Getting Back to Nature Definitely Has its Perks
Wilderness Air Escapes specializes in making your angler dreams come true. With crystal clear pristine water, stunning vistas with no signs of civilization, and only the call of loons to punctuate the silence, you’ll wile away the hours pulling in trophy fish that have never seen a lure.
With access to more than 25 untouched lakes, we can create your ultimate fishing fantasy. Choose from conservation limit or catch and release lakes and let us know what species gets your heart racing. We’ve got it all, including northern pike, muskie, smallmouth bass, trout, perch and walleye.
And if a day trip to paradise just isn’t enough, we’ll raise the stakes and drop you off for a once-in-a-lifetime extended stay. Our camping packages offer legendary fishing by day and an otherworldly experience at night. You’ll never forget sleeping under an infinite blanket of stars in Northwestern Ontario, where the silence is deafening.
This is my ninth trip through Wilderness Air Escapes – all have been excellent with great service and great fishing.
The Hoffmans ~ Minneapolis, Minnesota
More Fish Species Than You Can Shake Your Stick At
When world-class fishing surrounds you, there’s no need to keep secrets. Our Wilderness Air Escapes guides are excited to share their favourite spots and tips, honed over decades of experience. In the meantime, check out our species guides.
If there is a better place than this, I am not looking for it. Fabulous experience!
Jukkala/DeBauche Party ~ Wisconsin
Canada offers some of the best northern pike fishing in the world, thanks to our northern latitude. These aggressive fish are available year-round and are a great challenge to land. A battle with a northern pike will definitely be one to write home about!
These fish are voracious feeders and aren’t picky about bait. They’ll jump on your line for live or artificial bait, including chubs, shiners, and large streamer flies. We recommend spoons, bucktail spinners, crankbaits, buzzbaits and topwater lures for trolling and casting. When you’re pulling out your hook to land another legend, watch out for those razor-sharp teeth!
If northern pike is your game, we recommend our outposts at Pilot Lake, Sup Lake and O-Nee-Gum Lake. You could also fly-in to Wasa Lake, Solitary Lake, Portal Lake or Confusion Lake. Pike love the quiet vegetation of these lakes, which provide weedy bays and shallow waters for spring and summer fishing. When the pike move further into the lake to stay warm in autumn, we’ve got you covered with our deeper fishing holes.
There’s no better place on the planet for muskie fishing! Think you could handle a 65-pound muskie? Get ready to try, because that’s the Canadian record, which was pulled in right here in Northwestern Ontario in 1988.
We recommend our deluxe outpost cabin on Confusion Lake to try your hand at this fighter. Muskie, also known as muskellunge and jack, can be found here lurking in weed beds and along channel sides, and by drop-offs and sand bars. They are ambush predators and gobble up everything from perch to frogs.
If you’re looking for a story, the muskie is for you. They go after bait with a lot of action, so you’ll want to troll a little faster than you normally would, and keep your line moving! Your tackle should be stouter than that for walleye or bass. You’ll need a heavy-bait casting rod, substantial level-wind reel and large artificial lures such as plugs, bucktail spinners and spoons. Once you’re out on the water, you’ll need to be meticulous in handling your gear. Muskie are sensitive to human smell and gasoline, so consider washing your hands with sugar and adding fish scent to your bait.
If you’re looking for a trophy experience, smallmouth bass in Northwestern Ontario is a great place to start! The Canadian record, at 10 pounds, 8 ounces, was caught right here. We recommend our Campfire Lake, Onee-gum Lake and Crooked Lake outposts, which offers the shoreline rocks and points and clear deep water with little vegetation that “smallies” love. They prefer to hide out at rock ledges with sharp drop-offs.
On a light line, the smallmouth can provide a spectacular battle, often jumping repeatedly and diving down again into the depths. Keep in mind smallies tend to group together by size. If you find yourself within a smaller-sized group, you’ll rarely find a bigger smallmouth among them. Move on to a spot worth your while! You’re sure to find it here.
Pack rattletraps, cranks and jigs for smallies, and a marker buoy to stay with the school. Popular baits include crawfish, minnows, leeches and hellgrammites. Lower your live bait directly, as the more legal lines, the better. Smallies take awhile to warm up, but once one takes the bait, get ready for a feeding frenzy!
There’s just something about trout fishing, and at our fly-in outpost camp at Confusion Lake, it’s truly transcendent. Accessible only by plane, these exclusive cold waters, at 40 to 52 degrees Fahrenheit, are exactly the type favoured by lake trout. The Ontario record for trout is a whopping 63 pounds, so get out your barbells before you arrive!
Just after ice-out in spring, our guides will lead you to shallower waters of 15 feet or less. Medium-weight spinning gear will allow you to bottom-fish with dead ciscoes or to suspend minnows beneath a float. You can also cast or troll with white bucktail jigs, crankbaits or flashy spoons. In summer, lake trout go deep, often to depths of 60 feet. Vertical jigging with spoons or jigs tipped with minnows or cut bait will serve you well.
Lake trout are a thinking man’s game. It’s best to vary your speed between slow and medium when trolling, as it will capture the trout’s attention. Use natural colours such as green, black and blue on bright clear days. And when releasing your line, embrace your inner musician. Get a rhythm going to make things look more natural. A line letting out until it hits the bottom is too obvious for this fish!
If you’re looking for a quintessential Canadian fishing experience, look no further than our walleye outpost camps at Devlin Lake, Pilot Lake, Portal Lake and Wasa Lake. Our average walleye catch is about four pounds, though if that’s too small fry, we challenge you to join our trophy walleye anglers at Sup Lake or Confusion Lake! We’ve had more than a few.
Walleye fishing in Northwestern Ontario is known around the world, thanks to our cold Canadian climate. In fact, the glassy eyes of the walleye, also known as pickerel, allow it to see exceptionally well in darker, cooler waters. All the better to see your bait! They prefer twister tails, tube jigs and lindy rigs, as well as earthworms, leeches and crayfish. In spring when walleye are hungry after spawning, a lighter jig of 3/8 oz or smaller will haul them in. Summertime finds walleye in deeper waters, so use a 1/4 oz.
Walleye prefer darker conditions and try to avoid the light. You’ll enjoy better fishing on cloudy overcast days, and in the early morning and evening. And the best part about walleye fishing? An unforgettable fish fry on the shore, an open fire, and some butter, salt and pepper will take this expedition into the sublime.