Lake of the Woods has over 100 Lodges and Resorts.
Shoal Lake has one. Us!
Shoal Lake is a large clear island studded Lake extending from Lake of the Woods via Ash Rapids and Labryth Bay to the North West. It is approximately 18 miles in a North/South direction by 25 miles in an East/West direction. The Southwest portion is open water but the rest of the lake is studded with hundreds of islands and even more shoals (it’s called Shoal Lake for a reason). Well protected it offers many, many miles of shoreline and countless offshore structure in its cool clear waters. We are ideally located on Cedar Island in the middle portion of the lake. To the North we have Bag Bay and Cash Bay. To the West we have Indian Rice and Snowshoe Bays. To the East is Helldiver and Labyrinth Bay. South we have a maze of islands to explore.
Fish in every direction! Other than fishing we offer a wilderness experience. Deer, moose, bears, otters, beavers, mink and other wildlife call the mainland and islands home. We have a large eagle population having bald and golden eagles resting on islands including a nest on our islands East end. Ospreys, white pelicans, loons, gulls and terns call the waters home. Unspoiled waters and wilderness make the area a spectacular one. Appreciate it, enjoy it and help us keep it this way.
Shoal Lake offers what others can only imagine. Our specialty is Northern Pike and Small and Largemouth Bass fishing. Northern Pike fishing is simply fabulous both in number and size. Large weed beds, rockpiles and shoreline teeming with baitfish hold Northern’s. Casting over and around these and trolling with spinnerbaits or rapalas (check our lure recommendation page) not only yield large numbers of fat healthy pike but large individual fish. Shoal Lake was previously rated by Ontario out of Doors as the #1 drive to pike lake in Ontario. Smallmouth Bass is considered second to none in Shoal Lake. It is rated by others to be possibly the best Smallmouth Bass Lake in Northwestern Ontario. The many reefs, shoals and rocky shorelines are littered with football sized smallies waiting to do battle.
Ontario Out of Doors Magazine rated
Shoal Lake as the number 1 drive to northern pike lake in Ontario.
Shoal Lake has 75,000 acres of great Northern Pike habitat. Extensive weed beds, flats and endless rock shoals and unlimited structure all hold pike. We have both a quantity and quality fishery with not only great numbers but also plenty of healthy large fish. Cool clear water, lots of baitfish such as perch, tulibees an smelt combined with very limited fishing pressure all lead to an excellent Northern Pike lake. 30 to 50 fish days are the norm with 100 fish/boat days happening often when conditions are right. The Pike spawn when the water temperature reaches 40ْ F to 45ْ F. Early fishing is done with minnow baits, spoons etc. on the mouths of spawning bays or on weed flats. As the water warms to 55ْ F to 65ْ F. this is the post spawn. Large and small fish can still be caught fairly shallow.
As the summer comes on and water temperatures rises into the 60ْ Frange the big pike move out to the main lake body. We had excellent fishing throughout the summer fishing over deep water. Trolling large crank baits produces good numbers of large Northern’s at a time when most lakes big pike are hard to locate. Fishing shorelines and rock points and piles will provide shore lunches of smaller fish.
In late summer into fall as water temperatures falls to 65ْ F and down to 55ْ F pike feed heavily before the cold water ice up. Many of our guests have commented on how fat and healthy Shoal Lake pike are! The Ministry of Natural Resources has a protected slot of 27″ to 36″ fish. These are the spawning females. We have a camp rule of anything over 27″ must go back. This will only ensure years of great fishing in the future. Fish under 27″ can be eaten for shore lunches.
Sorry no take home fish either. Let em go – let em grow. We are the only Lodge on Shoal Lake and combined with our camp rules are the reason you can expect to catch fish, and lots of them. We have a lure suggestion sheet which details the types of lures you should have. If you have fished Shoal Lake before, you know the fishery, if not give Shoal Lake a chance and it won’t disappoint.
We are proud of our fishery and want to share it and ensure it stays healthy forever.
Fishin Line Magazine said
“Shoal Lake has the best fishing on the Northwest Region with schools of smallmouth bass that have never seen a lure!”
80,000+ acres of clean clear water with countless miles of shoreline and hundreds of islands and even more rock shoals are the perfect bass mix. 30 to 50 fish days are common with 100 fish days possible. A good mix of small to large fish with the majority in the 2 to 3 pound class. The main forage for the smallmouth bass here on Shoal Lake are crayfish, smelts and minnows. Starting in May when water reaches the mid 40 F range fish begin to move shallow. Bass begin to build nests when water reaches about 55 F in 2 to 10 feet of water. Spawning occurs at approximately 57 F to 65 F. Male Bass guard the nests then the females move on. In summer fish hang out on rock piles and points.
Once fall arrives and the water cools fish slowly move deeper so expect to have to fish 15′ – 20′ deep or more to catch good numbers of fat, large Bass. Due to the clear water small test line on light outfits works best. Most fishermen use 8 pound test line or lighter on a light to medium action rod. Bait choices vary from spinner baits to minnow bait or crank baits to top water lures such as Walkers or Poppers. Plastic baits are a top choice also with tube jigs, senko’s or flukes being the most used. Shoal Lake has an outstanding Bass population.
In order to keep it World Class our Camp has adopted a catch & release rule on ALL Bass.
Fishing will be as good in the future as today. The thrill is In the catching!