The Smallmouth Bass fishing is absolutely incredible on Crotch Lake. It's our guests' most popular type of fishing. Not only do guests catch high numbers; they catch some impressive size bass. We have many guests from the Pro-Bass clubs that come to Crotch Lake for it phenomenal fishing
Crotch Lake is inundated with Smallmouth Bass. The population is so high that they have driven the Walleyes into deeper water. The reason why the population is so high is because of the structure of Crotch Lake. Crotch Lake is a rocky lake, which Smallmouth Bass love and flourish in. This region, millions of years ago, was the Frontenac Mountains and over some millennia the mountains have eroded down to what we call today; the Frontenac Highlands. The lake's characteristics are almost identical to a typical Canadian Shield lake except Crotch Lake has a much higher concentration of dissolved calcium and other minerals compared to shield lakes. Calcium is needed for bone development for fish so the more calcium in the water system the more fish it can produce and support. These minerals in the water also make conditions right for the Smallmouth Bass' favorite food, which is Crayfish (Crawdads).
Crotch Lake's clear cool water make the Smallmouth Bass taste fantastic. Many people will tell you they prefer the taste of Walleye to bass but cannot tell the difference between our bass and Walleye. They cook up white and fluffy and are full of flavor without any fishy taste.
In spring the Smallmouth Bass are all along the shore in shallow water and very east to catch. You will run into schools of smaller bass in the half to one-&-a-half pound range all along the shore as they are not old enough to spawn and are constantly moving to find food. In the good spawning areas, you will find bigger bass in the two and three-pound range and there may be several mating pares within casting distance of your boat. The very best spot for a Smallmouth Bass to spawn is in a sandy bay with rotting logs on the bottom. Rotting logs moderate the alkalinity of the water and this helps the survival rate of the young. Usually these spots are where the big O' Land O' Lakes Monsters are caught. The biggest Smallmouth Bass in the lake travel in mating pares and are very territorial. They chase the other bass away from these perfect spawning areas. Smallmouth Bass in the five and six-pound range or twenty to twenty-two inches get caught in these hotspots. These are true trophies and our guests catch a surprising amount of them. Crotch Lake is a big lake and big lakes produce big fish. It is reasonable to assume that there are seven and even eight pounders in the lake.
In the spring, if targeting Smallmouth, guests can expect to catch 50 bass or more in a day. There will be a good number in the eighteen to twenty-inch range and during a week of bass fishing you should catch a couple over twenty inches.
In the summer the Smallmouth Bass move from their spring locations to other areas of the lake. There will always be bass along the shore but the larger Smallmouth Bass tend to head out to shoals, islands, humps and sunken reefs or any structure where current is being produced by wind and waves. They will also move to rocky points where there are deep drop-offs. It's the affects of wave action that they are after. Smallmouth Bass generally like more oxygenated water than Largemouth Bass. They also like wave action because it keeps the rocks clear of silt and organic matter thus attracting Crayfish. Wind and waves also produce current and Smallmouth Bass like the rocky points because the current is whipping around the point concentrating plankton, which attracts minnows, another favorite food.
As a result of the bass migration in the summer guests can expect to catch around ten good size Smallmouth Bass in a day but the average size may be bigger than in the spring because the biggest bass gets the best spots. It's just a matter of recognizing what a Smallmouth Bass considers to be the best spot. Please read our Smallmouth Bass fishing tips page for more Crotch Lake information and insight.
If you are new to Smallmouth Bass, you should know that they are pound for pound the hardest fighting sport fish in Ontario. They are also easy to catch so it's a great way to introduce your kids to fishing. If your young child had a three-pound Smallmouth Bass on the line and it comes flying into the air several times; that will be a memory your child will keep forever.