Tackle Smart – Packing for a Fly-in Adventure - Wilderness North

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Tackle Smart – Packing for a Fly-in Adventure

Tips from fishing experts, lodge managers and guest favorites!

Packing tackle for a fly-in fishing adventure can seem like a bit of a daunting task. What to bring and how much? You really need not worry too much about it. Being at a remote fishing lodge offers anglers a unique experience of stepping into a dialled-in fishery. Lodge managers see the water every day and can offer the most up-to-date advise on where the fish are, strategies for catching them and of course what baits or lures are working. That, coupled with our pre-trip support planning professionals, will ensure you have the right gear with you to have the best shot at having that trip of a lifetime. So what are some good things to have in your tackle system heading into the bush?

Walleye Tackle

Walleye are prevalent at all Wilderness North lodges and you can often have fun experimenting different baits and lures targeting these fish. For the casting angler, some of the staples to have include a variety of jig heads and grub tails. Consider bringing opposite colors in white, black and chartreuse, both in terminal tackle and soft plastics. Deep running crankbaits and a couple of examples of different depth jerkbaits and minnowbaits will have you well covering the water column. For the trolling angler, bottom bouncers fished slow death with a nightcrawler or plastic worm. Spinners or trolling a minnow bait work great as well. As for line for walleye, whether you’re fishing braid, mono or straight fluorocarbon, it’s always good practice to have a spare spool handy. 10 lb braid and 8-10 pound mono and fluoro are great bets. Watch as fishing expert Mark Melnyk shares popular set-ups for walleye at Wilderness North:

↑ Mark Melnyk Shares the must-have walleye set-ups for you Wilderness North Adventure ↑

Pike Tackle

Pike present a new adventure when packing for a fly-in adventure. Though, it’s not uncommon to catch pike while fishing for walleye, if you are set on targeting pike, you’d want to bring a different set of tackle. Whether you’re trolling or casting, it’s imperative to have good quality wire leaders with which to attach your baits. These leaders serve two purposes, 1) they help prevent bite offs by razor sharp pike teeth, and 2) they allow you to easily swap out lures without having to re-tie, saving a ton of time over the duration of your adventure. Lures for pike include spinners and spinnerbaits, jumbo tubes, minimum 1 oz jigs and large grub tails, topwater baits such as zara spooks, skitter walks, prop baits and even terrestrials such as frogs, mice or ducks. Don’t forget to bring along a variety of spoons! Red devils, 5 of diamonds, Williams wablers, are all deadly for pike! Minnow baits that suspend are deadly for northerns, as they often will strike on the pause. Line for pike should include 15 lb test of any of the 3. Remember braid doesn’t stretch, fluorocarbon has little stretch and monofilament has the most stretch when making your decision.

↑ Ensure you reel in your dream pike by watching this video on the must-have pike lures! ↑

Terminal tackle and other considerations

Terminal tackle can and will add to your overall weight for your gear significantly. Bring a few staples including jigs, leaders, weights, snaps and barrel swivels but don’t feel you need to go overboard as at our full service lodges, there is a well stocked tackle shop with most anything you’d need proven to work in the area. If you lose it, or forget something, generally, you’re covered. Other considerations may include a set of haemostats, pliers, jaw spreaders, knife and a non-cotton tailing glove. Please leave the jaw grippers at home.

Miminiska Lodge Manager: Brian Tabb

TIPS: Lodge Manager Brian Tabb 

My favorite setup is a basic jig head and twister tail style grub, fished on 10 – 12 lb braided or fluorocarbon line.

In the early part of the season (June) I will use a ¼ ounce white, pink or chartreuse jig head (any brand) and a 3 inch white Berkley Power Bait Ribbon Tail Grub

As the season progresses I like to use a 3/8 ounce orange jig head and a 3 inch orange Berkley Gulp swimming grub. I find the crawfish in the warmer water turn a darker orange and it is nothing to find a dozen crawfish in a pike or walleye stomach. Both of these soft plastics are scented so no need to tip your hook with live bait.

What to Pack: Wilderness North Favorites




  • Inline spinners
  • Spinnerbaits


  • Red Devil
  • 5 of Diamonds
  • Williams Wabler
  • Luhr Jensen Krocodile


  • Berkley Power Grub
  • Musky Innovations Titan Tube

Minnow baits

  • Husky Jerk
  • ShallowRaider
  • Live Target jointed perch


  • Zara Spook
  • TopRaider
  • Live Target frog, rat, mouse




  • Berkley Power Grub
  • Bucktail

Live Bait / Soft Plastic

  • Jig and minnow / leech
  • Worm Harness / Bottom Bouncer with nightcrawler or plastic worm/minnow

Minnow Baits

  • Husky Jerk
  • Crankbaits – various depth runners









Happy Packing!

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