Walleye Adventures Abound

Enjoying a good old-fashioned Ontario walleye fish fry.

Any time I am offered the chance to go fish in Ontario's Sunset Country, I literally jump at the opportunity both feet first then ask questions later.

Our television series was offered this exact opportunity to promote Ontario lodge operators—who have some of the finest walleye fishing and true north Canadian lodge experiences—to a much larger audience across the United States and North America with our very popular television series and social media platforms.

One of our first trips of the season had us travel to Sioux Lookout in Sunset Country, a beautiful location that screams "this is what Ontario wilderness is all about!" The rugged beauty of this region is as pristine as it gets—the lakes are sometimes void of any other anglers other than the ones you happen to share a boat with on any particular day; the woods and wildlife are virtually untouched by man.

And nestled amongst all of this splendour is Timber Edge Camps, owned and operated by Clint and Amy Wittlief, who run the camp with their siblings, and who are constantly running errands for customers at the camp. Upon our arrival, one of my very first impressions was the close family bond this brood exuded as they greeted us with actual open arms and introduced everyone in the family to us as if we were distant family returning home for the summer—a very impressive and welcoming gesture.

timber edge camps cabin interior

timber edge camps cabin kitchen

Our mission was to find and fish for the walleye of Butterfly and Minnitaki Lakes in which Timber Edge Camps is situated. We hooked up with a local guide known as Smokey, the name a nod to his tenure as a conservation officer in the region for over 30 years. He now enjoys his retirement by guiding camp customers to some of the finest hotspots on these lakes from the camp.

I was really looking forward to his conversation, his style of fishing, and his overall camaraderie.

I thought we would be heading out at first light to take advantage of the “early bite” and sneak up on some unsuspecting walleye. This was not the case.

Smokey advised us since we would be fishing the deeper shoals and edges between 20-to-30 feet deep, getting an early start was not required.

Great, we gained an extra hour of shut-eye. 

Travelling up the lake and through the narrows connecting Butterfly to Minnitaki Lakes in our guide boat, we arrived at spot number one, a deep rock rise from 80-plus feet of water to a peak of 8 feet deep. We fished directly below the boat in depths between 22 to 27 feet, constantly watching our sonar unit for fish arches or symbols on or near the bottom.

With a slow lift and drop cadence using 3/8-ounce jig heads in bright chartreuse, purple and orange tones, rigged with a live minnow hooked strategically thru the upper lip and side of the body so, Mr. Walleye had to literally engulf the jig in any attempt to steal our bait.

timber edge camps walleye

It didn't take but ten minutes of slow jigging and slowly drifting over the sharp dropping edge to feel that familiar “tap, tap” and spongy sensation of the first walleye of the day inhaling my jig. Reeling down to pick up any slack and a slow-rising hook set produced our first fish of the day in the 16-inch range—perfect for our upcoming shore lunch of fresh-caught walleye. Talk about being spoiled!

Not only did our guide take us to the best spots on the lake, position us over the fish, and assist us in catching the fish, but also cleaned our catch, prepared the campfire, readied the food preparation, and cooked our freshly caught walleye for us on a pristine island void of any other human beings in sight. Heavenly.

timber edge camps northern pike

The fishing was consistently productive on each deep ledge and shoal we fished, hooking into some very impressive 40-plus-inch northern pike, as well feeding on these deepwater walleye, no doubt. After a few quick photos, each one of these freshwater gators was released unharmed to fight another day.

Once we had enough fish for our fry, (two fish each in the 16-inch range), Smokey suggested we find one of the aforementioned isolated islands with a natural sand beach where we could safely unload our gear and enjoy a good old fashioned Ontario walleye fish fry only hours after being caught. Our mouths were watering.

timber edge camps sand beach

Smokey did not disappoint; his routine of starting the fire, preparing the food, cleaning the fish, and setting up a cooling area was methodical and mesmerizing to witness. He didn't mince his words and, like a well-oiled machine, he carefully executed all the food preparation. We assisted where we could without getting in his way.

timber edge camps guide cooking shore lunch

The meal was unbelievably delicious, and the fact we were enjoying this fabulous moment on this pristine island with a beautiful sandy beach that resembled someplace along the Caribbean, made the food taste even better.

Moments like these are priceless, bucket-list vacations that should be shared with family and close friends. If you are interested in such a vacation to Ontario's beautiful Sunset Country, contact Clint and Amy, the gracious hosts at Timber Edge Camps in Sioux Lookout. Book your next walleye fishing adventure in Ontario's northland and make your own memories that will last a lifetime.

Contact Information

Timber Edge Camps
www.timberedgecamps.com
info@timberedgecamps.com
PH: (807) 737-2099

(All photo credits: Karl Kalonka)
About Karl Kalonka

It's possible Karl's love for fishing began as early as the age of five. His parents took the kids on weekend trips across Ontario fishing for panfish, catfish, and bass. "I started with a bobber and worm from the time I was five years old," says Karl. These days, he has the enviable task of doing what he loves for a living, travelling across Ontario fishing, filming and producing two outdoor series, Extreme Angler and Crappie Angler TV.

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