Smallmouth Bass Fishing is very good in the northwest angle, although, most anglers typically come up to this area to target walleye, muskie and northern pike. There are plenty of areas to target smallmouth bass and you have access to Minnesota and Canadian waters from the northwest angle. 2 to 3 pound bass are common in this area, but bass in the 4 to 5 pound range are possible.
Catch Lots of Smallmouth Bass
With all of the islands, points and rocky shorelines here, you can catch a lot of smallmouth bass. Early in the year, anglers can put up 50 to 100 fish days if they go in to Canada waters and target these fish when they are shallow. When they go deeper here and settle into their summer patterns, they are a little harder to find than in the spring, but if you hit enough islands and reefs, you can also put up some huge numbers of bass per day.
Catch Big Smallmouth Bass
There are a lot of big bass on Lake of the Woods and it is no different in the Northwest Angle. The big difference here is that you can take a 20 minute boat ride into Canadian waters and fish a lot more unpressured water, which makes it easier to get some of the big bass to bite. Anglers can catch a lot of bass in the 3 to 4 pound range with some bigger fish possible too.
Fishing the Bays
If you are willing to go across the border, you will have a lot of bays to fish here. Smallmouth bass move into the bays in the spring to spawn. As water temperatures warm up, the majority of these fish will move out of the bays. However, the larger bays will fish more like small lakes, so you can find some smallmouth bass here from spring through fall.
Fishing the Drop-offs
You have so many good drop-offs to fish off of points and around the islands. These drop-offs will hold lots of smallmouth bass in the summer and fall.
Fishing the Points
If you want to fish points, you can easily go from point to point all day long and you will not run out of new spots to fish. Smallmouth bass will use these spots from spring through fall, so it’s always a good idea to fish some of these points to see if smallmouth bass are holding there. Points with deeper water nearby will be the better points to fish in the summer and fall.
Fishing the Islands
There are so many islands of all different sizes in this area. Some are in U.S. waters, but so many more are across the border. These islands will hold smallmouth bass all season long, but the summer and fall months are typically the best times to fish the islands.
Fishing the Reefs
Anglers usually target the reefs in the area for walleye, but smallmouth bass will use these structures as well. From summer through fall, you can catch a lot of nice bass around these reefs.
Fishing the Rocks
Smallmouth bass love rocks and you’ll find plenty of rocks throughout Lake of the Woods and it is no different in the Northwest Angle. Whether you are fishing rocks along the shorelines, in deeper water or the reefs, you have so many awesome areas to fish.
Fishing the Weeds
Some of the areas with vegetation will actually hold some smallmouth bass too. You are going to find a lot more northern pike around the vegetation, but if you can find some vegetation with some rocks there too, you can find some nice smallmouth bass.
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.