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Kesagami Wilderness Lodge

Kesagami Wilderness Lodge

Kesagami Lake has just under a million acres of fishable water that is chock full of pike and walleye.



Back in 1983, my brother Wayne and I fished a walleye tournament on Little Abitibi Lake, up in Northeastern Ontario. We ended up getting second or third in the event and had a great time.

The next day we jumped into a float plane, heading to the Kesagami Wilderness Lodge on Kesagami Lake. It was our first trip to this remote lake just south of James Bay and the plane ride from Cochrane's airbase kick-started the journey.

Kesagami Lake has just under a million acres of fishable water that is chock full of pike and walleye. It’s definitely not hard to find the fish on this shallow water fishery! The walleyes tend to school up, so when you find them it’s game on! As crazy as it sounds, we had a lot of 100 to 200 walleyes-per-person days while we were up there. In the early season at Kesagami I caught walleyes in 5-feet of water right under the boat as well as lots right off the dock at the lodge.

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The pike relate to weeds and rocks, and they also hang around the schools of walleyes. Trophy pike have no problems scarfing back a good sized ‘eye for a meal. In fact, it’s common to have a big pike chase or hammer a hooked walleye while you’re reeling it in. Trophy pike and the sheer abundance of walleyes makes Kesagami a very special place.

Charlie McDonald and his entire staff do a great job making you feel at home upon your arrival. You will not go hungry while you’re there – three meals a day are part of the package. The breakfasts are as good as they get to start your day. Fresh-caught walleyes for shore lunch are so tasty they’ll make your tongue spank your brain to death. The signature ribs, steaks, chicken, etc. in the dining room are all fantastic.

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Speaking of the lodge, there’s a bar next to the dining room that has shuffleboard and a pool table. You can unwind in the sauna after a day on the water as well.  When it comes to the fishing, there are guides available or you can go out in your own boat. Boats and unlimited fuel are included in the package.

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If you plan on going up to Kesagami, there are a few things you should pack with you. A good rain suit (just in case), a hoodie and a jacket. And when you’re this far north in the spring, bug repellent is essential.

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You’ll want to bring a 6’ 6” to 7-foot medium action spinning setup for walleyes and a medium-heavy spinning or casting outfit for pike. For lures, soft plastic swimbaits like the Berkley Champ Swimmer in various sizes are great for pike. For walleyes you’ll want some Berkley Power Swimmers in 3.3” and 3.8” sizes, Berkley Powerbait grubs and assorted jigheads in 1/8, ¼ and 3/8-ounce sizes. Hard baits like War Pigs, Flicker Minnows, Hit Sticks and the Cutter 110+ are other good options. Of course, when you’re dealing with toothy fish like pike and walleyes you’ll want to have Cuda jaw spreaders and pliers on hand. With 50-pounds per person for your baggage/gear allowance you want to make sure that you pack the right stuff. If you do forget to bring something they do have tackle available at the lodge.

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There’s something magical about fly-in fishing trips. If you’ve never experienced one you need to check this place out. Kesagami Wilderness Lodge has made a lot of memories for the folks that have been lucky enough to visit, including my three trips that are forever etched in my mind!

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