Shallow Walleye Of Esnagi – Episode 413

The Algoma region of Ontario has had a huge influence on our Fish’n Canada field team, namely Pete and Angelo, because of its diversity in fishing waters and its abundance of fish, in particular, Walleye, Pike and Speckled Trout. At least one of these three popular species will tickle most ardent anglers fancy!

Not that long ago if someone were to say to Ang or Pete, “Let’s go fishing in Algoma,” they would have responded with something like, “Huh”? Because, honestly, in the past, they’ve had little to no experience there whatsoever.

Now when someone says, “Let’s go fishing in Algoma,” the response is always a resounding “Oh yeah!”


Ontario’s Algoma District is one of those unsung heroes of the fishing and hunting world. Most people think fishing in Ontario is about the ease of access to lakes, rivers and streams in the south, or the exotic fish-filled lakes of the extreme north. Well, there is an in-between and it’s loaded with fish-filled waters just waiting to be explored. And that’s exactly where this episode takes place.

The Algoma region in Ontario spans from the town of Spanish, along Lake Huron to Sault Ste Marie, then along Lake Superior to White River, up to Hearst and finally over to Elliot Lake with 25,000 square miles in between.

With thousands of lakes, rivers and streams and a population of only 115,000 people, the fishing pressure is very low!

On this particular trip, three very distinct areas on Esnagi Lake were fished, all close to the home base of Lodge 88.

That’s the beauty of fishing Esnagi: You have a vast area of lake to work with but you really don’t need to travel too far from home base. Of course, during a stay at Lodge 88 one should investigate the full length of the lake, if not for the great fishing then just to simply enjoy the unmatched scenery!


The first spot our boys decided to visit was a shallow break at the front of a big back bay. The second spot was a small rock-lined bay inside a long point. And the third and final spot was a double break very close to the lodge.

Angelo says, “When you’re fishing early season Walleye on Esnagi or any other lake in Algoma, remember to check the shallows. Normally you would associate these areas with Pike, but there are always populations of aggressive Walleye in these lakes that feed in the shallows as well. By throwing either a jig and plastic or live bait, you’ll sooner or later find ultra shallow Walleye in a very aggressive feeding mode.”


The second location they fished was very different from the first. It consisted of a huge rock point jutting into deep water. The actual point didn’t hold many fish, but just inside the point was a small protected bay which was loaded with both Walleye and Pike—but by fishing without a steel or fluorocarbon heavy leader like the boys did in this show, you’re taking a chance! That said, they feel that ultimately more strikes will be generated without the heavy duty leaders. This bay produced some very decent Walleye. Angelo also caught a nice Northern, although the boys lost about two dozen jigs to the Pike gods!


The final fishing Hotspot of the shoot was Pete and Ang’s regular drifting grounds right in view of Lodge 88. Day in and day out, this spot has produced Fish’n Canada’s best numbers and biggest Esnagi Walleye to date. It’s a very small area to fish and no one really knows why it produces so well; it’s just one of those bonus fishing areas. Pete likes drifting a jig and minnow combo while Ang prefers a live minnow or a leech on a drop shot rig—that’s right, the rig that is associated with Bass fishing.

Angelo says, “It only works for Bass? Really?”

With Ang on the rig and Pete on the jig, “We’ve got almost everything covered in a single drift,” says Pete.


With a little time to spare between catching tons of Walleye, Lodge 88 decided to put on a mega shore lunch for the Fish’n Canada crew and the guests of the Kaeden Brown Foundation (who Fish’n Canada teamed up with for the second time at this destination). A shore lunch is always a highlight when fishing in Northern Ontario. And since the fishing is so good here, getting enough fish for the pan is no problem. Ever since the KBF has started getting together for their annual fishing excursions, they have always put on a Big Fish contest and this trip was no exception. Since the boys went for big fish overall, a Northern Pike caught by Al Grossman took home the bacon!


“One of the absolute best perks to our job here at Fish’n Canada is meeting all kinds of anglers,” says Pete. “People that love the sport of fishing. I had the opportunity to take out the father and son team of Wayne (owner of Carstar London East and West) and Mike Minogue who are a big reason why the Kaeden Brown Foundation is so successful.”

Pete jumped at the opportunity to take the boys fishing. “I took them to an area that I have never fished before but heard there were some big Northerns there,” says Pete. “Then I had them tie on some five-inch jerkbaits to get a shot at both Pike and Walleye.”

After hitting a high bluff wall at a river mouth with only mediocre success, I decided to move the guys into a gorgeous calm back bay and the boys—well, mostly Mikey—started pounding quality Walleye.

There’s nothing better than having aggressive shallow Walleye smash jerkbaits,” says Pete. “Eventually both Wayne and Mike caught more than their share of these yellow thrashers!”

All in all, Esnagi Lake and Lodge 88 produced another top quality episode for the Fish’n Canada Team.



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