Muskie Mania: 23 Amazing Photos of the Muskie Fishing Opener

Muskie anglers have been patiently waiting for the season to open in Sunset Country. Curious as to how they did? Check out these pics from the first week of muskie fishing below!

What an unbelievable start to the 2023 muskie fishing season!

The muskie fishing opener is the third Saturday in June in most parts of Ontario. Many muskie anglers wait in eager anticipation of the opener. They are driven by the pure adrenaline rush that comes from fighting this aggressive fish—and can become obsessed with learning how to land the elusive predator.

In the spring, muskies often stay in the warmer water—near weed beds, stump fields, reefs, sand beaches, rocky shorelines, and moving water.

The 2023 muskie season has been open now for a week, and all I can say is wow! There have been a ton of fantastic muskie and tiger muskie catches and releases!

Here is just a sampling of what’s been caught (and released):

Lac Seul & Area

Anderson Lodge & Fly-In Outposts   

Anderson Lodge guests fish for muskie on Lac Seul, Little Vermilion, Closs, Cedarbough, Maskinonge, and Hooch Lakes.

Muskie fishing at Anderson's Lodge near Sioux Lookout
Todd Andreini with a huge muskie caught opening weekend at Anderson Lodge’s Tom's Landing Outpost on Lac Seul.  

Moosehorn Lodge    

Moosehorn Lodge has some of the area's finest experienced guides, that will put you on fish like no other. MHL specializes in muskie fishing and is the only one that offers guided evening fishing.

Muskie tackle at Moosehorn Lodge
Moosehorn Lodge has a huge selection of muskie tackle to purchase to help you get that big one!

Other lodges that fish for muskies on Lac Seul: Lost Island Resort, Timberlane Lodge, Pickerel Arm Camp (Tuktegweik Bay outpost)   

Lake of the Woods

Lake of the Woods, with its many grassy bays, is undoubtedly one of the most productive muskie habitats in North America. World-class muskies thrive in the waters of Stephens Bay, Whitefish Bay, Sabaskong Bay, Miles Bay, Burrow Bay and Sunset Chain Channel to name a few!

Totem Resorts

Totem Resorts offers specialized fishing packages custom-tailored to your very needs. They have three resorts and two outposts to stay at and fish from.

Muskie fishing at Wiley Point Lodge on LOTW
A monster musky caught-and-released by a customer staying at Wiley Point Lodge with PRO-STAFF guide Jonas!

Sunset Cove Resort    

Sunset Cove Resort is located on Sabaskong Bay on Lake of the Woods, which it is known for being one of the finest areas when seeking your trophy muskie!

First muskie caught by Gisele at Sunset Cove Camp
Giselle’s first muskie! She couldn’t have better timing with the muskie season opening at Sunset Cove Resort.

Ballard’s Black Island  

These monsters are the biggest and baddest freshwater fish roaming the depths of Lake of the Woods. For sheer numbers and trophy size look to Black Island for your fish of a lifetime!

Ballard's Black Island Monster muskie
Reuben caught this 51” muskie at 30ft with a shinner minnow on LOTW.

Grassy Narrows Lodge

Muskie fishing on Lake of the Woods
When they are so big, they are hard to hold! Photo: Grassy Narrows Lodge

Other lodges with muskie fishing on Lake of the Woods:

Witch Bay Camp, Helliar’s Resort, Indianhead Lodge,  King Island Lodge, Mylie’s Place Resort, Tomahawk Resort, Pipestone Point ResortYoung’s Wilderness Camp (also at their outpost on Kishkutena), New Moon Lodge, Big Narrows Resort, Harris Hill Resort, Crow Rock LodgeCrystal Harbour Resort, Crawford’s CampThe Sanctuary ResortLittle Bear Island, Clarke & Crombie CampSmith Camps, Ash Rapids Lodge, Arrowhead Resort & Motel

Or stay at a houseboat on Lake of the Woods near some of the best places to fish for muskies - Houseboat Adventures or Ontario Wilderness Houseboats.

Muskie fishing with the family stay on a houseboat
The Nicolai family had a great trip staying on a houseboat with Ontario Wilderness Houseboat Rentals. 

English River System

Delaney Lake Lodge  

The English River System and Delaney Lake both produce muskies in the 40-50 inch range. For those anglers who have never caught a muskie and aren't worried about size, they also keep several boats on a cache lake which produces many smaller muskies. You never know when you will catch your first muskie

huge muskie caught & released at Delaney Lake Lodge
Huge muskie caught & released by Chris at Delaney Lake Lodge.

Cedar Lake

Keystone Lodge

Keystone is situated on Cedar Lake which is made up of bays, islands, and channels with many weed beds and lots of rock structure and underwater reefs.

44 inch muskie caught on cedar lake
Nice 44” muskie caught & released at Keystone Lodge.

Other lodges on Cedar:  Cedar Lake Camp on 105

Eagle Lake

Eagle Lake produces unbelievable numbers of muskies between 40 and 45 inches with quite a few each year in the 50 to 56 inch range. It's one of the best muskie lakes in the region!

Eagle Lake Island Lodge   

You don’t have to go far from the lodge when you fish Eagle Lake for muskies! I caught my first muskie ever here, a 48” muskie just a minute or two from the lodge.

Muskie opener at Eagle Island Lodge 2023 Muskie opener at Eagle Island Lodge 2023 Muskie opener at Eagle Island Lodge 2023
Just a small sampling of the muskies caught & released during the opener at Eagle Lake Island Lodge.

Vermilion Bay Lodge   

Another lodge on Eagle Lake with a great track record for monster muskies!

Cheryl Perkis with a dandy Eagle Lake musky!
Cheryl Perkis with a dandy Eagle Lake musky!

Stanley’s Resort

Eagle Lake is renowned for its trophy muskie. The West Arm of Eagle Lake offers a variety of structure from deep drop-offs to shallow weedy bays. With trophy fish being caught every year, at all times of the season, you never know when that big one will hit.

muskie fishing on eagle lake at Stanley's Resort
Huge muskie caught at Stanley's Resort the first week of the 2023 muskie season!

Other lodges with muskie fishing on Eagle Lake:

Temple Bay Lodge, Birch Dale Lodge, Evergreen Lodge  

Rowan Lake

Alexander’s on Rowan Fly-in Lodge

Rowan Lake is well known for its “World Class Trophy” muskie fishing. Rowan Lake is a destination for many novice and hardcore muskie hunters alike. Rowan Lake is a clear water lake with endless fishing structures, cabbage filled bays with weeds growing into 20 feet of water.

huge muskie caught on rowan lake
Opening weekend at Alexander’s on Rowan!

Crow (Kakagi) Lake

Muskie Bay Resort   

Guests of Muskie Bay Resort can fish Crow Lake for muskie or on Lake of the Woods which is just a short drive away.

Muskie caught at Muskie Bay Resort Muskie at Muskie Bay Resort Take your wife musky fishing
Muskie Bay Resort's muskie opener was a success!

Other lodges with muskie fishing on Crow Lake:

Lakeview Lodge

Big Vermilion Lake

Nutt’s Country Cabins 

Muskie anglers at Nutt’s Country Cabins can fish Big Vermilion Lake where the cabins are located or head out to Lac Seul or Minnitaki Lakes for muskies. The rock reefs and points make Big Vermilion Lake a hot spot for muskie fishing.

51 inch muskie on big vermilion lake
Colton with his 51" muskie caught while staying at Nutt's Country Cabins!

Indian Lake

Indian Lake has plenty of weed beds, reefs, rock cliffs, and drop-offs just loaded with fish! 

Indian Lake Lodge

Indian Lake has many muskies in the 40"+ category. You also have the potential to catch that famous 50"+ fish.

Muskie fishing at Indian Lake Lodge Muskie fishing at Indian Lake Lodge Muskie fishing at Indian Lake Lodge
Kelly certainly landed some nice muskies during opening week at Indian Lake Lodge!!!

Clark’s Resorts  

Two of Clark’s resorts offer muskie fishing. KC’s Landing Resort, Clark’s drive-in camp is found on the Indian Lake chain. Northern Lights Resort, another resort easily accessible by car, has great muskie fishing on Cedar Lake.

Fly North Outfitters has a private lodge on Indian Lake.

Maynard Lake

From bays and beaches to rapids and falls, Maynard Lake has the structure and current to provide "spring fishing" throughout the season. Huge muskies are caught each year.

Maynard Lake Lodge

Maynard Lake owner Josh snuck out to fish on muskie opener and caught this 50.5” muskie!

Perrault Lake & Area

Perrault Lake is just off Highway 105 south of Ear Falls. While not known for its number of muskies, it does have some huge ones to hunt for.

Perrault Lake Camp  

perrault lake muskie
Colin’s 47” muskie caught on Perrault Lake at Perrault Lake Camp

Nordic Point Lodge   

Perrault Lake and the Cedar River Chain host big muskie waters. A couple at 50” plus already has been caught & released this week AND one 54 incher!!

muskie caught in 2023 at nordic point lodge
One of the many muskies caught at Nordic Point Lodge!

Other lodges with muskie fishing on Perrault Lake:

Manotak Lodge, Rocky Shore Lodge

Wabigoon and Dinorwic Lakes

Wabigoon and Dinorwic Lakes are a couple of the hottest muskie lakes in Ontario and maybe in all of North America.

Lodges with muskie fishing on Wabigoon: Wabigoon Lake Outfitters, Bonny Bay Camp  

Lodges with muskie fishing on Dinorwic: Pine Sunset Lodge  

Here is Nick Meints releasing his 50" muskie caught during the first week of muskie fishing while fishing Wabigoon Lake at Wabigoon Lake Outfitters!

Clearwater-Pipestone Chain of Lakes

Clearwater (Burditt) Lake has muskie fishing on the north end of the lake. Take the mechanical portage to Pipestone Lake which also has fantastic muskie fishing.

Lodges with muskie fishing on the Clearwater/Pipestone Chain of lakes:

Hideaway Lodge, Cedar Island Lodge, True North Outposts & Cabins, Ross’ Camp   

Upper and Lower Manitou Lakes

Green Island Lodge  

The guides at Green Island Lodge have been fishing Upper Manitou Lake for years so if you are after a trophy muskie, their guides can set you up with the right lures and show you their favourite spots.

Manitou Weather Station Fishing Lodge

Muskies are as plentiful as they get, with monsters that reach over 50 inches. Lower Manitou Lake is one of 10 lakes in Ontario where biologists feel the next World Record muskie could be caught.

Winnipeg River System

Five fishing lakes, Gun, Little Sand, Big Sand, Rough Rock and Pistol Lakes, on the Winnipeg River System can be fished by boat without portaging.

Lodges with muskie fishing on the Winnipeg River System: Big North Lodge, Barber’s Resort

Abram Lake/Minnitaki Chain of Lakes

Red Pine Lodge

Fly-in and Boat-in Outposts Lake with Muskie

Northwest Flying Inc (Kishkutena & Shingwak Lakes), Fly North Outfitters (Vaughn Lake), Gateway North Outfitters (Grant Lake), Nestor Falls Fly-in Outposts (Kay Lake), Canada Outfitters (Unexpected Lake), Canadian Fly-in Outposts (Meggisi Lake), Hal’s Outposts (Esox Lake boat-to)  

Red Lake Area

Five lakes Lodge has an accessible muskie lake about 15 miles from the camp and you can try your luck at a muskie on Red Lake with Howey Bay Resort.

Little Vermilion Lake System

There are plenty of muskies to be caught on this system including Maskinonge, Hooch, Cloudlet, Closs and Cedarbough Lakes.

Fireside Lodge

For a complete list of all lodges that offer muskie fishing in Sunset Country, click here.

Would you like a guide to take you muskie fishing? Find a list here.

Other information:

As you can see, muskie fishing season has started out quite well, have you planned your muskie fishing trip yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Pick out a place to go fishing and go land a trophy for yourself!

About Erin Rody

I grew up on Black Sturgeon Lake in Northwestern Ontario. I am a staff writer for the Sunset Country Travel Association. Through my articles I hope to entice you to visit the wonderful region I call home. We are all about outdoor adventure; with 70,000 lakes and rivers and a whole lot of forests how can we not be? Whether you like to fish, hunt, canoe, kayak, boat or go camping, Sunset Country has something for you. Enjoy!

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