Lake Nipigon is arguably the best drive to trophy trout waters Ontario has to offer. With an abundance of trophy brook and lake trout for anglers to chase, it is a no brainer for any trout bum looking for an incredible adventure. The following are a few tips for fishing the waters of famous Lake Nipigon.
Lake Nipigon is absolutely chalked full of enormous brook trout. Fish average 18-19 inches with every couple fish measuring more than 20 inches! Nipigon’s brookies are not only gracious with size but the quantity is absolutely amazing. I fished the lake for 7 days this past June. Our group had a few tough days but we still managed to average 6 quality fish a day. We landed several Lake Nipigon Brook Troutover the 22” slot size and seen some true giants follow us up to the boat. That being said, I learned quickly to finish each cast right to the boat. Quite often you will find yourself casting the shorelines sitting in 40 to even 100 feet of water. About half of our fish took our lures boat side in our full view over water this deep. As important as finishing each cast was putting your lures tight to shore on our initial cast was equally important. A few other anglers we met on the lake recommended that we cast extremely tight to shore. This was probably one of the best tips we were given because we caught some really nice fish in less than a foot of water in the middle of the day.
Casting the shorelines of islands on the edges of the main lake were key areas for big fish. More important were the points of these islands. We didn’t always catch great numbers at these areas but every fish was big. At one of these spots we saw the biggest speck of our trip. My cousin Mike had a 24-25” monster mouthing his spoon right to the boat before torpedoing into the depths never to be seen by us again. It was a bummer but really reminded us of where we were fishing. A potential world record can be caught on any cast.
Spoons from 1/3-3/4 oz did the damage for us and gold/orange was hands down the top producing colours. In fact, by the end of our trip almost all of our spoons were taped up gold/orange. We also had 1-1.5” crappie tubes threaded on the trebles. We would simply remove the treble from the split ring on the spoon and thread the tube over the hook then reattach it back to the split ring. When the aggressive spoon bite seemed to slow a jig fly would always take a few more fish. Swimming the jig in the top few feet of the water column put a few trophy specks in the boat for us.
Although we did cast 75% of the time on our trip, trolling did produce some fish for us. We trolled spoons and minnow baits such as Little Cleo’s, Gibbs Coho and Rapala Husky Jerks. Key areas for trolling were long rocky shorelines and along the edges of saddles between islands. Remember that Lake Nipigon is a single barbless lake so be sure to remove any extra hooks on minnow baits. For more information on lures contact Chuck Anderson at Nipigon Baits (807-887-2615).
With the introduction of smelt into the lake during the 70’s the lake trout found in lake Nipigon are said to be one of the fastest growing strains if trout in the world. These lakers average 10+ pounds with a 20 pounder not even a true Nipigon trophy. Fish up to 50 pounds are caught each year! August and September is trophy laker time with South bay being a hotspot for many anglers. Cooks point and the mouth of Blackwater Creek near Beardmore are two other top producing lake trout areas. Trolling big over sized spoons like Williams Whitefish, Husky Sr.’s and Canoe spoons top choice. Giant Flatfish and Kwikfish are also dynamite lures to troll for big lakers. Often times adding a white twister tail in the 3-5” range will get you more strikes.
Along with the two trout species, walleye, pike, perch and whitefish are common catches on different parts of the lake. Lake Nipigon offers phenomenal fishing to say the least! Get up there and enjoy it!
By: Tyler Dunn