By Ashley Rae — Lennox & Addington County has a very special place in my heart. I grew up in this region and am so grateful to be able to showcase just a small sample of the fishing opportunities found here. Here’s a short list of 3 of my favourite fishing spots here in L&A (that I’ve experienced so far).
#1 – Lake Ontario
My heart flutters at the thought of this incredible body of water and the possibilities within! Lennox & Addington County backs onto the north shore of Lake Ontario situated between the cities of Kingston and Belleville. Although Lake Ontario is the smallest of the Great Lakes (based on surface area), it is the 14th largest lake in the world. It could be the stunning scenery of this massive body of water, or the giant fish lurking within, but it feels magical being out there.
Big Water Smallies
In attempt to cover a variety of species for this post, I decided on a smallmouth bass mission for Lake Ontario. My significant other, Eric, and myself, began our adventure by combing areas adjacent to the types of locations smallies like to spawn. After they finish their business, they move off the shallow flats and hunker down around rocks and boulders eating gobies and baitfish. On a calm day, it’s pretty amazing what you can spot swimming in the crystal clear waters of Lake O, especially with a pair of polarized sunglasses on. Favourite presentations for this time of year include: drop shots, tubes, Ned Rigs, and jerk baits. Eric and I were both lucky enough to renew our memberships to the 5-pound smallmouth club during this adventure!
My 5-pounder ate a Ned Rig (a Z-Man Green Pumpkin Goby colour Finesse TRD soft plastic on a mushroom jig head).
Eric’s 5-pound, 4-ounce beauty! He also landed his on a Ned Rig.
Big smiles for our big beautiful smallies, it’s quite apparent how much we love it out there! I’m looking forward to getting back out on the Lake soon and attempting to find myself a 6-pound smallmouth. Fingers (and toes) crossed!
#2 – Beaver Lake
I have some great memories from Beaver Lake over the years. Located in the village of Erinsville, north of Napanee, the lake has two basins divided by Neville Point. There are a variety of species here including: largemouth and smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, and a plethora of panfish (pumpkinseeds, bluegills, and black crappie).
Beaver Lake Panfish
Eric and I were fortunate to land all the species listed above during our recent trip, except for the pike. We focused on following weed lines in around 5-12 feet of water using moving baits, like a Chatterbait, and a more finesse approach with the Ned Rig and a drop shot. Our attention quickly turned to the pumpkinseeds and bluegills when we began catching some larger ones. We kept on with using a Ned Rig and drop shot for these stunning little guys.
A colourful pumpkinseed heading back into Beaver Lake.
One of my best black crappie of the trip.
Unhooking a chunky bluegill from my Ned Rig.
I could not find an online bathymetric (depth chart) map for Beaver Lake, but this just made it fun for us to explore and dissect.
#3 – Hay Bay on the Bay of Quinte
The Bay of Quinte is well known for its walleye migration in the fall, but this body of water holds many other year-round species as well. There are resident walleye, largemouth and smallmouth bass, northern pike, freshwater drum, common carp and more. Hay Bay, located just south of Napanee, is part of Lennox & Addington County and is certainly a hot spot for anglers.
Hay Bay Largemouth
Eric and I set out in Hay Bay just a few weeks ago (mid-July) in search of largemouth bass. We focused on areas with cover as on hot sunny summer days, largemouth seek shelter and shade. There is plenty of cover for the largies in Hay Bay including thick vegetation, fallen trees, and docks. We used flipping jigs to fish in the thick weeds, and Chatterbaits to burn over top of the weeds. In areas with sparse vegetation we threw Ned Rigs and flipping jigs. In addition to the largemouth, we also picked up some bonus fish including northern pike and some nice walleye.
Eric pulled this largemouth out from under a fallen tree on a jig.
My Chatterbait largie.
Netting up a northern pike.
A nice walleye I lured out of the weeds on a Chatterbait.
Needless to say, we have had so much fun exploring Lennox & Addington County the past few weeks! From big smallmouth, to beautiful panfish, to scrappy largemouth, and surprise walleye… it was tough to shorten all these experiences into one blog post. Although this is a list of favourites, my blogging adventures in Lennox & Addington County are not over yet! I still have a couple more lakes I’ll be checking out this summer and sharing the findings with you here.
Learn more about fishing in L&A County