By Ashley Rae — I headed off to chase smallmouth bass on Mazinaw Lake with my significant other and our pup. I hadn’t been to this area since I was a kid so it was wonderful to revisit this location, which is even more beautiful than I remembered.
Mazinaw Lake and Mazinaw Rock
Mazinaw Lake is located north of Kaladar in Addington Highlands, Ontario. The narrows divide the lake into upper and lower sections. Mazinaw Lake is the 7th deepest lake in the world, reaching 476 feet deep! A variety of fish species can be found here including: smallmouth and largemouth bass, lake trout, northern pike, walleye, perch, and sunfish. Travellers from around the globe visit to take in the views of the area, especially Mazinaw Rock. What a spectacular sight it is! Mazinaw Rock spans 1.5 kilometers across and reaches 330 feet in height.
Cruising along admiring the view of Mazinaw Rock.
The Search for Smallmouth
When exploring a fairly large and deep clear lake, it can be tricky to know where to begin. It’s important to keep in mind that smallmouth follow a predictable route throughout the seasons. Smallmouth spawn on shallow flats in the spring with access to slightly deeper waters nearby. Immediately post-spawn, they’ll move out a little deeper and typically hang around structure such as: rocks, boulders, and vegetation. After recuperating, a portion of the fish will scatter over deeper water schooling up and chasing suspended baitfish, while others can still be found in the shallower waters holding around structure. When fall and cooler water temperatures arrive, smallmouth are typically found around deeper points and suspended over deeper water. I use the Navionics app to get a better layout of the lake which helps in knowing where to focus my time.
Eric and I launched our boat inside a small inlet at Bon Echo Provincial Park and set off in search of smallies. Focusing on structure such as humps and rocky shorelines, we covered water using moving baits to locate fish. We picked up some smallies using jerk baits around rock piles, and Chatterbaits around vegetation. Upon getting into some fish, we’d slow it down and fish drop shots and Ned Rigs. We were rewarded for our efforts and got into some nice smallmouth! I also picked up a bonus walleye off a rocky point on a drop shot.
A little drop shot walleye on Mazinaw Lake.
Fish of the Day
Eric landed the largest fish of the day while burning a Chatterbait over weed tops. I heard him say ‘Got one!’ as he leaned into a hook set.
As I looked over, the fish rocketed out of the water and I could see that it was a good-sized smallmouth! I dropped my rod, grabbed the net, and darted to side of the boat to scoop up his fish.
The fish of the day!
Top Water Wonderland
Just before dark, we stumbled upon a large rocky/weedy flat in 5-10 feet of water. The wind settled and it was a perfect scenario for throwing topwater baits. As it turns out, the surface bite was ON! We fished until after dark having a riot catching topwater smallies, one of my favourite ways to catch them. It was a perfect ending to another fun trip!
A huge thank you to Lennox & Addington County for the opportunity to explore such beautiful waters this summer and to showcase the great fishing found here! This region is very special to me as it’s where I grew up and where my earliest fishing experiences took place. I can’t wait until my next visit!
This article was originally published in 2018.