The many public trails and parks spanning across the picturesque Bay of Quinte waterfront in Belleville offer great shore fishing opportunities. I recently spent the day bass fishing from shore here with my friend, Pam Stewart. We got into some largemouth bass, soaked up the scenic views, and took advantage of the delicious waterfront dining options as well.
Our day began with exploring Zwick’s Park. The entire island has plenty of features, such as the Pop-Ups on the Bay with mini golf, a playground, and picnic areas. It also proved to be a great spot to fish! Pam and I brought along a variety of fishing techniques for this adventure, including: hollow body topwater frogs, wacky and Texas-rigged soft stickbaits, Ned rigs, Chatterbaits, and spinnerbaits. We made our way west on the Zwick’s Trail where I picked up the first fish of the day near Werner Dietz Park. There was a tiny section of floating grass and vegetation that had blown into the shore forming a little mat. This can be a perfect spot for a bass to hide out and ambush their prey from. I dropped in a Texas-rigged soft plastic stickbait along the edge of the mat and a little largemouth bass struck immediately! After snapping a quick photo, the fish was released.
Pam and I explored this area for a little while longer but with incoming rain on the horizon, we decided to turn around and head east on the trail stopping at various spots to fish along the way. We came across a large, thick mat on the Zwick’s Trail that was pushed up against a concrete platform and the shoreline. Upon dropping in my stickbait once again along the outside edge, I was excited to upgrade to a bigger largemouth bass! All of our catches were released. We encountered a few minutes of light rain and then it was straight sunshine for the remainder of our outing.
My Texas-rigged soft stickbait ended up being my most productive technique during this outing. My set-up consists of a 7’ medium-heavy baitcast rod, 100-sized baitcasting reel spooled with 40lbs braided line and a 15lbs fluorocarbon leader. I had a Z-Man ZinkerZ in June Bug rigged up with a 3/16oz tungsten bullet weight and 4/0 offset wide gap worm hook. This Texas-rig technique allowed me to fish around mats, lily pads, and other cover without having to worry about my presentation getting fouled up or snagged.
LUNCH BREAK: BOATHOUSE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
When our tummies began grumbling, we decided to check out Boathouse Seafood Restaurant on South Front Street. This has been one of my local favourites for a long time, but it would be Pam’s first visit here. We kept up with our waterfront theme by enjoying our meal from the patio on the water that is situated parallel to the Bay of Quinte Yacht Club. We watched sailboats coming and going while enjoying the breeze and shade. Lunch was absolutely delicious, too! I went with their Jambalaya and Pam decided on the Fish Tacos.
VICTORIA PARK & BAYSHORE TRAIL
Our fishing excursion continued after lunch as we explored Victoria Park, which has several nice docks to fish from. We also checked out Bayshore Trail around George Street Boat Launch. In addition to the fish we caught, we also saw several species of turtles, swans, herons, plenty of geese, and more. It was great to enjoy fishing and nature while still having quick access to washrooms throughout the day on the various trails, as well as plenty of options to stop in for a bite to eat.
Before hitting the road to head home, we picked up a nice cool treat of chocolate milkshakes at Duffer’s Chip Wagon at the George Street Boat Launch. It was the perfect end to our fun day on the water!
Ashley Rae is a full-time multi-species angler, international writer, video creator, public speaker and fishing guide. You can check out more of her work at shelovestofish.com.
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