Author: John Neilio
If you’re looking for fantastic nonstop walleye fishing action, Lake of The Woods in Ontario, Canada is the place for you. There are 14,582 islands which have rocky outcroppings and underwater shelves, where walleye thrive. Not only is there great fishing but the lake is very relaxing with beautiful scenery, pelicans, eagles, loons and many other wildlife.
Lake of the Woods borders Minnesota, Ontario and Manitoba. It has approximately 65,000 shoreline miles. It is 90 miles long and 55 miles wide. A great place to get onto Lake of The Woods in Ontario is at Sioux Narrows. This little town has plenty of lodging in resorts, cabins and campgrounds. You can transport your own boat, rent a boat or go out with any number of guide services available. There is also another unique way to fish the lake, which is by houseboat.
Floating Lodges offers several different size house boats to rent for the week from 40 feet to a 60 foot double decker. These house boats are modern and are totally self contained, motorized base camps. All you have to do is load them up with your supplies, tow your boats or rental boats and drive them out to one of the numerous designated landing sites on the many islands of the lake. Because the lake is so vast with so many islands, a GPS unit with a map chip of Lake of The Woods is an absolute necessity to find your way out, fishing, and find your way back.
These houseboats can easily sleep a group of 8 guys or more, several couples or family groups. It is not uncommon to run these houseboats out twenty miles or more to find more secluded areas to fish. Some of my favorite islands to fish are Cliff, Chisholm, Bath, and Gull. Most islands have under water shelves of shallower water around them before dropping off to 60 feet or deeper. If you have a GPS map chip or a lake map you will see all the structure, excellent for walleyes.
Start in 6 to 12 feet of water for casting or trolling crank baits. As you move out into 20 to 30 feet, try some my favorites, such as bottom bouncers and crawler harness. Use a bait casting reel with a flipping switch so you can easily control your depth, spool it with Power Pro or Fireline with a medium rod, so you can feel the bottom and the slightest nibble on your line. The bottom is full of rocks and boulders filled with snags, so the better control you have the more rigs you’ll save and the more fish you will catch.
Working these shore lines will produce large concentrations of walleyes and some yellow perch. You can mark these spots with GPS or with a rock or tree on the shore. Go back to these spots and drift or anchor and send down a jig head. Early in the summer minnows and leaches are a good bait choice, but late June and into July crawlers work great.
Any pro will tell you the windward shores are the best bet for catching fish, however if there is too much wind you can find protection on the leeward sides of thousands of islands. The protected sides of these islands will produce all the walleyes you can shake an ugly stick at.
Good luck and good fishing.