2019 was the year for our second trip to Hawk Lake Lodge, and let us tell you, it was a highly anticipated one for sure!
On Fish’n Canada’s first trip here a couple of years previous, the guys did tie into some of the Hawk Lake legendary Walleye, but not as many as they had wanted. That said, they did get a giant at well over 10lbs… a site for sore eyes in a small lake like Hawk.
On that previous trip, they also targeted Smallmouth Bass, knowing full well that the Walleye fishing might have been a little tough, considering they didn’t time it perfectly.
Our Latest Trip
This trip, however, was perfect timing according to Ted Putman, owner and operator of Hawk Lake Lodge.
Talk about being pumped up!
Upon the crew’s arrival, the reports from lodge guests were getting better and better each day. So awesome hearing that kids, during a family visit, are catching giant fish, and that’s exactly what was happening here!
As per usual, things started out slow (seems like this on all the shoots lately); however, Ted informed the guys and reiterated, “stay with it boys, you’ll get some giants.”
He was right.
Although they didn’t catch a bunch of fish in any one area, when they did connect, it was sheer walleye bliss.
Amazingly, this lake is not only about the quality of big fish, but also what seems like the lack of small fish. They must be there, but our guys didn’t catch any. That’s insane!
The lodge implements a 100% live release rule, which is vital to a smaller body of water like Hawk Lake. We’re not sure if that’s something to do with the lack of catching smaller walleye, maybe it’s the big girls keeping the wee ones at bay?
Here’s a funny note about Hawk Lake Lodge. With the 100% live release rule in place, if a guest wants a shore lunch, the lodge imports the fish from Manitoba. Now that’s a strict catch and release policy.
HOW’D WE CATCH EM’?
Angelo really loves drop-shotting walleye (smallies too), while Pete is more of a bottom probing guy with jigs, live-bait-rigs, etc. All these systems worked on this trip, with the live-bait being the big three: minnows, leeches, and worms. That said, Pete caught a nice 5lb+ on a swimbait and Ang followed him up with one close to 10lb on a completely different swimbait. Both of their swimbaits, incidentally, were white or a white combo.
Steve, on the other hand, did very well on smallmouth fishing by hitting some small protected bays and throwing slow moving baits like tube jigs, dropshot rigs, and Ned rigs.
The guys also did some evening excursions with Ted, looking for a big Walleye or two. Let’s just say that if you want your best chance at a 10-pound Hawk Lake Walleye, get out there in the evening, as these beasts seem to show up out of nowhere. Check out Steve’s blog, he’ll attest to some giants caught during the dark.
A TOUCHING STORY
Through our travels and business with Fish’n Canada, we often stumble upon some compelling stories. One came in front of Angelo during an Outdoor Journal Radio show with the Doc, Gord Pyzer. Gord had taken a young man, who had been diagnosed with cancer, out ice fishing and had since then befriended this lad. His name is Dustin Moncrief. Upon learning that Dustin has a family cottage on Hawk Lake (one of very few), through Gord, it was decided that we would try and meet up with Dustin during our visit for a chat and maybe even to spend a couple of hours on the water.
Well, once Dustin heard about our offer, he was over to the lodge in no time.
Pete and Ang took Dustin to a back bay in search of Smallmouth (the season is open all year there). Dustin proceeded to catch fish after fish on his home-made baits all while “on camera” for this Fish’n Canada episode.
“It didn’t take us long to know we were there pretty much for moral support only,” says Ang “since Dustin’s technique was excellent for a guy his age. Aside from a few tiny, technical tips we could offer, we could see Dustin knew his stuff!”
This was a great way to end the trip, and to show the guys just how important the sport of fishing is to people in need. Dustin can escape the medical world, at least for a brief time, and enjoy what he and so many others truly cherish… fishing.
All in all, this return trip to Hawk Lake didn’t disappoint and in fact, produced more trophy walleye than the previous trip.
Pete and Ang can’t say enough about Ted and his Hawk Lake Lodge. It truly is the “crème de la crème” in all aspects. If you are looking for the ultimate lodge trip, this is one to check out.
FISH SPECIES IN HAWK LAKE
- N49⁰ 45.625 W093⁰ 59.151
- This episode's Hotspot was given to us "straight from the horses mouth" by lodge owner and Walleye fanatic Ted Putnam.
- It's located in one of the many bays or "fingers" at the opposite end of the lake from the lodge.
- Try live bait rigs, jigs, swimbaits or Ang's favourite, a live bait presentation on a dropshot rig.
- Remember Hawk Lake Lodge has a strict 100% live release policy on all fish. Please respect this great fish preserving policy.
- For more Hotspots like this one, go to Fish'n Canada.com
OTHER LAKES TO ACCESS WHILE AT HAWK LAKE LODGE
The lodge also offers access to several private lakes, all of which are for the exclusive use of their guests. You can choose a different lake each day and you will be the only boat on the water.
- Bass Lake
- Bear Lake
- Blue Herring Lake
- Cliff Lake
- Hawk Lake
- Lisa Lake
- Little Hawk Lake
- Lost Lake
- Mud Lake
- Mirror Lake
- North Viaduct
- Paddy Lake
- Portage Lake
- Saphire Lake
- Shannon Lake
- South Viaduct Lake
- Wolf Lake
THINGS NEAR HAWK LAKE
- Explore Northwest Ontario
- Kenora is only about a 20-minute drive
- Dryden is about an hour’s drive
- Bobby’s Sport Shop Ltd. is about a 50-km drive from the lodge. This is a “must stop” for the travelling angler. Fantastic all-round selection and one of the best muskie bait sections we’ve ever seen.
- Eagle Dogtooth Provincial Park
- Winnange Lake Provincial Park