Zig Zag Outpost Archives - Wilderness North

Celebrating 30 Years of Wilderness North  –          

Zig Zag Outpost

2019: Report 03

-Fishing was great and they really enjoyed their trip! First time visitors to Zig Zag, they were previously guests of Moose Crossing. The group caught a lot of fish. Jim D. caught a 40” pike, his last fish of the day and he was using a gulp bait on a jig head. Dennis caught a 29” walleye, and used jig head with a night crawler; his last fish of the trip. Party leader Greg  caught a 27” walleye. He was trolling between Zig Zag and Crescent when he caught and released it.  A favourite way to prepare fish while they were there in tin foil on the grill–boy, they were delicious! The group recommends fishing on both ends of the lake near fast moving water. Also around the islands and in Crescent; they had lots of success in the bay and on the Zig Zag side near the entrance of Crescent Lake. They also recommend trying the portage at the north end of the lake.  There you will see the portage sign–enter there. The trail is short and it takes you to a little bay a couple of hundred yards in. Enjoy fishing from shore!

-All our fishing spots were productive and I would venture to guess that our party caught over 1,000 fish in the 5 days we were there.
We caught lots of walleye in the 15-24 inch range but we didn’t get one 26″ or better.  Our best lures were crankbaits and we caught them in 6-10 feet of water.  Some of us used worms but, in my opinion, it wasn’t necessary to catch a lot of fish.  I did have very good luck on Gulp minnows on a pink jighead.  I had a very large pike T-bone a small walleye I had just hooked (I was able to watch the whole thing) and he made three runs before he just let go of the walleye.  When I released the walleye, there wasn’t a mark on him.
We caught some good pike in the 35″-40″ range.  I hooked the largest pike of my life and fought him quite a while.  He made 5-6 runs and when we got the net on him, he was twice as long as the net was wide (my net is 27″ wide).  He wouldn’t even bend to slide into the net.  He got the lure hooks in the netting and then just turned away and ripped the hooks out and swam away.  I just bought a bigger net! I did cross one off my bucket list by catching a 33″ pike on a topwater lure.  That was an outstanding experience.  after he blasted the lure, I let him go for a few seconds and then set the hook.  He made 5-6 runs and was one of the thickest, healthiest pikes I had ever seen. We fished the inflow at the north end of Zig Zag and even hiked around the eddy to the falls where fishing is always excellent.  Chuck and his friend fished the outflow with excellent success – lots of good walleye between 18″-24″.


2019: Report 02

The Week of May 25th – June 7th

From Zig Zag outpost cabin, comes a report from Kyle M. of Madison WI, who found both plenty of pike and walleye on standard ¼ inch jig and minnow rigs, in 15 feet of mostly clear water. Him and his boys had a memorable time and can’t wait to come back next year. We also had Craig L. and Bob F. and their group, who loved hunting for big pike and plenty of walleye. Craig says they “Caught and ate a bunch of fish and had a great time.” We’ve started their planning their next visit and hoping to lure their ladies to join in 2020. Water temperatures are sitting around 58 – 61 degrees and fish are more active while the temperature is up. Fish are being caught around structure and pike are found in most of the bays sunning themselves in 3 – 6 feet of warmer water especially towards the southern leg of the lake. A lot of fish are also being caught in the current between Zig Zag Lake and Crescent Lake. Fishing was also good on the running water to the north towards the inflow of Moule Lake. Stay tuned for more action as we have more groups coming and going before next report.


2018: Week 15

First time visitors had a great week at Zig Zag!

Their biggest fish was a 38-inch pike–they caught lots in the mid 30s range. They mainly used worms, but had luck with black hot’n’tots as well!

Water was low, probably 3-4 feet in most areas. Walleye fishing was amazing, never any issues catching. Biggest walleye was 24 inches.

Wildlife; we saw a beaver just up from where the outpost was. Also, a moose, up near the rapids and lots of eagles were seen.

2018: Week 14

Fishing hotspots

We had several guys that were targeting walleye, while others set their focus on pike. Everyone caught lots of walleye but the guys targeting them were getting many near the islands in Crescent and the south end of Zig Zag. The big pike were caught halfway up the northern end of Zig Zag and in the south end near the rapids.

On-fire Lures

Lots of lures were working. For walleye, they were primarily hitting on jigs with minnows or worms, and white plastics. Pike were hitting on large swim baits, Mepps Muskie Killers, and large spoons (5 of Diamonds was hot).

Memorable moments

It was a great time had by all. Weather was great, some personal record pike were caught by I believe 6 guys in camp ranging from 35″ to 41″. All in we caught at least a dozen pike over 35″. Some of the guys made the treck to Moule Lake where they explored and found an old boat and caught some pike and walleye there. Some also hiked around the southern end of Zig Zag near and down the rapids.

My son and I had a double header and a triple header in a span of 20 minutes fishing the north side of Crescent Lake. The pike and walleye were hungry that afternoon.

We also saw 3 bears. Two (at different times) were swimming from one side of Zig Zag to the other. The other was coming to get a drink about half way up the north side of Zig Zag.

Lastly we had a camp bunny show up. It would greet us at the bottom of the steps and was seemingly unfazed by our presence (we were able to get very close to it).

Tips/Things that worked

We fished in the morning for dinner (walleye) to make sure we had our bases covered. From there we looked to catch some more and/or hunt for personal record size walleye and pike in every area of Zig Zag and Crescent. Pike seemed to be hitting better in later afternoon and early evening as they came into feed on the walleye.

Overall, everyone had a great time. The new boats and motors are great (last time we were in Zig Zag was 2007). Thanks for all of your help and support through the process.

2018: Week 12

We had some great fishing on our first trip to Zig Zag Lake. In total, our group of five caught around 1,000 walleye and a couple hundred pike. We caught two 26-inch walleye and our biggest walleye of the week was 26.5 inches. We also landed three pike over 40 inches, with the largest measuring in at 42 inches and weighing 18.5 pounds, in addition to several northerns in the mid to upper thirties.

Fish could be found all over both Zig Zag and Crescent Lake, we just had to continue to switch things up in order to produce fish consistently. Simply changing the color of your jighead or using a different size twister tail often made a big difference. We tended to find the larger walleye on Crescent Lake, and going bigger often triggered more bites. We had to use 3/8 ounce jigheads for most of the trip due to fishing in 18–25 ft and wind. Going to a five inch twister tail also seemed to catch more walleyes on Crescent. Three inch twister tails and jigging a half of a nightcrawler also worked well for walleye. We caught pike on everything from bucktails to spoons to spinnerbaits to twister tails. The key to catching numbers of pike seemed to be finding submerged weeds, especially in deeper water. Trolling spoons and spinnnerbaits over weed patches in both Zig Zag and Crescent worked well for northerns.

We did spot two moose during the trip, though we couldn’t get very close without spooking them. This was the most peaceful and quiet place we had every been. We did take a short hike on the portage trail by the upper rapids, where we took in the scenery while reeling in beautiful Canadian walleye.

Overall, our first fly-in experience to Zig Zag Lake was a great time. The cabin was in wonderful shape and the new Lund boats and electric start motors were fantastic. Many thanks to the Wilderness North staff for providing us with a memorable trip.

The Trumm Group

2018: Week 11

Two beautiful fish reeled in at Zig Zag Lake!


2018: Week 05

Hot news right out of Zig Zag from the Colvin Group:

Day 2 Update: Just wanted to tell you how great everything at Zig Zag is. The new boats and electric start motors are awesome 😎. Also really appreciate all the work done on the new dock and the cabin. It’s the best it’s ever been.

Fishing has been outstanding. It’s not even halfway through our 2nd full day and we have literally caught 200 fish. I got a 36” and a 30” pike last night in two successive casts. Walleye are plentiful – hard to catch eaters (a nice problem to have).

Day 4 Update: Had another really good day Tuesday. My son and grandson hiked up to the upper portage on Monday and literally caught ~150 walleye in about two hours. We were skeptical. The three of us old guys hiked up yesterday and the fishing was out of this world! I personally threw out about 75-80 times and got hit about 70 times, landing around 65 walleye. I had a run of over 20 landed fish in a row. Chuck and Glenn had similar success.

In the morning, we jigged with worms and used crankbaits. Glenn and I caught over 25 fish, mostly walleye with a few >20” pike sprinkled in. Most of the walleye were over 18”. We kept 4 for eaters between 14-17”

2018: Week 04

“We just concluded a week at Zig Zag Outpost, and what a week it was! The weather was very challenging…it was in the mid 40’s, windy and it rained what seemed like constantly for three of our five days on Zig Zag lake. But heck, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes, so we dressed accordingly, kept the wood stove stoked and we cheerfully persevered.

This was my first time at an outpost camp after many visits to Striker’s Point on Whitewater Lake, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I can say now that my experience at Zig Zag was excellent…after all, there is nothing quite like fishing on one’s own private lake, a lake that sees minimal angling pressure during the course of a season and which holds really big fish. Despite the windy conditions, getting to the fishing spots was quick and easy, and there were plenty of calm areas in the lee of the trees in which to wet a line with success. Everyone in our group appreciated the new dock, new Lund 16 footers and Yamaha 20hp engines, and the accommodations were very comfortable.

The trophy walleye were elusive during our stay, but there were a ton of wallys in the 17”-22” range boated, the largest measuring 28”. In fact, during our one-day walleye tournament, the Ryan/Lashbrook team caught 82 fish! Jigging and trolling in and around the upper rapids (Zig Zag lake is, in fact, a widening of the Jackfish River system) and various holes around the many islands that dot the lake proved successful. Even our fly fishing contingent caught several nice walleye using 6-weight fly rods, sink tip lines with short leaders and Clouser Minnows.

There was hope that the pike had moved into the shallows, enough so that fly fishing for them would be successful. Spring came a little late this year, and while there were several caught with our 8- and 9-weight rods and various poppers and streamers thrown near the weeds close to shore, it became obvious that it still hadn’t warmed sufficiently enough to move many of them into the shallows. That being said, Lou pulled a 33” Pike out from under a mat of weeds in two feet of water on a big, hairy black popper. Most of our pike activity came from trolling Long-A Bombers in depths of 10 to 14 feet. There were many pike caught by trolling, and three of them were 40” or over, the largest being 45” and 20lbs. (see picture).

As usual, the WN staff was helpful and professional. Kiwi Jax was so nice as she greeted us, got us settled in after our arrival and she even made us an early breakfast prior to our flight to Zig Zag the next morning. And our pilots Travis (DHC-2 Beaver) and Mark (DHC-3T Turbine Otter) were awesome. They never even flinched when they first laid eyes on, then loaded and unloaded, our virtual mountain of gear and had unending smiles. Thanks to all at Wilderness North, and I think I can speak for my fishing buddies when I say that we truly look forward to our return next spring!”

Tight lines to all!

2018: Week 02

Outpost camp Ziz Zag is currently hosting the Murphy party and they started the season off with a bang! Here is a quote from Mr. Murphy! “Everything is great here at Zig Zag. Catching hundreds of walleye and some nice northern.” We’ll say!!! Nothing like releasing a 45” fish early in a trip to get this youngster hooked on fishing! With a cold front rolling in through the region later this week guests may need to slow presentations down and fingers crossed you too will be catching “hundreds of walleye” like the Murphy’s!

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