After the last Saturday in June, most of Simcoe's summertime anglers target bass - especially the mighty smallmouth. "Bronzebacks", as they are often called, frequent rocky shorelines, points, drop-offs and mid-lake shoals. Crayfish-colored crankbaits, topwaters, spinnerbaits and jigs are all proven lures for catching Simcoe's big smallies. This lake has become a true world-class trophy smallmouth destination thanks in no small part to the fact that most anglers are voluntarily releasing those extraordinary 4-7 pound bass. These large fish then continue to reproduce and also offer other anglers the incredible thrill of catching the smallmouth of a lifetime.
Simcoe's sometimes forgotten largemouth bass also offer exceptional angling. These bass can be found in weedier areas, pencil reeds, near docks, stumps and other structures in the lake. Plastic worms, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, topwaters and jigs produce well. Panfish such as perch, crappie, sunfish, rock bass and bullhead offer lots of fun for the young anglers. Simple live bait rigs with small minnows or earthworms are usually best. Pike continue to cruise weedlines throughout the warmwater months and can be taken with flashy spinnerbaits, crankbaits and jigs. The great thing about summertime fishing on Lake Simcoe is that you never know for sure what you're going to catch which is just fine for the many families that visit and fish the lake occasionally or for those fortunate enough to have cottages along its banks.
Interestingly enough, the season that may offer the best bass and pike fishing of the year, is also the time when you will find the least amount of anglers on the lake. This is the time of year when serious anglers fish Lake Simcoe, however, inclement weather and dealing with rough water dictates caution for all those venturing out onto the big lake. In the fall of 2003 Lake Simcoe made the headlines, when it broke its own Canadian Bass Tournament record winning weight with a 29.59 pound bag of five smallmouth bass. In 2004, the record remained, but still over 27 pounds of bass were brought to the scales by the winning team News reports declared that there is probably no other place in North America where 5 fish averaging almost 6 pounds each, could win a tournament. These types of weights exemplify the quality of smallmouth available to Lake Simcoe anglers and with the catch and release ethic strong on Simcoe, the fabulous bass fishery should be around for many years to come.
Bass are not the only fish in the fall that gather notoriety more and more every year on Simcoe ... as the fabulous perch fishing is also tempting for multi-species anglers. As I write this the hot spot is straight out from the Pefferlaw River a mile or two and you can't miss the flotilla of boats that are all there for one reason - to catch tasty jumbo perch! Other spots that are beginning to turn on include the shoreline out from Gilford and around the south shore of Georgina Island.
More people fish Lake Simcoe during the hard water season than at any other time of year - making it the most intensively fished inland lake in the province. Ice fishing is a great winter sport that more and more families are enjoying on Lake Simcoe than ever before. Dozens of ice hut operators around the lake provide winter anglers an opportunity to catch lake trout, whitefish, perch, pike, and walleye. Many include everything you need to enjoy a great day out on the ice for one nominal rental fee. Others offer a complete package plan that includes accommodation, meals, bait and transportation to your hut..."
("Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter") Wil Wegman.
Lake Simcoe (Information taking from Town of Georgina website)
Lake Simcoe is a moderately sized lake located approximately 60-km north of the City of Toronto, Lake Simcoe is a little more than an hour's drive from half the population in Ontario.
The watershed has a total land and water surface area of 3,580 km2, of which the lake occupies about 20 percent or 722 km2.
Lake Simcoe is part of the Trent Severn Waterway connecting Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay and is southern Ontario's largest body of water excluding the Great Lakes. The land portion of the watershed is approximately 2,858 km2 and is drained by 35 tributary rivers, with five major tributaries accounting for over 60 percent of the total area. Most of these rivers originate along the southern boundary of the watershed in the prominent physiographic feature known as the Oak Ridges Moraine. These rivers then drain in a northerly direction before discharging to Lake Simcoe.
Lake Simcoe acts as the boundary between the two travel areas of the Georgian Lakelands in the west and Getaway Country in the east. There are a number of communities bordering Lake Simcoe within the County of Simcoe, the Regional Municipality of York, and the Regional Municipality of Durham.
On the eastern shores of Lake Simcoe is Brock Township and on the south-eastern side of the lake, including the entire southern shore and eastern side of Cook's Bay is the Town of Georgina. The Town of Bradford-West Gwillimbury and the Town of Innisfil are located on the west side of Cooks Bay. The deepest portions of Lake Simcoe are located in Kempenfelt Bay on the west side of the lake.
The largest populated municipality located on the lake is the City of Barrie which sits at the tip of Kempenfelt Bay. The Township of Oro-Medonte lies on the north shores of Kempenfelt Bay and also on the west side of Lake Simcoe.
At the northern shores of Lake Simcoe is the City of Orillia, which has the privilege of bordering both Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching and the Township of Ramara. An Indian Reserve also borders the northern shores of the lake. There are a number of islands located in the lake, the largest being Georgina Island, which also is part of an Indian Reserve.
Notice to Mariners: "Sudden Storms are frequent on Lake Simcoe and every care and seaman like precaution should be observed when navigating the lake, especially in small craft". Consult the Website for up-to-date weather and information on storm warnings and small craft advisories.