Today’s post comes from year-round multi-species angler and writer Ashley Rae of SheLovesToFish.com.
For a year, I rented a home just 10 minutes from Murphys Point Provincial Park. Living so close to the park, I spent lots of time exploring Big Rideau Lake. I even did a bit of hiking on the park trails with my dog.
I love the multi-species fishing opportunities on the lake and have enjoyed some great days chasing Large-mouth, Small-mouth, Northern Pike, and Lake Trout.
What I love about this lake, aside from the great variety of species, is all its nooks and crannies. There are many bays, islands, and off-shore humps on the lake providing great fish habitat. It really is a beautiful area and it seems I discover new hot spots on the lake with each visit.
During Lake Trout season, I love to fish for them vertically with blade baits in the deeper water where these cold-water fish can be found. There’s nothing like watching a Lake Trout come screaming up after your bait on your fish finder and the anticipation of your lure getting crushed.
And do they ever hit hard!
The lake is known for great bass fishing, both Large-mouth and Small-mouth, with tournaments held here each year. There are endless effective techniques for bass, but over the past couple years I’ve spent the most time throwing chatterbaits, drop shots, and the Ned Rig.
A day on the water
Although I’ve since moved from the area, I still enjoy making the journey to visit Big Rideau. In fact, with the local bass season opening recently, it was the first place I went to target bass this year.
I spent a couple days on the lake in some very windy conditions. Thankfully, with all the islands and bays, there was plenty of shelter and areas to tuck into. My fishing partner Eric and I found most of our fish midway between their spawning grounds and the deeper waters, as well as up in the shallows where they were munching on spawning sunfish.
The Ned Rig was so effective on our recent trip, allowing us to cover areas thoroughly. It’s a fun finesse presentation and, due to its size, we caught a variety of species from panfish to bass, and even some Northern Pike.
Occasionally I picked up a larger presentation like a flipping jig to fish right in the weed beds, as well as working my swimbait through sparse vegetation and along weedlines. While fishing a secluded offshore weedy hump with a jig, I had a really good fish on that I lost before getting it to the boat. I could hardly budge this fish and it’s still haunting me!
The boat launch
If you’re new to the area, it’s worth mentioning that Murphys Point Provincial Park has a great boat launch!
Even with last year’s drought, I was able to get my deep-v in no problem and there’s plenty of room for a boat to load/unload while kayaks and canoes use the launch as well.
There are some paddle-only lakes in the area (Hogg Bay and Loon Lake). With plenty of docks, it’s an easy spot to tie off and use the outhouses just on top of the hill if needed. The launch is located in a nice little sheltered bay protected from the wind.