Hawk Lake Lodge

Gigantic Walleye and Smallmouth Bass fishing in Ontario's Sunset Country

One of the absolute best perks we here at Fish’n Canada get is the privilege to visit many great fishing destinations. Since we’re constantly on the lookout for new locations, we always keep our eyes and ears open. About five years ago, we heard of a place that sounded too good to be true. They claimed not only a high-end drive to the lodge but even more impressive was the gigantic walleye that lurk in the depths of the surrounding waters. This we had to check out.

"I met Ted Putnam, the owner of Hawk Lake Lodge, a while ago," says Angelo, "and we immediately hit it off... especially after he talked about the facility and the fishing."

aerial view of docked boats

An aerial view of the large modern fleet of boats for Hawk Lake Lodge customers. (Photo credit: Fish'n Canada)

After that meeting, our team tried their best to hook up with Ted and his crew, and finally, it happened.

As usual, our timing for this shoot was a week or two off, but nonetheless, we ended up with an awesome Fish’n Canada episode. In fact, the evening before our departure day, the current lodge guests started posting up some impressive fish... of course, they did!

"As to our success," says Pete, "the bad news is we only caught two small walleye... not too impressive, eh... oh, but let me finish the good news is: all the rest were from 4-pounders and up to TANKS!"

famous bobbys tackle shop

The drive up to Hawk Lake Lodge should be preceded by a stop-in to Bobbys “lure and bait emporium”... that’s what we call it. (Photo credit: Fish'n Canada)

Our trip to Hawk Lake Lodge was a lengthy one (we live in Southern Ontario) but trust us: it’s a small price to pay for giant fish results.

famous bobbys tackle shop

BTW, this is why you need to stop at Bobbys. (Photo credit: Fish'n Canada)

The meals were outstanding, the accommodations were perfect, the staff was excellent, the boats were extremely well-equipped, and Ted was a real character. They even have a Happy Hour every night before supper with a wide selection of beverages. An inclusion that not too many other lodges offer.

cliffs at sunset northwest ontario

A perfect Northwestern Ontario sunset. (Photo credit: Fish'n Canada)

As to the fishing, all we can say is wow. Where else in the world can you fish on a relatively small drive-to body of water and have a very legit chance of catching a 30-plus-inch walleye? Well, the odds of someone in your group landing such a trophy are almost as good as on the Bay of Quinte, or Lake Erie!

On our first evening, thereafter a late-day check-in (as we said, it’s a long drive) Ted took us to one of his hotspots, and on the very first cast, we popped an 8-pounder... that’s pretty impressive.

aerial view of hawk lake lodge

Ang & Pete hitting Hawk Lake hard! (Photo credit: Fish'n Canada)

By the end of our trip (during horrid fishing weather conditions), we caught some gorgeous walleye, anchored with a beauty well over 30 inches long.

Our baits of choice for these somewhat fussy walleye (at that time) were a jig-head tipped with either a minnow or a leech. Yes, we use live bait, especially for walleye.

angelo viola fish'n canada host

Angelo Viola finesses a jig in the cool waters of Hawk Lake. (Photo credit: Fish'n Canada)

“When we hit a lake like Hawk that has true trophy fish potential,” Angelo says, “we want all the odds in our favour, and live bait does that for us.”

Something else to add about Hawk Lake is the insane smallmouth bass fishing that is rarely talked about due to the fantastic walleye fishing. There are loads of smallies here, and lots are big. During our Fish’n Canada shoot, we would take mid-day breaks from the walleye and go for pre-spawn smallmouth... many 3 1/2’s to 4’s and lots bigger following.

Pete with a giant Hawk Lake walleye he caught on a jig-head tipped with a leech. (Photo credit: Fish'n Canada)

Hey, want one more reason to go to Hawk Lake, the bass season is open all year long. So, if the walleye are off or you need a break, pull out the top-waters and Senkos; guaranteed to hook up.

Finally, for a different look, the lodge offers 19 other smaller lakes to fish with big northern pike, walleye, smallmouth, crappie, and more.

"But I’ll tell you," Pete says, "no matter how good the outback lakes are touted, it’s pretty hard to leave Hawk with all those pigs lying around!"


A great way to end each fishing day! (Photo credit: Fish'n Canada)

One last thing that Hawk Lake lays claim to fame is two live release records: a 37-inch walleye that weighed approximately 20+ pounds, and a 24-inch smallmouth bass pushing the imaginary scales to around 9 pounds... impressive to say the least.

record smallmouth bass

Almost looks deformed!!! (Photo credit: Fish'n Canada)
record walleye

37 inches of record replica walleye. (Photo credit: Fish'n Canada)


To get to Hawk Lake Lodge, we made the long drive up Hwy 400 to 69, to 17, and finally turned south on Hawk Lake Road (east of Kenora), taking the short unpaved road to our final destination.



About Fish'n Canada

As one of the original pioneers of Canadian adventure television, the Fish'n Canada Show has been broadcasting their pursuit of the ultimate adventure for over 30 years. Hosts Angelo Viola and Pete Bowman educate and entertain audiences with their passion and enthusiasm for fishing. Both are inductees in the Canadian Anglers Hall of Fame. Check out their episodes and video on the Fish'n Canada YouTube Channel and like them on Facebook!

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