Algoma’s Alpha Bass

One of Ontario's best places to fish for smallmouth bass

Updated: By Karl Kalonka

The meaning of the word “Alpha” according to the dictionary is described as (an animal) having the highest rank in a dominant hierarchy. Ontario’s Algoma Country is home to many sought-after species with fins but the smallmouth bass can be found just about everywhere or anywhere you fish throughout the entire region. For me personally, it is the “Alpha” fish of the region.


Framed by Lake Huron and the mighty Lake Superior, Algoma Country is 28,000 square miles of amazing angling adventures. Algoma is home to a variety of fishing vacation options.

Drive up to your cabin at a lodge, ride the rails aboard the train to lodges located along the rail line, or take the ultimate Canadian wilderness fly-in adventure by a float plane to remote lodges and outposts. Algoma boasts some of the best smallmouth bass fishing found in Northern Ontario.


I am blessed to be able to fish for a living and to have explored the incredible smallmouth bass fishing across Algoma. From the edge of Sudbury, through the highway seventeen “trophy alley” lakes and all the way north to Wawa, Chapleau and countless backcountry wilderness lakes in the region that hardly ever see a bass fisherman. I just can’t get over the unlimited amount of opportunities available in this region that harbours some of the biggest smallmouth bass found anywhere across our beautiful province.

When I get asked what area of Ontario has some of the best smallmouth bass fishing by the fans of our series while attending trade shows or via social media, my answer is simple Algoma Country. It is easily one of the regions I suggest for vacationing anglers and their families.


Smallmouth bass in the high 6- to 7-pound-plus class are caught every year.

Smallmouth in the four to five-pound class are available in almost every lake or river system you want to explore. If it’s the number of smallmouth bass you so desire, no problem, Algoma has many lodges and resorts that cater to the angler who desires the “wilderness factor” of fishing remote back lakes off the beaten paths with one-hundred-plus fish days being the norm.

These remote areas may only see ten to twelve groups of anglers per year fishing the lakes, and catching bass right off the dock of your isolated cabin in the woods is as memorable as it gets.


With over one thousand lakes to fish, this provides anglers with endless opportunities to catch that trophy smallmouth bass.

Remember, with 28,000 square miles of the beautiful Canadian wilderness, Algoma has thousands of bodies of water to choose from and the best fishing lodges or resorts anywhere. You can choose from full-service American Plan lodges to Housekeeping cabins, with all the trip essentials you’ll need: boat, motor, fuel, guide services and amenities.

Bucket list destination? You bet.


Some of the most popular baits and presentations for Algoma Country smallmouth bass fishing include topwater baits, loud rattle crankbaits, tube jigs, Ned Rig plastics and of course the drop shot technique for those deeper smallmouths.

You don’t need to bring the entire kitchen sink of lures, rods and gear for Algoma smallmouth, the simpler the better for this non-pressured bass. It’s hard to exaggerate the fishing possibilities a bass angler can find in Algoma. Novice and professional anglers are sure to hook their BIG catch. Fishing seasons vary within locations, for details including seasons, licenses and creel limits, consult the Ministry of Natural Resources as Algoma has some regions that offer earlier ‘open seasons’ than southern Ontario locations offering the dedicated bass angler the opportunity to get a jump start on the new season soon after the ice leaves in spring.


Practicing the catch and release of bigger female bass will ensure the region remains a world-class fishery.

When you’re planning this year’s vacation for your family or friends and want to test your skill at catching a personal best smallmouth bass, consider Algoma Country, it is That real and the smallmouth really is the Alpha Bass in this region.


About Karl Kalonka

It's possible Karl's love for fishing began as early as the age of five. His parents took the kids on weekend trips across Ontario fishing for panfish, catfish, and bass. "I started with a bobber and worm from the time I was five years old," says Karl. These days, he has the enviable task of doing what he loves for a living, travelling across Ontario fishing, filming and producing two outdoor series, Extreme Angler and Crappie Angler TV.

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