“It will melt your brain,” said a friend, referring to the first time a giant muskie follows your bait. Sadly, this held true for me last summer when a giant Lac Seul muskie did just that. I saw the prehistoric creature appear, effortlessly drifting mere inches behind my bait. Despite prior practice doing figure eights and the coaching of my guide, the sight of this beast turned my brain to mush. Panic set in, I muttered some unintelligible words, and the fish disappeared as my bait stopped dead in the water.
Fast-forward one year. After two days enduring fierce winds, torrential rain and thunderstorms, I got to redo the previous moment. When this muskie followed, I started a wide, sweeping Figure Eight at the side of the boat and, with less than two feet of line off my rod tip, the fish crushed my bait. Chaos ensued; after some serious thrashing, splashing and shrieking – by me – my first-ever muskie hit the net. It was the most explosive strike and intense battle I have ever experienced and a serious highlight in my angling career.
Sioux Lookout Hotels
Sioux Lookout Chamber of Commerce
Ojibway Provincial Park
Lac Seul is a well-known fishery, famous for the big walleye, pike, and muskie that inhabit its waters. It’s a giant, complex piece of water, existing as it does due to flooding in the early 1900s by the Ear Falls Hydro Dam. In addition to Lac Seul, the Sioux Lookout area boasts many other lakes, offering drive-to, boat-to, and fly-in lodges with walleye, pike, lake trout and bass. Other accommodation options include hotels and campgrounds making this area a must-visit for anglers, especially if big muskie are on your list.
Serious Muskie Guide
Both of my trips to Lac Seul were led by Ben Beattie, a friend and Sioux Lookout fishing guide, who spends every waking moment on the water. Ben is a fanatical angler with a serious passion for these “dragons,” as he calls them. Ben compares muskie fishing to deer hunting: you can sit for hours, days or weeks, but it all pays off when that big buck comes in. Similarly, muskie fishing is a game of patience. And casting. Lots and lots of casting.
It’s not non-stop action. There can be long periods between fish, but the simple sight of one of these giants following your bait is enough to make you hyperventilate. And when one grabs hold, it’s a serious ride, well worth the long days and sore arms.