Trophy Walleye at Makok - Wilderness North

Celebrating 30 Years of Wilderness North  –          

Trophy Walleye at Makok

I’ve been an angler for as long as I can remember, inheriting the love of the sport from my father. Over the years I’ve fished some spectacular lakes in Northeastern Ontario, but have only heard tales about the fishing spots in Northwestern Ontario. Having now fished the lake myself I can honestly say that Makokibatan is in a league of it’s own. If you want trophy sized walleye, this is THE place. You’ll have plenty of northern pike action in the mix as well. Let me tell you, a trip with Kash or Eli down river is an experience of a lifetime, but more on that later.

At Makokibatan not only will you catch a ridiculous number of fish, but the kicker is how big they will be. Working as a dock hand, I’ve lost count of how many times the phrase “It was hard to catch them under 18 inches” has been used to describe how a guest’s days were on the water. Many people believe going to a world class lake means you could catch 100 fish in a day. To the guests that come here year after year, 100 is a “meh” kind of day. In 3 weeks, I’ve had guests tell me at least 10 times they caught well over 200 fish for the day. My favorite quote since being here came in the first week when Pete G. pulled into the dock early from an afternoon of fishing ‘The Cut’ and said “Rob, it’s never happened before but I just got tired of catching fish so we came back.” This past week the fishing was outstanding as usual.

Longtime guest and friend, Charlie J., brought his crew of fellas up to Makok for 3 and half days. The group of 9 experienced some terrific weather, great fishing, and enjoyed their daily shore lunches served down at the island near ‘Walleye Alley’. The numbers suggest that fishing the Alley was the highlight. 14, 26+ inch walleye in 3 and a half days caught on jigs tipped with assorted Gulp Alive and twister tails. Kevin, Rob, and Mark each pulled in 3–26+ inch walleye and all but one member of the group got their Master Angler walleye pins. Bob caught the biggest trophy of the group with a 28 1/2 inch beauty. On top of landing big fish several boats had 200+ fish days. If that doesn’t impress you I don’t know what will.

A repeat guest for over 2 decades, Tom F. was up also up for his annual week at what he describes as “his second home.” This year they took full advantage of the world class fishing managing 7 master angler walleye and having several of those 200+ fish days at The Cut. Tom’s group also booked a river trip up the Albany, a must do for guests at either Makok or Miminiska.

Bringing the Master Angler tally to 12 was a group of 4 who stayed with us for 5 days. Group members Tim and Jim each reeled in a nice 27 inch trophy walleye.

As for my guided experience, I was surprised to hear I would be going on a river trip  as Tom’s boat partner, guided by Eli. In the other boat was the father son duo Ron and Todd guided by Kash. Words cannot describe the kind of day we had. The Albany River is truly home to some world class Brook Trout fishing. Between the two boats we pulled in about 20 fish ranging from 15-21.5 inches, three of which, I caught. Despite the strong current brookies put up a fight like no other and are quite exciting to have on the line. In addition to brook trout, the river holds plenty of walleye –Tom also caught several northern pike. Along our journey we also saw ducks, majestic bald eagles, and other wildlife. A trip down the Albany isn’t all about the fishing. The wildlife sightings are pretty awesome and, although the whitewater looks gnarly, Eli and Kash have the skills to get you through so enjoy the ride, it’s a blast!

In writing this I’ve realized that I have the best summer job possible for an individual passionate about the outdoors. It’s been a great start to the summer and I can’t wait for the rest of it.

Rob Staszak

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