Weekend Plans: Long Point Bay, Ontario | Kayak Angler Magazine | Rapid Media
Trips
"Using twitch baits, drop shots, or dragging tube are sure to get some acrobatic bruisers on your line." "Using twitch baits, drop shots, or dragging tube are sure to get some acrobatic bruisers on your line." Photos: Barna Robinson

Fish the Great Barrier Reef of the North Woods.

Long Point Bay on Lake Erie is a world Biosphere Reserve, putting my local hole in league with the Great Barrier Reef. Until recently, this is something I was unaware of.  I grew up here in Norfolk County and have fished the inner bay since before I could walk, but I never realized its importance to the Great Lakes system. I knew there was awesome bass fishing in the summer and that we have huge migrations of waterfowl that stop in the vast marshland surrounding the bay, but never really stepped back to realize how lucky I was to live in such a diverse freshwater fishery. 

Although Lake Erie is the smallest of all the Great Lakes, it’s huge; it’s a Great Lake. Kayaks are small and human powered, which makes for some limitations and challenges, but the rewards can be huge! Yak fishers have to fish for whatever we can reach on any given day, or time of year. The smaller size and shallower depth of Lake Erie mean its conditions can get nasty and dangerous very quickly. I have had my fair share of outings that I would not wish upon anyone. Those experiences have only taught me to be smarter about where I launch, or what days to even consider venturing out onto the water. 

Long Point Bay body 1

Trash Trophies

The Inner Bay of Lake Erie is very shallow and weedy. It is the first place in Erie to heat up in the spring and acts as an incubator to where many species of fish will do their spawning. At this time of year, when the weeds begin to grow and the water starts to warm, this area is exploding with life. Along the entire shoreline you will see and hear huge carp jumping everywhere; whether you are targeting them or not, they will deliver a show. If you are targeting carp, it is best to have a kayak you can stand up in. Standing up allows you to sight fish for carp that are getting ready to spawn in the shallows. Using a float as an indicator and canned corn or dough for bait works best.

We also have gar pike! They are hard to catch consistently, but if you find yourself in an area holding gar, you can have some serious fun. These can be found along the miles of cattail shorelines along the inner bay. Make these battles short and to the point. Although having an epic battle with these powerful fish sounds like fun, getting them in the kayak is the priority. Giving these dinosaurs any extra time to shake the hooks is not something I suggest if you plan to get a picture to use as proof. Use heavy braid with a steel leader. Floating body baits with treble hooks are key. Be prepared to constantly re-tie leaders, lures and watch for bent hooks. Your gear is likely to be abused in all the excitement.

Long Point Bay body 2

Smallie Slammin'

The inner bay is probably best known for its smallmouth bass fishing. The quality and quantity we have here is truly amazing. From opening day (last Saturday in June) and for the first few weeks of July, you can experience some great smallmouth fishing. Prior to the bass opener, much of inner bay is a fish sanctuary and no fishing is permitted. This fish sanctuary is well marked and effective mid May until the bass opener.

I recommend avoiding the opening weekend as a kayaker. The boat traffic is always chaotic on this weekend as all kinds of weekend warriors on power boats are ripping around for their first outing of the season.

Long Point Bay body 3

Fishing smallies is generally a bit of an offshore mission, so watch the weather forecast closely and make sure you have a kayak that can handle big water and high winds. A safety flag with a lighted tip is highly recommended when fishing the open water. Always go with a friend and have some form of waterproof communication device with you. Using twitch baits, drop shots, or dragging tubes are sure to get some acrobatic bruisers on your line. 

The shoreline of Long Point Bay will have you anticipating a largemouth strike on every next cast. Largies can be found scattered all over the inner bay. They are not as abundant as smallmouth, but if you work enough shoreline and weed beds, you are sure to lock into some nice ones.

Come to Norfolk County and explore the shores of Lake Erie’s famous Long Point Bay.  In the area surrounding Long Point Bay you will see lush Carolinian forests surrounded by all types of scenic farmland growing crops such as corn, tobacco, soya bean, Jensen, peas, melons, peppers and so much more. Norfolk County is quickly becoming known as “Ontario’s Garden” and all of the fresh local produce can be found in local lakeside restaurants. 

Long Point Bay body 4

Plan Your Trip

When to Go: May through July

Where to Stay: Long Point Eco Adventures has glamping tents sure to make for a luxurious stay, while still enjoying nature.

Turkey Point Provincial Park and Long Point Provincial Parks are perfect for those looking to camp. There are also cottages available for rent in Port Dover and Turkey Point.

Where to Eat: The Blue Elephant restaurant and brewery, or the 211 Main Restaurant.

Don't Miss: The Burning Kiln Winery.   

Who to Call: For fully guided kayak fishing trips on the Inner Bay of Lake Erie, contact Barna Robinson of BAER Kayak Fishing.

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