Waterways Ontario
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Lake of the Woods
Adventures in the Wilderness

Come explore the true outdoors.


Several northern neighbours from the U.S. have contacted WaterWays Ontario about fishing in Lake-of-the-Woods.  Just the name of the lake evokes a primeval wilderness and stories about having to hide behind a tree to bait your hook.


Perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration but there is no doubt that Lake-of-the-Woods has some of the best trophy fishing in Ontario - for pickerel (aka walleye), northern pike, muskellunge, smallmouth bass and lake trout.  For a quick shore lunch, catch a creel full of panfish - perch and crappie.  You’ll find sauger here, too.  It looks like a small pickerel - they range up to about 400 grams - less than a pound - and they’re quite mottled with black, particularly the distal dorsal fin.


If you’re really into fishing seriously there are fishing derbies on these waters summer and winter with cash and merchandise prizes… as if fishing these wilderness waters weren’t enough!


When you look at Lake-of-the-Woods on a roadmap, what you see is the big open water, most of which is in the U.S. with some in Manitoba and some in Ontario, but the lake is much larger than the open water.   It’s the sixth-largest border lake - trumped only by the five Great Lakes.  It’s roughly 68 miles by 59 miles (109 by 95 kilometers).  Once you cross the border in Ontario, the lake is strewn with islands… thousands of them (In fact the lake has more than 14,500 islands in all and 65,000 miles of shoreline to explore – and fish).


In these sheltered waters, there are more shoals and drop-offs, weeds and structure of all kinds and that’s where fish hang out.  You can easily fish year ’round and there are many camps that’ll set out huts, and give you a delicious hot meal and a nice warm bed when you’re done for the day.


Of course it’s not all wilderness.  The region has some wonderful towns and cities to explore.

©   2018 WaterWays Ontario