Ontario anglers welcome 2012 bass season
Summer may have officially started June 20, but for many Ontario anglers it begins about a week later, on the fourth Saturday of June, when bass season opens across much of the province.
“There is a fairly big contingent of bass devotees. For those guys, myself included, opening day is like Christmas,” Kingston angler Randy Lindenblatt, told that city’s Whig-Standard newspaper.
The bass season is open all year in Ontario’s far north, but the fourth Saturday in June is opening day for both smallmouth and largemouth in Zones 10 to 20. Roughly speaking, that means waterbodies south of the eastern end of Lake Superior, the area where most of Ontario’s bass—and bass anglers—are found. Opening weekend will also see numerous club, pro and informal bass tournaments across the province.
While walleye are generally considered the province’s most popular gamefish, bass seem to be gaining. That’s due to a variety of reasons, including the popularity of pro bass fishing south of the border and the increasing size of bass, especially in waters in waters recently colonized by the round goby.
An invasive species, the bottom-dwelling gobies have become extremely abundant in the St. Clair River, Lake Erie, Lake Simcoe and parts of Lake Ontario, reaching densities of more than 100 per cubic metre of water in places. The goby has become prime fodder for smallmouth bass, leading to explosive growth rates.
While fishing with the Outdoor Canada team last week (in our new Kingfisher 1925 Flex Sport) pro angler and 2010 winner of the Canadian Open of Fishing Derek Strub, said that he spent 20 years chasing his goal of an eight-pound bass, yet in the last year or two, fish of that size are being caught every weekend of the season. In fact, Strub and many other expert bass anglers believe the Canadian smallmouth record of 9.8 pounds could fall at any time to a goby-fattened fish from Lake Simcoe or Lake Ontario.