This area has some very good smallmouth bass fishing, however, you may have to lake hop on some of these smaller lakes if you want to put up bigger numbers of fish per day. Eagle Lake is a big lake that gives anglers options to target smallies all day and Bowden Lake is big enough to keep you busy all day long. Most of the smaller lakes in the area will be better places to hit for a half day or so. There are some very big bass in many of the lakes here.
Smallmouth bass are a secondary species of fish on Eagle Lake, however, there are some very nice smallmouth bass in this lake. If you target the rocky points, shorelines and offshore reefs, you can probably pick off a couple bass here or there and if you cover enough water, you may have a nice day on the water fishing for smallmouth bass on Eagle Lake.
This chain of lakes consists of 9 lakes and almost 30 miles of shorelines to fish. It is known as an outstanding muskie fishery for numbers and it has some big fish too. Anglers also target walleye, lake trout, smallmouth bass and perch on these lakes.
Blue Lake is a beautiful lake with crystal clear waters and a long sandy beach. the Blue Lake Provincial Park is here, so plan on seeing quite a few people when fishing here, but it’s worth a trip here to check out the lake. Anglers target lake trout, smallmouth bass and northern pike. In summer and fall, you’re going to need to fish deeper and fluorocarbon line will definitely help you get more bites.
Canyon Lake is a large, deep, clear lake that is known for its awesome muskie fishing. It’s one of the better action lakes for muskie in the area. Good muskie anglers have multiple fish days consistently from summer through fall. Anglers also target smallmouth bass and walleye here, but plan on fishing pretty deep if you are here in the summer or fall.
Square Lake is deeper than Long Lake and it offers better fishing, especially for bigger fish. Walleye, northern pike and smallmouth bass are all here in fishable numbers. You have some deep shorelines, lots of rocks, some weeds, current and islands. It is a small lake that you can easily fish in a half day.
Bowden Lake is the biggest of these 3 lakes. You may be able to get in through the stream that connects these lakes. If the water is low or your boat too big, you won’t be able to get through here due to the shallow water and rocks. If you can’t get through the stream, there is a resort that has its own launch.
Bowden Lake is the best lake of these 3 lakes. It has good numbers of northern pike, smallmouth bass and walleye with quality fish too. You have points, islands, rocks, weeds and bays to fish. It’s a nice lake to fish with minimal fishing pressure.
Ely Lake is a small lake close to the center of town. The boat launches aren’t great, so bring a smaller boat and a 4×4 truck or SUV. This lake has some deep water, lots of rocks, some bays with weeds and wood and a good sized island that attracts a lot of fish. There are some nice smallmouth bass, some pike and walleye here too. Most of the pike will run smaller and you won’t catch a ton of walleye, but the smallmouth bass are worth a half day or more on this lake.
Other Backcountry Lakes
The smaller, backcountry lakes give anglers all kinds of options if you don’t mind fishing some of these lakes in a rowboat or kayak. Many of the smaller lakes in the area will have areas to launch your boat, but you will need a 4×4 truck or SUV. There are several lakes worth fishing that won’t have a launch, so you can just drop a rowboat, kayak or inflatable.
The smaller lakes in this area will have a good variety of fish. Most will have some pike in them. Some lakes have some walleye. Several lakes have good lake trout fishing and you can find some smallmouth bass here too.
Best Baits for Smallmouth Bass
When it comes to artificial lures, you have lots of options. Soft plastic crayfish, twin tail grubs, worms and minnow baits are very effective. Hard baits such as crankbaits, jerkbaits and spinners also work great.
With so many different soft plastics to use, you have so many different rigs that work great for smallmouth bass. The drop shot rig, a simple jighead, standup jigheads and scrounger jigheads are some of the best rigs for smallmouth bass. To see our full list, take a look at our best rigs for smallmouth bass page.
There are so many different techniques you can use for smallmouth bass since they can be found shallow, deep and anywhere in between. Anglers usually cast for them, but jigging, drop shotting and drifting are also some great techniques for smallmouth bass.
To learn more, take a look at our best techniques for smallmouth bass page.
Our smallmouth bass fishing section has tons of tips on the best lures, live baits, where to catch them and how to catch them.