000 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $2,000 to $3,000 Per Person
Ravenscroft Lodge
Ravenscroft Lodge
35 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $750 to $1,000 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
Tornado's Canadian Resorts
Tornado's Canadian Resorts
34 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $750 to $1,000 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
Bear's Den Lodge
Bear's Den Lodge
33 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
Gowganda Lake Lodge
Gowganda Lake Lodge
33 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $750 to $1,000 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
Gateway North Outfitters
Gateway North Outfitters
4.8 out of 5 32 Google Reviews
6 - 7 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
Duck Bay Lodge
Duck Bay Lodge
4.9 out of 5 31 Google Reviews
6 - 7 Days: $2,000 to $3,000 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
Tetu Island Lodge
Tetu Island Lodge
29 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $4,000 to $5,000 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $3,000 to $4,000 Per Person