Three years ago Eric and I visited Limerick Lake for the first time. We had a memorable experience and had been talking about planning another trip there ever since. I was very excited when a recent opportunity to partner with Hastings County Tourism presented itself, along with the chance to head back to Limerick Lake for a fall bass fishing adventure. Not only did we experience some great fishing on this trip but the timing was perfect to witness the incredibly vibrant autumn colours as well!
Please note: It is recommended to plan ahead before traveling by connecting with local operators and businesses to determine any new safety measures and procedures put in place.
A New Partnership With Hastings County
Hastings County is the second largest County in Ontario, Canada, stretching from the shores of the Bay of Quinte, up north to Algonquin Park, and Hastings Highlands. My new partnership with Hastings County will provide the chance to explore some of the seasonal fishing opportunities throughout the region. My fall trip is now complete and I look forward to an upcoming winter, spring, and summer adventure in the region. I’ll be documenting each adventure here on my blog, and through my social media accounts. We have some fun fishing adventures planned so stay tuned (and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog at the bottom of the page)!
About Limerick Lake
Limerick Lake is situated in the township of Limerick, Ontario, roughly 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Bancroft. The lake is over 7.1 kilometers (4.4 miles) long and 2.2 kilometers (1.4 miles) wide. It is home to a variety of fish species including: largemouth and smallmouth bass, lake trout, yellow perch, pumpkinseed, and more.
Limerick Lake Lodge and Marina
Limerick Lake Lodge & Marina seems to be the heart of Limerick Lake and is home to the only boat launch and marina on the lake. We spent 2 nights at the Lodge staying in one of the housekeeping cabins. It was nice to have our own kitchen and bathroom, and we had plenty of space to park the boat and charge the batteries overnight. It was also very handy being able to launch our boat right on site. If you don’t have a boat of your own, the marina also offers boat rentals.
We brought along groceries to cook our meals, and also decided to grab takeout at Bancroft Brew Pub one of the nights – which was delicious by the way!
During our previous trip 3 years ago, we had a wonderful visit with the owner, George Offshack. George is truly a wealth of knowledge, is very passionate about the area, and is a fantastic host. He writes a daily report on his website about what’s happening in the area, on the lake, and around the lodge and marina. George made it easy to plan our trip through email communication and we were also able to do contactless check-in. During this trip, our visit with George was limited to outdoor chats from a distance and he also touched base with us throughout the weekend via email. Limerick Lake Lodge is pet-friendly so we were really happy to bring our dog, Blitz, along with us.
Fishing on Limerick Lake
Limerick Lake is popular for it’s bass fishing, along with lake trout through the open water and ice seasons. We missed the tail end of the lake trout season by a few days but were happy to focus on targeting largemouth and smallmouth bass. Bass are certainly among my favourites to chase and Limerick Lake has some nice ones!
For more information on the fishing seasons for Limerick Lake, please refer to the Fisheries Management Zone 15 regulations.
Locating Bass on Limerick Lake
We experienced a range of weather conditions during our visit with low wind and a mix of sun and cloud on our first day. Our second day consisted of a nearly all-day cool drizzle. Water temperatures ranged from 55-59 degrees Fahrenheit. Eric and I covered a lot of water and found that bass were primarily holding on or around boulders of various depths, and were in and around deeper weeds (ranging from 8 to 16 feet of water) with the denser weeds being more productive for us. We found the deeper fish to be less active. Okay, they completely snubbed us in most cases, LOL! The shallower fish were much more aggressive and would hit moving baits, such as an underspin.
We saved a lot of time searching for fish using the Garmin LiveScope technology which allows a live scan of an area from a distance rather than getting too close to the structure. This helped us to spot fish on/around the boulders as well as hunkered in the weeds. We did roll over a few fish while exploring and noticed they spooked easily at times or just wouldn’t bite at all. Distancing ourselves from the structure and making long casts seemed to increase our chances of getting bites with the finickier fish.
Limerick Lake has very clear waters. With a good pair of polarized sunglasses and some sunshine, it is easy to spot some of the shallower boulders and vegetation.
On the Bass Menu
Eric and I had to pull out a number of presentations to figure out what the bass wanted. They really made us work for it! We found that fishing a drop shot was most effective around the boulders. When fishing around weed flats and weed clumps, an underspin paired with a swimbait, a ChatterBait, and an Alabama Rig, were all effective for us. Another couple suggestions are a football jig around rocks and boulders, as well as throwing a Ned Rig along the shorelines – Although we only picked up a couple fish with these two presentations, they are popular items we typically throw often and have a lot of success on.
If you’re looking for some fishing gear & tackle while in the area, Fish & Co. is a new shop that just opened up in Madoc, approximately 47 kilometers (29 miles) south of Limerick Lake Lodge and Marina.
The Ones That Got Away
Although we were very fortunate to land some nice fish throughout the weekend, there were a couple moments of heartbreak for me as well! While fishing a drop shot adjacent to a rock pile, I had a light strike. When I set the hook I felt a dead weight with 2-3 big headshakes before the fish came unbuttoned. When throwing a ChatterBait over a weed flat, I had a fish clobber it putting multiple feet of slack in my line. I reeled up as fast as I could but the fish was gone by the time I tightened up the slack. These are the moments that keep me wondering and of course make me want to return for redemption! Needless to say, we will be back to Limerick Lake again. Thank you George, and Hastings County for a wonderful weekend on Limerick Lake!