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Five-Star Walleye

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Five-Star Walleye

• Credit: Karl Kalonka

Kesagami Wilderness Lodge is known for its first-rate walleye fishing.



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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to catch 100 walleyes in a single day? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to repeat this catch over an entire week fishing vacation? Wish no more, this is reality —it's exactly what happened to yours truly on our initial visit to Kesagami Wilderness Lodge in Northeastern Ontario.

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We had heard the stories and read about the incredible walleye fishing from this Northern Ontario operator near Cochrane, but experiencing it for ourselves was a bucket list angling adventure I simply had to confirm for myself.

We scheduled a trip to Kesagami for early June and made some calls to the lodge manager Charlie MacDonald for some insight into the most popular artificial lures and tactics for catching these huge numbers of walleye that everyone was talking about. He replied with one single option for Kesagami walleye, and that was the good old ball head jig in 1/8 to 1/4-ounce sizes in bright colours such as chartreuse, pinks, orange, and fire tiger with 4-inch curly-tailed grubs in matching tones.

Not surprising, these simple lure choices are mainstay for walleye regardless of where or when you fish in Northern Ontario. But with the late spring and lack of weed growth and relatively shallow water ( 4 to 7 feet deep) we decided to add a few search baits into our tackle bags to help us locate the schools of walleye.

These search baits included a short list of small, soft-bodied minnow baits and a few 3 to 4-inch jerk baits.

Because Kesagami is a fly-in lodge, and with a limited amount of overall weight restrictions for flying, our choice of rods was simple. We packed a fishing rod travel tube with several of our favourite two-piece St. Croix walleye rods, including the Legend Tournament Walleye and Eyecon models from 6'6" to 7 feet, matched with Daiwa Tatula spinning reels, and filled these reels with 8pound Gamma co-polymer fishing line. All set and ready to experience Kesagami.

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The flight into Kesagami Lodge was as brilliant and smooth as expected; we flew over the pristine terrain of unnamed lakes and forest with not a soul in sight, just the unspoiled beauty of Ontario’s wilderness—a fantastic was to begin our Kesagami experience.

The start of the five-star treatment

From the minute your float plane is secure at the docks of the lodge, the pampering begins. Not only does the dock staff insist on unloading your gear for you, the lodge manager himself Charlie MacDonald greets every guest as though they are a friend returning for yet another incredible angling adventure.

Impressed? Yes.

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In short, I wanted to get fishing, fast, but Charlie insisted we get in a meal before heading out with one of the guides for an afternoon of fishing. They stuffed us with a home-style cooked lunch and sent us on our way.

Impressed once again.

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On our first afternoon on Kesagami, on the first rocky point adjacent to the main lake in approximately 5 feet of water, our guide positioned our boat perfectly. He set up the anchor on the edge of the rock point and we began our assault on the walleye, making casts to the tapering edge of the rocks.

I am certain it took about three to four casts to hook up with our first Kesagami walleye, a decent 16-inch fish that inhaled my tiny jig head and curly-tailed grub. For the next four-plus hours, we experienced non-stop walleye action by alternating between the small curly-tailed grub and a small 3-inch minnow bait rigged onto the same small jig head in bright chartreuse, on a variety of different rocky points all within vicinity of another. Impressed? Better yet, speechless.  

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The sheer numbers of walleye on each of these points was incredible—fish ranging in all year classes, from 14 to 20-plus inches, made our first afternoon at Kesagami a dream come true.

Why go to Kesagami

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Kesagami Wilderness Lodge has a policy of catch and release only, and the use of barbless hooks, with each guest limited to harvest two walleye per day in the 16 to 17-inch range for a shore lunch. This innovative policy has resulted in a world-class walleye fishery, with 100-fish days up to the 30-inch class for guests every season.

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But it is not just the incredible walleye fishing at Kesagami Lodge that brings guests back year after year. Trophy-sized, 40-plus-inch Northern Pike are the norm up here, and the whitefish population is growing rapidly. It is the attention to detail in customer satisfaction that makes Kesagami Wilderness Lodge a truly five-star location for vacationing anglers who enjoy the pampering of clean comfortable accommodations, classic lodge décor, un-crowded atmosphere, mouth-watering meals, and breathtaking sunsets. That's what makes this place magical.

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More than just a fishing trip

The natural beauty of the area, the unspoiled, pristine environment, fresh air, unpolluted waters, abundant wildlife, serenity, solitude, and quality time with family and friends make staying at Kesagami a memorable experience.

We continued our angling assault for three more days, and honestly lost count of how many walleyes we caught on a variety of locations, from rocky points to sand flats and everyplace in between. Trying to guess just how many walleye call this lake home is overwhelming to say the least—it really is that good!

Treat yourself to a lifetime of memories this year and visit the Kesagami Wilderness Lodge website and see for yourself why so many guests on Trip Advisor and social media call this place a five-star walleye experience.

Contact Information

Kesagami Wilderness Lodge
Charlie MacDonald
1-800-253-3474
fish@kesagami.com

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