Originally Published on January 31st, 2020
This Fish’n Canada episode is one that has been long overdue. Not because of the fish species, not because of the lake location, not any of the particulars. It was overdue because of the type of trip it was. We often get caught up in a fast, “gotta’ get a show done quickly and move on to the next one” pace.
On this trip, however, it was the exact opposite.
The entire team (Ang, Pete and Steve N) headed to Lac Seul, one of Ontario’s premier fishing lakes in north-western Ontario. It’s known for big fish of all species.
Ang and Pete fished there twice in the past, once way back in 2004 at Evergreen Lodge and again in 2008 at Anderson’s Lodge. The first trip was at the north-west end of the lake and let’s just say, the fishing was phenomenal. Once they found em’, it was big Walleye after big Walleye. An incredible experience.
The second trip was to the extremely popular Anderson’s Lodge. On that shoot, we fished areas on the south side of Lac Seul for an awesome piece about Walleye relating to sand. We also made our way into a remote Muskie and Smallmouth lake that produced some outstanding fishing!
Fast forward to today, and team Fish’n Canada are destined to fish yet another portion of the massive waterbody they call Lac Seul. However, as we referred to earlier, this trip it’s all about the adventure, more like “reality” to be honest.
MEET AND GREET
After the initial greetings with the Anderson’s Lodge staff, the guys were taken to their entry point at Lac Seul, the boat launch at Deception. This is a main launching area near Sioux Lookout on the lake. From there, the adventure begins.
Tom’s Landing was the final destination. It’s normally used by Anderson’s as a fly-in outpost camp since it’s an extremely long way by water. However, knowing they had the big Princecraft/Merc combo to get them there, they decided to make the long boat ride. It’s an option the lodge offers, and our guys took it.
“I will say, the one problem we usually have,” says Pete “is the amount of gear we tote along on our shoots. If it was just fishing gear, we’d be fine. But add in all the camera gear and suitcases, now that’s a lot of stuff”!
Luckily Anderson’s also had to make a supply-run with their big utility boat to the camp, so the Princecraft was relatively empty. Perfect for a 40 plus mile Lac Seul cruise.
A boat ride like this one on Lac Seul, to a remote fishing camp, is a one-of-a-kind experience. But the reality is, a boat ride on any lake or river in Northwestern Ontario is awe-inspiring. The scenery is outstanding, you never know what you’ll see as far as wildlife. And, you look at every bay or inlet or piece of shoreline as… “there’s gotta’ be fish there & there & there”. It’s what we all live for.
After the arrival at Tom’s Landing, the three amigos quickly set up a game plan.
Angelo and Steve were going to try the elusive “north-end Seul-Smallmouth”, while Pete was going to head up to an area the lodge told them about. It was a long ride in one of the camp boats, but everybody all figured it might be well worth it.
“It didn’t take long to find some optimum Smallie water,” says Ang “a slight variation in the amount of rocks and their larger size was the key”.
“And let me state right now,” Ang continues “I loaned Steve my one-of-a-kind, banana bait. I told him if he snags up, he’s goin’ in after it”!
Ang quickly tied into a great Smallie using a Senko. It truly is a bass-catching machine of a bait. Using a soft stick worm, or as they’re commonly known as a Senko, leaves an angler a lot of rigging options.
The guys stayed on Smallmouth for the entire day catching numerous fish (some in the 4-pound category) on soft stick baits and the banana bait.
“We felt good about our Smallie results,” says Steve “the lodge was iffy as to how well we’d do since it was long after the spawn, so with that in mind, Ang and I were really happy with our day”.
PETE’S TRIP NORTHWARD
Meanwhile, after Pete’s long run north and west in the little camp boat, he started on a Pike mission, scanning anything and everything that looked good.
“Whenever I’m fishing on new water,” says Pete “I’m always on the lookout toward the shoreline or to my fish-finder, seeking anything different to stop and cast to. Sometimes things stick out like a sore thumb, sometimes they’re very subtle. On this ride, I spotted a tiny rock point, I had to try it.”
Pete first sighted a big Pike “lying” on the sandy lake bottom but couldn’t get her to go. Some fish are just not interested. Immediately after that sighting, he found a small cabbage weed bed surrounded by that same sand bottom. That little weed-bed produced numerous Pike for Pete. No giants, but definitely a hot little area that kept him going for a good portion of the day.
TELLING THE BOYS
After a great fishing day, the guys met back at the camp to share stories. Pete knew there were some nice Pike in the area that he found yesterday, but it was WAY too far north for his little tinner and tiller. Ang & Steve, however, they’d be there in 10-15 minutes in the big bad-ass Princecraft. With a simple map session and then a transfer of Pete’s GPS waypoints, he was sure that two sticks like those guys will head north and have some fun.
While Ang and Steve had their new Pike quest in view, Pete was going to check out areas closer to Tom’s Landing. He didn’t care as per species; he was just going fishing.
“I came upon a great looking dead tree in the water,” says Pete “it looked perfect for a dirty ol’ Pike to be hanging in. Unfortunately, the tree was void of fish.”
“A small grassy point on the shore, however,” continues Pete “piqued my interest”.
He put his portable Garmin fishfinder to work and spotted some nice-looking arches.
Pete: “I dropped a little candy down there (jig and minnow) and those arches started to bite.”
He quickly landed about half a dozen Walleye up to 23” from the exact spot. Lac Seul is full of places like this.
Meanwhile, Ang and Steve made their way north, and in using Pete’s intel from their map session, found another area even bigger and more loaded with fish than Pete’s.
“For these Pike,” says Ang “I was using what’s referred to as a glide bait (see the previous image). By sweeping the rod, I can get an almost walk-the-dog action out of it. It’s on fire every time I use it. I took a chance on using one without a leader and was instantly reminded as to the sharpness of a Pike’s teeth. Unfortunately, for Steve, I only had one more… and he wasn’t about to get it!”
Ang and Steve proceeded to catch fish after fish, with that glide bait working on an “on fire” pace.
At the day’s end, the guys caught a slew of “eater” Walleye right off the outpost camp dock. They put together a gorgeous and very belly-filling fish fry on the open fire at the outpost camp. A perfect way to end the trip.
Lac Seul Ontario never disappoints. As we stated at the beginning of this article, this trip was all about the adventure, the camaraderie, and the fun. The fish, well that was simply the icing on the cake!
ABOUT TOM’S LANDING OUTPOST
- Guests: 6 to 10
- Flight Distance: 40 miles, 17 minutes
- Boating Distance: 42+ miles, time varies as per boat and horsepower size
- Fly-in/Out Days: Any
- Fish Species: Walleye, Northern Pike, Musky, Smallmouth Bass, Lake Trout
- Lake Size: 321,927 acres, massive
- Shoreline: 2,883 miles (4,640 km)
- Portage Lakes: No
- Other Camps on Lake: Yes, Lac Seul has numerous Lodges and Outposts. Most are located at the West end, far from the fly-in outposts.
Tom’s Landing Camp Amenities:
- Running Water: Yes
- Washroom: Outdoor
- Shower: Yes
- Fridge: Electric fridge and chest freezer
- Stove: Propane Stove
- Lights: Solar
- Electricity: Yes
- BBQ: Propane
- Heating: Wood Stove
- Deck: Yes, screened-in porch
- Radio or Satellite Phone: No
- Boats: 16′ Lund with swivel seats
- Motors: 20HP Mercury 4-stroke
- Other: Real Mattresses, Propane Fish Cooker, Screened Fish Cleaning Hut