I recently had the chance to head off on a kayak bass fishing adventure at Mississagi Park, located 25 kilometers north of Elliot Lake in Northern Ontario, Canada. I have partnered with the City of Elliot Lake on this adventure. As part of this partnership, I will be exploring the Elliot Lake region for a variety of fishing adventures this year.
Mississagi Park is over 8,300 hectares in size, with over 200 lakes and streams within the park and surrounding area, and over 60 kilometers of trails to explore. There are 80 campsites with both short-term and seasonal leases available, as well as some backcountry camping sites. Mississagi Park is operated by the Mississagi Park Foundation which is run jointly by the Serpent River First Nation, Mississauga First Nation, and the City of Elliot Lake. The park’s operating season runs from May to October.
Fishing at Mississagi Park
There’s a variety of fish species found both within the park’s boundaries and the immediate surrounding area, including: lake trout, brook trout, rainbow trout, splake, smallmouth bass, and northern pike. Fishing by kayak, canoe, and from shore are popular here. Canoe rentals are available through the park. Boaters can access Semiwite Lake and Flack Lake, which are the only waters in the park with boat launches.
Photo: Soaking up the stunning views at Flack Lake while making a few casts off the dock before dark.
For our first experience at Mississagi Park, we decided to pursue smallmouth bass from our fishing kayaks. Joining me on this adventure was my partner, Eric. After arriving and checking in at the park in the evening, we ventured over to Flack Lake to scope out the boat launch which is located just a short drive (less than 2 kilometers) from the park entrance. A few casts with Ned rigs and jerkbaits from the dock produced some little smallmouth bass in no time, so we were excited to spend the following day exploring this incredibly scenic lake!
Photo: A shot of our kayaks ready to dip into Flack Lake.
Early the following morning, we rigged and launched our kayaks. Whilst doing so, we had the opportunity to chat with a couple groups of friendly local anglers who were heading out on Flack Lake by boat in pursuit of lake trout. Much like the evening prior, it didn’t take long for us to get into some smallmouth bass nearby the launch. We threw Ned rigs, jerkbaits, and drop shot rigs and covered a lot of water. Bass were most concentrated along rocky shorelines and around the several rocky shoals and points found throughout the lake. The available Garmin mapping for the lake proved invaluable and helped us to quickly identify likely looking areas to explore, such as shoals or rocky points. Once we made it to these high potential areas we’d identified on the map, we leveraged our 2D sonar, Livescope Plus and Quickdraw mapping to further dial into the “spot-on-the-spot”, such as well defined breaklines/drops-offs, or specific isolated boulders/rock piles.
We got into SO many bass here (we must have caught a 100 or more fish EACH throughout the day), with the average being under a pound. We figured that our best bet at locating some bigger catches would be to focus on targeting main lake structure adjacent to deeper waters. This proved to be the right call as Eric landed his two best bass of the trip and lost another good one fishing around a main lake shoal which topped out in 6 feet of water. His two best fish were both landed on a drop shot rig using a Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Flat Worm in Black Shiner colour. His best smallmouth of the trip (as shown in the cover photo above) was 20.5” long and weighed 3.96-pounds.
The winds coming out of the north-west increased significantly as the day progressed, so we opted to tuck in along the north shore in search of more sheltered waters. As we were exploring the area, I came across a group of fish relating to some large boulders off of the tip of a point in around 18-20 feet of water. I was thrilled to pick up my biggest bass of the trip on a Ned rig!
Photo: My biggest bass was caught on the Z-Man TRD TicklerZ in The Deal colour rigged on a 1/15oz Z-Man NedLockZ HD jighead.
My fish didn’t top Eric’s for size, but it was an exciting catch nonetheless! Eric also picked up another nice 3-pound smallie that was holding around a large boulder in the same area.
Photo: Eric’s boulder fish was caught on a drop shot rig using the Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Flat Worm in Green Pumpkin colour.
We put in a long day on the water and were rewarded with a very memorable day of bass fishing! It was wonderful to introduce Eric to the fishing opportunities in Elliot Lake area as this was my third visit to the area, but only his first. We’re already excited to plan another trip here and to check off some of the other available fish species this region has to offer!
Watch the video from our adventure:
Dining in Elliot Lake
For this trip, we decided to leave our cooking gear at home and take advantage of the nearby dining options in Elliot Lake. Upon arriving in Elliot Lake, we picked up lunches and snacks for our adventure at Foodland, and also grabbed dinner after our day on the water at FireSide Classic Grill. I loved the Wild Mushroom Ravioli during a previous visit here, so I opted to indulge again!
Photos: I went with the Wild Mushroom Ravioli (left) and Eric decided on the Chicken Alfredo (right).
Thank you to the City of Elliot Lake for partnering on this adventure, as well as Sarah and the friendly staff at Mississagi Park for ensuring we had such an enjoyable stay here! I look forward to exploring more of this stunning area!