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Got back from 5 days of fishing and wanted to give a review of the lake and resort. Also give some tips if they might be helpful.

The Good:
The accomodations are very nice. Updated log cabins with comfortable wood furniture. Ceiling fans in every room. Full kitchen with coffee maker and coffee. Fire pits with lots of wood supplied. Water pressure was all you could handle with a never ending supply of hot water for showers.
Staff was very friendly and accommodating. They would do almost anything you asked but you definitely had to ask(more on that later) .
Boats were in very good condition. Have a choice of old wooden boats or new lund ssv. Both have 20 hp 4 stroke Yamaha engines pushing the boat at approx. 19 mph max. They do have lunds fury's with 25 hp 4 strokes for $25Can/day. I would say the upgrade is worth the money if they are available. Rental depth finders are available and absolutely necessary to fish effectively.
Average walleye size is impressive. We caught 20 or so walleye over 20 inches. Largest was 25. Heard of several other 26 and 27 caught during the week.
As most areas in Northern Ontario the scenery and wildlife is awesome.
Taking the train was a first for me and is definitely the way to go. We heard and saw restrictions on weight and number of bags,etc allowed. The reality was they didn't care. Saw people loading 10 cases of water, 5 cases of beer, 200 quart yeti, plus all their regular gear in monstrous tubs without the bat of an eye. Word was sometimes they care and sometimes they don't depending on crew. Regardless it would have been nice to know that most of the time it doesn't matter.

The OK:
Fishing overall was average or below avg. I'm guessing summer temps and Hex hatch did not help but still I was hoping for better numbers. We averaged 15 walleye and 5 pike per day/boat. Talking to other parties there we did better than most. We ran bottom bouncers and harnesses every day which produced 90% of the fish. We tried other methods but kept going back to the harnesses. Pike size was fun but not impressive with 30 inches being our largest fish. The harnesses and trolling bag saved our trip.

Food was OK. Pretty good but nothing to sit back and say wow about. I would have preferred a buffet style vs the table service but that's minor. Seconds were available on request but sometimes took awhile. Not an issue with dinner but breakfast when you wanted to get going.
Meal times were 7:30AM and 6PM. Would have really enjoyed an earlier and later option as it is light from 530 til 10pm. Again would not be an issue other than one of the bads.
Shore lunch supplies were sporadic. Sometimes a bunch of batter, sometimes not. Sometimes a spatula, sometimes not. Always had spuds, an onion, and a can of beans. Condiments were in packets. One day paper towel, one day not. Bag lunch was a sandwich, apple, 3 cookies and a bottle of water.

The Bad:
Esnagi is a long lake. 26 miles end to end including the shoreline, 21miles as a straight shot. Lodge 88 is at the very south point. All of the good fishing was in the top half of the lake and the best fishing was on the North end of the Lake. This meant at best more than 2 hrs/day were taken up by travel time. If the weather was windy it was longer. So take into account breakfast time you might not start fishing until 930. Shore lunch takes 2 hours. And depending on weather you start back at 430. That's 5 hours of fishing time. Again no big deal if you can go back out after dinner but it's a min 30 minutes one way to OK fishing. I asked when fishing was good in the southern end and was told in Sept.

I was hoping somebody would have sat us down and went over the how to fish the lake when we first got there but it was not offered at all. I'm guessing they were trying to push the guide service which to me is total BS. If I'm a rookie and don't know how to fish or want someone to cook me lunch then by all means I'll hire a guide. But if I know how to fish and just want some spots and an idea of what they're biting on I would think the crew would want to help us and tell us everything they could. If I'm catching fish I'm happy and want to come back. Seems pretty simple. On the second day I told the guide I didn't need him to take us out but is there a way I can give you a few bucks to point out some spots on a map and maybe your hot rigs. He was happy to help but kept a few spots back which I happened to mention and then he said oh yeah that's a really good walleye spot. In the end we kept track of where we would see the guides and fish those spots when they were available or find spots which looked similar. The manager commented on a few spots but was very vague also. This practice really confused me

No potable water in the cabins. You had pitchers of water at your table for meals otherwise you had to buy water. Same with soft drinks. I would have expected those to be offered at least with dinner. Wish I would have known so we could have brought cases of water with us instead of paying $24 for one. Again in the scheme of things pretty minor but the vibe I got was they hide the water fact so you have to buy it from them which rubs me the wrong way.

The day we were leaving the chef mentioned that if we would have brought some of our catch back to the lodge they would cook it up as appetizers for dinner. Why mention that on the day we're leaving??? We saw her twice everyday before that.

Highly promoted having wifi but the signal was pretty weak unless you were the only one using it. Downloading or uploading pictures could only be done early before breakfast.

Summary:
Nice place for someone who is not hardcore but wants to experience the Canadian fishing in relative comfort. Dock crew was puzzled the first few days when we asked for shore lunch kits but didn't have a guide. Like they'd never seen anybody do they're own shore lunch. I would possibly go back in Sept for closer fishing and I would do the housekeeping plan to be responsible for our own meals.

Feel free to ask any questions on something I may have forgot.
 

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I've been going to Esnagi Lake lodge, the one mid way up the lake for several years. Haven't run in to any of the problems you mentioned. The dock boys/guides are always willing to help you out on where to go and what has been working, all you have to do is ask. We have always brought our food/water in so I can't comment on the lodges meals. Our shore lunch kits are always stocked well. We stay on the north half of the lake and 40-50 pike per day is average I'd say. Some evenings have been absolutely on fire catching 12-15 or more pike in one bay is has happened. I'm not a walleye guy but most years they're not difficult to catch jigging or trolling deep divers through the normal jigging spots. This year was tough but the weather shut them down. 90 degrees and no clouds for 4 days. Did catch a 30 and 24 inch though. Several pike over 30 were caught and 35 inch was the biggest. My group catches most of their pike in the bays casting to rocky shores where the depth drops off to 12-15 feet throwing big spoons, mepps, johnson silver, etc. Color of lure changes by the day but when you find what works it seems to turn the fish on. Big boulders or sunken trees help. We usually go around the 4th of july but went 2 weeks early this year. Time of year does play a roll but we have always caught a lot of fish. You talk of trolling and while it does catch fish we don't do it often because throwing lures up into bays is much more effective. We attack the lake like where are bass fishing back home. Constantly on the move and always casting. We generally fish from 8am-10pm every day but have our fair share of breaks to keep from wearing yourself out.

I have never heard anything bad about lodge 88 other than they are a bit more expensive than what we pay. They do have nicer boats and cabins but esnagi lodge accommodations are more than sufficient.
 

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To add to hubb, we bring enough beer that you don't really notice the water haha, i'dk about drinking it but we made coffee with it everyday and no issues. I think unless you want the relaxing part of it, you are better off bringing some easy breakfast stuff, cooking yourself a nice shore lunch, and having some easy dinners planned. We did the meal plan first year I went to Esnagi lodge and food was great, but you do waste a lot of time revolving around set times. We go to fish hard and are still on the water pushing 10 pm. I tried harness last yr and while I caught some fish, was much more effective pitching jigs with minnows. Lots of points and rock drop offs, and if you catch a few fish in first 15 fish it a Lil while, if not move on. I'd say we targeted walleye a Lil more and had no problem getting 30/day. Again depends on the time of year and weather. That boat ride from the south end is a haul to the north end I'd imagine.
 

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Got back from 5 days of fishing and wanted to give a review of the lake and resort. Also give some tips if they might be helpful.

The Good:
The accomodations are very nice. Updated log cabins with comfortable wood furniture. Ceiling fans in every room. Full kitchen with coffee maker and coffee. Fire pits with lots of wood supplied. Water pressure was all you could handle with a never ending supply of hot water for showers.
Staff was very friendly and accommodating. They would do almost anything you asked but you definitely had to ask(more on that later) .
Boats were in very good condition. Have a choice of old wooden boats or new lund ssv. Both have 20 hp 4 stroke Yamaha engines pushing the boat at approx. 19 mph max. They do have lunds fury's with 25 hp 4 strokes for $25Can/day. I would say the upgrade is worth the money if they are available. Rental depth finders are available and absolutely necessary to fish effectively.
Average walleye size is impressive. We caught 20 or so walleye over 20 inches. Largest was 25. Heard of several other 26 and 27 caught during the week.
As most areas in Northern Ontario the scenery and wildlife is awesome.
Taking the train was a first for me and is definitely the way to go. We heard and saw restrictions on weight and number of bags,etc allowed. The reality was they didn't care. Saw people loading 10 cases of water, 5 cases of beer, 200 quart yeti, plus all their regular gear in monstrous tubs without the bat of an eye. Word was sometimes they care and sometimes they don't depending on crew. Regardless it would have been nice to know that most of the time it doesn't matter.

The OK:
Fishing overall was average or below avg. I'm guessing summer temps and Hex hatch did not help but still I was hoping for better numbers. We averaged 15 walleye and 5 pike per day/boat. Talking to other parties there we did better than most. We ran bottom bouncers and harnesses every day which produced 90% of the fish. We tried other methods but kept going back to the harnesses. Pike size was fun but not impressive with 30 inches being our largest fish. The harnesses and trolling bag saved our trip.

Food was OK. Pretty good but nothing to sit back and say wow about. I would have preferred a buffet style vs the table service but that's minor. Seconds were available on request but sometimes took awhile. Not an issue with dinner but breakfast when you wanted to get going.
Meal times were 7:30AM and 6PM. Would have really enjoyed an earlier and later option as it is light from 530 til 10pm. Again would not be an issue other than one of the bads.
Shore lunch supplies were sporadic. Sometimes a bunch of batter, sometimes not. Sometimes a spatula, sometimes not. Always had spuds, an onion, and a can of beans. Condiments were in packets. One day paper towel, one day not. Bag lunch was a sandwich, apple, 3 cookies and a bottle of water.

The Bad:
Esnagi is a long lake. 26 miles end to end including the shoreline, 21miles as a straight shot. Lodge 88 is at the very south point. All of the good fishing was in the top half of the lake and the best fishing was on the North end of the Lake. This meant at best more than 2 hrs/day were taken up by travel time. If the weather was windy it was longer. So take into account breakfast time you might not start fishing until 930. Shore lunch takes 2 hours. And depending on weather you start back at 430. That's 5 hours of fishing time. Again no big deal if you can go back out after dinner but it's a min 30 minutes one way to OK fishing. I asked when fishing was good in the southern end and was told in Sept.

I was hoping somebody would have sat us down and went over the how to fish the lake when we first got there but it was not offered at all. I'm guessing they were trying to push the guide service which to me is total BS. If I'm a rookie and don't know how to fish or want someone to cook me lunch then by all means I'll hire a guide. But if I know how to fish and just want some spots and an idea of what they're biting on I would think the crew would want to help us and tell us everything they could. If I'm catching fish I'm happy and want to come back. Seems pretty simple. On the second day I told the guide I didn't need him to take us out but is there a way I can give you a few bucks to point out some spots on a map and maybe your hot rigs. He was happy to help but kept a few spots back which I happened to mention and then he said oh yeah that's a really good walleye spot. In the end we kept track of where we would see the guides and fish those spots when they were available or find spots which looked similar. The manager commented on a few spots but was very vague also. This practice really confused me

No potable water in the cabins. You had pitchers of water at your table for meals otherwise you had to buy water. Same with soft drinks. I would have expected those to be offered at least with dinner. Wish I would have known so we could have brought cases of water with us instead of paying $24 for one. Again in the scheme of things pretty minor but the vibe I got was they hide the water fact so you have to buy it from them which rubs me the wrong way.

The day we were leaving the chef mentioned that if we would have brought some of our catch back to the lodge they would cook it up as appetizers for dinner. Why mention that on the day we're leaving??? We saw her twice everyday before that.

Highly promoted having wifi but the signal was pretty weak unless you were the only one using it. Downloading or uploading pictures could only be done early before breakfast.

Summary:
Nice place for someone who is not hardcore but wants to experience the Canadian fishing in relative comfort. Dock crew was puzzled the first few days when we asked for shore lunch kits but didn't have a guide. Like they'd never seen anybody do they're own shore lunch. I would possibly go back in Sept for closer fishing and I would do the housekeeping plan to be responsible for our own meals.

Feel free to ask any questions on something I may have forgot.
 

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It sounds as if the fishing for your wilderness location is poor. I was on 2 fly-ins this year to Smoothrock Lke in the Wabikimi National Park out of Armstrong Canada. There were four of us the 1st trip including 2 ladies and three the second trip. We caught four Northerns from 38-40 inches two of which were probably 20 lbs each. The ladies caught two of the big Northerns. We also had many Northerns over 30 inches and could catch smaller pike anytime in numbers. Both trips produced approximately a thousand walleyes each with probably 30 or more over 20 inches each trip. Our biggest walleye was 25 inches and several at 23 inches. We usually fish 3-4 hours in the morning and a couple of hours before dark. This was only an average year as We have never had a day on this lake without outstanding fishing unless the weather kept us in the cabin. The facilities are outstanding with indoor toilets and showers. There is no American plan so you must cook. 16 FOOT LUND boats and 20hp 4 stroke motors. The area is huge and could not be fished in just one year. If you want to fish this lake you must book it now for next year as it is full for this year and will be again in the future. The outfitter is Thunderhook. You owe it to yourself for this type of quality.
 

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The wife and I just got back from our first ever fly in trip to Attwood Lake Central using Mattice Lake Outfitters which is next door to Thunder Hook outfitters in Armstrong Station Ontario. Mattice definitely runs a first class operation that we would certainly use again. Attwood lake is a beautiful 12 mile long lake that is quite wide at its SW end and maybe a 1/2 mile wide heading NW. The lake has many points bays and islands making for great exploring will trolling for pike and walleye. The dark tea stained water and mid lake humps and occasional very large rock makes having a sonar a must have. Our central location on the lake I feel gave us quick access to the better fishing areas of the lake even on the windier days. Originally we planned for two other couples to accompany us but they didn't have the same enthusiasm (there loss) so the wife and I went alone. The cabin had 2 bedrooms w/ 2 dbl and 4 single beds so accomendations would have been cozy to say the least with 3 couples. Everything worked perfectly except for the first cold blooded boat we dragged off shore, not a big deal since there were 4 more boats to choose. I was expecting 4 strokes but the 2nd15hp 2stroke Merc ran fine pushing the 14ft lunds along at 15-18mph. we had the full range of weather except for snow and 1 day we had the full range hourly. The fish didn't care as we caught walleye on just about every point, hump or drop off. The narrows just north of camp was extremely good in 17'- 24'. We consistently caught 40-50 eyes and pike per hour vertical jigging anything tipped with a piece of crawler or leech. Most Wallys were in the 3-6lb range w/ many fat fighters up to 7lbs. Pike up to 36" were mixed in including the nice one I caught on a walleye I was reeling in. We did quite a bit of trolling w/ xtra large body baits along the shoreline when we tired of the monotony of non-stop walleye ( I know "rough"). The largest being 42". We landed multiple 36"-40"fish and 24"-27" were a nuisance so we ate a half dozen of those. In our opinion the pike were the better eating fish (once I figured out how to debone them). The firm meat pan fried in Fry Magic was unmatched. We agreed it tasted like chicken tenders. Don't get me wrong, the walleye was superb but the firm texture of the pike and very mild taste put it over the top. Add to that the three bears that showed up in camp the first night knocking over a 100lb propane tank. Scared the bejesus out of the wife, I was out like a light but she dragged out of bed before the three young bears disappeared . Never seen them again but when the mid week flight came in, he told us they had to dispatch a problem male that wouldn't let the previous occupants out of the cabin. It definitely added to the reality of our Ontario experience! The last evening we had 3 bald eagles and a brown one perched in the same tree right above our cabin. Our trip was nothing short of awesome. It was a long drive from the Lansing area but worth every mile. We'd do it again in a heartbeat! Fishing in Michigan is good but this place was off the hook!!!

Tight lines, Paul
 

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The wife and I just got back from our first ever fly in trip to Attwood Lake Central using Mattice Lake Outfitters which is next door to Thunder Hook outfitters in Armstrong Station Ontario. Mattice definitely runs a first class operation that we would certainly use again. Attwood lake is a beautiful 12 mile long lake that is quite wide at its SW end and maybe a 1/2 mile wide heading NW. The lake has many points bays and islands making for great exploring will trolling for pike and walleye. The dark tea stained water and mid lake humps and occasional very large rock makes having a sonar a must have. Our central location on the lake I feel gave us quick access to the better fishing areas of the lake even on the windier days. Originally we planned for two other couples to accompany us but they didn't have the same enthusiasm (there loss) so the wife and I went alone. The cabin had 2 bedrooms w/ 2 dbl and 4 single beds so accomendations would have been cozy to say the least with 3 couples. Everything worked perfectly except for the first cold blooded boat we dragged off shore, not a big deal since there were 4 more boats to choose. I was expecting 4 strokes but the 2nd15hp 2stroke Merc ran fine pushing the 14ft lunds along at 15-18mph. we had the full range of weather except for snow and 1 day we had the full range hourly. The fish didn't care as we caught walleye on just about every point, hump or drop off. The narrows just north of camp was extremely good in 17'- 24'. We consistently caught 40-50 eyes and pike per hour vertical jigging anything tipped with a piece of crawler or leech. Most Wallys were in the 3-6lb range w/ many fat fighters up to 7lbs. Pike up to 36" were mixed in including the nice one I caught on a walleye I was reeling in. We did quite a bit of trolling w/ xtra large body baits along the shoreline when we tired of the monotony of non-stop walleye ( I know "rough"). The largest being 42". We landed multiple 36"-40"fish and 24"-27" were a nuisance so we ate a half dozen of those. In our opinion the pike were the better eating fish (once I figured out how to debone them). The firm meat pan fried in Fry Magic was unmatched. We agreed it tasted like chicken tenders. Don't get me wrong, the walleye was superb but the firm texture of the pike and very mild taste put it over the top. Add to that the three bears that showed up in camp the first night knocking over a 100lb propane tank. Scared the bejesus out of the wife, I was out like a light but she dragged out of bed before the three young bears disappeared . Never seen them again but when the mid week flight came in, he told us they had to dispatch a problem male that wouldn't let the previous occupants out of the cabin. It definitely added to the reality of our Ontario experience! The last evening we had 3 bald eagles and a brown one perched in the same tree right above our cabin. Our trip was nothing short of awesome. It was a long drive from the Lansing area but worth every mile. We'd do it again in a heartbeat! Fishing in Michigan is good but this place was off the hook!!!

Tight lines, Paul
Mattice outfitters is next door a stones throw from Thunderhook who flys in to Smoothrock. Mattice fishing I know is fabulous on many lakes in that area. The fishing at either Smoothrock or Attwood is tops. Smoothrock would likely be more comfortable for wives with bedding and nicer facilities. Some cabins have airconditioning and WIFI. There are more families there and kids swim in the summer. It is so popular that it is completely booked for this year Don't get me wrong I am planning someday to fly-in with Mattice to Whitewater lake famous for big Northerns but my wife likes the comfort of Smoothrock. Also your fishfinders can connect directly to the boat batteries and the 20hp fourstrokes do not smoke when you backtroll. Tgafish could not go wrong at either lake
 

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Mattice outfitters is next door a stones throw from Thunderhook who flys in to Smoothrock. Mattice fishing I know is fabulous on many lakes in that area. The fishing at either Smoothrock or Attwood is tops. Smoothrock would likely be more comfortable for wives with bedding and nicer facilities. Some cabins have airconditioning and WIFI. There are more families there and kids swim in the summer. It is so popular that it is completely booked for this year Don't get me wrong I am planning someday to fly-in with Mattice to Whitewater lake famous for big Northerns but my wife likes the comfort of Smoothrock. Also your fishfinders can connect directly to the boat batteries and the 20hp fourstrokes do not smoke when you backtroll. Tgafish could not go wrong at either lake
Mattice outfitters is next door a stones throw from Thunderhook who flys in to Smoothrock. Mattice fishing I know is fabulous on many lakes in that area. The fishing at either Smoothrock or Attwood is tops. Smoothrock would likely be more comfortable for wives with bedding and nicer facilities. Some cabins have airconditioning and WIFI. There are more families there and kids swim in the summer. It is so popular that it is completely booked for this year Don't get me wrong I am planning someday to fly-in with Mattice to Whitewater lake famous for big Northerns but my wife likes the comfort of Smoothrock. Also your fishfinders can connect directly to the boat batteries and the 20hp fourstrokes do not smoke when you backtroll. Tgafish could not go wrong at either lake
Mattice outfitters is next door a stones throw from Thunderhook who flys in to Smoothrock. Mattice fishing I know is fabulous on many lakes in that area. The fishing at either Smoothrock or Attwood is tops. Smoothrock would likely be more comfortable for wives with bedding and nicer facilities. Some cabins have airconditioning and WIFI. There are more families there and kids swim in the summer. It is so popular that it is completely booked for this year Don't get me wrong I am planning someday to fly-in with Mattice to Whitewater lake famous for big Northerns but my wife likes the comfort of Smoothrock. Also your fishfinders can connect directly to the boat batteries and the 20hp fourstrokes do not smoke when you backtroll. Tgafish could not go wrong at either lake
Gringo
We stayed in the cabin at Mattice's base camp overlooking Thunderhooks basecamp and I walked over and spoke with two of their pilots, a couple great guys. They were actually friendlier than most at Mattice. They said Don must have been having a bad day (I can only imagine with type of operation) and I could tell both companies had a great repore with each other. Yes the cabin was Spartan without a flush toilet but we knew that going in. We cosidered Whitewater Lake with the multiple cabins and flush toilets but opted for the remote outpost feel. I can say I did miss my boat and Yamaha 4 stroke I left for a week in their parking lot but we got a lot of use out of it the week prior. We spent a wonderful week at Wild Goose Lake Campground by Geraldton and met a fantastic couple that were up from Lake Simcoe. We're already planning to stay with them next winter for some (hopefully) world class perch fishing thru the ice. All and all a great trip and either outfitter would be a top shelf choice. I glad you guys had a great trip also.
Thanks for sharing your adventure.

Paul
 

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I've been going to Esnagi Lake lodge, the one mid way up the lake for several years. Haven't run in to any of the problems you mentioned. The dock boys/guides are always willing to help you out on where to go and what has been working, all you have to do is ask. We have always brought our food/water in so I can't comment on the lodges meals. Our shore lunch kits are always stocked well. We stay on the north half of the lake and 40-50 pike per day is average I'd say. Some evenings have been absolutely on fire catching 12-15 or more pike in one bay is has happened. I'm not a walleye guy but most years they're not difficult to catch jigging or trolling deep divers through the normal jigging spots. This year was tough but the weather shut them down. 90 degrees and no clouds for 4 days. Did catch a 30 and 24 inch though. Several pike over 30 were caught and 35 inch was the biggest. My group catches most of their pike in the bays casting to rocky shores where the depth drops off to 12-15 feet throwing big spoons, mepps, johnson silver, etc. Color of lure changes by the day but when you find what works it seems to turn the fish on. Big boulders or sunken trees help. We usually go around the 4th of july but went 2 weeks early this year. Time of year does play a roll but we have always caught a lot of fish. You talk of trolling and while it does catch fish we don't do it often because throwing lures up into bays is much more effective. We attack the lake like where are bass fishing back home. Constantly on the move and always casting. We generally fish from 8am-10pm every day but have our fair share of breaks to keep from wearing yourself out.

I have never heard anything bad about lodge 88 other than they are a bit more expensive than what we pay. They do have nicer boats and cabins but esnagi lodge accommodations are more than sufficient.
Hubbhunter Can you give me some additional information on your trip to Esnagi? I'm looking to take my teenage kids this summer and am debating between there and Lockisland which is on Wabatongushi lake. Thanks
 

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Hubbhunter Can you give me some additional information on your trip to Esnagi? I'm looking to take my teenage kids this summer and am debating between there and Lockisland which is on Wabatongushi lake. Thanks
I've never heard of Wabatongushi lake but Esnagi would be great for teenagers. Off the grid so to speak so they can shut their phones off at the international bridge and come back to the real world for a few days. Taking the train in is a cool experience but so is taking a float plane, that's just up to you. Taking the train allows you to bring more gear because there isn't a weight restriction as with the planes. The lake is big enough that you wont get to all of it and there are some pretty cool areas to explore and catching fish has never been a problem so your teens shouldn't get bored.

If you have any specific questions let me know.
 

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I've never heard of Wabatongushi lake but Esnagi would be great for teenagers. Off the grid so to speak so they can shut their phones off at the international bridge and come back to the real world for a few days. Taking the train in is a cool experience but so is taking a float plane, that's just up to you. Taking the train allows you to bring more gear because there isn't a weight restriction as with the planes. The lake is big enough that you wont get to all of it and there are some pretty cool areas to explore and catching fish has never been a problem so your teens shouldn't get bored.

If you have any specific questions let me know.
What Time of year did you go? We are looking at Aug. Now you stayed it looks like at Lodge Esnagi? Any suggestions or tips on Lodges in that area? What were their cabins like? I don't see any inside photos? I see there are new owners. Thanks
 

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What Time of year did you go? We are looking at Aug. Now you stayed it looks like at Lodge Esnagi? Any suggestions or tips on Lodges in that area? What were their cabins like? I don't see any inside photos? I see there are new owners. Thanks
I've spoken to the new owner, Paul over the phone and through email regarding this years trip. He sounds like a down to earth, good guy.
I've gone around the 4th of July a few times and once the mid of june. The mid of june trip happened to be the hottest, reaching 90 degrees and the 4th of July trips have dipped into the 40's and rain. Make sure you bring enough cloths for both and buy the best rain gear you can afford.

The cabins are not luxury but very comfortable. Over the years I've stayed in a few different cabins and they all have hot water showers, fridge, gas stove and heat. We have had to use the heater in July on more than one trip. The rooms are spacious enough to keep your gear in and the main room is big enough for all the hang out in. I've never stayed at the other two lodges on the lake, Mar Mac and Lodge 88 but have talked to others who have and I don't think you could go wrong with any of them.

Paul said that he has upgraded the motors to 25hp which will be nice but in the past we've ran 15hp and 20hp and they did the job. Keep in mind the lake is 27 miles from one end to the other and a few miles wide in some areas and when the weather picks up it can get a little sketchy but there are many, many secluded bays you can pull into to get out of the weather.

The pike fishing has always been hot average 30 inches but we have always had a few reach the upper 30's. Walleye fishing is also great and usually catch a few mid 20 inchers.
 

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I've spoken to the new owner, Paul over the phone and through email regarding this years trip. He sounds like a down to earth, good guy.
I've gone around the 4th of July a few times and once the mid of june. The mid of june trip happened to be the hottest, reaching 90 degrees and the 4th of July trips have dipped into the 40's and rain. Make sure you bring enough cloths for both and buy the best rain gear you can afford.

The cabins are not luxury but very comfortable. Over the years I've stayed in a few different cabins and they all have hot water showers, fridge, gas stove and heat. We have had to use the heater in July on more than one trip. The rooms are spacious enough to keep your gear in and the main room is big enough for all the hang out in. I've never stayed at the other two lodges on the lake, Mar Mac and Lodge 88 but have talked to others who have and I don't think you could go wrong with any of them.

Paul said that he has upgraded the motors to 25hp which will be nice but in the past we've ran 15hp and 20hp and they did the job. Keep in mind the lake is 27 miles from one end to the other and a few miles wide in some areas and when the weather picks up it can get a little sketchy but there are many, many secluded bays you can pull into to get out of the weather.

The pike fishing has always been hot average 30 inches but we have always had a few reach the upper 30's. Walleye fishing is also great and Were there certian color, sizes jigs or harnesses that you used?
 

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Were there certain colors or size blades or jigs that worked best. I've seen a lot of ppl using bottom bouncers. Or a style of lure for pike? Thanks Plus you are going before us so you may be able to give us updated info. We are going Aug 11th
 

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Were there certain colors or size blades or jigs that worked best. I've seen a lot of ppl using bottom bouncers. Or a style of lure for pike? Thanks Plus you are going before us so you may be able to give us updated info. We are going Aug 11th
Big spoons, 5 of diamonds, etc. It's best to bring a lot of different colors and keep trying until you find one that works. Last year I ran neon yellow spoon with dots for 3 days and caught so many pike the spoon lost most of it's paint. Some years one color will be hot and the next it's another. Mepps #5 and again have different colors to try. Chartreuse mepps usually hit. White and neon yellow seem to be pretty solid for jigging. Some guys have luck with a minnows or leeches but I like a white, green, neon worm tail on my jig. Last year the walleye hit pretty well on deep dive raps and I pulled a 30 inch with bronze color trolling through a go to jigging spot that runs 15-20 ft deep and it's not uncommon to hook up with pike doing that. When jigging I like to drift with the wind while dragging a jig along the bottom. Yes snagging is an issue and some spots you can't drift and drag but I've caught most of my 20+ inch walleye doing that. Sometimes you'll have the good eater size suspended but the bigger eyes are hanging out on the bottom.

I'll report back on how we did.
 

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Were there certain colors or size blades or jigs that worked best. I've seen a lot of ppl using bottom bouncers. Or a style of lure for pike? Thanks Plus you are going before us so you may be able to give us updated info. We are going Aug 11th
I've stayed at marmac on esnagi. We killed large walleye on jigs with real leeches attached. The pike killer was a Williams wobler hammered finish 1/2 silver and 1/2 gold. My other pike killer was a johnsons silver minnow with a red uncle Joshes trailer ribbon. Have fun!!!!
 

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It sounds as if the fishing for your wilderness location is poor. I was on 2 fly-ins this year to Smoothrock Lke in the Wabikimi National Park out of Armstrong Canada. There were four of us the 1st trip including 2 ladies and three the second trip. We caught four Northerns from 38-40 inches two of which were probably 20 lbs each. The ladies caught two of the big Northerns. We also had many Northerns over 30 inches and could catch smaller pike anytime in numbers. Both trips produced approximately a thousand walleyes each with probably 30 or more over 20 inches each trip. Our biggest walleye was 25 inches and several at 23 inches. We usually fish 3-4 hours in the morning and a couple of hours before dark. This was only an average year as We have never had a day on this lake without outstanding fishing unless the weather kept us in the cabin. The facilities are outstanding with indoor toilets and showers. There is no American plan so you must cook. 16 FOOT LUND boats and 20hp 4 stroke motors. The area is huge and could not be fished in just one year. If you want to fish this lake you must book it now for next year as it is full for this year and will be again in the future. The outfitter is Thunderhook. You owe it to yourself for this type of quality.

So that's 1000 Walleyes each, most of which are under 20 inches?

Not bad! But we can't fly in, too much gear
 
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