Summer Fishing Tactics

This is when Simcoe becomes a mecca for boating and fishing.  Simcoe’s world-renowned bass fishery opens on the last Saturday in June and my focus turns to that.

Largemouth Bass
For such a big lake, the largemouth are fairly concentrated in just a few areas of the lake.  Most of it is just not suitable habitat for largies, where the smallmouth thrive.  Early summer, the largemouth can be found shallow in less than 10 feet of water.  Typical cover such as green weeds, lily pads, bulrushes, boat docks and trees hold a good share of fish.  As the water warms up, these largemouth on Simcoe move deeper.  Look for weeds in 12-30 feet of water and try them out.  These bass school well in the deeper weeds so when you catch one, slow down and fish the area thoroughly to coax more.  Start by throwing a deep diving crankbait to cover water fast then once you catch a fish, slow down with a tube, dropshot or a jig’n’pig and fish the area well as deep water bass usually school.

HOTSPOTS
Keswick – Holland River – Couchiching – Lagoon City

HOT BAITS
Strike Zone Fat Slammer – Senko – Tube Jig – Deep Diving Crankbait (Rapala DT) – Spinnerbait – Jig’n’pig


Smallmouth Bass
Smallies can be found through most of Lake Simcoe, over the various flats and shoals in water from 4-50 feet deep.  When they finish their spawn, they will cruise out to deeper water to feed.  I like using fast moving baits to find them, then I like to slow down if I find a group of them.  Start by looking for deep water near shallow bays, shoals and islands.  Smallies here feed on crayfish, perch and gobies although they are fairly opportunistic fish.  They average 3 – 3.5 pounds although 5 pounders are common and 7-8 pounders are possible.  I think this one of the best smallmouth fisheries in the world.  Spinnerbaits, crankbaits and jerkbaits are all good for finding aggressive fish, but to coax the lazier ones, a tube jig or a dropshot can often pick them off.

HOTSPOTS
Georgina Island – Thorah Island – Innisfil – Various Shoals – Lake Couchiching

HOT BAITS
Strike Zone Slammer and Wacky Leech – Tube Jig – Jerkbaits (X-Rap or Husky Jerk) – Spinnerbaits

 

Pike
Cooks Bay is still the place to be when it comes to pike fishing on Lake Simcoe, Lake Couchiching to the north which can be accessed through the narrows holds a significant number of pike as well.  Summer pike will move to deeper water than the spring to seek out cooler water temperatures.  Small pike can still be caught up shallow, but the bigger, badder fish will be in deeper water.  Trolling at this time of year can help significantly in covering water and drawing up more fish.  Look for weedlines in 15-30 feet of water, and use bigger baits to entice these fish as their metabolisms have sped up with the warmer temperatures.  A pike has no problem eating a 6-10 inch bait, go big or go home.

HOT SPOTS
Cooks Bay – Lake Couchiching

HOT BAITS
Heavy spinnerbaits – Big Jerkbaits – Deep diving crankbaits


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