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2014 Bass Fishing Guide

bass fishing guide 2014

Bass fishing in Ontario is an incredibly popular pastime. Much of its appeal can be attributed to the prolific nature of the species as well as their relatively predictable behaviours, which makes bass easy and fun to catch for both beginners and experienced anglers. Bass fishing is definitely is one of our biggest draws on Loughborough Lake!

Bass Characteristics

Bass are part of the Centrachidae family, a group of ray-finned sunfish. In total, this family has 37 species under its umbrella, including rock bass, and large and smallmouth bass. All species in the Centrarchidae family are only native to North America. While large and smallmouth bass are from the same family, there are quite a few differences between them that mostly relate to their appearance, but can also extend to their behaviour. (Learn about their differences here.)

Where to Find Bass

As mentioned, bass are native to North America, and when you are bass fishing Ontario, you can find them in freshwater rivers and lakes. They tend to lurk about objects like fallen trees, submerged logs, as well as rocks and weeds. They like these sheltered areas because they are protected from predators and concealed from their prey.

Since bass activity is primarily determined by their metabolism, you will find bass most active when the water is warm and their metabolisms are piqued. (The ideal water temperature for bass fishing ranges between 60 and 75 degrees F. Temperature higher than 80 degrees F makes for frantic fish, and lower than 50 degrees F causes their fishy metabolism to drag, which means they feed less. Not good if you’re looking to get a bite!)

If you’re bass fishing Ontario in the early spring or winter, you’ll want to look for your catch in the flat, shallow areas where they do their spawning. These areas will also have cover (i.e. weeds, rocks, branches) and will allow for easy and direct access to deeper water.

In other seasons look for these fish in the deeper (though not deepest) areas. In the autumn you want to look for bass in places you can see weeds on the surface of the water (the weeds provide a makeshift blanket as the water gets colder). In the summer, you can move out a little deeper. When it comes to bass fishing, you are going to want to think like the fish, so don’t go super deep. Just think about cool water and covered areas.

Bass Fishing Ontario: Open Seasons and Restrictions

Before you head out to enjoy bass fishing Ontario, you should first know about open seasons. The term ‘open season’ is a bit deceptive, since even though it is legal to angle for the fish, you cannot catch as many as you please. Strictly speaking, it is not totally ‘open’. There are still set sport and conservation limits, and knowing which limit applies to you depends on your licensing tag. As a general rule, sport limits are higher than conservation limits. (Learn more about Fishing Regulations in Ontario.)

When it comes to bass, you’re looking at a pretty hefty chunk of time you can fish at your relative leisure. Here are your 20414 bass fishing Ontario open seasons across all 20 zones.

ontario fishing zones

Note: S = Sport Limit; C = Conservation Limit. These limits apply to large and smallmouth bass in any quantity.

ZONE 1, 2  & 3

Zone 1: No bass are present in this area and as such, the season is closed all year.

Zone 2: Open all year.
S – 2; bass must be < 35 cm (13.8 in.) from January 1st – June 30th and from December 1st – December 31st
S – 4; no size limit from July 1st – November 30th
C – 1; must be C – 2; no size limit from July 1st – November 30th

Zone 3: Open all year.
S – 6; C- 2.

ZONE 4

Open all year.

S – 2; must be < 35 cm (13.8 in.) from January 1st – June 30th and from December 1st – December 31st
S – 4; no size limit from July 1st – November 30th
C – 1; must be < 35 cm (13.8 in.) from January 1st – June 30th and from December 1st – December 31st
C – 2; no size limit from July 1st – November 30th

ZONE 5

Open all year.

S – 4; Must be < 35 cm (13.8 in.) from January 1st – June 30th
C – 2; Must be < 35 cm (13.8 in.) from January 1st – June 30th

ZONE 6

Open all year.

S – 4; C – 2.

ZONE 7

Open all year.

S – 6; C – 2.

ZONE 8

Open all year

S – 6; C – 2.

ZONE 9

Open all year.

S – 6; C – 2.

ZONE 10

Season runs from the 3rd Saturday in June – November 30th

S – 6; C – 2.

ZONE 11

Season runs from the 4th Saturday in June to December 31st

S – 6; C – 2.

ZONE 12

Season runs from the Friday before the 4th Saturday in June to Nov ember 30th

S – 6; C – 2.

ZONE 13 & 14

Zone 13: Season runs from the 4th Saturday in June to November 30th
S – 6; C – 2.

Zone 14: Season runs from the 4th Saturday in June to November 30th
S – 3; C – 1.

ZONE 15

Season runs from the 4th Saturday in June to November 30th

S – 6; C – 2.

ZONE 16

Season runs from the 4th Saturday in June to November 30th

S – 6; C – 2.

ZONE 17

Season runs from the 3rd Saturday in June to December 15th

S – 6; C – 2.

ZONE 18

Season runs from the 3rd Saturday in June to December 15th

S – 6; C – 2.

ZONE 19

Season runs from the 4th Saturday in June to November 30th

S – 6; C – 2.

ZONE 20

Season runs from the 3rd Saturday in June to December 15th

S – 6; C – 2.

Bass Fishing Ontario: News

Even if you fished in 2013 under certain regulations, you need to keep in mind that the Ministry of Natural Resources changes their fishing policies each year to adapt to and account for environmental factors like reproduction rates, population, sustainability and water quality implications. You will need to check back every year to see what’s changed.

This year, bass fishing Ontario has seen very few alterations, but they are noteworthy nevertheless.

Zone 5 has simplified its bass regulations, changing the limits to 4 for sport tags and 2 for conservation. (Fish must be < 35 cm.) You’ll also want to check out the new bass regulations in this zone as they pertain to the Winnipeg River.

In zone 10, bass fishing season opens one week earlier (the 3rd Saturday in June) in the south region of the zone. It is open season year-round in areas north of highway 17.

Visit the Ministry of Natural Resources Fishing Regulations publication for more information on bass fishing Ontario.

Serious about bass fishing Ontario?

Surround yourself with your brethren and join an online community like BassResource.com. It is a perfect place to swap fishy tales and talk tackle with fellow bass fishing enthusiasts. Ask questions, answer questions – spread the word and spread the love of angling.

Photo Credit: Don McCullough | Flickr

Loughborough Inn
Loughborough Inn:

Within the 200 acres of land sit some of the most beautiful scenery that augment the experience of staying at Loughborough Inn including beautiful wildlife, scenic hiking trails and picturesque views of stunning Loughborough Lake.

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