There are more than 70,000 fishable lakes in Northwestern Ontario’s Sunset Country (yes, 70,000!). Covering more than 100,000 square kilometres of boreal forest, the area is home to some of the world’s best fishing. Take your pick of species: walleye (pickerel), northern pike, lake trout, perch, brook trout, sauger, whitefish, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, muskie and black crappie. Ice fishing is a fun and memorable experience, as you’re surrounded by a vast expanse of solid ice bordered by boreal trees and a wide-open sky that’s often the bluest blue ever! Still, a little protection from the wind and cold is always a smart idea, and today’s ice huts offer comfort and even a quite a bit of style. Here are some ice huts you can rent in Sunset Country.
1. Totem Resorts, Sioux Narrows
This well-appointed resort on Lake of the Woods is home to Yellowbird Lodge & Chalet. It’s a beautiful place to retreat to after a day on the ice, complete with dine-in restaurant, bar and hot tub. You can rent a pop-up shack or day ice fishing house with ice road access, heater, fishing rod, augers and snowmobile, and also book an ice fishing guide or LOTW eco-tour guide.
2. fu-ken-eh limousine Ice fishing, Rainy River
Add some class to your walleye fishing trip with a 1994 Lincoln limo. This white stretch limo, decorated with Elvis memorabilia, has an electric heater and eight-inch fishing holes bored in the floor, so you can kick back and relax on comfy seats (and take a few pictures too). The limo can host four people and the day package includes minnows. It’s accessed by ice road near the Hwy 11 bridge that connects Baudette, Minnesota and Rainy River, Ontario.
3. Muskie Bay Resort, Nestor Falls
Take your pick from a rented ice hut on Lake of the Woods (Whitefish Bay) or Crow Lake, and try your hand at catching trophy fish including crappie, lake trout, perch and pike. Back on shore, their year-round resort and motel includes a restaurant, ice skating rink, hot tub and sauna.
4. Clarke’s Resorts & Outposts, Vermilion Bay
Access Anishinabi Lodge by snowmobile (your own or rent one of resort’s), a 65-km (40-mile) trip. There, you stay in your own cozy island cabin and head out to fish for trophy pike or lake trout on Anishinabi Lake, right out in front. Or, you can portage into one of a number of nearby lakes about 10 to 15 minutes ride from the camp to drop a line for walleye. One of their staff offers fishing tips, and minnows are included. Shacks are heated and can hold up to 10 people.
5. Temple Bay Lodge, Eagle River
Located on Eagle Lake south of Vermilion Bay and Dryden, this northern lodge offers ice fishing packages. You can provide your own transportation onto the ice (a snowmobile or similar) or opt for their heated, six-passenger track side-by-side. Your home base on the shore consists of deluxe accommodations including housekeeping service, satellite sports events and meals. On the ice, you can look forward to heated shack and predrilled hole, and bait minnows are provided for your attempts at landing muskie, walleye, smallmouth bass and perch. Ice fishing tackle is available for rent.
6. Harris Hill Resort, Lake of the Woods
This fishing resort, not far from the border between Baudette, Minnesota and Fort Frances, Ontario, often boasts four feet of ice on the lake as well as uncrowded, secluded fishing spots. Stay in a comfortable housekeeping cabin or main lodge and head out in your snowmobile, ATV or truck on the ice road (conditions permitting) to one of three heated huts. Each hut is 8x12’ or 6x10’ with windows, seats, a wall-mounted propane heater and drilled holes. Fish species include walleye, sauger, pike, perch and black crappie. You can also rent the ice shack on its own if you are staying elsewhere.
7. Tamarack Island Wilderness Lodge, Lake of the Woods
Nestled on an island on Lake of the Woods (Sbaskong Bay), this lodge is only accessible via snowmobile (your own, or rentals are available). Kick back in your well-equipped cabin, with plenty of time to enjoy ice fishing for walleye, sauger, crappie, perch, pike, tullibee (cisco) and burbot. You can rent a permanent ice shack or a portable one, and both versions are heated. Augers and sonar fish finders are available for rent as well.
8. Luxury ice fishing house rental, Kenora
Ever wanted to camp out overnight on the frozen surface of Lake of the Woods? You can with a luxury ice fishing house rental from Lake of the Wood Docking and Grace Anne II Winter Experiences (also available for day-only rentals). Up to four guests can stay in a 21-foot deluxe and beautifully outfitted Yetti ice resort, which comes with predrilled holes, fishing gear, an underwater camera, bait, fuel and propane, a skating rink, firepit and high speed wifi. Amp up the convenience with a guided snowmobile tour and a traditional shore lunch on the ice, provided by your guide.
9. Ice castle rental, Kenora
Another exceptional ice house rental experience comes from NWO Outfitters, also in Kenora on Lake of the Woods. Choose from a four-person or eight-person contemporary “ice castle” which is outfitted with a refrigerator, microwave, stove/oven, television, stereo, predrilled holes, dining and sleeping areas and even a bathroom. Or, you can book a guided ice fishing day trip with an insulated, heated pop-up shack, with gear and bait provided. Either way, you’ll be on the hunt for walleye, lake trout, crappie and pike.
Make the most of winter in Northwestern Ontario with a unique ice fishing experience!