How do you catch those BIG smallmouth everyone is catching on Lake Simcoe? That’s the question and issue I had. Fall bass fishing is difficult for me – I can sometimes get a few Largemouth in the shallows but those BIG Smallmouth elude me.
As part of a fishing guided trip my wife got me for my birthday (one for spring and one for fall), I got a chance to get out with Tom Carr from Fatal Force Outfitters. It was just what I needed for both those times. I struggle the hardest during those times and it’s this guys job to know where these fish are all year long.
I’ve heard people fishing in 40ft of water for these smallmouth and I’ve tried that depth myself, but to no avail. Turns out… that’s just the STARTING depth for these fish! We lucked out on a warm front that had moved it for the weekend. The winds were low and I didn’t dress appropriately for even this weather.
The boat ride to Tom’s spot was about 30 minutes and I couldn’t feel my legs, from the wind chill, by the time we got there. I spent a few minutes warming up and setting up my camera gear. While I did that, Tom set us up with rods and the trolling line we were going to make there. The spot he picked was a long piece of hard structure in deeper water. He let me rig up my bait so I knew how it was all put together for the next time I go out to do this.
The rig was a full 1-1.5oz football swinghead weight with a thin wire flipping hook that fast-atch’d onto the head. On the hook we installed a 3″ (what I believe to be) Megabass Hazedong in Tennessee Shad.
The presentation was just going to be a moving bait. You could probably get away with casting this too but we decided to drag it off the back of the boat at a super slow speed. We casted out as far as we could from the back, then let it sink down. We clicked the reel into gear and waited to see if we could feel the ticking of bottom. If we couldn’t we let a bit more line out until we could.
The hardware for this is a Medium-Heavy/Heavy Extra Fast Fenwick HMG in a 7’6″. That was paired up with a Pflueger Supreme XT low profile baitcaster. He had it wound with what I believe was 10/15lb braid and tipped it with about 10′ of 10lb fluorocarbon.
The bite was pretty easy to detect. They would sometimes grab at it, while other times the rod would just load up because the inhaled it. I had lots of chances to feel this bite, as you’ll see from the video. We had a stellar day – fish after fish! The shut down about 3PM, which was more than enough time to load that boat up with some amazing fall weights.
It only gets better from here folks, don’t put that boat away just yet… but if you did – try hiring a guide who knows where these fish are! I’ve had great luck with the trips I’ve had from Fatal Force Outfitters. Give them a peek on their Facebook page:
Learning to fish, one cast in the trees at a time.
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Orillia Fishing is a documented journey of how Jason DeValadares, with some help from friends, makes his way from a know nothing fisherman to an experienced angler. Orillia Fishing will travel to different lakes and fish different species while showing you what’s working that day. Orillia Fishing is a community of like minded people, please join the conversation on every video!