Northern Pike are the freshwater sharks of the north with big Northerns being one of the most prestigious fishing trophies on Earth. People from all over the world come to Northwestern Ontario because they can freely explore the lakes and catch all the Northern Pike they want, which is something reserved for the super rich in Europe and Asia because all the lakes and rivers are privately owned and you have to join exclusive fishing clubs.
Wabigoon and Dinorwic are both shallow, weedy and possess the perfect environment for Northern Pike to prosper. Muskie are roaming hunters while Northern Pike are ambush predators. The big Pike like to hang around in the thick Musky Cabbage, off rocky points leading into bays or the narrows between islands and shoals. Wabigoon and Dinorwic have thousands of such spots and serious Pike hunters can work hundreds of hotspots without traveling great distances. This increases the amount of Pike being caught and the chances of catching a trophy. If you like to eat Northern Pike then you don't have to worry about catching smaller Pike. If you use smaller spinnerbaits or Dardevles and hit the weed lines in the back of the 1000s of bays available you will catch hoards of them. Northern Pike are very common in the 2 to 6-pound range. If you are looking to catch Pike for shore-lunch the 3 and 4-pounders are the best eating size as they are big enough to clean. If you need a lesson on removing the bones from Northerns, Terry is an expert as he's been doing this for over 40 years! Fresh Pike is great to eat, no bones about it!
Most people interested in Pike fishing come to our camp to get into the big trophies. Northern Pike in the 15 to 20-pound range are caught and released on a regular basis. If you are our guest for a week of fishing and you specifically target Northern Pike you should catch a couple in the 20 pound range. Once in a while guests catch giant Pike over 25 pounds but fish that big are rare. Guests who are targeting Muskie often catch big Pike and Pike hunters often hook into Muskie. You have 62 square miles of water with 236 miles of shoreline on the two best fishing lakes in Ontario to explore. Your chances of catching the Trophy Northern Pike of your dreams is outstanding. We have had 50" Northern Pike caught numerous times. Wabigoon and the 10 lakes in the chain, give anglers a great chance for a huge trophy. Who knows... your next cast may be the big one!
On still days when the water is clear pike-spoons, surface lures or even fly-fishing for Pike is a great way to catch them. On windy days when the water gets churned up and starts to look murky you should switch to lures that make sound such as rattlebaits or spinnerbaits with vibrex blades. The Pike will be hunting for vibrations and not on sight. In these conditions anything can hit your lure. On an average day you should be able to catch 50 Pike. When we say that we do not mean you are going to catch 50 fish. We mean 50 Pike. While Pike fishing you will also catch Walleyes, Smallmouth Bass, perch, crappie and Muskie. Wabigoon and Dinorwic are like bits-&-bites, it's a mixed bag and you never know what you are going to get. Every cast is a surprise.
Our outpost camp on Little Basket Lake gives you full access to fish the larger Basket Lake. Basket Lake is stuffed with fish that Northern Pike like to eat. Basket Lake has a diverse list of feeder-fish species, which are all on the Northern Pike's menu. Walleye, Perch, Burbot, Rock Bass, Shinners and Suckers are all in the lake and are fed on by both the Northern Pike and the Walleyes. The reason Basket Lake produces such massive size Northern Pike is because of the Whitefish. Whitefish are found in the lake by the millions and they are packed with protein and oils and their availability is the main ingredient for the production of giant Pike.
Northern Pike grow very slow compared to other fish but on lakes with Whitefish they grow much quicker. Basket Lake is also a typical crystal-clean Canadian Shield Lake. The lack of parasites means the Northern Pike can live 20 years longer than in southern lakes thus they can reach massive sizes. A 20 pound Northern Pike is around 20 years old so it is imperative that all trophy Pike are handled with care and released. In Basket Lake there have been Northern Pike caught-&-released that were well over 25 pounds. There is 76 miles of shoreline with many feeder streams coming into the lake and these are hotspots for Northerns.
Basket Lake is best known for its fantastic Walleye fishing. You will not catch high numbers of smaller Pike like you would on Dinorwic or Wabigoon but your chances of catching a Trophy Northern Pike between 20 and 25 pounds is fantastic.
As I was growing up, everyone used spoons for Pike. These days there is a never ending selection of crankbaits, swim baits and spinners. The Pike on Wabigoon and Dinorwic chain of lakes tend to stay shallow all year. You can find them along the shorelines and weeds. You will often hook into a nice northern pike when casting for walleye. Look for the little weed beds adjacent to rocks. They are an ambush fish and will hole up in the smallest weed beds often. Many fishermen head for big bays with huge weed beds. These areas will hold a few larger fish but mostly smaller ones. Remember to add a few spoons back into the mix and put a smile on your face!