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I tried 'search', but surprisingly I didn't find anything.  To introduce myself, I'm an 80 year old who began fishing in Lake of the Woods when I was a ripe ten year old boy.  First cast from the bank at Frolander's Camp I pulled in a nice walleye.  From that point forward Canada's been my favorite place to fish.  I've been lucky enough to have fished (long ago) Knee Lake, and more recently Great Slave and Scott Lake.  I've probably been spoiled as far as catching a lot of nice northerns go, but I still have yet to pull in anything bigger than 45 inches.  My two sons want to go with me this coming season and experience good fishing for maybe one last time (a lot of my schoolmates have either died or given up fishing).  I'm strapped to decide where to go.  I'm no longer a wage-earner so don't have the long green it takes to go to Manitoba or Saskatchewan.  I live in Florida now so am restricting my choices to Ontario.  Could some of you recommend where to go on an American Plan (I thought we could go to an outpost camp, but my sons don't want to have to fool with cooking).  Also, it would be good to be with a guide with a decent boat to fish three anglers.  Could some of you impart a little information on your favorite lodges?  I've looked at some on Lac Seul, and I'm also considering the east side of Georgian Bay as some expert mentioned it as a likely spot to catch big northerns.   Our calendar is open.  Anytime from May through August, but I find that in August it's hard to find northerns up shallow.  Thank you in advance for any tips you can give me.

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Big hungry pike in numbers need little harassment and bigger water. To get those conditions cost$$$. I'd consider going Muskie fishing in prime time....

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Welcome to the best fishing forum anywhere. Great that you are still out and about at your age. We have caught big Pike in the Long Lac area. I have never even seen a Pike longer than 40" other than in pics. I as well as you are on a fixed pension. I have a bucket list of things I want to do but don't have a bucket full of Benjamin's to do it. Anything you have mentioned, especially an American plan will cost big time. The best advise you can give your sons is to learn how to cook. It will save you guys hundreds a week. That's where I started to learn to cook, fishing trips because I needed to, fast forward 25 years and I'm running a restaurant.  

Edited by Old Ironmaker

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Lots of BIG northerns to be caught pretty easily 1st week of June on our lake Wabigoon. Lots of camps to choose from. Try the camp I guide for, Indian Point Camp. 

 

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Lou,

Lots of outfitters offer flyin housekeeping arrangements that are more affordable than full American Plan to outposts on lakes that have size and pike are the only sportfish. Check out Air Ivanhoe out of Foleyet. They have at least 2 large pike only lakes, Rush Lake & Rice Lake where they show guests with 20lb + pike all season. You make find that area a little less remote and less costly compared to Northwest. Kesagami out of Cochrane used to be famed for large pike. Lots of options for sure.

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A place that may be off your radar is North Caribou Camps. They can do American Plan if requested. The problem might be getting an available week, they book up pretty good, and for good reason. I'd go early/ mid June if possible.

I don't think the east side of Georgian Bay is what you are looking for.

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Chris.Brock Thank you for the tip.  It looks like a wonderful package, a distant lake, North Caribou, probably similar to a Knee Lake in Saskatchewan as far as remoteness goes, but at 2300, no guide? doing our own cooking, it's out of our price range.  I wish it weren't, but as a man on DOD pension and Social Security I won't be able to swing it.  But I'll talk to my son, David about it.  Possibly he can chip in the extra.  What is the reason that Georgian Bay wouldn't be good?  It looks like the area from Key River to French River would be pretty remote, but of course it's a rocky place which might make boating difficult.  

Maker a Laker I'm checking Air Ivanhoe.  It's a long drive up there to Foleyet, Ontario, but it does look like they have nice outposts.  We'd be doing our own cooking, and it appears (correct me if I'm wrong) that the boats at the outposts only have paddles, no motors.  I wonder how good Nemegosenda Lake is?  Probably it's pounded pretty hard by angling pressure.

Limeyangler I haven't yet found a lodge on Wabigoon that offers American Plan so if you know of one let me know.  I may need to know a name of a guide also.  Back in the days when I was a muskie hunter I remember reading about big skis caught out of Wabigoon.  

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Eagle Lake is a possibility as well,take it up a notch & go after the very healthy muskie population.Temple Bay Lodge has a full American Plan c/w guides etc.Not sure if Northshore Lodge has A/P but lots of big fish on their FB page.Lots of lodges on Eagle.

 

Edited by Blue Lk
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11 minutes ago, Blue Lk said:

Eagle Lake is a possibility as well,take it up a notch & go after the very healthy muskie population.Temple Bay Lodge has a full American Plan c/w guides etc.Not sure if Northshore Lodge has A/P but lots of big fish on their FB page.Lots of lodges on Eagle.

 

AGREED!

 

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I've fished Hartley Bay, Bad River, French Delta and the Key, Bustards etc. There is big pike there, but a lot tougher to find compared to N Ontario. It's rocky, Canadian Shield water, it's generally not as productive as a remote mesotrophic lake with lots of weedy bays, soft bottom flats etc. I bet it would be tough to get a 40 in a week. At a place like N Caribou, you could get a couple 40's a day in the spring. JMO

A guess a drive to in NW Ontario fits your criteria and budget. Lac Suel, LOTW etc. I'm not familiar these though.

I don't think the Air Ivanhoe stuff is what you're looking for either.

 

 

Edited by chris.brock

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Thanks for your follow-up, Chris.Brock.  If you have any specific suggestions of a 'drive-to lake' in NW Ontario let me know.  I'd be driving from Florida so it's a 'fur piece' to that neck of the woods, but if another day on the road puts us into better pike lakes then I'm game.  So the lakes that Air Ivanhoe fly to aren't the mesotrophic type waters?    I see Eagle suggested.  We've fished there and didn't have much luck, although the water level was way low and some of the prime muskie spots were dry.  I think we want faster fishing than muskie hunting.  Even if we have to go through a lot of 'hammer handles' to get to a 40" pike, that's better than throwing and retrieving heavy bucktails all day just hoping for one muskie strike.

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Air Ivanhoe is housekeeping outposts, smaller lakes, more known for fast action walleye. American plan would be at the lodge on Ivanhoe Lake, it's pretty busy, not known for big pike.

If a cheaper housekeeping outpost is an option for you guys, there's lots with better big pike credentials. Garnum, White River Air comes to mind. Outposts N of Armstrong and Nakina, even better, and more options.

I'm not familiar with drive to's in NW Ontario, LOTW etc, I bet they would be decent though, Limey and others know more about that stuff.

Borger's a busy guy but it would be worthwhile for you to talk to him.

https://www.canadafishingguide.net/contact-2/

this guy can be a little grumpy, sometimes a down right butt hole, but contact adempsey on this forum, he's very knowledgeable 

 

 

 

Edited by chris.brock

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1 hour ago, angler lou said:

  Even if we have to go through a lot of 'hammer handles' to get to a 40" pike, that's better than throwing and retrieving heavy bucktails all day just hoping for one muskie strike.

But one 50+" musky is worth a boatload of 40" pike, but that's just me LOL :thumbsup_anim:

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HI Angler Lou

You may want to check out Lake Muskoka if you are driving from Florida = great Pike fishing as well as Bass and Walleye

Lots of Lakeside resorts to choose from 

11/2 hrs from Toronto 

Lots of Pike to catch - No guarantee of a 45" plus but hundreds of them are caught every year the spring Pike tournament usually has a bunch that size 

Check out Reelpro on Flickr most photos are Lake Muskoka fishing

Further North about another 3 hrs from here I would check out Lake Kipawa in Quebec lots of big Pike and Walleye - drive to and quite a few very well priced camps offering "american plans"

GL MIKE

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I would also check out Lac Kipawa.  There are many lodges to choose from with American plans.  The main lake is very big, great laker and walleye fishing.  Ask your operator if there are any guided back lake pike options.  I went a few years ago with Eastview Cabins (sadly I think they are out of operation as I don't see their site on the www anymore).  George, owner of Eastview who was also in his 80s, walked us into back lake chalk full of pike.  (Guy was a beast - ran a lodge, walked us through the bush and oared our butts around the lake all day even though we pleaded with him for one of us young guys to take over, more pleading with him just to pick up a rod and catch a few with us, took us out one morning to introduce us to laker fishing and even let us borrow gear for our week stay! Amazing man)  I swear it was a pike every cast with a large spoon.  Some were giants but the majority were healthy 6-8lbs.

Word to the wise, should you choose Kipawa, make sure you get your non-residence license and stay within all size/slot/keep limits.  They don't mess around with enforcement up there - they'll board you with a german shepard and measure your catch, happened to us and heard it happens often.

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Thanks, Reef Runner and Realpro.  I will check out Muskoka and Kipawa.  My son in Colorado could maybe fly in to Toronto, and his brother and I could meet him and drive to one of those lakes.  Right now the best deal I've found is Mahkwa Lodge at Lac Seul.  We can get in 5 days of guided fishing for less than $2,000US.  Their boats have 50 HP motors so we could get around to a lot of spots...it's a big lake.  

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Lac Kipawa and Lake Muskoka both have monster Pike and good numbers - depending on what time of year you are looking to go the big girls might get harder to find

Both lakes see the bigger pike over 40" drop down with the Lake Trout as water warms.  

Spring time and late summer early fall are the best times for numbers of bigger Pike 

Both locations have a good shot at 45" plus all year though

 

GL MIKE

 

unnamed.jpg

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You should also consider lake Nipigon I'm sure bunk will have some great insight for you. From what I've heard it could be the best drive to lake in Canada. Check out the new fly Fisher episode with bunk, the pike were massive plus world class trout fishing

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Jmeyer Where is the fly Fisher episode with Bunk?  I did watch the 'Nipigon the 6th Great Lake with Bob Izumi' and was very impressed even though they didn't hit on any big northerns or any lakers.  My son David, in Nederland, CO who will join me on my trip is a good flyfisherman, and he would love fishing for the beautiful brook trout there.  

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5 hours ago, angler lou said:

Jmeyer Where is the fly Fisher episode with Bunk?  I did watch the 'Nipigon the 6th Great Lake with Bob Izumi' and was very impressed even though they didn't hit on any big northerns or any lakers.  My son David, in Nederland, CO who will join me on my trip is a good flyfisherman, and he would love fishing for the beautiful brook trout there.  

It should be on you tube Lou, it was a great show! Sight fishing for monster pike in back bays on the east side. I believe they camped on a island on the main lake but launched on the Onaman river. It's a long haul but I've heard the jackfish river where it dumps in the nipigon is as good as anywhere for walleye.

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GIANT PIKE | Onaman Resort Lake Nipigon, that's the show. I couldn't copy a link but If you Google the new fly fisher then hit episodes it comes up as the first one from last year's season

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Kesagami is probably too expensive and too pressured for it's size and the price. I would not suggest Kipawa if big pike are the goal. They are in there for sure but it is a damned shield lake and they take water levels right down in the fall which is not good for early spring spawning. I've been to a few camps there and found no ideal habitat or had a lot of success for pike. They are in ambush spots such as narrows etc. They are caught usually when folks troll for walleye or lakers! Nipigon is huge and beautiful but also a shield lake and prime pike spots are not easily accessible. That open water can be potentially dangerous in spring and big wind can create tide like conditions on wind swept shores! They used to do a cruiser rental that you would sleep in and they would tow a few boats that you could fish in once the cruiser was anchored. Meals were provided and that would certainly be a great experience and possibly in your price range once have enough people going. I always wanted to do that trip. The cruiser operated out of the southern bay. A lake like lake of the woods might work especially in the early spring. It could be one of those situations where it is the third target species and not specifically fished as hard. Spring would be good too before the cottagers are established. It is big...never fished it.

 

Edited by scuro2

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Scuro2 Thanks for the tips.  What do you mean when you say, '...they take water levels down in the fall'?  I've heard that Nipigon has its levels manipulated upstream, but I didn't realize that others are being manipulated (for flood control?)

Let me know if you hear of the 'cruiser' option on Nipigon.  I had never heard of that.  LOTW was my first experience in Canada, and I loved the fishing there back in 1950, but I wonder how heavily fished it is.  I have heard of some big pike (and occasional muskie) being caught.  I guess success would depend on the guide one has.

Jmeyer I checked out Onaman River Resort and maybe I should phone them to find out details, but their location appears to be many miles upriver from the lake so it would take at least half an hour of motoring just to get into the lake...and that would be with a big motor.  Most of these places max out at 30 HP which doesn't move a 16 footer very fast.  BTW I could not find any camps on the north shore of Nipigon.  

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