When does Bass fishing start in Ontario?

Bass fishing is one of Ontario’s most popular warm-water fisheries. This is especially true of the largemouth and smallmouth bass.

In many areas, these bass spawn in late May and early June. The best places to catch them are in shallow spawning bays, often on rocky and weedy shorelines.


Spring is a fun time for Bass fishing. The opportunistic fish are on the move in warm water, so it’s important to cover as much of the lake as possible. It’s like an Easter egg hunt – the more perceptive and quicker you are, the better your odds are at finding active fishing spots.

As the waters of Ontario start to warm up, bass seek out areas where they can shed their winter fat – this is known as spawning. These spawning events typically occur between 12.7 to 15.6 Celsius or 55 to 60 Fahrenheit.

During this time, bass become more aggressive as they move toward warmer and shallower water, hunting small prey. They’ll use a variety of techniques to find these feeding targets, including aggressive surface presentations and deep diving lures that mimic the movement of bait fish.

Spawning bass have a wide range of preferred foods, so it’s important to understand what they prefer and choose the right lures for those foods. Live bait such as crawfish, minnows and shiners are great for attracting bass. Lures that have a lot of action and stay in the strike zone are also good choices.

Early spring is an excellent time for anglers to catch largemouth bass. This species can be found all over the lake, and is particularly active in the eastern basin of Lake Ontario.

The best times for catching these fish are the mornings and late evenings. These are the most popular fishing times, so if you’re looking to get out and enjoy some bass fishing, it’s best to plan your trip around these hours.

In addition to catching largemouth bass, anglers can also target the prized salmon, which are actively feeding in Lake Ontario in the spring. The migratory fish travel up the lakes from the colder waters of the Pacific Ocean to spawn in these waters.

This is an exciting time for fishermen because they’ll be able to fish for several different species in the same day. This is an ideal way to experience the variety of Ontario’s fishing opportunities and make the most of a vacation or a day on the boat.


During the warmest months of the year, there are many fishing opportunities in Ontario. These include river fishing, shoreline fishing and lake fishing. The choice depends on your preferences and target fish.

Trout, pike and walleye are among the most popular species of Ontario fish to fish for during these seasons. During the spring, these fish tend to be in the upper sections of rivers. However, during the summer, these trout tend to migrate down to the lower sections of rivers.

The water temperatures in the rivers fluctuate and the temperature of the water affects the behavior of all fish species in the river. This can make the fishing difficult or even impossible in some cases.

In addition to the varying water temperatures, other factors play a role in the fishing success of these species. These include weather conditions, water quality, and baitfish availability.

According to Captain Tom Burke of Cold Steel Sportfishing, the inflow of rivers into the main Lake and tributaries have an impact on baitfish distribution, which ultimately determines where the most active gamefish are located during the summer. Specifically, he says, the influence of the inflowing rivers along New York’s shoreline is more noticeable in the spring, but it plays an important role in the summer fishery as well.

While this is a fundamental factor in the Lake’s summer fishery, it can be difficult to spot if you’re not a veteran angler. The best strategy is to focus on key areas that are heavily populated with baitfish and that have consistent temperature shifts.

During this stage, islands, points and shoals are highly preferred locations for smallmouth bass. These spots will be filled with pre-spawn smallies that are preparing for their next stage of life.

These areas are also ideal for fishing with tube jigs, soft plastics or grubs. The weed-beds also become an important area of concentration for these bass during this time, as they’re typically covered with growing weeds and offer shelter from the sun.

In addition to these rocky areas, mid-lake shoals are another popular place for smallmouth bass to set up. This is an excellent area for anglers who like to cast and jig with soft plastics or crayfish coloured lures.


Fall is a popular time for bass fishing, as it’s the period when bass are preparing for winter. In Ontario, this usually occurs as water temperatures begin to drop. As the water cools, bass become more active and are more likely to feed.

Whether you’re a dedicated bass fisherman or a casual angler, it’s always exciting to get out on the lake in fall. Bass often stack up in lakes and rivers as they migrate into deeper water in search of stable temperature conditions.

Many lakes and inland rivers are known for their large populations of smallmouth bass. This is especially true during the fall, when the fish are stocking up on food to prepare for the winter.

One way to find and target these hungry fish in the fall is to look for prey that they have already stocked up on during summer, such as shiners and bluegill. These baitfish will be swimming in school and are an attractive snack for larger bass.

Another way to catch bass in the fall is by working crankbaits around creek mouths in lakes and reservoirs. This is because cooler water will send baitfish migrating toward creek arms, with the bass following close behind.

In lakes, you can also use topwater lures to entice Bass to strike. These lures can be rigged on drop-shot rigs, tube jigs or Carolina rigs tipped with a soft-plastic grub or minnow.

A buzz frog can be effective too, as it can be dragged through thick vegetation and surrounding structures to create a commotion that might attract the attention of active Bass. Other topwater lures, such as spinnerbaits, jerkbaits and plastic worms can be used during the fall season.

If you’re looking for a great fall bass fishing destination, consider Nipissing Lake in Northeastern Ontario. This lake has a wide and weedy shoreline, with some of the best largemouth bass fishing in the province.

When paired with a great guide and some quality equipment, this is an excellent choice for an incredible Fall bass fishing adventure. Besides the abundance of big bass, Nipissing also has untold numbers of northern pike and muskie in the 10- to 15-pound (4.5- to 6.8-kilogram) range.


During the winter, you can still enjoy fishing on Lake Ontario and its tributaries. Fishing for pike, walleye, perch, and salmon is possible throughout the season. This is a great time to target these cold-water species because most of the fish have moved to the tributaries for protection from the winter weather.

In winter, water temperatures range from 33 degF (0degC) to 45 degF (7degC). It is important to know that the air temperature can vary a lot during the winter months and so you should take the necessary precautions when fishing in the lake or on ice.

As the air and water temperature drop, Bass will move to the shallower depths of lakes and rivers to feed and prepare for the lean winter months. This makes them less active than in the summer, but that does not mean that they are not willing to bite your lures or bait.

A key factor for catching bass in winter is to target them at night, which can be the most effective time of day. This is because bass are more active during the night and will be more likely to feed on your baits.

Another benefit of targeting bass at night is that there are fewer people around, making it easier to catch more fish. This is because anglers will be able to focus on the fish without getting distracted by other boaters or the noise of a crowd.

This is also the best time to fish for Steelhead, as these migratory Trout are most active in Lake Ontario’s tributaries during this season. These migratory Trout are some of the toughest fighting fish and you’ll want to be sure that you have the proper gear and knowledge of what they like to eat so that you can catch them in winter.

The 2022 Fishing Regulations show an extension of the Lake Trout season on FMZ 6 (Thunder Bay, Nipigon and Dryden). This means that fishing will be open from January 1 to September 30 with the same slot size as last year.