Trophy Bass on Clearwater West Lake

Browns' Clearwater West Lodge is home to trophy Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Walleye, and Lake Trout.

The first time I fished at Brown’s Clearwater West Lodge was over 20 years ago. Barry and Carol invited me up to fish big Lake Trout (the lake is fabled for giant trout) early in the season. Walleye and Smallmouth Bass were not open yet.

We woke up to the thickest fog I’d ever seen. The lake has a huge deep basin that stays cold, but the weather had started to warm a bunch. The fog was so thick I could hardly see the front of my boat! GPS-equipped sonar units hadn’t been invented yet, and we were grounded. The water was crystal clear, with multi-species, my absolute favourite type of lake to fish in Ontario. These are the type that produces trophy fish, but also the type that can have reefs anywhere and some can be hit. Floating logs and the like are another danger.

After setting there for two days, we tried to venture out but got totally lost, and spent the rest of the day just trying to find the lodge. But I vowed I was going to come back and fish this lake again. The trouble is, Ontario has 400,000 lakes and rivers, lots of incredibly good ones, and I never made it back until last spring.



This time it was later in the year, and everything was open, so I had a chance to explore this jewel. I started north using my sonar and mapping to see what I was up against. About a half-hour brought me to a bay and as we slid in, we moved more than 50 Smallmouth Bass off to the side that I could see with my fishing glasses.

I fished with a new friend and great Scotsman, Lindsey Durno, who lives there for the summer. He fishes pretty much every day and will even take folks out guiding on occasion. Turns out he likes Smallmouth Bass about as much as I do; we caught them non-stop for two days. He liked them even better after I gave him a pair of our new Babe fishing glasses and he could finally see what I was getting so excited about! While doing so we saw several big Northern pike, one that would have weighed about 25 pounds, and a couple of different schools of walleyes that had decided to come shallow to eat minnows around an old beaver hut. Never fished for any of them, but it’s so cool to just see them! We were on a mission to try and break six pounds with smallmouth bass. Caught several over five and loved everyone. Lindsey had a great sense of humour and a “never can catch enough fish” attitude. Two peas in a pod.



He spent a lot of his time fishing the big Lake Trout with downriggers and had caught them to 40 pounds, which is very nice no matter where you are fishing them. The trout were very deep, but I didn’t have downriggers and we couldn’t catch them on jigs or freelining. Because of the nature of the lake, it has the ability to produce large fish of all types such as Northern Pike, Lake Trout, Walleye, and Smallmouth Bass.

Clearwater has cold water forage like Whitefish, Ciscoes and Ling Cod as well as warm water forage species like Perch, Dace, Shiners and Crayfish. It’s the type of lake that you could explore for years and find new, special spots every time. This lake has a trophy written all over it, and I really wish I could spend a whole summer fishing it every day. This is my kind of Ontario Heaven.



What a wonderful lodge to fish at—great cabins, great home-cooked meals, beautiful clear water, and the warmth and love for the area by Barry and Carol Brown. Drive with your own boats and you also have 52 other lakes to explore as well. This is Ontario fishing at its finest.



Contact Information

Browns' Clearwater West Lodge
PO Box 1766, Clearwater West Lake, Highway 622
Atikokan, ON, Canada, P0T 1C0
Phone: 800-900-4240

Book yourself a trip to this fishing paradise. The bite is on!!!

About Babe Winkelman

As the host of Good Fishing and Outdoor Secrets, Babe has succeeded in fulfilling his dream of being self-employed in the outdoors industry through a combination of hard work, good business instincts, and a gift for communicating his love of hunting and fishing. Babe was inducted into the prestigious Sports Legends Hall of Fame. Babe is the only outdoors figure to be so honored before or since. He was inducted into the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in 1988, and the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2007 he earned the “Excellence In Craft” award from the Outdoor Writers Association of America.

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