Bassin’ at Bells Lake

Time for fishing has been few and far between as of late. With the typical demands of everyday life, the busy schedule for school, a minor car accident, another broken down vehicle, and the introduction of three kittens to our lives, things have been a little hectic. However, we do manage to get out and enjoy the outdoors every now and then, and a couple weeks ago we headed to Bells Lake outside of Markdale, Ontario for a day on the water.

Bells Lake is not a place we fish very often, and it is an entirely different type of lake than we are used to. A Class 1 wetland, there are very few places surrounding the lake that are solid enough for people to set foot on. The lake bottom fluctuates wildly and keeping an eye on the depth finder is essential until the layout of the lake is familiar. With only a few houses on the shoreline, Bells Lake is a very peaceful place to visit with some beautiful scenery.

Our goal for the day was to locate some bass, a task easier said than done when there is so little structure within the lake. After launching we started up the channel and headed for some downed trees where Darrell had spotted bass on an earlier trip. Unfortunately, my spinnerbait and Darrell’s flipping jig couldn’t entice anything to bite. We continued tossing lures to areas that looked promising, but I eventually got distracted by the shoreline vegetation that was very unique.

pitcher plant

I had never seen a pitcher-plant before, but they were everywhere here! This insectivorous plant is absolutely fascinating. Insects are attracted to the leaves, but once they enter the ‘pitcher’, they cannot crawl back out due to hairs that point downwards. The plant then secretes enzymes that help to digest the insects.

pitcher plant

Pitcher-plants could be found on many of the downed cedar trees that were lining the lake, usually surrounded by grass or moss.

pitcher plant

Are they not just the coolest looking plants?

pitcher plant

The flowers of the pitcher-plant.

Although he indulged my fascination with the plants, Darrell was obviously eager to locate some fish. With the sun beating down on us and the wind alternating between strong and gentle, finding an area that we could stay on top of was a little difficult. Working around a swim platform, I spotted the shadow of a smallmouth bass and we knew we were finally in the right area. While I continued throwing my spinnerbait, Darrell switched up to a drop-shot with a Gulp minnow. Fighting the wind, he dragged the drop-shot back to the boat, then set the hook with a quick motion as he hooked into a smallie. That set off a nice string of catches and I can’t tell you how nice it was to get some smallies in the boat again!

smallmouth bass

This one was a good fighter.

bells lake

Terrible picture taken on my cell phone with the sun in the background, but it was another decent fish.

smallie

That smile says it all. It had been far too long since we had gone bass fishing.

bells lake

I love seeing a bend in the rod.

bells lake

Hmm…he starts getting a little odd when the fish aren’t biting.

bells lake

Someone has to eat the lures…

When the bass bite slowed down, Darrell showed me a little back bay he had discovered on his last trip to the lake. On that trip he had taken some friends out and they spent an hour catching rock bass in this bay. While the rock bass were no longer biting, the sunfish were more than happy to take a Power Nymph, and I happily caught sunfish on every cast while listening to the various bird calls coming from the conifer trees.

bells lake

Sweet Gale

bells lake

Alder-leaved Buckthorn

bells lake

Labrador Tea

We had a wonderful day on the water and finally got to spend some time with fish once again. I’m hoping we’ll have more time on the water in the coming weeks. Forgive me if my plant ID isn’t perfect, I’m working on it 🙂

The following two tabs change content below.

argosgirl

Blogger, Aquatic Ecologist, Volunteer, and obsessed with all things fish. When she isn't trying to out-fish Darrell, Rebecca can be found working in her gardens or spending time with her horses.

Latest posts by argosgirl (see all)

About argosgirl

Blogger, Aquatic Ecologist, Volunteer, and obsessed with all things fish. When she isn't trying to out-fish Darrell, Rebecca can be found working in her gardens or spending time with her horses.

2 Comments

  1. The pitcher plants are a terrific find! I like the Labrador tea, as well. Thanks

    • They made my day! On a trip to a different spot the following weekend I managed to find a sundew – another very cool plant. Thanks for reading!

What do you think? We'd love to know.