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Attawapiskat Pike of Beteau Lake

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Attawapiskat Pike of Beteau Lake

It’s important to safely handle the large fragile pike from Northwestern Ontario’s Beteau Lake. • Credit: James Smedley

Back in 2009 I heard about a new camp being constructed on the Attawapiskat River. The river had gained legendary status as a hotspot for trophy pike and walleye and the thought of brand new water was intriguing, so I contacted Eddie Geurgis, the man behind the venture.

As we spoke it became obvious we shared a common passion and quite unexpectedly he invited me up to test fish his new camp in September. Although it was still under construction I jumped at the chance. That inaugural trip instilled a deep appreciation for the wild beauty of the terrain and the staggering numbers of trophy fish the river supports.

Eddie’s camp sits on a widening of the Attawapiskat River called Beteau Lake with many kilometres of navigable water available both upstream and down. With nothing to go on beyond our own fishy instincts, that first trip was a smashing success. It seemed every single backwater slough teemed with overgrown pike, and we caught plenty. Our largest was 48 1/2 inches with an estimated weight of 25 pounds. Numerous other specimens in excess of the magical 40 inch mark were captured. Not only were they abundant, but they hit with abandon. If anything, the walleye fishing was even more impressive with every single current area seemingly stuffed with fish, some approaching 30 inches and 10 pounds.

Mike Borger with a bruiser walleye from Northwestern Ontario’s remote Beteau Lake. (Photo credit: Mike Borger)

As the years have progressed so has Eddie's camp. It now boasts a comfortable mini lodge with a full kitchen, hot and cold running water and even satellite television. The guest cabins are clean and comfortable and come complete with brand new mattresses, electric lighting and new wood stoves to ward off the chill.

I've continued to visit Beteau Lake every year since and the fishing has only improved. As an outfitter Eddie has evolved as well and doesn't consider himself the owner, but more the caretaker of the resource. As such he's implemented a strict catch and release policy on all trophy fish. Even better, he's been a pioneer when it comes to fish handling, outfitting each one of his boats with cradles to assist in landing as well as wire cutters, long-nosed pliers and jaw spreaders. Each new guest is given a brief tutorial on how to safely handle these large fragile fish. It's a good feeling knowing this magical place is being preserved for future generations and I for one will continue my annual pilgrimage as long as I’m able.

Flights are with Nakina Air Service located on Cordingly Lake in Nakina. For full details visit Eddie's website at www.eddienorth.com.

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