Lake Erie Smallmouth Bass Fishing in Haldimand County

This trip marks the fifth stop on my fishing road trip throughout Ontario’s Southwest region. This Lake Erie smallmouth bass fishing adventure took place in Haldimand County. This was only my second ever smallmouth bass fishing trip out on Lake Erie. As an avid bass angler, I was SO excited to finally get back out there as it had been a few years since my last visit! I have partnered with Ontario’s Southwest and Haldimand County for this adventure.

Please note: It is recommended to plan ahead before traveling by connecting with local operators and businesses to determine any new public health measures and procedures put in place.

Lake Erie Smallmouth Bass Fishing

This fishing adventure took place out of Dunnville, Ontario, a quaint community on the shores of the Grand River which flows into the north shore of Lake Erie. I had the chance to explore the Grand River a few years back via kayak, but this time I’d be heading out onto the big lake by boat. I booked a walleye/bass fishing charter with local expert, James Houtby of Grand Sportfishing.

The trolling spread with a beautiful sunrise backdrop on Lake Erie.

James offers a unique charter service in which his guests have the option of walleye fishing or bass fishing, and you can even choose to do both in a day. We started off the morning trolling for walleye with crankbaits and worm harnesses using planer boards. After the recent high winds and heavy rain in the area, the conditions weren’t favorable for walleye but we gave it a shot anyway. We trolled for about an hour and a half and then James offered to finish out the day focusing on smallmouth bass. He didn’t have to twist our arms on that! This would also be Eric’s first Lake Erie smallmouth experience, so he was quite excited!

It wasn’t long before we were all getting into some beautiful Lake Erie smallmouth!
James (left) and myself (right) with another smallmouth bass.

In no time at all, we were into some chunky Lake Erie smallies! Drop shots were on the menu and the bass kept us busy the remainder of the day. Eric got to check off his first (of many) Lake Erie smallies, and as a bonus he also landed a beautiful 24-inch walleye on a drop shot as well. It was such a beautifully gold-coloured fish!

Check out more of our catches in the full video from this adventure:

Accommodations & Dining

Eric and I made reservations the night prior to our fishing trip at Dunnville Inn Bed and Breakfast. The hosts were wonderful here, the home is lovely, and we had a great stay! The location is very convenient just a little over 2kms from Dunnville Boat Club, where we met up with James. I love sharing the food we got to try during our travels as well, so here we go!

From top left to right:

#1 – We grabbed takeout dinner our first evening at Queens Merrit Room. Eric ordered the Lake Erie Perch Dinner and I went with the Shrimp Dinner and both were delish!

#2 – After our fishing outing, we decided to visit Country Chip Wagon and shared an order of the Shawarma Poutine which was my favourite meal of the trip! So good! We also ordered strawberry milkshakes as well.

#3 – Our second evening in Dunnville, we dined in an outdoor pod at DEBB’S Cuisine on Queen. I wanted to share a photo of the pod as we loved it!

#4 – We enjoyed a couple of tasty Caesar’s with our meal at DEBB’S.

From bottom left to right:

#5 – For an appetizer at DEBB’S, we ordered the Garlic Pan Bread with mozerella cheese, MMM!

#6 – My dinner at DEBB’S. I try to order something local when I travel, so I decided on the Lake Erie Perch with french fries and coleslaw which was a great choice!

#7 – Eric’s dinner at DEBB’S. He went with the Meatloaf Wrapped in Bacon which came with garlic mashed potatoes and vegetables. He enjoyed it (and so did I as I snuck a bite)!

#8 – I wanted to mention that our host, Joanne, at Dunnville Inn Bed and Breakfast, was so kind to pack us a paper-bag breakfast both mornings as we were up and out the door quite early both days. She included muffins, fresh watermelon, croissants, and sausage and egg breakfast sandwiches. Everything was so yummy!

After great fishing and great food, I am feeling very thankful for such a fun experience in Haldimand County! We will be back here for a spring channel cat fishing adventure and I cannot wait!

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