Road trips are just plain fun.
Fishing road trips are even better when you’re as addicted to actually catching like I am. A memorable road trip to Chapleau, Ontario in September fulfilled all of my expectations. This small town is located in Northern Ontario’s Algoma Country—a region renowned for its pristine angling opportunities, wide variety of species with virtually no angling pressure whatsoever, and plenty of lakes to fish.
Our trip included a stay with the nice folks at Chapleau Lodge, who offered us the full American food plan and a spacious, comfortable cabin that overlooked the lake with our own private dock that had electricity provided to keep our boat's battery system fully-charged throughout the entire stay. Nothing quite like getting up to go fishing each morning and simply walking down to the dock, starting up the boat and heading down the lake—my kind of fishing.
Chapleau Lodge: accessible lakes and trails plus amazing hospitality
Chapleau Lodge is located on Borden Lake, a 12-mile-long lake within the Arctic watershed that has water depths to 200 feet as well as 80 islands, which attract a lot of fish. This lake and the neighbouring lakes offer trophy walleye, pike, lake trout, brook trout, and bass fishing at its best.
The lodge is in the pristine north with thousands of miles of ATV trails that start at Sault Ste. Marie and go right past the driveway. For those who bring or ride their bikes to the lodge, ATV overnights are welcome.
The lodge has a variety of upgraded, clean cabins, motel units and a large pool overlooking the lake and offers guests different housekeeping or American plans for meals in the main lodge. We accepted the American Plan Package where every day we enjoyed a full breakfast and lunch with a delicious hot dinner waiting for us after a day of fishing.
This lodge knows how treat its customers.
They also have a sauna, a fully-licensed dining room, high-speed Internet connection in the main lodge, and canoes for the whole family to enjoy. There's also a small tackle shop with gas, snacks and other products you may have forgotten along the way to the lodge.
Guests enjoy seeing Ontario wildlife as the lodge is located next to the world's biggest game preserve. Visitors can enjoy spotting bear, moose, wolf, bald eagles, loons, and of course, trophy fish.
Their goal is to offer everyone the opportunity to have the best vacation possible and their staff will see to it. For me, a successful vacation means fishing. Luckily, I was in the right place. My staycation at Chapleau Lodge included some quality time chasing both smallmouth bass and the ever-popular walleye of Borden lake.
fishing on borden lake
Our arrival date coincided with cooler than average temperatures that dropped the water temps to the mid-50 degree range and pushed a lot of the clear water species to the lakes deeper haunts but that did not stop them from biting, it only took a little more effort with the aid of my boats electronics to locate the bigger bass and ganged up schools of walleye. Once located, it was game on for both the bass and walleye.
I fished for smallmouth with a variety of soft artificial baits including three-inch minnow baits, deep diving jerk baits and tube jigs. With the abundant natural rock structure available throughout the lake, it is not hard to find places where smallmouth bass like to roam and eat.
Islands, shoals, long tapering points, reefs, you name it, this lake has it and the easiest part is most of the bass holding structure is very visible and easy to locate. This is not a hard lake to fish for bass, they are virtually everywhere.
After catching some very thick smallmouth the first day, I decided to explore my options of catching some tasty walleye on the deeper shoals and reefs with one-quarter ounce ball head jigs in bright chartreuse with live nightcrawlers, bouncing my bait slowly off bottom directly below my boat in depths ranging from seventeen to 30-plus feet.
On several occasions while vertical jigging on the deep reefs, once the walleyes were located, I can honestly say that I may have caught and released the entire school of fish below my boat, as my jig and worm presentation reached bottom on each drop, I instantly had another walleye engulf my jig and crawler, yes, it was that good!
I kept three nice thick walleyes for our lunch and carefully released all the other fish to fight another day.
start planning your trip to chapleau lodge and borden lake now
The time is now to start exploring your next angling vacation with family or friends, consider the beautiful wilderness surroundings of Chapleau Lodge in Ontario’s Algoma Country, it truly is that good. Don't hesitate to contact the friendly owner and book what will be a very memorable vacation, on the lake of many fish.