Bottom bouncing for Splake

So here in Ontario trout season opens up at the end of April and bass season opens up at the end of June. The beauty of early season trout fishing is that just after ice out the water is still good and cold so the trout are up shallow and you can catch them without a lot of mucking around trying to get down deep. A simple spinning set up with a couple hundred feet of line out is perfect for trolling shorelines.

Now this last weekend was our long weekend and by now the water is starting to warm up enough that the bass have moved shallow and are starting to spawn. In order to make sure we didn’t disturb the bass, and also because the trout would be starting to move deeper to stay in the colder water we tried a new technique.

My oldest son had picked up a couple of bottom bouncers last year, so we hooked them on with about a 6 foot leader trailing behind and started trolling around in 30 - 60’ of water. We hooked at least one splake on Saturday but lost it before it got near the boat. On that day the sun was out and we were marking fishing generally in the 40-45’ depth. On Sunday, by the time we had our chores done it was fully clouded over and we almost didn’t bother to head out. But deciding that even bad fishing was better than no fishing we headed out and tried the same rig. It turned into the best 2 hours of torut fishing that I’ve ever had on that lake - pulling in 6 fish in about an hour and a half. All of them in about 35’ of water and all on a gold Williams Wabler.

We kept one to add to our dinner and let the rest go. Now I’m just hoping that we can repeat that success our next time out.


No your other left!

It worked again
We tried this again on a July long weekend trip to Algonquin and it worked really well. Here’s a video clip of some of the trout we caught.

I lost my bottom bouncer in the first 15 minutes and then spent the next 2 days handling the net while my son reeled in all his trout. Next time I’m packing at least one spare.

you got funny looking paddles …
… just kidding . No I’m not , they look like a funny shape blade to me … but what do I know ??

Have to say RobW , great vid. !!! You all were on to it pretty hot there . Just love the way you were enjoying watching your son have a blast with those fish . Bet I know which one made the dinner table .

What was messin round your pup ?? Kept trying to bite it out the air whatever it was … fine looking pup , very well behaved .

Good on ya …

Paddles & flies & dishes …
Hey Pilot,

Peter’s paddle is a home made one. The blade shape is roughly based on a Voyageur style and the grip is a ‘guide’ style that I think originated in the Adirondacks. Interesting combo that his brother came up with. My paddle on the other hand is a plain old off the shelf Grey Owl -

Brownie was being really bugged by some biting flies that day. There wasn’t much wind so they stayed with us all the way down the lake. Not sure what their proper name is but I’ve always called them sand flies because they seem to chew on your ankles more than anywhere else.

As for dinner … well, Pete does dry the dishes for me by putting 'em in the mesh bag to drip dry. On the other hand, as long as I have him along I don’t have to worry about chopping wood for the fire. He also carries his share of the gear on the portages! These trips are great for spending quality time with the kids. The last couple of years I’ve managed a 1-on-1 trip with each of my 3 kids, which has been great.

(Oh, and while Peter whipped my butt on the trout, I did pull in a 20 1/2" Smallmouth on the last night out to take the overall title. That one counts as a trophy size for Ontario :slight_smile: )