Dinorwic Lake is a rocky Canadian Shield Lake. Where you have lots of rocks you have lots of Crayfish and the Smallmouth Bass are in there feeding on them. Smallmouth Bass also eat bugs and minnows but they have evolved to smell like a Crayfish. Crayfish pick up this sent and leave their dens thinking a rival Crayfish is just outside, which is when the Smallmouth gobbles him up. If you have ever had a bait-bucket full of Crayfish, which is now illegal in Ontario, you may remember that smell and that's the same smell a Smallmouth Bass gives off. The smell is on their skin, not in their meat.
Dinorwic Lake is swarming with Smallmouth Bass of every size. You do not see the large hunting packs of ¼-pound bass swimming along the shore like many other lakes because it's just too dangerous with all the Northern Pike and Muskie in the lake. The most probable reason is they get eaten. In a lake stuffed with Muskie and Pike, it's hard for a Smallmouth Bass to reach maturity. As a result, the Bass that do survive to maturity have less competition and get big and fat. Dinorwic Lake is no exception.
Smallmouth Bass Video Below
If you specifically fish for Smallmouth Bass in the summer, then you should get a couple at every rocky point or shoal and as the day progresses you should be able to catch between 20 and 30 good size bass. In the spring, Smallmouth Bass fishing is a hit or miss affair. Smallmouth Bass leave the rocks and seek out sandy bays with dead logs on the bottom. This is a prime spawning area. They lay their eggs in the sand and the decaying logs on the bottom help regulate the alkalinity of the water thus helping the survival rate of the eggs. In the spring, if you hit the right bay, you could run into the best Smallmouth Bass fishing you can possibly imagine. We have had guests report catching 20 large bass in the same bay in the spring. You can also go into a bay and catch nothing. You have to keep mobile until you find them. Don't waste your time in a place where you are not catching lots. In the summer and fall the Smallmouth Bass are all over the lake.
If it's been a cold and unusually rainy spring, the Northern Pike will still be in the shallows along the shore so sometimes the Smallmouth Bass go deep. The presence of Northern Pike is one factor but erratic changes in atmospheric pressure is painful to Bass so they go deeper to minimize discomfort. If you hit a rocky point and no bass hit, try moving 30 feet farther out into the lake and drop a big worm on a hook or some tube jigs down to the bottom and you will hit them. This is true for just about every lake in Ontario.
Smallmouth Bass are common in the 2 to 4-pound range on Dinorwic Lake. There are lots of Smallmouth Bass in the 4 to 5-pound range and once in a while guests run into a 6 or 7-pound bass but they are rare. To most fisherpersons Smallmouth Bass is a sport fish. Some guests like to eat bass and Smallmouth Bass in the 2-pound area are the best eating. Once cooked, it's hard to tell the difference between Smallmouth Bass and Walleye.
Another point to remember is on Dinorwic Lake the really big trophy Smallmouth Bass travel in mating pairs. If you hit a spot that really looks hot for Bronzebacks and you do not catch anything, it could mean a big Pike or Muskie has moved into the area. If you do catch a really big bass and then nothing else, come back to the spot an hour later. The big bass are in pairs so you can catch the second bass after things have settled down. Just be gentle and let the fish go without injury. If you do not catch anything at what appears to be a prime area, it does not mean the bass are not there. Big trophy Smallmouth Bass are old and smart and cautious. The sound of the motor or noise in the boat can sound the alarm and they don't feed. Keep hitting those prime areas and you will not be disappointed.
Even though most bass get eaten before they reach maturity, there will be a couple of spots on the lake where you will hit a school and catch bass almost every cast. This is fun for kid and people new to fishing. If you want a big Smallmouth Bass that's going to rip line off your reel and jump two feet into the air several times, the rocky points adjacent to deep water is where the really big Smallmouth will be. This is also a prime area for Muskie and Pike thus you might have to change your tactics and have your bait really close to the rocks or bottom. A bass is not going to want to swim out into open water to hit your lure if there's a 30-pound Muskie patrolling the area.
We have fantastic Smallmouth Bass fishing and many of our guests come back year after year just to feel the rush that these hard fighting predators produce.