Today’s post comes from multi-species angler and writer Ashley Rae of SheLovesToFish.com.
For a year, I rented a house just 10 minutes from Murphys Point Provincial Park. Living so close to the park, I spent a lot of time exploring Big Rideau Lake. I even did a little hiking on the park trails with my dog.
I love the multi-species fishing opportunities on the lake and have enjoyed some fantastic days chasing largemouth, smallmouth, northern pike, and lake trout.
What I love about this lake, in addition to the great variety of species, are all its corners. There are many bays, islands and coastal humps in the lake that provide excellent habitat for fish. It really is a beautiful area and I seem to discover new hot spots on the lake with each visit.
During lake trout season, I love to fish them vertically with blade baits in the deeper waters where these coldwater fish can be found. There’s nothing like watching a lake trout come screaming after your bait in your fish finder and the anticipation of your lure getting smashed.
And sometimes they hit hard!
The lake is known for excellent bass fishing, both largemouth and smallmouth, and tournaments are held here each year. There are endless effective techniques for bass, but over the past two years I’ve spent most of my time throwing chatterbaits, drop shots, and the Ned Rig.
A day on the water
Although I have since moved out of the area, I still enjoy making the trip to visit Big Rideau. In fact, with the recent opening of local bass season, it was the first place I went to target bass this year.
I spent a couple of days on the lake in very windy conditions. Fortunately, with all the islands and bays, there was plenty of shelter and areas to take shelter. My fishing buddy Eric and I found most of our fish halfway between their spawning grounds and the deeper waters, as well as in the shallow waters where they were eating spawning sunfish.
The Ned Rig was very effective on our recent trip, allowing us to cover areas thoroughly. It’s a fun, delicate presentation, and because of its size, we caught a variety of species from panfish to bass, and even some pike.
Occasionally, I chose a larger presentation such as a spinning jig to fish directly into the weed beds, as well as working my swimbait through sparse vegetation and along weed lines. While jig fishing on a secluded offshore brush hump, I had a really good fish that I lost before getting it to the boat. I can barely move this fish and it’s still chasing me!
the launch of the boat
If you’re new to the area, it’s worth mentioning that Murphys Point Provincial Park has an excellent boat launch.
Even with the drought last year, I was able to get my deep-v with no problems and there is plenty of room to load/unload a boat while kayaks and canoes also use the launch.
There are some unique paddling lakes in the area (Hogg Bay and Loon Lake). With plenty of docks, it’s an easy place to tie up and use the outhouses right at the top of the hill if needed. The boat is located in a small, beautiful bay protected from the wind.