Kayak Fishing on Georgian Bay in Simcoe County

When asked about my favourite place to fish, it’s impossible to select just one location; however I’ve always been particularly drawn to the Great Lakes. For me there’s something special about exploring such vast waters along with the fish species found within. Not to mention when it comes to the fish found in these waters, the Great Lakes typically grow ‘em big! During this adventure I was very excited for the opportunity to explore the southern tip of Georgian Bay on Lake Huron in Simcoe County for the first time by kayak in pursuit of smallmouth bass. I have partnered with Tourism Simcoe County for this fishing experience.

Safety First and Always

First and foremost, it’s important to always have safety in mind when planning a fishing trip, no matter what type of vessel you might be fishing out of. That being said, extra caution is required when kayak fishing on large bodies of water, as weather conditions can change quickly which could make getting back to shore more difficult.

I always check both the wind (using the Windfinder app) and weather forecast (through various apps) before venturing out. I also ensure that I have all Transport Canada mandatory safety equipment on board, wear my PFD at all times, and I let someone know of my trip plans in advance and provide periodic updates on my whereabouts throughout the day when possible.

Photo: Soaking up gorgeous views while kayak fishing on Georgian Bay.

Bass Fishing in Georgian Bay

Joining me on this adventure was my partner, Eric, and our mission was to catch some smallmouth bass. We launched at the Birch Street boat launch in Collingwood Harbour. In addition to smallmouth bass fishing opportunities found in Georgian Bay, there are also a variety of other species, including: northern pike, muskellunge, common carp, lake trout, rainbow trout, chinook salmon, coho salmon, and more. We brought along a variety of techniques for smallmouth including: Ned rigs, drop shot rigs, small swimbaits, bladed swim jigs, and jerkbaits. We covered a lot of water, running moving baits in and around some of the clumps of submerged vegetation found within the inner harbor, and switched it up to more finesse techniques when fishing around riprap shorelines and isolated offshore boulders/rock piles. My first catch of the trip (shown in the cover photo above) was a beautiful 3.74-pound smallmouth that I picked up on a rocky point in around 12 feet of water on a Ned rig. After landing this fish, we located a number of fish in this particular area as well as similar areas around rocks and boulders. There was a lot of baitfish present in these areas which we could see on our Garmin fishfinders.

Photo: My Ned rig set-up.

My Ned rig set-up consists of a spinning combo with a size 2500 Daiwa Tatula LT reel, and an Okuma Psycho Stick 7’2 medium light rod. I run a 10 pound test Sufix 832 braid main line in Ghost colour, with an 8-pound test Seaguar Gold fluorocarbon leader. For the Ned rig itself, I love the Z-Man TRD TicklerZ in The Deal colour rigged on a 1/5oz Z-Man NedLockZ HD jighead. I caught the majority of my fish on this set-up.

Although the Ned rig was most effective for me, Eric landed each of his smallmouth on a drop shot rig. His set-up consists of 6’9” ALX Enox Charmer spinning rod with a size 2500 Shimano Stradic CI4+ spinning reel spooled with 10 pound test Sufix 832 braid main line in Ghost colour, with an 8-pound test Seaguar Gold fluorocarbon leader. His bait of choice was a Berkley MaxScent Flatworm in Green Pumpkin rigged on a size 2 Nishine DS Hook with either a 1/4oz or 3/8oz drop shot weight.

Photos: Eric slipping the net under a chunky smallmouth bass caught on a drop shot, and Eric displaying one of his catches.

Photo: Sending back another catch. All fish were released.

Boat Launches in Simcoe County

Simcoe County has an Interactive Map which displays boat launches throughout the area. The County maintains boat launches on multiple waterbodies found across the region and this map serves as a great starting point when planning your fishing outing in the region. Once on the site, simply select ‘Layers’ and then check off ‘Boat Launches’ in order to display the location of boat launches located on a number of different waterbodies within the region.


During our visit to Simcoe County, we stayed at Georgian Bay Hotel which was a great spot for not only a restful stay and friendly service, but also ample parking for our kayak trailer. We also enjoyed both dinner and breakfast at the onsite restaurant, Gustav Chophouse and Bar.

Photos: We stayed in the spacious 1 Bedroom Suite.

We had a wonderful first experience exploring Georgian Bay in Simcoe County and have already been discussing future fishing trips here! Thank you to Tourism Simcoe County for partnering with me on this adventure.

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