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Muskie Fishing -> Fishing Reports and Destinations -> Trip of a lifetime
 
Message Subject: Trip of a lifetime
Fiskermax
Posted 4/18/2017 10:23 AM (#857598)
Subject: Trip of a lifetime




Posts: 8


Hey guys,
this is Max, I am writing from Italy.
Next year I will celebrate my 40th birthday, therefore I'm starting to plan what I would like to be... a proper fishing trip ;-)!
I fly to Sweden and/or Ireland at least once a year to fish for pikes, but I've never been oversea in my life, and I think this could just be the right time to do it.

The plan is still totally undefined; broadly, it could be one month (July 2018) to be spent around Canada and/or Northern US.

I would like to have one fully guided week (it could be at the beginning or at the end of the period, depending on the place and on the species I will target). And for the rest of the time just moving around, maybe renting a cabin and a boat for a week or two here or there, of course having the chance to fish but in a more "relaxed" way.

Species I could target for the "guided" week:
- muskies: of course I've never seen one, and for sure it would be a dream to fish them. What scares me, is that I understand it's totally not easy. I mean, I spend the whole year in Italy fishing quite a lot with the goal to hook 1 pike every 10000 casts.... so I'm not that attracted by the idea to have maybe 3 contacts in a week, or to cast a bucktail all day long because it's the only chance to catch a fish.
Nevertheless, if there's a place where one can have the chance in that season to catch a decent amount of decent sizes fish - maybe not a trophy... - for example a smaller river system, or something like that, that could be a good way to start with muskies. Does a place like that really exist...?

- northern pikes: it's the specie I fish for most of the time, and I love the idea to be in a place where one could really aim to catch both numbers and size. I heard about guys having a lot of fun at Great slave lake... Which destination/lodge would you recommend for some hardcore pike fishing?

- 3rd option could be a place where one could find both northern pikes AND muskies. Could this be a good solution?

The budget for the week at the moment could be pretty high, at least for my "standards", let's say around 3000 dollars, maybe something more if it's really worthy.

Thanks for reading,
I look forward to hearing your suggestions!

Max
darbogast90
Posted 4/18/2017 10:27 AM (#857599 - in reply to #857598)
Subject: Re: Trip of a lifetime




Posts: 37


Location: Jane Lew, WV
Lake St. Clair with a guide will just about guarantee catching some muskies and possibly some smaller pike. I'm not well versed with Canadian waters, but I'm sure there are many waters that hold both species. Here in the States, we too have the expectation of 1:10000, although it sure would be alright with me if that were a bit more balanced! Good luck with your journey!
Masqui-ninja
Posted 4/18/2017 10:46 AM (#857604 - in reply to #857598)
Subject: Re: Trip of a lifetime





Posts: 661


Location: Walker, MN
You are on the right track Fiskermax. Pick a body of water that is known for decent numbers of muskies and you should be able to catch several. There are trophy lakes that get a lot of attention, but your odds of catching fish can be lower there.

If you fish hard for muskies for a week, you will catch plenty of pike at the same time. Pick a lake like Lake of the Woods (Canadian side), Cass or Leech in Minnesota, they all have nice pike in them.

There are other very good options in other regions, but I won't comment on them as I rarely pursue muskies outside of northern Minnesota.
VMS
Posted 4/18/2017 10:59 AM (#857607 - in reply to #857598)
Subject: Re: Trip of a lifetime




Posts: 2547


Location: Oakdale, Minnesota
Hiya,

For a trip like that, it would be very hard to beat a early/mid july trip to Lake of the Woods in Ontario. At that point in time of the year, the fish will really be moving and contact with multiple muskies within a day are quite common. I can remember multiple days where having some 20+ follows and 3 - 5 fish caught in a day is not out of the question. With northern pike, they will be up and eating as well, along with smallmouth bass and walleyes. You can get a great mix of species throughout.

Hiring a good guide would do well as a body of water like Lake of the Woods can be intimidating because it all looks good to fish.

The bonus....scenery... you cannot beat the scenery of a canadian shield lake.

I'd say Lake of the Woods Ontario...

Steve

Fiskermax
Posted 4/18/2017 11:20 AM (#857609 - in reply to #857598)
Subject: RE: Trip of a lifetime




Posts: 8


Thanks guys!
Already got a lot of interesting ideas.
Please keep writing, and it would be very useful if you can recommend me some reliable guide services on the lakes you mentioned, or maybe some lodge that could provide a full service.

Thanks a lot for your help!

Max
whynot
Posted 4/18/2017 11:32 AM (#857612 - in reply to #857598)
Subject: Re: Trip of a lifetime




Posts: 815


I wouldn't waste your time in the states for that kind of trip. Head to Canada, it's much better fishing and scenery overall. If I had that kind of time I would spend a couple weeks on Lake of the Woods. Hire a guide for a few days, maybe a week, do it yourself the rest of the time. There are a lot of resorts up there to choose from. Most offer fully guided/meal options. I stay at Flag Island Resort, I know others have used Sunset and Oak Island resorts among others. Sandy's Blackhawk Island is another one that gets good reviews, so does Tamarack and Mylie's.

Depending on the finances, I would then consider a week at Kasba Lake Lodge for huge pike and lake trout, grayling, and walleye. Great Slave would be another solid option for pike. I'm guessing Kasba and Great Slave would cost in excess of $3000/week, though.
NickD
Posted 4/18/2017 12:15 PM (#857616 - in reply to #857598)
Subject: RE: Trip of a lifetime




Posts: 176


Go to Canada not the states. Way better overall fishing/nature experience. If I was you I would make it a month long trip and plan for 3 weeks of mixed musky/pike/walleye/bass/fun fishing in NW Ontario and do a 1 week trip to a fancy guided destination in far northern canada for pike and lake trout.

Lake of the Woods has numerous resorts that would work for you. Just be aware it has big water and you can pretty much spend as much time driving in the boat as you would like. If there in july you will catch some pike while musky fishing but you could easily mix up spots to focus more on pike. If you were guided the first day and did some research you could easily build on that experience and have an enjoyable trip.

The Vermillion bay area would also be a great option. Check out the website for Andy Myers Lodge. You can fish for anything and everything there and they seem to focus on helping guests be successful. Eagle has every type of water and if you wanted you could fish a different small lake every single day of your trip for any fish that swims in NW ontario. Depending on exactly what you want this could be a great option for you. Many resorts in the area and different pricing available.

You should be able to find accomadations and a rental boat for 1500 a week or so in the NW Ontario area. Some more some less.

The areas I mentioned are a 4-6 hour drive from Winnipeg roughly and Winnipeg has an international airport. When I was working near Winnipeg with colleagues form Europe they would fly into Winnipeg via Edmonton or Calgary I think.

I would do your fancy guided week either at the start or end of the trip. That way you can get to the jump off point for the destination of your choice then you can easily be back in winnipeg or fly to winnipeg and drive to NW ontario. Many of the fully guided places in northern canada will run you 3500-6000 for a week from the jump off point.

places on my bucket list for that type of trip are
Taltson Bay on GSL for big pike
Kasba for pike and lakers
Plummers on Great Slave or Great Bear
Lake Athabasca

Have fun planning! Lots of options!
Pointerpride102
Posted 4/18/2017 12:20 PM (#857618 - in reply to #857612)
Subject: Re: Trip of a lifetime





Posts: 12984


Location: The desert
My trip of a lifetime would be to this place on Great Slave: http://www.taltsonbaypike.com

They even have an Italy contact for you. If you're doing a trip of a lifetime, do it right. I love lake of the woods, but I'm not sure it would compare to this place.

A week on Great slave
A week on LOTW
A week on Eagle at Andy Myers Lodge
A week in Minnesota

I'd guess you'd stick at least one trophy pike and musky with that itinerary.

Edited by Pointerpride102 4/18/2017 12:21 PM
Kirby Budrow
Posted 4/18/2017 1:31 PM (#857633 - in reply to #857598)
Subject: Re: Trip of a lifetime





Posts: 1084


Location: Chisholm, MN
Obviously Lake of the woods in Canada. Fish of all species, big ones and numbers. Can't go wrong. In a week you should have MANY chances at muskies and big ones. You can catch all the walleyes, and bass you want and even target lakes trout. That would be my choice.

Check out Mylies Place Resort. They should be able to get your trip planned with a great guide.

Edited by Kirby Budrow 4/18/2017 1:32 PM
Mudpuppy
Posted 4/18/2017 4:29 PM (#857661 - in reply to #857633)
Subject: Re: Trip of a lifetime




Posts: 145


Location: Elroy, Wisconsin
My advice is simple, Lake of the woods. I have a motor home parked up there year round on the Ontario side out of Morson. You are welcome to fish with me for a few days or more. Average at least one decent muskie a day and usually big pike as well. I lost my partner a few years ago so there is an empty seat.

I'm 72 and usually fish two areas a day, 4 to 5 hours in the morning and 4 to five hours in the evening.

Good luck on your trip planning

Mudpuppy

PS Wolliston Lake Lodge has the best big Pike fishing I know of, but no muskies.
Musky_Mo16
Posted 4/18/2017 4:50 PM (#857664 - in reply to #857661)
Subject: Re: Trip of a lifetime




Posts: 308


Location: Apparently where the Muskie aren't
Lake of the woods. I've never been there but it is my dream trip. If I had a month to fish I would spend it at LOTW. You not only have the opportunity to catch musky but you can also catch pike, walleye, and lake trout. Not only are these fish numerous there but you have a legitament shot at a monster fish of any of these species. And the scenery from what I have seen is absolutely amazing. I would go with a guide for the first part of you trip so that way you have some knowledge while you are out there on your own. You also mentioned you wanted to fish for pike. With a guide he could most likely put you on multiple Muskie in a weeks time. If I were you, I would do this. Let's say you have a guide for 6 days. Spend the first 4-5 days fishing for Muskie, and then take the last 2 days and have the guide show you spots and techniques to target the other fish you want to go after. After you do that, I would just fish for anything and everything. You are coming over seas. I would take in the entire experience and just enjoy it. I wouldn't waste my whole time chasing a 50". Take the time to relax and enjoy the trip and maybe check off a few other bucket list fish. And, once you are there (wherever you go) don't over stress about it. Just enjoy it and make the most out of it. Good luck and have fun.
horsehunter
Posted 4/18/2017 4:56 PM (#857667 - in reply to #857598)
Subject: Re: Trip of a lifetime




Posts: 1707


Location: Eastern Ontario
4 or 5 days Lake St Clair then head to Toronto for 4 or 5 days salmon fishing then a week on Lake of the Woods then unless you go to Wolliston or somewhere in the far north I don't think pike will compare with Europe

Take some time to do some other touristy things

Edited by horsehunter 4/18/2017 5:08 PM
Musky_Mo16
Posted 4/18/2017 5:10 PM (#857671 - in reply to #857667)
Subject: Re: Trip of a lifetime




Posts: 308


Location: Apparently where the Muskie aren't
horsehunter - 4/18/2017 4:56 PM

4 or 5 days Lake St Clair then head to Toronto for 4 or 5 days salmon fishing then a week on Lake of the Woods then unless you go to Wolliston or somewhere in the far north I don't think pike will compare with Europe

Take some time to do some other touristy things


Like horsehunter just said, don't just fish the whole time, or at least not just for one fish. Take the thing in and enjoy it.
Zib
Posted 4/18/2017 5:52 PM (#857675 - in reply to #857598)
Subject: RE: Trip of a lifetime





Posts: 1350


Location: Detroit River
For Pike: Cree River Lodge on Wapata Lake in Saskatchewan, Canada.
esoxlucifer
Posted 4/18/2017 7:44 PM (#857692 - in reply to #857598)
Subject: RE: Trip of a lifetime




Posts: 283


PM sent
Brad P
Posted 4/19/2017 8:30 AM (#857737 - in reply to #857598)
Subject: Re: Trip of a lifetime




Posts: 722


If I were him I think it would almost be worth doing a 1 week trip to get a flavor for it and then plan the 4 week extravaganza based on that experience. Of course that would probably take him outside of his birthday year.
Fiskermax
Posted 4/19/2017 8:59 AM (#857740 - in reply to #857598)
Subject: RE: Trip of a lifetime




Posts: 8


Well, guys,
I have to say I'm really impressed on all the answers I got from you in such a short time. Can't stop reading them and it's already a bit like being there.
This is sure one of the best moments in the story of every fishing trip, when you start to figure our what you would like it to be, when almost everything looks possible and you just have to build it on your own expectations. Receiving all this suggestions makes everything more funny and helps me a lot.

So trying to combine your suggestions, at the moment I think I will probably try to arrange at least a couple of weeks around the legendary LOTW...maybe hiring a good guide for a couple of days and then fishing on my own. Hopefully that could be preceded by a fancy guided week (all the places you mentioned reachable for Winnipeg look super nice... the problem is that prices for a week look higher than I expected... we'll see). And then one last week could be a more "touristic" one, maybe moving to a bigger town and having some shopping (...what about tackle shops?!? )

Please keep your advices coming, every little opinion could be precious for my planning!
Thanks everyone!

Max

Edited by Fiskermax 4/19/2017 9:01 AM
JMacD
Posted 4/19/2017 10:38 AM (#857759 - in reply to #857598)
Subject: Re: Trip of a lifetime




Posts: 34


Hi Max.
I spent a month this winter looking into my annual muskie adventure and am happy to share some of the options I was interested in. My first option was to return to the Ottawa & St Lawrence Rivers to fish with Marc Thorpe, Montreal Quebec Canada.
http://marcthorpeguiding.com/
I fished with Marc two different time...4 days each time with multiple 40 + inch muskies and topping off each trip with a + 50 inch beauty.

l also looked at John Anderson, Plantagenet, Ontario, Canada.
https://ottawarivermuskyfactory.com/
John fishes the Ottawa River both above and bellow Ottawa Canada.

The other option I researched was Andy Meyers, Vermilion Bay (Eagle Lake), N. W. Ontario, Canada. http://www.andymyerslodge.com/

The websites will tell you so much more and I could so take a look at them.

Sounds like a a trip anyone would love to put together. Best of luck.





Fiskermax
Posted 4/19/2017 11:18 AM (#857767 - in reply to #857759)
Subject: Re: Trip of a lifetime




Posts: 8


Cool, that's another fascinating chance.
Thanks mate!

horsehunter
Posted 4/19/2017 11:42 AM (#857769 - in reply to #857598)
Subject: Re: Trip of a lifetime




Posts: 1707


Location: Eastern Ontario
John Anderson is a great choice ( mostly casting ) but make sure your going to be fishing WITH JOHN he has some minions taking overflow. I understand a lot of guides are doing this but if I paid to fish with a guide and I won't, I would be very disappointed if I was taken by someone else.No one knows that end of the Ottawa better than John.

Edited by horsehunter 4/19/2017 11:45 AM
Fiskermax
Posted 4/19/2017 12:35 PM (#857779 - in reply to #857769)
Subject: Re: Trip of a lifetime




Posts: 8


horsehunter - 4/19/2017 6:42 PM

John Anderson is a great choice ( mostly casting ) but make sure your going to be fishing WITH JOHN he has some minions taking overflow. I understand a lot of guides are doing this but if I paid to fish with a guide and I won't, I would be very disappointed if I was taken by someone else.No one knows that end of the Ottawa better than John.


Yeah, I totally understand and agree with you.
I tried quite a few different guiding services throughout Europe, and I must say that what really makes the difference is not having a guide, but having a GOOD guide.
Having a good guide doesn't necessarily mean that I will catch more fish (I actually happened to have good days with poor, mediocre guides - when the fish are biting like crazy, everything looks easy - and very hard days with great guides. But it's when things get difficult that you really see if the man knows what he is doing, or not).

Whatever will be the place I will go for, it will be important to find some true experts in modern pike/musky fishing. At the end of the day the "how many fishes I caught" is second only to the "how much I learned from the experience".
detroithardcore
Posted 4/19/2017 12:45 PM (#857781 - in reply to #857598)
Subject: Re: Trip of a lifetime




Posts: 270


Max,
Unless I'm missing something why if it's a "trip of a lifetime" for you and there has been no mention of saltwater species, trips or southern areas in the US? Are you dead set on strictly Muskie/Pike/Freshwater? Why not get down to Florida, Bahamas, Costa Rica, Mexico, other parts of the world and chase anything you dream of if its a trip of lifetime? You've got Tarpon, Permit, Giant Trevally, Roosterfish, Cubera Snapper, Tuna, Marlin, Peacock Bass, etc etc...I could go on and on about species to chase but the question is...are you sure your "lifetime trip" includes Pike and Muskie? Just a thought...
Fiskermax
Posted 4/19/2017 3:08 PM (#857802 - in reply to #857781)
Subject: Re: Trip of a lifetime




Posts: 8


detroithardcore - 4/19/2017 7:45 PM

Max,
Unless I'm missing something why if it's a "trip of a lifetime" for you and there has been no mention of saltwater species, trips or southern areas in the US? Are you dead set on strictly Muskie/Pike/Freshwater? Why not get down to Florida, Bahamas, Costa Rica, Mexico, other parts of the world and chase anything you dream of if its a trip of lifetime? You've got Tarpon, Permit, Giant Trevally, Roosterfish, Cubera Snapper, Tuna, Marlin, Peacock Bass, etc etc...I could go on and on about species to chase but the question is...are you sure your "lifetime trip" includes Pike and Muskie? Just a thought...


Thanks, this is a good question.
Let's say that if I had a lot of money and a lot of time, I would probably spend my year traveling around the world and fishing for every possible gamefish. I'm sure I would love targeting peacocks and dorados, I would get mad with tarpon or gts... no doubt.
But unfortunately it's not like that and - like 99% of the average fishermen - I have to choose. I wrote "lifetime trip" because I've been saving my little money for a few years now, and for sure having a vacation that could cost you 7-8 thousand bucks is definitely something I won't repeat for a while.
But who knows, maybe in ten years I'll have the chance to choose again. Let's hope so!

Now why choosing freshwater predators? Well, the thing is that in the last 10 years I've been investing almost all my spare time in pike fishing. I don't say (and don't think) that Esocidae are superior to any other wild fish specie. But you know how it works: you start getting further and further into something that becomes day by day more specific and stimulating... Year after year you feel your expertise growing, but at the same time the more you learn, the more you understand you want to keep experiencing and learning.
I love the idea that a "dream trip" is something strictly connected to your life, your passion and experience, something you worked for. I want to be prepared, for that.
Being on a boat in the ocean with a marlin at the end of your line sure would be an exciting experience, but that would have barely nothing to do with my life before and after the trip.

So... yes, I think I will go for pikes and muskies

Max
Dafterzip
Posted 4/19/2017 4:31 PM (#857819 - in reply to #857598)
Subject: Re: Trip of a lifetime




Posts: 74


Location: Michigan U.P.
When I read the reply from Mudpuppy it reminded me of what a great community of guys are on here. guides may be great but here is someone with years of experience offing to fish with you for multiple days just because he wants you to enjoy the experience. I had a similar situation two years ago for my first trip to LOTW, a gentleman name fastcast2 (whom I had never met) offered to show me around he came to the lodge I was staying at picked me up and fished and showed me around for the afternoon. (Thanks again). I vote you take advantage of a generous offer like this and make a friend for life.
Ken

Edited by Dafterzip 4/19/2017 4:32 PM
tolle141
Posted 4/19/2017 9:39 PM (#857900 - in reply to #857598)
Subject: Re: Trip of a lifetime





Posts: 749


I'd recommend a week on LOTW (Canada) or Eagle Lake. You have a realistic shot at a trophy, should get a couple muskies during the week, have good opportunities for large pike, and they have great multi-species fisheries for variety.

Your budget will probably go further there as well.

If you're looking to do a bit of touristy stuff, you can travel into MN. Minneapolis-St Paul have 17(?) muskie fisheries alone right in the city.

Pike - ever thought about those big, unfished, Colorado pike? Great scenery....

Congrats
Fiskermax
Posted 4/20/2017 3:36 AM (#858917 - in reply to #857819)
Subject: Re: Trip of a lifetime




Posts: 8


Dafterzip - 4/19/2017 11:31 PM

When I read the reply from Mudpuppy it reminded me of what a great community of guys are on here. guides may be great but here is someone with years of experience offing to fish with you for multiple days just because he wants you to enjoy the experience. I had a similar situation two years ago for my first trip to LOTW, a gentleman name fastcast2 (whom I had never met) offered to show me around he came to the lodge I was staying at picked me up and fished and showed me around for the afternoon. (Thanks again). I vote you take advantage of a generous offer like this and make a friend for life.
Ken


I agree with you! That would be a great opportunity and you can bet that as soon as I will have a clear plan with a schedule of the trip, I will contact these fellow fishermen!
The opportunity to meet and share the experience with some good new friends makes the planning of the "dream trip" even more exciting!

Max
NickD
Posted 4/20/2017 11:56 AM (#858977 - in reply to #858917)
Subject: Re: Trip of a lifetime




Posts: 176


A couple of other items to think about is to carefully research what type of rental boats your chosen lodge(s) offer. Some are way better than others. Also many lodges have boats cached on smaller out of the way lakes. Depending on how you fish and what you want out of the experience that might be something to look into. If your goal is to just catch a lot of really nice fish not the biggest trophies some of the smaller lake systems might give you a wider variety of opportunities.
Fiskermax
Posted 4/20/2017 1:13 PM (#858989 - in reply to #858977)
Subject: Re: Trip of a lifetime




Posts: 8


NickD - 4/20/2017 6:56 PM
If your goal is to just catch a lot of really nice fish not the biggest trophies some of the smaller lake systems might give you a wider variety of opportunities.


Good point here.
I'm actually not that used to fishing in huge lakes... I'm quite sure that the biggest lake I fished here in Europe wouldn't even have a name in NW Ontario...!
Still, I think I won't miss the chance to fish at least for a few days LOTW.
The first Manta I bought like 7 years ago was in the color "LOTW perch"... The only name sounds pure legend in my mind, so I have at least to give it a try.
For sure I think I'd better hire a good guiding for the first day, or as I wrote I would be happy to take advantage of the generousity of some of you guys.
But then, if the plan will be renting a boat and have a longer stay on a lake, maybe fishing a few good hours a day and being a "regular tourist" for the rest of the time, then I'm pretty sure that a smaller environment would make me feel more comfortable. Easier to find the fish, to scout the lake, (to be able to get back home if your GPS runs out of batteries!)
So, yes, some days on the big mythical lake, and then a longer period "self catering" between 1 or two smaller lakes, could be a good compromise.
Any suggestions for smaller lake systems, not too far from the Canadian LOTW area...?

Thanks!

Max

Edited by Fiskermax 4/20/2017 1:14 PM
detroithardcore
Posted 4/21/2017 10:19 AM (#859106 - in reply to #857802)
Subject: Re: Trip of a lifetime




Posts: 270


Sounds like you know exactly what ya want! Good luck in your journey!
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