'Eye Dreams of Dog Lake

A true walleye lodge offering the rugged beauty of Ontario's northern wilderness.

What it is about Northern Ontario fishing lodges that appeal to so many anglers from so many different places across the world wide web? Is it great fishing? The solitude? The jaw-dropping beauty of Ontario's natural wilderness or the great memories of time spent with good friends and family?

One such place is in Algoma Country, just slightly north of Chapleau Ontario, called Northern Walleye Lodge and owned by Warren Thibodeau, and is located on virtually untouched Dog Lake.

The lodge offers a comfortable family-friendly atmosphere and a main lodge that looks like it was created right out of a movie script with mounted fish and animals, huge comfortable chairs and couches, big widescreen satellite TV, pool table, darts, and wood stove all the while surrounded by the thick wooden logs and ceiling of a true northern lodge.

They offer multiple clean, comfortable rustic log cabins situated 200 to 300 feet apart, so guests enjoy privacy. Each cabin features all of the kitchen utensils you may need for indoor cooking or enjoy BBQ cookouts right on your own porch facing Dog Lake.

 

We visited Northern Walleye Lodge this past September to experience the world-class walleye fishing that we have heard about while attending various trade shows the previous winter and spring and were looking forward to this trip to another bucket list location in beautiful Northern Ontario.

Dog Lake also has a very good reputation for producing northern pike up to 20-plus pounds in the many weed beds, shoals, and reefs that abound on this lake. Smallmouth bass are virtually untouched with yellow perch, whitefish, and lake trout the main draws. An added bonus is the incredible brook trout fishing in portage lakes and streams that many say are stuffed with square tails!

Our day of fishing was met with a severe cold front, brisk northern winds, and air temperatures just above the freezing mark. Ideal? Only if you're a polar bear and enjoy the feel of ice-cold boat spray on your face.

Fortunately for us, Warren was navigating the waves in the large custom-made steel watercraft that transports all guests from the landing to the lodge, which kept us dry on this cold September morning.

Warren was so confident in his knowledge of the lake and walleye 'hotspots,' he was even considering not installing his portable fish finder as he has spent many a day and night locating some of the finest offshore humps, reels, and shoals that rise from the cold deep water of Dog Lake. But as we were restricted by a time schedule and needed to find fish fast, he hooked up the sonar unit and we located the first shoal of the day which rose up to 18 feet of water and slowly dropped along the sides to 20-plus feet, before plunging to the depths of one hundred plus feet of water around the shoal.

A very hot-looking spot for walleyes indeed.

Our plan of attack was simple—and one that is very common in Northern Ontario when guests of lodges are fishing for walleye in deep haunts. A round head jig in either one-quarter to three-eights ounces sizes in bright colour hues such as chartreuse, orange, pink, red, and clown with a nightcrawler or live minnow for added taste and appeal.

We positioned ourselves on one of the 20-plus foot edges and made short casts to either side of the boat and used a slow drag along the sandy bottom of the shoal looking for those familiar light taps or sponge sensation of a pickup from Mr. Walleye.

It sure did not take long for Warren to announce 'fish-on' and so the frenzy began.

Our cold fingers warmed up quickly to the feel of walleye smacking our jigs all around the boat. With province-wide regulations on slot sizes of walleye that are available to be kept for dinner (check local regulations for daily limits and slot sizes in the regions you visit), we caught and released a lot of healthy 16 to 20-plus inch walleyes, and only kept a couple of fish in the 17-inch class for our dinner.

Our sonar unit lit up with fish symbols all across the bottom directly below our boat and it was some of the easiest fishing we have ever experienced—simply dropping our jig and worm right below the boat and lifting the jig ever so slightly off the bottom and 'tap' another fish on.

I was impressed.

As we headed back to the main lodge, I couldn't help but envision what lurks below the surface as we passed so many island points, back bays, rock piles, and endless potential fish holding natural structure and was already planning a return trip for the bragging size smallmouth bass and trophy Northern Pike that call Dog Lake home.

A true walleye lodge offering the rugged beauty of Ontario's northern wilderness.

Visit Northern Walleye Lodge today and book your memorable trip to Dog Lake.

You can also email fishingtrips@outlook.com or call  Warren at 1-877-434-2440 for more information.

About Karl Kalonka

It's possible Karl's love for fishing began as early as the age of five. His parents took the kids on weekend trips across Ontario fishing for panfish, catfish, and bass. "I started with a bobber and worm from the time I was five years old," says Karl. These days, he has the enviable task of doing what he loves for a living, travelling across Ontario fishing, filming and producing two outdoor series, Extreme Angler and Crappie Angler TV.

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