It’s time for another location list. This one has Angelo and Pete’s favorite lakes that they have personally fished in the province of Saskatchewan. It’s a good list because it covers Lake Trout, Northern Pike, Walleye and Largemouth Bass… that’s right, there’s an unexploited Largemouth population in Saskatchewan that’s just waiting to be caught.
Just in case you wonder if Saskatchewan Lakes have big fish, this western province has given the boys plenty to brag about in the trophy department (as you can see from the photos).
In alphabetical order:
Fish’n Canada’s Top 5 Saskatchewan Lakes for Giant Fish
Lake Athabaska is a border lake between Saskatchewan and Alberta. It is a huge body of water and thus, produces some fantastic catches of Northern Pike as well as Lake Trout every season.
The guys fished it back in early July of 2014 and they came back raving about it. Although the Lakers had moved deep by that time, the Pike were still in the back bays and HUNGRY!
Angelo shot an entire episode within a 100-yard stretch in one such back bay.
“It was pure heaven and mayhem at the same time,” says Ang “like taking candy from a baby… not that I’d do that!”
PIKE AND LAKERS
Angelo tried a variety of standard Pike baits but settled on an unweighted soft Swimbait rigged weedless (he was fishing mostly Cabbage Weed).
Pete meanwhile was trolling up a mess of big Lake Trout out on the flats in around 40’ of water. All of his fish were caught on Flatfish (pg 37 of link) and Kiwkfish. Normally we suggest big baits for big Lakers but on this trip, 4″ baits worked best.
All in all, a great shoot.
Here’s where we stayed
BOUNDARY DAM RESERVOIR
The saying “thars gold in them thar hills” is a popular one BUT for this section of this article, it would have to be changed to “thars Largemouth in that place with no hills”.
When we first heard that Saskatchewan had a lake with Largemouth Bass, we gave the “yeah whatever” attitude. Man did we underestimate that one.
Boundary Dam Reservoir near the city of Estevan could be one of the premiere Largemouth Bass lakes in all of Canada. There are a few reasons why.
First off, areas of the lake have a year-round growing season for Largemouth. The only other place in Canada that happens is in British Columbia (Osoyoos Lake is a great example). Being able to grow at an ongoing rate becomes comparable to the growing season of Florida bass for instance (fastest growing and largest of the species). The reason BDR has such a growing season is the water temperatures are constantly warm due to the outflow of heated water from the local hydro plant. As long as this keeps running, the growing season will thrive (however we have heard news of at least part of the plant closing).
Pete took along Canada In The Rough’s Keith Beasley on this trip as he and Angelo knew that Keith was a Bass fanatic.
BIG WESTERN LARGEMOUTH BASS
They ended up shooting 2 separate episodes in total contrasting fashion, one at the south end of the lake in lush weed beds and the other at the north end, all near deep water. Both episodes are loaded with great Largemouth catches.
If you want to visit a unique Largemouth fishery, Boundary Dam Reservoir is a must.
LAST MOUNTAIN LAKE
Last Mountain Lake is a beast of a lake with a length of 93 km (58 mi) but just a width of 3 km (2 mi). She’s a long and lean fish producing machine. It has an average depth of 35 metres (115 ft) and a maximum depth of 130 ft (40 m)
We actually featured this lake in our Top 5 Canadian Walleye Lakes web post.
Since we talked Walleye before, this time we’ll feature the Northern Pike fishery this lake has to offer.
Because of its long thin shape, it sets up great for Pike. Any and all back-bays will have ample Pike swimming about (especially early in the year) but look for the biggest bays you can find. The larger the bay, the more Pike that will be there and usually the larger the fish.
As summer progresses, look for main lake points and any cabbage weed beds that grow in 8+ feet of water. These can be dynamite!
BIG PIKE ON SWIMBAITS
“We got on a swimbait pattern,” says Pete “and stayed on it for the entire trip”.
Pete continues “the odd time I’d fire out a suspending minnow bait for something different, but oddly enough, the giant Walleye of the lake would smash it before the Pike could get there!”
Big Hammer swimbaits were the brand of choice, something that Rob swears by on this lake.
Big Hammerhead jig heads of at least ½ ounce are the best for open-hooked rigging
MCGYVERING FOR SHORT STRIKING PIKE
Here’s another awesome Saskatchewan lake that takes some work and cost getting to but is well worth it.
Selwyn sits at the most northerly point of the province and creeps into the Northwest Territories as well.
Being so far north, this lake harbours gigantic Lake Trout and Pike. Although we haven’t been there in many years, lakes like this will never get enough fishing pressure and catch and keep fishing to worry about.
FISHING ON THE PROVINCIAL BORDER
In the above image, this was Pete’s biggest Lake Trout ever (still may be, only rivaled by his Lake Athabasca Laker).
“I was trolling in the 40-60-foot-deep range,” says Pete “and only catching fish in the 20-pound range. I wanted bigger. I decided to try deeper, around a hundred feet. By trolling a big Canoe spoon on a 3-way swivel rig, I tied into this beast of a fish. When it came to the surface, I thought I was gonna’ poop my pants. I had never seen a Lake Trout even close to that size!”
This is also where Pete, Angelo, and brother Reno learned about vertical jigging Lake Trout. Cadence and watching for followers were key… that’s in another article.
The Pike fishing as well is second to none on Selwyn. Angelo shot an episode there on the same trip and came up with some true beasts!
“We shot here in the 1997/98 season,” Ang says, “and boy did we catch em’. My guide Ed Moretto maneuvered me into some crazy back bay areas and then it was up to me”.
With heavy Pike gear and leaders in hand, Ang had the time of his life on that trip.
Do you want a big pike lake? We almost used Tobin in our Saskatchewan choice for our Canadian Walleye article but opted for another lake because we knew, Tobin was going to be on this list.
This was the first trip that our now fishing friend Andrew “Smitty” Smith set up for us in conjunction with Saskatchewan tourism. Smitty loves fishing, especially for big Pike and Lake Trout.
Let’s just say that this episode was Fish’n Canada’s best Big Pike show of all time. In an extremely short amount of time, the boys rocked em’ and all were caught with a not so popular technique.
“Prior to this trip, Pete and I had never used the method of quick-strike rigs with frozen dead bait under slip floats for Pike,” says Ang “so this technique was very new to us. By hooking up solid, saltwater herring or a frozen mackerel and casting out to a specific breakline (drop-off), we proceeded to smash big Northern Pike all day long.”
Here are a couple of ideas for Quickstrike rigs, the first is a Muskie sucker rig that can be used for dead bait and the other is an ice fishing tip-up rig, again that can be a dead bait rig. Both will work under a float. Of course, you can also make your own, just make sure they are built and put together solidly! A popped open split-ring or broken swivel is not worth the fish of a lifetime.
BEST BIG PIKE TRIP EVER
The guys needed heavy-duty rods and reels for this fishing since the possibility of catching 20lb plus Pike was a reality and pretty much expected.
“It didn’t take Ang and me long to get on to this crazy float fishing system,” says Pete “we’d just lob-cast out those gigantic frozen baitfish, let them sink to the bobber-stops and simply watch our floats. I’m pretty sure one of our floats disappeared on the very first cast as soon as the stop hit the float stem… it was awesome!”
Tobin in itself is a Pike and Walleye Hotspot, but for our specific one on this episode, check it out here.
Well, there you have Angelo and Pete’s 5 favourite and recommended Saskatchewan “BIG FISH” destinations. Some you can drive to, others are fly-in. The choice is yours, but whichever you do choose, you won’t be disappointed.