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What Do These Two Canadian Island Lodges and This Fly-in Camp Have in Common?

Cool early mornings produce some of the best vistas • Credit: Bill Sherck
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What Do These Two Canadian Island Lodges and This Fly-in Camp Have in Common?

It's what we're known for up here!

3 lodges, 3 different experiences with 2 things in common: beautiful sunrises and great fishing


6:30 am and an old, familiar sound wakes me. The throaty puff of radial engine echos out in front of KaBeeLo Lodge. I quickly hop out of bed, throw on my clothes and make it to the deck just in time to watch C-DGYT lift from calm water into calm Ontario skies. Life is good...

Every morning, KaBeeLo Lodge's two DeHavilland Beavers shuttle anglers to Ontario's far-away places. Guests arrive at the main lodge and fly to KaBeeLo's 12 remote fish camps. My family comes every spring. It is a tradition. Dad and I pack way too much fishing gear and climb into the airplane. After a 20-minute flight over endless lakes and deep woods, floats touch down on pristine water. We've come home to Bear Paw; A quiet lake with a single outpost cabin. The cabin has all the basics; Three bedrooms with comfy bunks, running water, and a hot shower. A very fishy lake waits out front...

Eagerly anticipating a fly-out trip with KaBeeLo Lodge!Eagerly anticipating our yearly fly-out trip with KaBeeLo Lodge!

Find any rock point and troll a spinner or crankbait and odds are you'll catch walleyes. Once you're on a school, you can sit with a jig and minnow and catch your limit. More often than not, you'll have lunch on the stringer in minutes rather than hours.

After shore lunch, we often fish pike. Plan on casting baits up shallow using a medium-heavy casting rod lined with 20 lb. test and a good steel leader. Please don't forget your camera. Fishing KaBeeLo creates memories you won't ever want to forget.

Once the fall colors and cool nights come to this part of Ontario, most KaBeeLo hunters head for the moose woods. I have discovered another incredible fall resource. Limits of ruffed and spruce grouse are almost a given around KaBeeLo. I hunt in the morning, fish during the day, and end the afternoon with another hunt. Perfect...

Sunrise Bill Sherck pike


Another favorite Sunset Country destination I consider one of Northwest Ontario's most underutilized fisheries. Whitefish Bay is a massive, clear water bay within Lake of the Woods' nearly one million acres. The water here runs gin-clear and deep; Perfect habitat for lake trout. The home base is Whitefish Bay Resort, an island oasis consisting of eight clean cabins and the main lodge where you will never go hungry. 

Whitefish Bay Camp didn't just pop up by accident. A century ago, adventurer Ernie Calvert settled the camp on the island now named after him, Calvert. The resort was one of the very first on Lake of the Woods. Calvert wanted resorts close to the lake's best fishing. After all, most folks back then traveled by canoe. These days the boats are a bit bigger. Feel free to bring your own unless you prefer to rent. Whitefish Bay Resort offers both Lund and Princecraft boat packages. I won't visit without a tackle box full of Kwikfish and Cowbells. Trolling those baits tipped with a cisco leads to big payoffs come May and June. The lake trout here are some of the province's biggest.

Too many guests forget Whitefish Bay's other fishy resources. Don't be afraid to sneak off to nearby rock humps and points. Walleyes are always on the prowl. Seems muskies and pike are too. Don't tell anyone, but the windsock rock pile right out front of camp is one of the bay's best spots to cast and catch smallmouth bass. Shhhhhhhhhhh. You promised not to tell...

Whitefish Bay is the perfect waters for lake trout to grow to a ripe old age!Whitefish Bay is the perfect water for lake trout to grow to a ripe old age!


During summer's hottest days, a lot of folks give up on fishing. I do the opposite. I pack the boat and motor out onto Lake of the Woods. It's a roughly four-mile run from the launch in Morson, Ontario out to what's called Black Island. Ballard's Resorts recently purchased and renovated the resort on the 35-acre island. Five cabins and the main lodge sit out on the main point. Each morning, you wake to a mug of strong, hot coffee and an infinite sunrise over the lake's 14,500 islands. This part of Lake of the Woods is famous for several species of fish. You can catch all of 'em with just a bit of research.

First up, muskies. You don't have to be the world's best angler to have big-time success. During the summer months, I cast blade baits and jerk baits up on rock points and shallow flats. Just be sure you've got a BIG net along. You're going to need it.

Plan to explore Painted Rock channel on the way out to big water. Here, native people told their stories on the rock walls. Amazing history to take in from the water. Just past the channel you'll find submerged rock humps. Drop a jig and minnow and you'll find walleyes. Crayfish pattern baits thrown up on shallow boulders will help you find bass. The area around Ballard's Black Island is renowned for giant smallmouth bass. It's not unusual to see fish as big as seven pounds. Whoa....

Big and numerous bass are to be found around Black Island Lodge. Photo: Black IslandBig and numerous bass are to be found at Black Island Lodge. Photo: Black Island

Northwest Ontario is home to literally hundreds of family-run fish camps and resorts. Each has its own story and draw. You'll never be able to visit all of them, but you will truly miss out unless you try and visit at least a few. Oh, and take my advice and PLEASE set your alarm, for at least one morning. Sunrise in Sunset Country is a view you won't ever forget...

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