In this interview, we talk with Richard Hough about bass fishing Gloucester Pool in Ontario. Last year we interviewed Richard Hough about his tournament bass fishing. This time he shares his information and tips for bass fishing Gloucester Pool.
How was your tournament season this year?
Unfortunately my partner and I had some boat issues early on in the season which limited our CSFL tournaments this year. I was also working shift work this summer as a police officer which caused me to miss a few club tournaments as well.
I was able to travel to Maryland in June with Team Ontario for the B.A.S.S. Eastern Regional, which I qualified for last year. We were fishing on the Upper Chesapeake Bay to further qualify for the Nation Championship. Although I did not qualify for that, it was an experience I’ll never forget. Not only travelling to, and fishing somewhere I had never been, but also bonding with the rest of Team Ontario for the week. It was quite an honour to be in the USA, wearing our Team Ontario jerseys and hearing the Canadian National Anthem being played prior to take-off in the morning.
How long have you been bass fishing Gloucester Pool?
I have been fishing Gloucester Pool for around 10 years now. The ‘Pool’ is part of the Trent Severn Waterway in Ontario and encompasses Little Lake in Port Severn and the Pool itself in Muskoka region. It is about 90 minutes north of Toronto.
At the north end of the lake is Big Chute Marine Railway, the only operating marine railway in North America which connects the Pool and the Severn River. Besides transporting boats over land, it was also built to stop the spread of sea lamprey further downstream.
I live about 15 minutes from Gloucester Pool so I try to spend as much time on the water as I can. My neighbour also has a cottage on the Pool. So when not fishing, we relax at the cottage. I enjoy recreational fishing with my son Spencer on the Pool when not fishing a tournament there, to find new spots and introduce him to new techniques. We love it!
I have to admit that even with a lot of research on Ontario fishing I had not been very familiar with bass fishing Gloucester Pool before our interview last year. How much pressure does the Pool get?
The Pool does get a lot of pressure from other tournament clubs on summer weekends and it seems to be ‘not what it was’ a few years ago. Good weights are still brought in at the end of the day though at each tournament. So the fish are still there, albeit maybe a little more finicky.
How about recreational boat traffic that might interfere with fishing?
Weekend recreational boats and jet skis are indeed popular on the lake, but there are areas and numerous bays on the lake that allow anglers to fish without competing with the jet skis. Anglers have the choice of fishing Little Lake or the Pool itself, with a no-wake zone separating the two bodies of water.
The lake has both largemouth and smallmouth bass. What is the mix when bass fishing Gloucester Pool?
There is a mixture of both largemouth and smallmouth bass, but I would say the largemouth is more prevalent. We see more largemouth being brought in at tournaments. There are lots of areas of 6 to 10 feet of water with sparse weeds which sometimes is key. I know of a spot where it is over 50 feet deep and rapidly comes up to 6 feet with a thick weedline edge.
What are the key habitat areas and structure for largemouth bass fishing Gloucester Pool?
The lake has numerous weedlines with access to deeper water, which I think is key for the largemouth. It also has several weed clumps surrounded by deeper water, which works as well. With the winters we have here in Ontario and the colder water, it takes a few weeks in the late spring/early summer for the weeds to mature.
What are your key baits and presentations for largemouth bass?
A jig is definitely a key bait in and around the weeds but also a wacky rigged stick worm or fluke along the edge of the weeds works well. I will also fish a jerkbait or a crankbait in 7-10 feet of water to search for fish and then slow down in that particular area and throw the wacky worm.
What are your key baits and presentations for smallmouth bass fishing Gloucester Pool?
A drop shot presentation with a First Mate Lures green pumpkin bait and WOO! Tungsten drop shot weight is key sometimes for the smallmouth. And the smallmouth are usually big! There are open areas adjacent to the weed pockets that hold smallmouth. There are also smallmouth in the no-wake zone between the two lakes I mentioned earlier. The area is shallower with quite a few rocks in which a spinnerbait works well.
Do you ever target the lake’s other species like northern pike?
I don’t target’ pike or muskie per se, which are found in the Pool. However I have caught several of each on the weedlines while targeting bass. Black Lake at the south end of the Pool, or Maclean Lake as the locals know it, is good for targeting crappie while ice fishing in the winter .
Who are your current sponsors?
I have been fortunate to have several companies support me in my passion. I started with The Rod Glove and Lew’s several years ago and it just kind of grew from there. I am also fortunate to be with Livingston Lures, Denali Rods, First Mate Lures, Gill Fishing, and WOO! Tungsten. I have added a couple new ones this year, TH Marine and K2 Coolers. They all play a part in my success, and I am proud to be affiliated with each of them.
Looking forward to 2018 season already!
Thank you Richard for the bass fishing info for Gloucester Pool. Follow Richard on Instagram @richardhoughfishing.