Walleyes and Slabs of Dinorwic Lake

Trophy fish include muskie, northern pike, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, walleye, and crappie.

A trip to remember.

Having one of the greatest jobs on planet Earth, I am fortunate enough to visit some of Ontario's greatest lakes and rivers for a wide variety of game fish that call our waters home, all the while having the opportunity to meet and mingle with some of the finest people you will ever meet: Ontario fishing lodge operators.

I could dedicate paragraphs of praise amongst these hard-working, inspiring individuals, but one word alone can describe each and every one of them we have ever met, and that is “dedicated.”

Dedicated to making your vacation the very best it can be.

Dedicated to providing you with the unique Canadian lodge experience and ensuring your stay is a memorable one, inspiring you to return year after year.

We had this exact experience during our visit to Sunset Country in Northwest Ontario at Pine Sunset Lodge in Dinorwic, Ontario.

This drive-to lodge is located on Dinorwic Lake, which has over 18,000 acres of island-studded water and is part of a chain of lakes including Wabigoon Lake and Wabigoon River, for over 50,000 acres of water that harbour some excellent trophy fish including muskie, northern pike, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, walleye, and slab sized crappie.

pine sunset lodge dock

The lodge sits on a peninsula with three and a half miles of shoreline, has nine comfortable housekeeping cabins which sleep between two to 14 guests. All of the cabins are clean, furnished, and fully equipped for housekeeping. They have a sturdy dock system stretching some 80-plus feet into the lake, camping for tents, trailers, and RVs.

pine sunset lodge cabin

pine sunset lodge cabin interior

The fully equipped fish cleaning house is immaculate with stainless steel tables, multiple sinks with running water, fish cleaning tools, and plenty of room to clean your catch.

pine sunset lodge fish hut

pine sunset lodge fish hut inside

Numbers of muskie over 50-plus inches are caught and released each summer, along with huge numbers of northern pike in excess of 30 to 40 inches, smallmouth bass reaching that magical 6-pound mark, walleyes over 12 pounds, and the very popular black crappie of Dinorwic Lake that are plentiful and stretch the tape measure over the 14- and 15-inch mark.

northern pike

The lake is a virtual fish factory with so many islands scattered from one end of the lake to the other, providing excellent habitat for all of these sought-after game fish.

We fished for a few days with lodge owner Sharon Gusick (who, by the way, is one heck of a good stick when it comes to finding fish and catching them). She offered to guide us in the right direction of some of the lake’s prime hotspots for some of these game fish, with a simple plan of attack: a medium action spinning rod, 8-pound line, and a quarter-ounce jig head rigged with a live minnow. That's it, plain and simple, yet it catches everything that swims in these waters.

And the best part was we didn't even have to cast our presentations any distance from the boat—90% of the fish we caught on our trip were hooked virtually right below our boat!

We fished several deep humps and rises that come within 8-10 feet of the surface with deep water surrounding our location, fishing the deeper edges first and slowly moving up the edges in search of feeding schools of fish. Using her electronics, Sharon was an expert when it came to boat positioning and control. Again, I was very impressed with her focus and determination to find fish, and boy, did she find us some fish!


We worked our jig and minnow presentations very slowly with a gentle lift and drop and sometimes, a slow sideways glide along the bottom until we felt that familiar “tap-tap” from a walleye or northern pike, and sometimes it was that oh-so-familiar “thump” from the lake’s awesome slab crappie population.

Talk about fun.


I was having so much fun, Sharon couldn't help but continually giggle at my excitement hooking into all these different sizes of walleye, northern pike, and crappie; I was having the time of my life. The fishing was so laid back, focused but relaxing at the same time. It's so much fun not knowing what was going to be on the end of the line each time a fish bit, was hooked and brought along boat side.


We were fortunate enough to catch all kinds of species of fish and kept just enough for a fish fry to share with other guests, releasing all of the other fish safely unharmed to live another day.

A great place to book your next angling adventure, is Pine Sunset Lodge on Dinorwic Lake, in Northwest Ontario, call Mitch and Sharon at (807) 938-6621 or toll-free 1-888-897-4212, visit them at www.pinesunsetlodge.com, email them fishandhunt@pinesunsetlodge.com or visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pinesunsetlodge

(All photo credits: Extreme Angler TV)
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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