Ontario’s Fishing Gems: Algoma and Sunset Country

Northern Ontario’s Sunset Country and Algoma Country are the top destination for anglers of all stripes. Find out why!

If you look at every province in Canada with fishing in mind, they can all be broken down into angling divisions or areas if you will. Some are simple and some are more complex. Ultimately it is just a way for the governing bodies to make regulations and keep track. That’s a good thing.


The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry designates their fishing areas by the numbers 1 through 20. These are called fisheries management zones.

Now, when you add to this, the tourism designations of 12 regional numbers, plus 13 A, B & C, that all have names like Sunset Country, Algoma Country, Ontario’s Near North, Niagara Falls & Wine Country, Haliburton Highlands it starts to look confusing.

When you check out the zones and areas of Ontario, it starts to get quite complex.

Luckily, it is not as complex as it seems. Essentially just pick an “area” to fish and then investigate the laws that pertain to that area.

Your goal should simply be, to have fun, and make sure you do not inadvertently break the law.


So, right about now are you asking, “what’s our point”?

Well for this Fish’n Canada article we have chosen two of the most popular regions as far as fishing destinations and trips are concerned, Ontario’s Sunset Country and Algoma Country.

There’s a reason these two are so popular. The number of fishable waters is incredible.

It is the diversity of access, whether it be flying in, driving to, taking a train, or portaging in… that adds a sense of fun.

And finally, the species list, along with their size, as well as the number of fish, will blow your mind!

Sunset Country

Let’s start with Sunset Country, which is the northwest portion of the province, in fisheries management zones 2, 4 & 5.

This single area may well be the world’s most popular fishing destination PERIOD.

From public waters to fly-in gems, from crown land camping to full-blown lodges and from 12-inch Crappies to 20-plus pound Northern Pike, Muskie and Lake Trout, it’s easy to see why this region ROCKS!

Ontario's Sunset Country literally has hundreds of lodges and resorts that vary from rustic to luxurious. There are also many full-service hotels and motels and more than 80 campgrounds for tents and recreational vehicles.

With over 70,000 fishable lakes, we can assure you that you will never have to worry about crowds out on the water.

This region offers some of the most diverse fishing in Canada. Not just walleye, northern pike, and lake trout, but also, muskie, black crappie, perch, brook trout, sauger, whitefish, smallmouth bass and believe it or not, even largemouth bass.

How is that for a fish-star lineup?

Bowman IsLAND Lodge, Lake Superior

In fact, how is this for diverse... there is even a great Steelhead fishery in the north-western area of Ontario. We bet a lot of you did not know that one. Many tributaries that flow into Lake Superior have a Steelie run or two every season. Some can be accessed by the shore while others can only be accessed by boat.

No, our rig was not broken down, this is the unique way that Bowman Island Lodge takes their client's boats to their facility allowing you the angler to use your own boat (if you want). Saves a ton of gas money for sure.

Of course, a trip to the northern end of Lake Superior to a lodge-like Bowman Island is mostly about targeting Coaster Brook Trout. The Steelhead fishery is simply a bonus on the way to the lodge.

Hawk Lake Lodge, Hawk Lake

Probably the most popular fish in Sunset Country is Canada's pride and joy, the Walleye or the Pickerel as some of you still prefer it. With so many lakes and rivers loaded with this fantastic & delicious species, it's easy to see why so many fishing lodges, camps and outposts exist in this area. Nowhere else in the world is there such a concentration of facilities that cater to the Walleye.

Angelo Viola holds one of the 3 Hawk Lake trophy Walleye he caught on a recent trip. One is a fish of a lifetime, but three???

One destination in particular that we have grown accustomed to catching giant Walleye is Hawk Lake Lodge. It truly is incredible how many big Walleye swim around at this drive-to fishing destination.

Andersons Lodge, Lac Seul

There are certain bodies of water, whose names have become globally synonymous with trophy fishing as well as numbers of fish. In the case of northwest Ontario, Lac Seul is a perfect example of one of these legendary world-class fisheries.

Lodges like Andersons on Lac Seul “all” boast fantastic fishing with the bonus of an authentic northern Ontario shore lunch.

We have caught Walleye, Pike, Smallmouth Bass, and Muskie here and that is only touching the species list. Many years ago while fishing out of Evergreen Lodge near Ear Falls Ontario, we had some of the most spectacular Walleye fishing of our lives.

Since that trip, we have discovered just how big Lac Seul is. Miles from Ear Falls is Anderson’s Lodge near Sioux Lookout which also caters to Lac Seul anglers. We cannot emphasize just how good Lac Seul fishing is!

Eagle Lake IsLAND Lodge, Eagle Lake

And finally, to finish off our obvious enthusiasm for fishing in this part of the world, as we stated in our Muskie episode earlier this season, Sunset Country or north-west Ontario… whatever you want to call it, is without a doubt, THE best Muskie hotspot on the entire planet!

Although Eagle Lake has a fantastic multi-species fishing list, it’s the Muskie.


Ontario’s Algoma Country prides itself on offering "real experiences, real wilderness." We agree with both. The experience of world-class fishing in a not-too-distant wilderness destination makes this area a must-visit.

With countless fishable lakes, rivers, and streams throughout 28,000 square miles of pristine beauty, a fishing trip in Algoma Country is nothing short of epic.

Waterfalls Lodge, Tube Lake

Believe it or not, it took us forever to figure out that the Algoma region of Ontario is one of the most diverse fishing areas in the entire province. That said, when we need to get in the truck to make a 5- to 10-hour trip in order to put a bunch of doubleheaders in the boat, this is the place we usually choose...

Pete Bowman joined up with Captain John Blanchard on a Smallmouth Bass trip to Algoma’s Waterfalls Lodge near Spanish Ontario.

Destinations like Waterfalls Lodge show just how easily accessible great fishing and hospitality can be to everyone from hardcore anglers to the occasional weekend dabbler.

Blue Fox Camp, Kirkpatrick (Blue) Lake

Of course, Smallmouth Bass only make up a small portion of the fishing opportunities in Algoma Country. This is an area of Canada where not only can you catch world-class Brook Trout, but usually there's a great chance at catching other species like Lake Trout on the very next cast...

Looking for a trophy Brook Trout like the one Angelo Viola is holding here but do not want to travel 16+ hours to have a chance? Then travel to the Algoma region of Ontario.

Places like Blue Fox for instance are a quick flight in and then the fishing world seems to “open up” to their visitors. Access to small lakes via an ATV through some rough bush terrain is part of the adventure. The ultimate of course being when you end up that crawling paced drive at a gorgeous tiny body of water that is filled with giant untouched fish!

St. Mary’s River, Sault Ste. Marie

What may be the biggest surprise in Canadian fishing is the availability of a "not so popular" fish species in the Algoma region of Ontario. This fish is normally associated with specific areas of Canada's east coast. However, the Sault Ste Marie area and more specifically the St. Mary’s River which is fed by Lake Superior, is the perfect habitat for, believe it or not, the Atlantic Salmon.

Sault Ste Marie fishing guide Tyler Dunn and Steve Niedzwiecki display a rare Ontario fish species, the Atlantic Salmon.

Trust us on this, St. Mary’s is not just a Salmon river. It has mind-blowing Steelhead and Largemouth Bass fishing as well. That is correct, Largemouth Bass!

Hearst Air, Pym Island Outpost

And finally, the sleeper fish species of Algoma Country is the Northern Pike. Indeed, if you are looking for the land of the giants in the Canadian Esox world, then the northwest portion of Ontario is your best bet. That said, if you really investigate the Pike history of Algoma, you will see there are some amazing waters with giant Northerns just waiting for a chance to rip into your offering and take you into an unforgettable battle.

Angelo holds up a long & lean Attawapiskat River Northern Pike that he and Pete caught at Hearst Air’s Pym Island Outpost.


Well, there you have it. In our opinion, Ontario’s Sunset Country along with Algoma Country, make up some of the absolute best all-round fishing trip options, that both locals and travelling anglers can and should take advantage of. We probably do not have to inform those long-term locals as they have lived in these fish-rich areas most of their lives however to those new to residing there, you’re now living in fish heaven.

For those looking to travel, you can probably surmise our opinion on this one. If you get the chance, pull the pin, and go for it! And again, please remember to respect those locals by taking all necessary precautions when entering either of these fantastic fishing regions.

Be smart, be safe and enjoy some of the best fishing in the nation.


Hotspot: Hawk Lake Lodge

This Fish’n Canada Hotspot is on the main lakeside of a point leading into a shallow boulder bay. Here’s the Waypoint.

With the bottom here being so flat, Pete and Ang literally looked for fish on their sonar. By using a combination screen of traditional, Clear Vu and Side Vu, they could pinpoint and cast individual fish within feet. Although they did find a few small Pike this way, it’s also the method we used to catch their biggest Walleye of the trip.

Learning to use your electronics and then studying the variety of screens they offer can really increase your odds-on producing fish. If it works for Pete and Ang, it will work for you!

Hotspot: Eagle Lake Island Lodge

This Hotspot is a huge point just around the corner from Eagle Lake Island Lodge. Here’s the waypoint.

This is a classic Muskie spot with a feeding flat adjacent to deep water. Casting is effective here because you can cover the flat and deep water in a relatively short timeframe.

Double bucktail spinners, as well as surface baits and big Muskie cranks, will all work here. Try using a fluorocarbon leader to get fussier fish to bite.

Hotspot: Anderson's Lodge

To get to today’s outstanding fishing, the team first drove north on Hwy 400 to Hwy 69. they then took Hwy 17 north-west until they reached the town of Dryden. They then turned north on Hwy 72 until they reached their first destination at Anderson’s Lodge. But that was only part of the adventure.

Under normal conditions, Anderson’s flies groups to where we stayed at Toms Landing, however, since the guys wanted the big Princecraft there, they decided to traverse the mighty Lac Seul, taking in all its gorgeous scenery.

Fish’n Canada rates Anderson’s as one of the top lodges in all of Ontario. With great accommodations, meals, and access to world-class fishing, it gets no better.

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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