Bass Fishing Six Mile Lake

Wil Wegman 2011Port Severn Ontario: I was first introduced to Six Mile Lake over two decades ago when our kids were young and our family regularly camped there at the Provincial Park. Of course camping and fishing go together like campfires and hot dogs, so bass fishing was always a major part of all our camping excursions. I’ve also fished several Bassmania tournaments here in the past. Today  most of my fishing at Six Mile occurs during our annual Aurora Bassmaster Club tournaments, and I always look forward to fishing these gorgeous Canadian Shield waters.

Above, Wil with a nice smallmouth from Six Mile
Six Mile Lake is best fished from a boat with launching facilities available at Six Mile Lake Provincial Park and at the free boat launch near Whites Falls.  Adjacent to the falls is also one of the premier shore fishing opportunities but camp visitors do have some success wading the shorelines out from the park. Early morning and evenings produce the best action when topwaters like the Rapala Skitter Pop really shine for largemouth and smallmouth bass.

Six Mile Lake
This angler shows off a big largemouth from Six Mile

Our last club tournament on the lake occurred in mid August 2011 and with just a few hours to fish; I forced myself not to run to the north end of the lake for the first time in several years.   My non boater was Dave Meadows, who also had some good water further north. “I have a tree up there that consistently produces decent bass,” said Dave. I did as well, and curiously enough the more we discussed the particulars of that tree- with it leading into deep water and a nice little bay in the back, the more we thought we were talking about the same tree! If we didn’t get bit at the south end- a run north would not be out of the question.

Our first stop was a rocky shoal closer to the Park that had an incredible mix of cabbage, coontail and eelgrass on the south end with rock and deeper water to the north. “This is a spot where you can get a mixed bag of both largies and smallies,” I told Dave.  We fished around the entire shoal with various baits without a hit, and then Dave began throwing his topwater.  Almost right away he had a keeper largie in the well. Not long after he had a similar sized smallie slurp his bait that he landed too. He then caught a short fish before the action slowed.

Our next stop was a long, thin extended rocky point that had a bay on one side and open water on the other. The open water side was surrounded by deep water but the shorelines tapered just enough to allow for some great fish-holding weedgrowth.   We fished the one bay side first and I had no sooner told him that the other side is typically better, when another nice smallmouth took down Dave’s topwater.   That was three in the well to my zero! These bass will fool you and make a fool out of you every time as I was soon to learn once again.

Dave Meadows
Dave Meadows with one of several
decent smallies from Six Mile

Across we went to fish the deep side of the point and I finally started getting into them with a drop shot rig ... but they were all a tad less than our 12 inch minimum size. Dave was also having troubles putting more fish in the well ... but he was still getting bit by decent bass. 

“They’re just not taking it very well and missing the bait,” he said.  After a few more short fish that just wouldn’t measure, it was off to a primary ‘smallmouth ‘ spot.  “Usually you need a real strong wind to get these smallmouth going here, but they’re always a good size.  I don’t get a lot of them though ... one or two fish and that’s it.”, I remarked. Again I would be proved wrong.

This area has a series of flat rock slabs interspersed with cabbage and super vibrant green coontail that formed beautiful edges against deep water.  The area was about an acre or two in size, spanned between 5-15 feet deep and baitfish would often be funnelled in here when a wind was blowing just right.  “That’s when you can whip a spinnerbait overtop and do real with smallies,” I noted.

Today was calm though and for the first time the sun was beginning to shine brightly. I was tossing my Rapala Husky Jerk (Tennessee Shad color) as far as I could and ripping it back to the boat when my first keeper bass struck.   “Hey my first largemouth here”, I said as he tried to jump.   The 14 incher wasn’t huge but at least I was on the board. We continued to work the area hard for the next two hours and to make a long story short, each of us filled our five bass limit there.  Again the spot and the bass made a liar out of me as more than half were largemouth, there was no wind yet it still produced, and they weren’t the oversized specimens the area usually coughs up.  I wasn’t complaining though ... as it gave us both half decent limits. 

Many of our bass came from the weed/rock transition and others were on the deeper edge of the thick coontail weedline.   Dave caught all of his bass- both largemouth and small, on his topwater.   Mine came from wacky rigged Trigger X fluttering worms and drop shot Trigger X minnows.

With just an hour left in this late afternoon tournament, we decided to head over to a nearby island and fish around the entire thing. “This island is neat because it has some great weed pockets that are up against shore and the odd isolated one well off shore. It also has some good sized submerged rocks abutting deep water that can be good,” I noted quickly as we began casting.   It didn’t take Dave long to connect again with his topwater and he was able to cull and upgrade.   In his excitement, Dave cast near shore to a sweet looking tree that could easily hold that kicker fish we were looking for.   “Darn, I’m hung up,” he said. I let him know that we would go in and retrieve his hot bait ... so I made a long cast out with my Chug Bug and let the bait soak while I moved in to shore.

As I was getting in position to retrieve his bait, a minor explosion suddenly occurred way out from shore.   I turned around and saw the big splash near my lure and set the hook.  “Oh, your lure will have to wait Dave, this is a good fish”.   The strong powerful smallmouth was nowhere near the size of Simcoe giants but at a tad under four it was very respectful for this shield lake and would eventually take big bass honors. “That will help for sure,” as I culled my smallest bass.  We each caught a couple of more fish that would have measured, but didn’t upgrade for us, so we moved over towards the first rocky shoal we fished.  Here I caught a northern pike and Dave had one completely slice thru his line ... causing him to lose his trusty topwater.

Time to go anyway ... so we headed back to the launch to weigh our fish; here are the results.

Top Ten Individual Results For Six Mile Lake:

  1. Rick Lewis ... 10.72 lbs
  2. Bob Kendall ... 10.54
  3. Wil Wegman ... 9.78
  4. Chris Barrett ...9.08
  5. Cam Mitchell ...8.72
  6. Dave Meadows ...8.64
  7. Randy Dulude ...8.42
  8. Dean Hornick ...7.90
  9. Tom Tsatskas ...7.18
  10. Terry Chomski ...6.74

Fun Fishing For Bass On Six Mile:
Six Mile Lake harbors plenty of Islands throughout and most of them hold fish on a regular basis during bass season.  Early on you can find both small and largemouth close to shore but as the season progresses and the weedbeds develop the fish gravitate out towards them like bears to honey. If you can find isolated weebeds off shore, they can be especially productive, particularly if there’s a bit of rock mixed in. Six Mile’s largies and smallies like this combo. Try walking the dog with a topwater like a Rapala Skitter Walk or pop a Storm Chug Bug overtop these beds, and if they don’t produce either jig and pig it or drop a wacky rigged Trigger X Fluttering worm in the mix.
It could very well be that some of the lake’s bigger largemouth prefer hard structure, like overhanging trees, docks and submerged timber.  These are great ‘items’ to focus on if you’re looking for that kicker bass. If you’re interested in numbers then weedy flats and back bays, many of them filled with text book pads, are a better bet. 
The one challenge however with Six Mile is that there are so many great bays and shorelines to fish ... and so much of it just looks so darn good, that you can easily spend a day there without a lot of action. You will leave shaking your head saying it all just looks so textbook yet- where are all the bass? The best advice I can offer  is to not give up- make several visits because plenty of nice bass do reside here ... You may just have to work it one mile at a time; so say about  half dozen visits ... to begin to figure out the bass on this Six Mile Lake!

Butch McRae
Former Aurora Bassmaster Butch McRae with a 6.48 pound largemouth bass he caught in 2005 during a club tournament on Six Mile Lake.  This bass still holds the club record for the heaviest bass ever weighed in during a club event. The photo at the start of this article shows him getting ready to live release it!

Conserving the Resource:

Like many Canadian Shield lakes that have good aquatic plant growth, Six Mile Lake harbors some true trophy largemouth.  Granted there are not many of these old, slow growing bass around, and therefore  big bass should always be live released. Even those precious two pounders are vital to these fisheries and deserve to live another day when you catch them.

Randy Dulude
Randy Dulude of the Aurora Bassmasters shows off two big smallmouth
– a
4.25 and a 4.10 pounder at a Six Mile club tournament he won in 2007.

Link to roadmap that will take you to Six Mile Lake Provincial Park: http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/sixm-maps.html