Lac Seul Wilderness Resort

And its smallmouth fishery might be the best-kept secret in Sunset Country!

Planning, preparation, and anticipation add to the excitement of a Canadian adventure. Enthusiasm was high for this trip because we hadn't been to Canada since the fall of 2019.

So at 12:01 am on August 14th, 2021, we were in line at the border for the opening bell.

That in itself was an adventure.

And we were not the only folks ready to fish Canadian waters. The waiting line to cross opening morning was 7 hours, but for us, it was worth every minute! (Following the first day of the border opening, there were no longer wait periods). It was almost like tailgating, and people were walking about visiting where they were headed and exchanging fishing tales. For such a long wait, complaining was minimal, and excitement was high. Everyone agreed — the wait would be worth it!

lac seul sunset

(Photo credit: The Ontario Experience)

On this trip, Ty Sjodin and I were heading to Lac Seul, a body of water that has always fascinated me. In Ontario, it's second in size only to Lake Nipigon — often considered the sixth great lake. Access to the fishery is limited for as large as it is, keeping it a pristine wilderness setting. If you've heard rumours of Lac Seul being one of the most productive walleye fisheries on planet Earth, this is an undeniable fact.

For even more gravy on the fries, we were bringing my boat, which had just been equipped with a new forward-facing sonar unit. So we are fishing in a remote wilderness setting with unpressured fish and the most advanced fish-finding technology on the planet!

lac seul wilderness resort dock

(Photo credit: The Ontario Experience)

Scott and Heidi Ellery recently purchased Lac Seul Wilderness Resort. It was evident they'd been working tirelessly to make the place tip-top for American guests soon to arrive. Though we'd never been here, the improvements were impossible to miss. Lac Seul Wilderness Resort is simply a fantastic easy-to-access location on a great site, with comfortable cabins with everything, great docks, and fish cleaning facilities run by fabulous people.

Scott and I hit it off right away, and he's a hard-core fish head too. After a quick tour of the resort, we unpacked, launched the boat and hit the water. Scott was going to use his boat to show us safe travel routes and key areas of the lake; however, he had a few things to do before he could join us, so we set out close to camp to see what we could find.

What happened next didn't seem possible. We idled out to the first visible rock near the camp, and the depth finder lit up! We quickly dropped the trolling motor, and each grabbed a jig and a plastic and tossed out. With the forward-facing sonar, we could see our jigs fall, and a massive school of walleyes met the jigs halfway to the bottom.

Boom—instant double!

We proceeded to catch quality walleyes every cast for about half an hour until Scott met us. Then he had to jump in the boat and check out the new technology. We could have spent the rest of the afternoon and evening on that spot, but it was time to explore.

fish fry, beans

(Photo credit: The Ontario Experience)

We followed Scott to get a safe track and look at some spots down the lake. There are so many places to fish; it makes your head spin. We quickly realized that every spot had walleyes on it, but not all the places were loaded with good fish. Most fish were in the 15- to 25- foot range and easy to see with traditional sonar. The program eventually became very simple. Drive around to obvious good-looking structures, see what was below, and start catching when you found a spot loaded with fish.

Driving to destinations like Lac Seul Wilderness Resort becomes very appealing if you have your own boat. First, you can bring everything. Your boat is your tackle box and rod locker. Secondly, many drive-to fisheries in Sunset Country are equally as good as fly-in destinations, with Lac Seul being near the top.

angler fishing northern pike

(Photo credit: The Ontario Experience)

Having your own rig allows you to prepare for any situation you may encounter. We had stuff for trolling boards, casting cranks, pulling bottom bouncers and jigging. But nine times out of ten, the most productive bait up here is a jig and a minnow or a jig and a plastic. On this trip, the jig was king.

What I love about fishing is you're always learning. Sometimes when the bite is hot, you wonder if every fish that sees your lure bites it. When fishing is slow, your mind can spin out while you consider why they don't bite.

Live Forward-facing sonar answers so many of these questions. We could see the individual fish and how they were reacting to our presentations.

Here's an example, we might see a school of a dozen walleyes, 30 feet in front of the boat. Both Ty and I cast into the school with a jig and plastic minnow. If the fish ignore us, we quickly grab another rod with a jig and live minnow. Boom! We watch the fish pin the jig to the bottom and double up!

angler fishing walleye

(Photo credit: The Ontario Experience)

The fishing action here is often so amazing that it's hard to describe. By contrast, there were many situations where walleyes would travel 5 to 10 feet vertically to catch a falling jig. In that situation, we ditched the minnows and went to plastics to catch fish more quickly. When we caught all the fish in the school, we moved on.

In many cases on Lac Seul, moving might only be another 50 feet before contacting another school of fish. Lac Seul is honestly fish soup — it's mind-blowing how many fish are in this lake. We didn't catch a ton of big fish on this trip, but the numbers and the average size of fish are outstanding. It sounds incredible when you hear people say they had a 100 fish day—but we had over one hundred fish before lunch!

Lac Seul is not just a walleye factory. The smallmouth fishery might be the best-kept secret in Sunset Country. It grows pike bigger than many fisheries in the far north, and in some parts of the lake, muskies grow to epic proportions. If catching tons of fish and some big fish in a beautiful place, away from people, is your thing, you might want to check out Lac Seul Wilderness Resort. It's a double thumbs up by our standards!

For more on Lac Seul Wilderness Resort, please visit

About Jeremy Smith

Jeremy has been fishing since he was old enough to hold a rod and reel. From an early age his passion for fishing as never stopped growing. He has an education from Gustavus Adolphus College (Biology/Business) and Bemidji State University (Education). Throughout the summers of his college years, Jeremy was a fishing guide in northern Minnesota, specializing in musky fishing. Upon graduating from college he bypassed using his education to become an educator and dove head first into the fishing business.

Since then Jeremy has worked in almost every element of the business: magazine sales, television sales, magazine writing and editing, television editing and producing, tournament organization, still photography, videography and on-camera talent to name a few of the hats he as worn.

Jeremy loves to catch anything that swims and tries to take full advantage of the best bite going. Given the time he is going searching for new water off the beaten path. Whether it is for largemouth, smallmouth, muskies, cats, sturgeon, lake trout, whitefish or carp, anything is fair game.

At Lindner Media, Jeremy serves as Sales and Media Director and co-hosts Angling Edge and Fishing Edge. 

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