ctrl down video player instagram facebook youtube pinterest twitter Home Menu Where Am I? Subscribe Popular
Northern Ontario Travel
The Official Magazine
Home > Explore > Northwest Ontario

Catch Your Limit Near Thunder Bay

Gord Ellis lands a walleye in his boat • Credit: Gord Ellis
Image credit

Catch Your Limit Near Thunder Bay

Walleye Fishing in Northwest Ontario

Thunder Bay and Northwest Ontario has some of the most diverse walleye fishing in the province.

The Thunder Bay District has benefited from a history of adult walleye transfers that created vast fisheries where none existed before. We can thank the Ministry of Natural Resources for most of these fisheries, as they did the stocking.

Walleye fishing is consistently good in the Thunder Bay area, and there is a real chance at a trophy class walleye of 10 pounds or better. Mostly, however, there will be good numbers of eating sized walleye from 14 to 16 inches. Here is a guide to a few good spots.

Spots Within or Close to City Limits

There is walleye fishing right in the Thunder Bay harbour and in several of the larger urban rivers right in City of Thunder Bay limits. The size of some of these fish is surprising.
Kaministiquia River - Some nice walleye are caught here each year, including a few genuine trophy fish. Hotspots include near Fort William Historical Park, below the mill and around Stanley. Also some bass, pike and crappie.

Current River - Walleye and pike at the mouth of the river. Some smaller walleye upstream of the Boulevard Lake dam and around .

Hazelwood Lake - Good walleye fishing, plus some pike and perch. Located at the end of Hazelwood Road. No gas motors are allowed at Hazelwood, but canoes work well. Good shore fishing spot in the spring. Bring the kids.

Hawkeye Lake - Walleye, pike  and bass. Not an easy walleye bite but a few good ones.

Dog Lake - Thanks to a successful adult walleye stocking program in the 1970s, Dog Lake now has a naturalized walleye fishery. Most of the fishing in the spring is centred around the inflowing rivers, and these are generally a good bet on opening day.  A forage base of smelt  - and some super deep water  - ensures the walleye fishing on Dog Lake will never be predictable.

North Up Highway 527 (Spruce River Road)

(Turn off Trans Canada Highway – just east of Terry Fox Information Centre in Thunder Bay)

Eaglehead/ DeCourcey - Tough fishing, but decent walleye for those with patience. Try pitching jigs to rocky, windswept shorelines.

Poshkokagan Lake - Excellent walleye fishing, but a smaller average size. Nice eaters. Best spring fishing  is found near the river mouth.  Usually busy on opening day.

Smiley - Another sleeper, stocked many years ago with walleye that have taken hold. Try a Little Joe and minnow.

Lac Des Mille Lac - Heading West on Highway 11/17  

Lac Des Mille Lacs - What can you say about the regions most popular walleye lake? It remains a good opening season bet, and thanks to a 13 inch minimum size limit the fishing has remained good. The top spots include the Savanne River,  Sawmill Bay, Sand Point, Poplar Bay, Honkonen Narrows and  Rock Bay. It’s a busy lake, but there are usually lots of fish to catch.

West to Atikokan on Highway 11

Access this huge area by turning west on Highway 11 (just past Shabaqua) as you drive north of Thunder Bay. You can also drive east on Highway 11 from Fort Frances to reach Atikokan.  

Shebandowan Lakes - Really three separate lakes: upper, middle and lower Shebandowan.  Thanks to spring river mouth closures on the lakes major spawning rivers, the walleye fishery here has come back nicely. Also some big pike and great bass. Check Ontario regulations for sanctuary areas on the lake.

Kashabowie Lake - Good walleye fishing and a chance at a wall hanger. Some nice pike and bass. Decent boat launch.

Athelstane Lake - Some big fish are caught here every year. In the spring, anglers often travel to nearby Modo Lake. Low water may affect were anglers can access however.

Find Your True North
Sign up now to get stories, news, and travel tips
We will never spam you and will never share your e-mail. Please see our privacy policy.
Thank you for subscribing!

Featured articles

Find Your True North
Sign up now to get stories, news, and travel tips
We will never spam you and will never share your e-mail. Please see our privacy policy.
Thank you for subscribing!