Ice Fishing in Northeastern Ontario

5 all-season lodges offering everything from DIY to fully outfitted ice fishing adventures.

Don’t wait until spring to get back to fishing. Once lakes fully freeze over, there is so much accessible water for people across Ontario to explore!

If you’ve ever considered going just that little bit further to experience an uncrowded lake all to yourself turn your attention to Northeast Ontario. And give yourself a better chance at a giant. 

There are thousands of lakes, rivers, and watersheds all offering new and exciting angling opportunities for those of us stuck in the crowded south. With well over 100 lodges ranging from Mattawa to the far west side of Manitoulin Island and everywhere north of there, you could visit every year for the rest of your life and still not stay at all the lodges available. 

The winter season, luckily, is slightly less overwhelming—only a handful of lodges are open for year-round activities. Here are 5 of those lodges in the area that offer year-round services, specifically for ice fishing

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1. Green Bay Lodge: Manitoulin Island, Ontario

Five renovated units with plenty of space on premises for snowmobiles. Lake access is easy and you won’t have to go far if you don’t want to! This is a DIY lodge, so make sure you bring your own gear. Off the beaten path, snow tires are recommended and although it's not required, four wheel drive will go a long way getting into Green Bay Lodge.

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2. Saul Outfitters: Matachewan, Ontario

Shacks, year round, bring your own gear, accommodations are arranged depending on client and group size. With Saul’s help, you can catch pike, walleye, brook trout, lake trout or splake! Tons of species for variety and something new to chase everyday.  

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3. Big Moose Camp: Corbeil, Ontario

Heated ice fishing shacks located in front of the lodge where you can target northern pike, walleye and yellow perch on Lake Nosbonsing. You may even luck into a burbot, also known as an eel pout or ling. 

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4. North River Outfitters: North Bay, Ontario

Wood heated ice shacks on the main lake are available to fish from, or you can have an entire lake to yourself with back lakes accessible only by snowmobile or snowshoeing! Bring along a portable shack and propane heater supplied by the outfitter for your convenience. Walleye, pike and lake trout are just some species you can target. Kids under 16 are free! 

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5. Great Escape Cabins: Alban, Ontario

Ice fish on the French River in comfort. This is one of those perfect locations to bring your favourite group of people for a DIY ice fishing adventure, whether that's your friends or family. Cozy cabins that hold lots of people or small quaint cabins for a quiet getaway. 

What to Bring Ice Fishing

Call ahead to see what your outfitter offers during your stay, including transportation to and from fishing spots if required. There may also be some kitchen utensils or bedding you should bring. 

Some outfitters may provide everything, but here's a list of some fishing essentials with or without gear being provided. You can always leave what you don’t need in the cabin, but it may be hard to replace it once you arrive! 

  • Headlights

  • Fish Finder of your choice

  • Bait and lures! (Check regulations for live bait)

  • Rods and reels rigged with appropriate line per species

  • Clips with swivels so your line doesn’t twist too much while jigging/reeling

  • Hot Paws or Heat Packs for gloves and socks

  • Ice Picks for early or late-season ice

  • Warm coat and snow pants

  • Warm gloves, multiple pairs in case they get wet

  • Warm toques or trapper hats

  • Neck warmer to pull over your nose for outside of the shack

  • Camera!

  • Any personal medication you may need

  • Food and water, snacks as well!

  • Minnow bucket if needed

  • Tools such as pliers and snips

  • Auger if needed

  • Snowshoes 

About Alyssa Lloyd

Alyssa Lloyd is a photojournalist based out of Kenora working with Ontario's Sunset Country. The outdoors has been the center of her work and personal life for as long as she can remember. As an angler, Alyssa spends most of her time time chasing multiple species on both conventional and fly gear. 

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