Legendary Walleye at Hawk Lake Lodge

Experience the hospitality and incredible fishing of Northwestern Ontario

2019 was the year for our second trip to Hawk Lake Lodge, and let us tell you, it was a highly anticipated one for sure!

On Fish’n Canada’s first trip here a couple of years previous, the guys did tie into some of the Hawk Lake legendary walleye, but not as many as they had wanted. That said, they did get a giant at well over 10 pounds…a site for sore eyes in a small lake like Hawk.

pete-walleye
Here’s a giant Pete Bowman caught in 2017 that blew the boys' minds once they saw it.

On that previous trip, they also targeted smallmouth bass, knowing full well that the Walleye fishing might have been a little tough, considering they didn’t time it perfectly.

Our Latest Trip

This trip, however, was perfect timing according to Ted Putman, owner and operator of Hawk Lake Lodge.

hawk lake lodge
Hawk Lake Lodge. 

Talk about being pumped up!

food
The timing couldn’t have been better, the anticipation of great fishing and great food!

Upon the crew’s arrival, the reports from lodge guests were getting better and better each day. So awesome hearing that kids, during a family visit, are catching giant fish, and that’s exactly what was happening here!

Ang & Pete’s plan was to shoot a “pure” Walleye show, while buddy Steve Niedzwiecki (who accompanied the team on this trip for some extra TV and web hosting) was to head out for some early season smallmouth fishing in another boat.

As per usual, things started out slow (seems like this on all the shoots lately); however, Ted informed the guys and reiterated, “stay with it boys, you’ll get some giants.”

He was right.

Although they didn’t catch a bunch of fish in any one area, when they did connect, it was sheer walleye bliss.

walleye
Angelo Viola with one of his Hawk Lake trophy walleye.

Amazingly, this lake is not only about the quality of big fish, but also what seems like the lack of small fish. They must be there, but our guys didn’t catch any. That’s insane!

The lodge implements a 100% live release rule, which is vital to a smaller body of water like Hawk Lake. We’re not sure if that’s something to do with the lack of catching smaller walleye, maybe it’s the big girls keeping the wee ones at bay?

Here’s a funny note about Hawk Lake Lodge. With the 100% live release rule in place, if a guest wants a shore lunch, the lodge imports the fish from Manitoba. Now that’s a strict catch-and-release policy.

HOW’D WE CATCH EM’?

Angelo really loves drop-shotting walleye (smallies too), while Pete is more of a bottom-probing guy with jigs, live bait rigs, etc. All these systems worked on this trip, with the live bait being the big three: minnows, leeches, and worms. That said, Pete caught a nice 5lb+ on a swimbait and Ang followed him up with one close to 10lb on a completely different swimbait. Both of their swimbaits, incidentally, were white or a white combo.

Steve, on the other hand, did very well on smallmouth fishing by hitting some small protected bays and throwing slow-moving baits like tube jigs, drop shot rigs, and Ned rigs.

smallmouth
Angelo and Steve sipping coffee in the waterfront cottage.

The guys also did some evening excursions with Ted, looking for a big Walleye or two. Let’s just say that if you want your best chance at a 10-pound Hawk Lake Walleye, get out there in the evening, as these beasts seem to show up out of nowhere. Check out Steve’s blog, he’ll attest to some giants caught during the dark.

dog-in-boat
Every evening fish was accompanied by one of the local experts… dogs do love boat rides!

A TOUCHING STORY

Through our travels and business with Fish’n Canada, we often stumble upon some compelling stories. One came in front of Angelo during an Outdoor Journal Radio show with the Doc, Gord Pyzer. Gord had taken a young man, who had been diagnosed with cancer, out ice fishing and had since then befriended this lad. His name is Dustin Moncrief. Upon learning that Dustin has a family cottage on Hawk Lake (one of very few), through Gord, it was decided that we would try and meet up with Dustin during our visit for a chat and maybe even to spend a couple of hours on the water.

Well, once Dustin heard about our offer, he was over to the lodge in no time.

dustin-lynda
Dustin & Lynda (mom) Moncrief along with Angelo Viola posing for a dockside photo.

Pete and Ang took Dustin to a back bay in search of smallmouth (the season is open all year there). Dustin proceeded to catch fish after fish on his homemade baits all while “on camera” for this Fish’n Canada episode.

dustin-smallmouth
Dustin was catchin' em like crazy on his home-made baits

“It didn’t take us long to know we were there pretty much for moral support only,” says Ang “since Dustin’s technique was excellent for a guy his age. Aside from a few tiny, technical tips we could offer, we could see Dustin knew his stuff!”

This was a great way to end the trip, and to show the guys just how important the sport of fishing is to people in need. Dustin can escape the medical world, at least for a brief time, and enjoy what he and so many others truly cherish… fishing.

IN CLOSING

All in all, this return trip to Hawk Lake didn’t disappoint and in fact, produced more trophy walleye than the previous trip.

Pete and Ang can’t say enough about Ted and his Hawk Lake Lodge. It truly is the “crème de la crème” in all aspects. If you are looking for the ultimate lodge trip, this is one to check out.

FISH SPECIES IN HAWK LAKE

  • Walleye
  • Northern Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Crappie
  • Yellow Perch

EPISODE HOTSPOT

  • N49⁰ 45.625 W093⁰ 59.151
  • This episode's Hotspot was given to us "straight from the horse's mouth" by lodge owner and Walleye fanatic Ted Putnam.
  • It's located in one of the many bays or "fingers" at the opposite end of the lake from the lodge.
  • Try live bait rigs, jigs, swimbaits or Ang's favourite, a live bait presentation on a drop shot rig.
  • Remember Hawk Lake Lodge has a strict 100% live release policy on all fish. Please respect this great fish-preserving policy.
  • For more Hotspots like this one, go to Fish'n Canada.com

OTHER LAKES TO ACCESS WHILE AT HAWK LAKE LODGE

The lodge also offers access to several private lakes, all of which are for the exclusive use of their guests. You can choose a different lake each day and you will be the only boat on the water.

  • Bass Lake
  • Bear Lake
  • Blue Herring Lake
  • Cliff Lake
  • Hawk Lake
  • Lisa Lake
  • Little Hawk Lake
  • Lost Lake
  • Mud Lake
  • Mirror Lake
  • North Viaduct
  • Paddy Lake
  • Portage Lake
  • Saphire Lake
  • Shannon Lake
  • South Viaduct Lake
  • Wolf Lake

THINGS NEAR HAWK LAKE

SPECIAL THANKS

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!

Recommended Articles

Don’t Be Afraid Of Muskies

Muskies are fish of 10,000 casts and are found in large bodies of water in Northwestern Ontario.

5 Places to Shore Fish

Fish’n Canada shows you where to go shore fishing in Ontario.

Summer Fishing Patterns for Multi-Species

Bob Izumi discusses tips for different species and how to catch them when summer temperatures soar.

Top 5 Baits for Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass

What baits do you use to target bass? Find out why these 5 are the best!

Top 5 Flies for Smallmouth Bass

The inside scoop on bass flies from the hosts of The New Fly Fisher.

Lake of the Woods

10 Facts You Didn't Know

Summer Smallmouth

Bass Techniques to Help You Catch a Trophy

Igniting the Spark

Don't Overlook Carp Fishing in Ontario

Eating Northern Pike

The Best Recipe to Cook This Fish

Beasts of the Musky East

Eastern Ontario is a hotspot for musky anglers with big waters that hold giant muskies.

Summer Brook Trout

Expert Advice for Fishing Ontario Lakes

Batchawana Bay Smallmouth Bass

Fish'n Canada fishes the Lake Superior for bass.

5 Keys To Canadian Muskies

The fish of 10,000 casts; an elusive predator fish with legend and lore.

SPECTACULAR BASS

Fishing for Largemouth Bass in the Parry Sound District

Hidden Musky Gems

The Musky Hunter shares 3 favourite musky hot spots across Ontario.

3 Great Ontario Walleye Destinations

Karl of Extreme Angler recommends must do walleye lakes in Ontario.

Lake Nipigon Adventure

Fishing for Lake Trout, Walleye & Pike

Smallmouth Bass in Sunset Country

It's great to be a smallmouth angler in Sunset Country because of the numbers and size of bass.

Top 5 Musky Destinations in Ontario

The Musky Hunter shows you where to land the best musky in Ontario waters.

3 Surefire Strategies for Canadian Muskies

Fishing for Ontario Musky