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Fish'n Canada Visit Marten River Lodge

Fish'n Canada Visit Marten River Lodge

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Our Ontario accommodations are designed to keep our pricing fair and simple. We don't nickel and dime you and you won't find the included amenities like unlimited gas, bait and firewood in many other Lodge packages. There are no surprises at the end of your visit. We include everything you need in a plan of your choosing!
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Unmatched Smallmouth Bass on Marten River

This Fish'n Canada adventure takes place on Ontario's famous Marten River, considered to be the gateway to Temagami. And just a kilometer away from old Hwy 11, sits Marten River Lodge, celebrating its 90th anniversary.

Lodge owner Ray Sapiano, promised the Fish’n Canada crew unmatched Smallmouth Bass fishing in both the 24 ks of the Marten River system as well as the almost never-fished back lakes, accessed only by ATV.

On this particular trip, our Smallie adventure would start on the Marten River portion so that Ang & Pete could get some kind of indication of just what the fish were up to. Having the big Princecraft Expedition FNC edition loaded with all the goodies gives them every advantage possible... something that can really come in handy on water they’ve never fished.

With such a vast amount of water to fish as in the Marten River system, you would think that Smallmouth would be everywhere, but it never seems to be that way, no matter how great the reputation of the water! This is exactly what the boys experienced here. They fished miles and miles of good looking water, however there were tiny pockets of fish spread out… probably a good thing for the good of the Smallie population.

Pete Bowman with a feisty Smallie

With the above said, one single cast from Ang told the boys the underlying story... the fish were hunkered down and eating tiny minnows in an isolated, 10' x 10' cabbage-weed patch, just off of the main weedline!

“It’s funny how fishing patterns are discovered,” says Ang. “Pete and I cast our hearts out in an amazing portion of the river, but were having a hard time. So in desperation mode, I simply lowered a Dropshotted Yamamoto Shad Shape Worm in a small weed clump directly under the stern of the boat and wham… fish on!”

Angelo Viola holds a great Marten River Smallmouth

Pete says “one fish that Ang pulled out of the weeds spit out between 15 and 20 tiny minnows. That told us we were basically wasting time firing spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, etc out off the weed edge. The Smallies were hunkered directly in the weeds and feeding on baitfish that were doing the same.”

This concluded the Marten River portion of the trip.

So far,” says Angelo “our northern Ontario Smallmouth trip has been very successful; we've fished the Marten River system in luxury with all our fancy gear.”

Now however, the real adventure begins...

Once the boys hit the back lakes, the Princecraft caught a break

Marten River Lodge offers a unique alternative to the main water fishing. They have access to dozens of back country lakes that can only be accessed by ATV. Some are close to home base, while others are a bit of a drive.

Ang and I absolutely love these back-lake excursions,” says Pete; “not only is the ride in a total blast, but usually the fishing is second to none as well”

This adventure was probably an hour in total driving, starting out with trucks at the lodge and then ATVs at a drop-off point into the bush. A backcountry ride like this can really pump an angler's blood knowing that untouched fishing is at the end of the trail.

The Smallmouth fishing ended up being astounding, with a few great incidents as well.

This is what buttered bread does in water… crazy!

Probably the most memorable was when Pete, while taking a quick break eating a “beauty” lodge home-made cookie, had a Smallie grab his tube jig as it was dragging along the water's surface at boat side! That’s right, these Smallmouth were like Muskie… fearless! As soon as Pete hooked his fish, Ang cast too and hooked up with an excited follower… and this went on for about five minutes! Fishing mayhem for sure!

Another great moment was when Angelo fired a long cast with a gigantic 7” Yamamoto Senko, only to have it pounded by a big Smallie. In the boys' minds, that Senko was more of a Largemouth bait deep in the south… Mexico perhaps would be a good place, but certainly not northern Ontario for SMALLMOUTH!!!

That day on the water was one of those special fishing days.

This little Ontario back-lake adventure,” says Ang, “really capped off our Marten River expedition.” Time for celebration with a round of Twizzlers for the boys.

This trip to Marten River Lodge truly was an all-in-one package... fishing the vast, classic Smallmouth habitat of the main river system, experiencing a wonderful and event filled back-lake day trip, and of course spending time with great new friends... all with fishing as their shared connection.

The Camera gets Soaked!


Located in the District of Nipissing just 30 minutes north of North Bay, Ontario on highway #11 and surrounded by old-growth forests and pristine waters, Marten River is a tiny hamlet community of about 90 souls and an unforgettable destination experience.

With easy access from Ontario’s major centres, Quebec, and the US, the area hosts many thousands of tourists and outdoor enthusiasts year-round who enjoy our natural wilderness setting and genuine hospitality.

Young and old alike rediscover nature and adventure in abundance; hiking through our majestic forests and nature preserves, camera in hand, for that rare chance at photographing wildlife in its natural setting; fishing our crystal-clean lakes, rivers and streams for prize Lake Trout, Walleye (Pickerel), Small Mouth Bass, Pike, Jumbo Perch, and other species;

A shot from behind the scenes; interview with lodge owner Ray Sapiano

Other activities include ATVing and snowmobiling hundreds of kilometers of old trails and logging roads; swimming, canoeing and boating countless lakes and water systems under our big skies; or hunting large and small game including black bear, moose, pheasant (grouse), and migratory birds.

Vacationers also have opportunity to visit many attractions and take in other activities and points of interest. Reawaken the past at the historic Logging Camp at Marten River Provincial Park, climb the fire tower in Temagami for a breathtaking panoramic view, tour the Cobalt Silver Mine or visit Northern Ontario’s Largest Book Store in Cobalt, or the Science North Museum in Sudbury just 90 minutes away, the Dionne Quint’s Museum in North Bay, and for golfers, choose from a variety of quality courses nearby. And there’s so much more to explore.

Angelo Viola is reading his portable Garmin Echomap unit. Even in small hard-to-get-to lakes, a fishfinder / GPS is critical

Visitors to Marten River may choose from a wide selection of hospitality, services and accommodations from camping at the Provincial Park or private campgrounds, motel and RV facilities, cottages and independent lodges catering to all service levels from basic Housekeeping to all-inclusive American Plan.

Other conveniences such as grocery items, gifts and souvenirs, fishing and hunting licenses, bait, gas, and our local LCBO are readily available. Cell phone and Wi-Fi capabilities vary in the region, with many facilities offering excellent service. For families, couples or singles seeking adventure or rejuvenating solitude any season of the year, come to Marten River. It’s good for the heart, mind and soul.

Marten River Provincial Park is another local attraction which has the following:

  • A replica 19th-century logging camp brings a bygone era to life
  • The park is the southern gateway to the Temagami area and is a base for canoeists, boaters, hikers and anglers
  • Enjoy remnant stands of massive pines including a 350-year-old White Pine as you walk the Transition Trail
  • Take part in various logging contests, enjoy a logger’s bean lunch, be serenaded by fiddlers, charmed by the antics of chainsaw carvers, and entertained by an array of musicians during Lumberjack Days
  • Relax at one of the park’s three beaches, engage in a beach volleyball game or enjoy a friendly game of horseshoes
Phone: (705) 892-2200
Size: 400.25 ha
Year established: 1960
Park Classification: Recreational Address:
2860 Hwy 11 North
Marten River
P0H 1T0

Ang and Pete had a visitor during their back country excursion


Go Fish Ontario
Marten River Lodge

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