Ontario Fishing Trip - What to Bring?

11/15/17 @ 11:52 AM
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BugleTrout
BugleTrout
USER since 9/27/01

I'm headed to Eagle Lake next June for my first trip to Canada to fish.  I've done a lot of research on various lodge websites for what rods, reels, line, jigs and other artificial baits to have with me.  I'm also going to invest in a good rain suit.  I'm pretty much outfitting my dad and I with gear so what other items have you brought, or wish that you would have brought, that made your trip more comfortable, successful or enjoyable?  We'll mainly be targeting walleye, pike and lake trout.  Any specific baits that worked really well for those species?  The place we're staying is a drive to lodge and there's only two of us going so we'll have plenty of room for gear.

The lodge we're staying at is providing all meals, the boat and fish processing so we're covered there.  We're also going to be guided 3 of the 6 days that we'll be fishing.

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11/16/17 @ 4:23 PM
BugleTrout
BugleTrout
USER since 9/27/01

Thanks cajunmusky,

My dad and I have clean records so we shouldn't have any problem crossing the border.  We've read the border crossing rules and plan to just bring a bottle or two of good whisky or scotch (1L bottles, of course) for sippin' in the evening.  If we want beer, we'll grab it in Dryden as you mentioned.  Thanks for the advice on bringing Canadian currency and filling up at the border. 

The lodge we're staying at goes Saturday to Saturday so we were planning on leaving from my folk's place in N. Wisconsin that Saturday morning.  I read that Saturdays may not be the best day to cross due to heavy traffic and that it's not uncommon to get delayed an hour or so.  Have you crossed on a Saturday?  Would we be better off getting across the border on a Friday evening and staying in a hotel for the night?

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11/16/17 @ 3:41 PM
BucketMouth123
BucketMouth123
USER since 5/6/16

The skeeters can get bad at night if its calm. You can hear em coming though and you can't night fish on Eagle so you should be fine in that regard. The flies on the other hand are a real pain. I've had em drawing blood through my socks before and they will find you even if there is a good breeze. I leave a spot and have my boat going 50 and they hang onto the carpet for the ride. Then they are right back at buzzing the dome and chomping the ankles.

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11/16/17 @ 2:59 PM
BugleTrout
BugleTrout
USER since 9/27/01

OK.  The hairpin-style spinnerbait is my go to for pike and bass in Wisconsin so I have a bunch.  Not sure if I have any in white but the local Fleet Farm sells replacement skirts in all colors.

Bucket, how are the bugs in late June?  We're going to be there the second week of June.  Besides bug spray, I was going to pack a couple of Thermocells for the boat for calm days in case they're bad.  If it's windy, I don't expect them to be much of a problem.

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11/16/17 @ 2:56 PM
cajunmusky
cajunmusky
USER since 8/22/05

BT-

A few other tips- make sure you leave Intl Falls with a full tank of gas- might be 2-3 hours till you see another gas pump if you go up Hwy 502.  And, gas can be a lot more expensive north of the border.  Read the border crossing rules and take them seriously- the Canadians certainly do- old DUIs, unpaid parking/traffic tix, Domestic Violence/Stalking charges, you might not make it across.  I am squeaky clean, but I hear a lot of horror stories of guys getting refused entry.

HWY 17 in Canada has a few speed traps, and the RCMP will be happy to tag a US vic.  Just keep it at the limit.  The beer is good, lots of variety in stores in Dryden and Vermilion Bay, but higher priced than what you are used to, and a deposit I believe.  No problem bringing some US beer or booze with you, just adhere to the import limits.  Small detail, but you can save some money by exchanging US$ to CAN$ and paying cash across the border-  your plastic will usually do a surcharge for foreign ex, and stores, resorts, restaurants etc. will take US$ but give you a crappy exchange rate.  Your local bank might even be able to give you a good rate before you leave.

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11/16/17 @ 10:12 AM
BucketMouth123
BucketMouth123
USER since 5/6/16

Just a basic spinnerbaits. I think people call them hairpin style. We will find the bullrushes in the bays and throw in the middle of them. If you use a mepps you will be fighting with snags and those weeds are strong. The hairpins are pretty weedless. On calm days you can see the pike smash the bait out of nowhere. 

Mepps musky killers and giant killers are good if you find a bay with some deeper cabbage. They will get you some bigger fish. 

Honestly you can catch pike anywhere and it seems like on anything. We even caught a few on the old coors light can crankbait.


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11/16/17 @ 9:19 AM
BugleTrout
BugleTrout
USER since 9/27/01

Thanks for the replies.  I don't have a portable fish finder and have no need for one outside of having it for a trip like this.  The lodge we're going to has upgrades on their boats which include a livewell, bow mount trolling motor and Lowrance sonar (might have GPS too) so I just went with that.  I've never used blade baits.  I've never considered them as I have an entire tackle bag dedicated to crank baits but they seem like a versatile bait that can either be jigged or pitched and retrieved.  I'll look into them more.

Bucketmouth, when you mentioned white bass spinners, do you mean something like a #3-#5 Mepps-style spinner?

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11/16/17 @ 9:15 AM
BornToFish1
BornToFish1
USER since 3/5/13

Greetings,


I happen to have a bit of experience fishing in NW Ontario.  I've learned some things over the many years that may be helpful to you.  First, anglers that fish on Canada Shield lakes often struggle when they fish the same way they do on their "home" waters.  Pay attention to what the guide is TEACHING you, rather than learning his "spots".

Second, simply roll with whatever happens if this is a "one and done" trip.  That is, fish for whatever you can get to bite.  On the other hand, if you anticipate returning in future years, I encourage you to pick one or two target species and spend the time/effort to learn how to fish for them at that time of the year.  Then, add to this base of knowledge/experience in future trips.  First time anglers that try to do it all in their first fishing trip often end up spreading themselves so thin that they don't do as well as they hoped to.

Third, about ninety percent of the fishing equipment, that I actually use, fits into a milk crate.  You don't need to spend a lot of money to acquire fishing tackle, unless you want to.  If I could only take two lures with me to fish in NW Ontario, both lures would be jigs.  The "other" ten percent of my fishing involves about ten tackle boxes that often don't leave the truck.

Last, I have noticed over the years that many anglers bring too heavy of a fishing rod for their walleye fishing.  I mostly use a Light Power + Fast Action one piece fishing rod for my walleye, perch and bass fishing.  If the fish run "bigger", I sometimes move up to a Medium Light Power + Xtra Fast Action rod.  I need the sensitivity of the Action to feel the bottom and the bite, and the Power of the rod to set the hook and manage the fish during the fight.

Good fishing and tight lines!!




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11/15/17 @ 4:19 PM
lvtofish
lvtofish
USER since 2/2/05

I would bring blade baits.  great for everything in canada.  I will go through 10 in a 7 day trip from them just being bent from catching fish.  and then another 10 that I lose in the rocks.  great for jigging and also working shorelines casting them out.  White always seems to be the best color.

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11/15/17 @ 3:40 PM
BucketMouth123
BucketMouth123
USER since 5/6/16

I am not sure if the pike fishing will be for trophies or the typical 24" fish. Sometimes in the middle of the day when there slow down in bites we go into any given bay and chuck white bass spinners. You can catch 20-30 per hour doing this with the 2 of you. We go last week in June every year and the larger pike inhabit musky territory. The past few years have been right after musky spawn and we were catching the big northern on musky baits. Suicks and bucktails primarily. So mepps giant killers, blue fox, showgirls. As for the walleye we primarily use walleye spinner rigs and lindy rigs. Bring a good camera as you will be taking plenty of pictures. 

Bring clothes for every weather situation. It could be 90 and sunny one day and 45 cloudy and windy the next. The hotspots map might be good to have. If you have a portable depth finder bring it. Trolling battery and transom trolling motor if you have it. (Lodge we go to provides trolling motor but no battery) 

You have me already excited to get back up there. Been going north of the border for 23 years. 


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11/15/17 @ 3:22 PM
BugleTrout
BugleTrout
USER since 9/27/01

Yeah, I get excited for these types of trips. Especially when it’s a first-time experience.

Anyways, thanks for the tips. Perch are a species we’d actually like to concentrate on a day or two. If we’d get into a mess of them, I’d rather bring those home and release most of the game fish that we don’t eat for shore lunch minus a package or two for the freezer. Also, the leader advice is appreciated because the ones I have are good enough for Wisconsin fish but would probably get shredded up there by the pike.

I probably have 95% of the rods, reels and tackle that we’ll need but it’s helpful to know what I still need to buy, or not to buy. I can get carried away especially with plastics.


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