The St. Lawrence River is home to some unbelievable smallmouth bass fishing and it extends out into Lake Ontario as well. On the river, you have so many options. You can fish the current breaks, the bays, shorelines, islands, docks and so much more here. On Lake Ontario, you have bays, islands, some excellent shorelines and lots of offshore structure.
Catch Lots of Smallmouth Bass
The St. Lawrence River and this part of Lake Ontario combine to provide anglers with one of the best places in the country to catch smallmouth bass. There are absolutely huge numbers of fish here. If you have a boat that you can run and gun with, you can easily put up big fish numbers with 30, 40 or even 50 fish days being common here.
Catch Big Smallmouth Bass
This area is home to some gigantic smallmouth bass. You will catch a lot of 2 to 3 pound fish, but there are also an unbelievable amount of 4 to 6 pound fish available in the river and out on the lake. If you put in the time here, you should be able to catch quite a few very big bass while fishing here.
Fish the Bays
You will find a lot of smallmouth bass in the bays early in the year. They like to be around bottoms with some rocks and sand mixed in. Sandy bottoms with wood will also hold a lot of smallmouth bass early in the year. Once the summer patterns set in, the bays may still hold some bass, but the better pattern will be out on the offshore structures.
Fish the Current Breaks
There is plenty of current on the river and many of the current breaks will be great spots to fish for smallmouth bass. Find some rocks around islands, off of points or underwater and fish the current breaks around them and you should catch plenty of smallmouth bass from spring through fall.
Fish the Docks
Some of the areas of the St. Lawrence River will have a bunch of docks to fish. Smallmouth bass are found around these docks in large numbers early in the year as they move in to spawn. In the summer and fall, you can still catch some smallmouth bass around the docks that have deep water around them.
Fish the Islands
There are so many islands here to fish and you can fish them from spring through fall and catch plenty of smallmouth bass. In the spring and early summer, the shorelines that provide good spawning habitat out of the current will hold a lot of fish. In the summer and fall, any island with some rocks, deep water nearby or some current can be productive spots.
Fish the Points
Whether you fish the main river shoreline points or the points around all the islands or even out on Lake Ontario, you are going to find plenty of smallmouth bass. These fish will use the points from spring through fall. Early in the year, the points that are close to a good spawning bay or shoreline will be good spots to fish. In the summer and fall, the deeper water points can be very productive. Current, rocks and even weeds can all help make some points better than others.
Fish the Rocks
Smallmouth bass love rocks and there are plenty of rocks to fish here. Target bass along the shorelines, off of points, islands or on offshore structure and you’ll catch some 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.