A Lake Nipigon Adventure

This place is a real bucket list fishing destination. Come visit and check it off your list!

I went on a fantastic trip the second week of September this year in the Superior Region of Ontario. I fished with longtime friend Gord Ellis outdoor writer and guide for Nipigon River Adventures. We were based out of the Quebec Lodge overlooking Lake Superior. The Quebec Lodge is a beautiful bed and breakfast run by Ray Rivard. Fabulous food, accommodations and comradery. Ray caters to a wide range of people from anglers, ecotourism, photographers and kayakers.

Over the years, I've gotten a chance to fish and travel all over the province of Ontario. Geographically, this has to be the most interesting region I've been to; there's Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Dorion Tower, Mount McKay, Red Rock, Ouimet Canyon, many waterfalls, Lake Superior, and Agate Island. This is a great place to explore, not to mention the diverse fishing opportunities.

2 anglers with lake trout nipigon

(Photo credit: The Ontario Experience)

Starting right in front of the Quebec Lodge on the Nipigon River, it's the finest brook trout fishery in the world. Gord Ellis and the other Nipigon Adventure guides spend a lot of time on the river and the lakes above Helen, Jesse, and Lake Nipigon hunting brook trout, Big pike, walleye, and lake trout. In the fall, the Nipigon River also sees a good run of the king and pink salmon and steelhead. Another angling option close by is Black Bay of Lake Superior which has excellent walleye and pike fishing in the back of the bay and good lake trout and brook trout fisheries as you move farther out into Lake Superior. Black bay also supports a robust winter perch fishery. There's also a much smaller drive to lakes just to the northwest with walleye, pike, bass, and trout. Most of these lakes receive very little fishing pressure.

One of the crown jewels of the Superior Country region has to be Lake Nipigon. Lake Nipigon is a monstrous lake with over 1,800 square miles of water with an average depth of 180 feet with its deepest spot of 541 feet of water. It's unique because of the sheer size and depth; the water stays cool year-round. It is remote fishing at its finest considering the vast size of the lake; there is only a limited number of access points. Most of the time, we saw no or few boats on the water. You do have to be careful, though, and watch the weather. You can see some serious waves when the wind starts to blow on this big lake.

Over the three days, we were out on Lake Nipigon, we caught lots and Lots of big pike and lake trout. The average lake trout weighed between 10 to 15 pounds. Every year people catch Lakers here over 35 pounds. We caught most of the trout in depths from 45 - 65 feet of water vertical jigging 3-ounce Luhr Jensen crippled hearing spoons or slow trolling three-way rigs with Coyote spoons.

lure setup for lake trout

(Photo credit: The Ontario Experience)

The same thing with pike. Find any cabbage weeds in 8 - 10 feet of water, and you find pike, big ones! Speaking with some local anglers, 45-inch northern pike is pretty common. We didn't get a chance to fish for the whopper brook trout that inhabit Lake Nipigon. The season closed the day we showed up. I'm sure this has to be one of the better drives to fisheries in the province.

According to Gord, you would think that walleye would swim everywhere on lake Nipigon; they don't. Walleye are generally associated with shallow bays or where you have tributary rivers running into the lake. Interestingly most pike and walleye stay shallow throughout the entire year. This may seem strange to many people who are used to seeing dramatic fish movement into deep water throughout the warm summer months.

angler holding northern pike nipigon

(Photo credit: The Ontario Experience)

Over the remaining years of my life, my goal is to spend at least a week each summer fishing and exploring Lake Nipigon. This place is a real bucket list fishing destination.

For more on Quebec Lodge, please visit: www.nipigonriveradventures.com


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