Bass opener finally here got any plans



Bass enthusiasts will be out in hoards this weekend for the coveted bass opener.

And if you don’t think there’s anything special about Micropterus – be they salmoides or dolomieu – just ask one of the local bass fishing organizations. 

Ottawa is slowly becoming a largemouth & smallmouth bass fishing Mecca, thanks to groups like Renegade Bass, Bass Anglers of Ottawa and Petawawa Bassmasters. 


(Smiling Classic Champs showing off their new boat, well, a picture of it anyway)


(My buddy Ed Hand doing his thing)

Hey, if Bob Izumi and his son are willing to drive all the way from Oakville to fish bass up here, there must be something to it.


(Bob and his son with a hefty catch)

Speaking of fishing, where is your favourite bass water? Without giving away all your tricks, I invite all the bass nuts out there to tell us where you like to catch old bucket mouth!

As a converted bass guy myself (the 7-pound behemoth I landed last fall helped) I am slowly being ‘lured’ away from trout and muskie, and towards the elusive bass.

Drop me a line with your bass plans or send me  tip, I’m not picky!


41 thoughts on “Bass opener finally here got any plans”

  1. Can’t wait to get out on the water.
    Even early in the season, I like to fish S-L-O-W. Always find I catch bigger bass when I slow things down … literally to less than a crawl. Run and gun does help find active fish, but especially in the heat of day I think you miss a lot of potential hookups using only this technique.
    We canoe fish a lot, meaning a paddle between spots, so we’ve learned to work a spot well. We also get a good laff with a boat comes in, stays 15 minutes and leaves with nothing netted. Then we go through slowly and nail a couple of big ole bass hiding deep.
    Now, of course, they might bomb off somewhere else and catch a hawg, but we’ll just never know that …
    We also try and find bait or lures the fish haven’t seen a lot. Love shopping somewhere far away, and finding some local gear that might not be on our local shelves. Does seem to make a difference.
    Enjoy opening weekend everyone.

    1. Thanks Don W..spoken like a true ‘basser’ who doesn’t get out on the water nearly as much as he’d like!


  2. I can’t wait to get back to the cottage next weekend. We were up there last week and found a spot where we could see the bass hiding around a sunken tree and were just hanging out there the whole time. We were fishing for Walleye and Pike but it sure is tempting to try to toss something at those Bass. I hope they don’t move too far away because I know exactly where I am heading when I get up there!!!

    1. Hey Brian, that’s great…now all we need is the name of the lake and GPS co-ordinates. Actually, forget the lake name just the co-ordinates will suffice!

      There is a good chance those bass will still be there this weekend. I know in my lake the bass seek out any wood they can find, be it sucken logs, stumps or deadheads. They all seem to be great holding areas.

      Thanks for the note!


  3. I will be out for some Rainbows but the lake I’ll be fishing is filled with Bass. The last two weeks you could see Bass by the dozens, both big and small cruzing the shallows and guarding their nests. If it is calm enough I may have to take a break from the Bows and throw out a top water as there is nothing better than seeing a big ol Bass nail a spook! Gets the heart going every time! Good luck to all who head out this weekend.

    1. Wow Brad, not too guys would admit to using ‘oldschool’ plugs like the Heddon ‘Zara’ Spook…but it is a classic and I still have a couple in my old tackle box.

      You know the old Spooks from the 40’s – 50’s are worth a pile of money now; escpecially in the original box.


  4. Hey, I still use Hula Poppers! Even jointed Benos! Guess that makes me a grizzled old fart!

  5. I love fishing for bass. I usually go out in a canoe as well. I love getting right over the weed beds quitely, sneaking into a bay, and being so close to the water. It does pose a problem when you want to go trolling, but for bass it’s awesome. What a blast it is to see one jump right out the water to hit your lure!. My son’s first fish was a big bass a few years ago, and you should have seen his face when it came flying out of the water. For bass, I prefer top-water to get it to jump out, and I think it’s more successful.

    I read an article once that suggested to stop in at a local shop for gear, bait, and food, instead of shopping at home before leaving. This supports the local businesses, and you also get the local insider information on the best set-up for that particular region (as DonW says). I love it when an mag article includes details about the region, and local shops. Makes planning the trip easier.

  6. Its about 5 km north of Val Des Bois, its just off the river, thats all I can say… 😉

    Unfortunately I have to wait until next weekend to find out if they are still there but at least its a long weekend so it gives me 3 days of bass fishing.

  7. I don’t mind fishing Bass but I prefer fishing for food, just like I prefer hunting for food. So Walleye is my favorite, our lake if full of small mouth Bass but I hardly ever get out. However, I have a buddy that loves to come up and spend the day on the lake with his giant Bass boat and he tells me the smallies are huge, oh well, kind of wish my lake had Walleyes, next time I guess, course the Gatineau is real close and it’s got Pike, Bass, Walleye and who knows what else

    1. Iggy, if you enjoy eating fish there’s not a darn thing wrong with bass. Pick up a copy of the Canadian Wild Fish Cookbook and try some of bass’ll see what I mean.


  8. Another really fantastic eating fish are crappie. Crappie name (ha ha) but a great little fighter and eating fish. They are abundant in this area. Lots of spots to get ’em in the Rideau … Manotick to Kars is a good stretch with all the fairly shallow, weedy areas. Check with local bait shops for locations. They grow up to a pound or more, and are FANTASTIC for catching with kids. Fillet them and batter ’em up. They have a real light taste, not overpowering, so also good for kids who might not like a strong taste! Anything you’d use for bass will work, but use smaller sizes.

    1. Brian K, another good bass lake on the QC side is Lac Philippe in Gatineau Park. Most people just use the beach or camping facilities there, but if you take a canoe out into the shallows, the lake is loaded with largemouth.

      Don W, I have only eaten Crappie once and I must agree with you. You can actually eat pumpkinseed and bluegills too, but they’re kind of small and bony. I know the Americans go crazy for ‘croppy’ as they pronounce it; I just never had the interest in going after those little guys. Besides the fact that there weren’t in Crappie in the mountain lakes I fished.

      I know Big Jim likes to fish Crappie..especially in the winter. I sat with him one time years ago out on the Ottawa River in his portable ‘Clam’. He uses one of those old school flashers to locate fish – the neatest thing I’ve ever seen!


  9. Spooks are my top water lure of choice for both Pike and Bass. I don’t have any old ones since I am only about 5 years into my fishing addiction but maybe I will keep one in the package until retirement and see if that gains some value! If not I will still have a brand new trusty lure to work with!

    1. Brad, if that Spook is working for you, its value is probably a lot greater when left in the water.

      And hey, if you happen to catch a real doozy this weekend, don’t forget to check out the annual Ottawa SUN Fishtales Contest:

      My good buddy at the SUN (& fellow outdoor enthusiast) Mark, does a great job at putting this contest together every year and you certainly can’t beat the prize!


  10. Hey Jeff,

    Been a long time. John here from Petrie Island. My bass opener started today on the Ottawa . Fishing was slow but had a great time non the less . Tomorrow I am hitting my Lake X in Renfrew area the practice for the Renegade series starts. If ever you wanna go soak a couple jigs let me know and we can visit a hog factory !


    1. Hey John, it’s great to hear from you..thanks for stopping by!

      I’m glad to hear that things at Petrie are rolling along nicely. Please keep us posted on anything new around the shop and on the river…come back anytime with updates you might have.

      Please tell Yves I’m sorry for not keeping in better touch.


  11. monster largemouth, if you release after. in kinburn on the carp river. the bridge near the south end of the rabbit path. I have pulled the elusive 10 pounders out of there more than once. nobody fishes that stream because it is slow flowing and starts at the arena in kanata. but it is WELL stocked as you get further downstream.

    1. Hey soon as the road opens up, I’m sure people would love to try that spot!

      Thanks for the tip!


  12. I went for another great weekend of camping and canoeing. I’ve been hooked on the Ottawa river this year. This time we put in near Bryson, Qc. I took my two sons with me and we went out on Saturday following a bush trail that I had spotted and wanted to explore. While in Bryson, I stopped at the boat launch and struck a chat with a local man there. Among many things he talked about his son being gone for the weekend fishing for Garpike. I knew the fish but had neve seen any, or heard of anyone fishing for them.

    Yesterday during our canoe trip we wondered into a quiet shallow bay of the Ottawa. We saw at least a dozen large Garpike! Some of them right next to the canoe. They seemed to either not care at all of our presence, or didn’t realize we were there. I even plunged my hand into the water to try and catch one – and managed to hit it’s back with a finger. Unfortunately, we didn’t bring our fishing gear on the trip. This was more of an exploration of the area. Damn I wich I would have had a line with me!

    All in all, this was a fantastic spot for camping, canoeing, fishing, and white water rapids. I’d call the exploration trip a success!

    PS… any suggestions on which lures to use when fishing Garpike?

    1. GPG, I have only caught 1 longnose gar in my life…and one must keep in mind that they are in no way related to pike. I lucked into the one I caught but have lost dozens since then. (On the Ottawa and the St Lawrence)

      It is very difficult to stick a hook into these fish, but I’ve actually heard of anglers using a baitfish threaded thru a steel noose. Instead of hooking the fish, you are actually lassoing them! I believe they fish for Alligator gar in Texas the same way.

      Here is an excerpt from my first book Weird Facts about Fishing..where I talk about the longnose gar experience:

      Longnose Gar
      The longnose gar is another freaky throwback
      to prehistoric days, which can still be found in
      localized populations across North America. The
      gar is a regular inhabitant of the Great Lakes-
      St. Lawrence region and although the fish are
      difficult to hook because of their long, serrated
      bill, anglers in the know with the right equipment
      have learned to be quite successful at catching
      them. Even some renowned fishing guides on
      the Ottawa and St. Lawrence Rivers will specifically
      target this rare species. Because of their legendary
      fighting ability, most of the gar captured
      by anglers are subsequently released as they are
      not seen as providing great table fare. Since they
      are built like tanks with plated armor on the outside
      of their bodies to protect them from predators,
      they have very few enemies. I can vividly
      recall the impressive strength these fish possess
      from a gar I caught many years ago at my friend’s
      cottage on Six Mile Lake near Georgian Bay.
      It was only about a 6-pound gar but I can remember
      distinctly the way it felt as it shook each time
      I tried to remove the hook, easily powering its
      way free of my grasp. This powerhouse could not
      be contained with just one hand. You don’t see
      that kind of strength in northern pike or even
      muskie of the same size. Although it may have
      been the one and only gar I’ve ever caught, the
      feel of its armor-like scales and muscular, streamlined
      body was something I will never forget.

  13. Thanks, great info. I actually own a copy of your book, but I didn’t remember the part on the Longnose Gar (what the old man at the dock called Garpike).
    This is exactly the observation my son had on these fish. After seeing them bolt off and disappear when the canoe got too close. He said: “wow those are powerfull fish! Just one quick kick of the tail and they’re gone!”

    I want to go back there tonight!! Unfortunately it will have to wait for the weekend.

  14. I’ve seen them on the Ottawa near the mouth of the Mississippi in the calm waters, neat looking fish (if it’s a fish)
    never caught one though. I remember I saw a picture of Big Jim M. just last week holding one up but can’t remember where I saw it.
    Do they have teeth? and if they do I’m glad I’ve never caught one, I wouldn’t want to tangle with something that looks like half crock and half fish with big teeth

    1. Iggy, you should watch that TV show River Monsters. In one older episode the host, biologist and extreme angler Jeremy Wade tangles with an Alligator Gar – the southern cousin to our longnose gar. Apparently these things can grow to over 12-feet long and weigh upwards of 400 pounds. These guys really look like half alligator and half fish, and their teeth are over an inch long!

      Teeth on longnose gar are pretty tiny from what I recall, but their bill is like a serated trap!



  15. Jeff, River Monsters is a great show. There are also two other TV shows that deal with huge fish in freshwater: Monster Fish and Fish Warrior. If I recall correctly, Zeb Hogan, the host of Monster Fish, was at the Kenauk Reserve near Ottawa within the past several years. I’m not sure if he did any filming there though.

    1. fishr, the host of Monster Fish was at Kenauk but he wasnt filming? I’ll have to ask them about that. Is that a Canadian Show??


    2. fishr, just looked it up. I see that Zeb Hogan was at Kenauk back in 2009 for a Fish Fishing Weekend promo..I guess this guy really gets around!


  16. I suppose plunging my hand in the water to catch it might not have been the best idea…
    I will go back there this weekend with my fishing gear. If I do catch one, I’ll send you a picture of it.

    1. GPG, I dont think they’re as aggresive as the Alligator gar, but I know I wouldnt be putting my hands in the water!!

      I’ll have to find that guy who used to guide for muskie and gar..we need someone who fishes these things to stop by and give us some pointers!

      Any gar experts out there?? Speak now or forever hold your peace!


  17. ask Big Jim, I know I just saw a picture of him with one, I’m sure of it.

    “jeff.morrison says:
    June 28, 2011 at 1:57 pm
    GPG, I dont think they’re as aggresive as the Alligator gar, but I know I wouldnt be putting my hands in the water!!”

    Better not go skinny dipping with them around either 😉

    1. Jean Chretien, is it really you??

      I have an idea…why not ask Big Jim..I think someone saw him holding a gar one time.

      Thanks Mr Chretien..btw, where can you find the best poutine these days? I know you’re a big fan.


  18. in Shawinigan tabernac my new home town
    I can strangle the homeless and no one knows

  19. yes da was born in Shawinagam, but di mak bags and bags of mooney in
    Attawa and now I move back ome 😉

    1. So, would you say you made more $$ than Canada’s most beloved Prime Minister, the great Brian Mulroney?

      I heard he was making a little on the side…


      1. One thing I’ll say for you Mr. Chretien, you are the only PM in recent history, that I know of, to enjoy hunting.

        Didn’t you go deer hunting in Calabogie-area one time?


  20. Oui Oui, I dit unt in Calaboogie, an I dint even buy a license
    cause Im moore special dan you guys

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