Charleston Lake is a bass fishery in Ontario in Southeastern Ontario. We discuss with Kris Radzichowsky his 2017 Charleston Lake fall fishing trip.
How long have you been fishing Charleston Lake?
I have been fishing on Charleston Lake for as long as I can remember and have spent a huge portion of my childhood there at the family cottage. It’s where I learned how to fish from my father and grandfather. I continue to spend most of my summers there doing so.
Where do you stay for your Charleston Lake fall fishing trip?
When fishing Charleston Lake, I stay at the family cottage at the Southern end. For anglers looking to visit the lake and make a trip out of it, Lakeline Lodge & Marina is located at the North end of the lake and offers comfortable lakefront cottages. This includes full kitchens and covered decks with access to a full service marina facility, gas pumps, bait shop, convenience store, boat docking with electric, fish cleaning station and a bon fire pit at the water’s edge. The Ireland family has been welcoming guests since 1962. They are passionate about providing guests with the ultimate getaway through their local, friendly staff.
If you’re looking to visit Charleston Lake for an angling vacation check out Lakeline Lodge and experience for yourself the fishing that Charleston Lake and Lakeline Lodge have to offer.
What boat do you fish out of when on Charleston?
We do the majority of our fishing out of our Stratos 486sf. In the fall the water level on Charleston Lake gets lowered making it difficult to dock a boat unless you happen to be on a steep shoreline. This leaves us with the options of either a canoe or a 10ft aluminum boat we can beach on shore.
Are good electronics necessary to for a Charleston Lake fall fishing trip?
Ideally I would like electronics when fishing in the fall. Being able watch the water temperature as I move from spot to spot can make a huge difference and is almost necessary when locating smallmouth in the fall. However when strictly targeting big largemouth in shallow water electronics weren’t necessary.
Overall, how was your Charleston Lake fall fishing trip?
The main focus of the trip was actually deer hunting with bass fishing being the bonus. Luckily I was able to harvest a deer on the third day of our six day trip so I was left with quite a bit of bass fishing time. It was an awesome trip. The conditions were good and the fishing was some of the best fishing I’ve ever experienced on the lake. Good numbers of great quality fish. All in all, I don’t think it could have gone any better.
What makes Charleston Lake a great fall place to fish?
In all honesty, Charleston seems to have a reputation for having numbers over size. Year after year however, it proves that fall really does make it easier to bring big fish to the boat. I found these fish around typical fall structure. Shallow vegetation was key and if there was shoreline rock and deep water not too far away it was even better. Whether the vegetation was healthy, dying, or dead didn’t seem to matter and most of the better quality fish were caught in the 3 to 8 feet range.
What were your best baits for your Charleston Lake fall fishing trip?
At first I started by throwing a few different presentations like topwaters, spinnerbaits and jerkbaits just to see where the fish were at and what their mood was. Once I realized they were relating to heavy cover and aggressively biting based on reaction I knew it was time to tie on a jig. Once that 3/8th ounce watermelon red flake jig was on there was no looking back. It didn’t come off for the entire week. The bites were vicious, often crushing it on the fall or the first lift of the jig. I even had a bass blow up on my jig as I was burning back to the boat on the surface at the end of a cast. Jig trailer didn’t seem to matter. I had the same success on several different kinds throughout the week.
How often do you run into smallmouth bass on Charleston Lake?
On this trip I didn’t catch anything other than largemouth bass and a few pike because of the type of fishing I set out to do. Smallmouth are very common on the lake as well as lake trout in the deeper parts.
So for anyone planning a Charleston Lake fall fishing trip, what 5 pieces of advice do you have to make their trip successful?
When planning a fall trip always come prepared for the weather. There’s nothing worse than being uncomfortable on the water.
Make sure you have docking and launching access if planning to fish past Labour Day weekend, as this is when the water level gets dropped.
Bring an assortment of rods and tackle to cover all scenarios. You could be fishing less than 4ft for largemouth or more than 20 feet for smallmouth and lake trout. It all depends on what you want to target for the day.
If you aren’t catching the quality of fish you want to catch, move. Chances are they are relating to something specific giving the conditions. Keep moving until you find it. And pick it apart once you do. I only really fished three different weed beds between two bays and I can honestly say I was constantly pulling fish out and they were refilling each day.
Lastly, bring a buddy! I spent most of my time fishing alone this week. It was hard to explain how good the fishing really was. Luckily I have some GoPro footage to prove it!
That sounds like an amazing Charleston Lake fall fishing trip. Thanks for sharing Kris.
Meet Another Dock Talker Who Has Fished Charleston Lake: Fishing the Ottawa Area with Joey Mitchell