Fishing Lake Aitken

At a GlanceThe FishingDetail

Fishing Lake Aitken

Lake Aitken, Manitoba offers the best walleye, northern pike and trout fishing in Canada. Open May to September and only accessible by float-plane.

Getting There
Nearly smack-bang in the centre of North America lies Aikens Lake. Accessible only by float plane, the lodge sits on a golden sand peninsula on the northern shore of this 11,000 acre lake. It’s just west of the Ontario border in Manitoba.

Let the adventure begin! Travel to Aikens Lake Wilderness Lodge is quick and easy (and included in the price). We’ll meet you at Winnipeg International Airport (YWG). Then it’s a short drive, hop into the float plane and 30 mins later you’re skimming in to land on the lake.

Three steps to get to Aikens:
• Fly London to Winnipeg International Airport (2hr 40mins flight from Toronto)
• 90 mins by shuttle to Silver Falls, Manitoba
• 30 mins by float plane to Lake Aikens Wilderness Lodge

Fishing holiday in Canada

Fishing holiday in Canada. Easy to get to? Fairly! Definitely the start of an adventure!

Fishing holiday Canada. The Fishing Experience.

A full day fishing needs a lot of preparation: and it’s all done for you! The friendly, efficient dock staff greet you dock-side in the morning: your boat is fully prepared, rods and tackle ready to go and bait provided. All you need to do is turn up!

The dock is a healthy 110’ long and 10’ wide, so there’s plenty of real estate for dock-bite aficionados allowing you to fish right off the dock. Just ask your guide if the “Dock-bite” is on. If so, then from the comfort of a deckchair and on Terra Firma, get ready to reel in ‘lunker’ Walleyes.

Lake guiding
Just south of the main dock is “Guide dock”, home to over a dozen luxury Lund Alaskan boats that give an ultra-smooth ride and have padded, swivel-seats (no benches!). The Alaskans have aluminium hull, four-stroke outboard motor as well as a MinnKota trolling motor. Extremely sturdy, these boats are the ideal platform from which to enjoy a comfortable, effective and safe outing on the lake. Each guest has a guide for the duration of their stay.

DIY?
For inexperienced drivers, dockhands and guides will take you for a spin to show you the correct handling procedures. Aikens is not a huge lake and doesn’t have many hidden rocks so it’s easy to self-navigate if this option appeals.

Moose crossing the lake - not something you see everyday!

Moose crossing the lake – not something you see everyday!

Coming back to the lodge
The dock staff will greet you back at the end of a day, help you unload your gear and clean/refuel your boat ready for the evening fishing trip.

Night Fishing
After supper the dockhands will help you load up for the evening fishing trip. With sunlight until 22:30 in June (decreasing to about 20:30 in late August) you have plenty of quality fishing time left. The lake is easily navigable and beacons flash on the only two obstacles between you and the lodge. A safe and enjoyable night of fishing is guaranteed! Dockhands will ensure that all boats are in before they go to bed.

Seasons
Aikens Lake opens in late May and stays open until mid-September. This is the premier fishing lake in Canada for walleye, year round. Furthermore, with depths of 295’ there are great opportunities for toothy pike and mammoth lake trout as well. This means you have great options throughout your stay.

You can break the annual seasons down into two halves: the spring bite and mid-summer patterns.

Spring Bite: idea to catch the “Big 3” (walleye, northern pike and lake trout). Spring walleye fishing is fantastic, since the walleye are regaining their appetite after a long winter of lethargy. Pike and lake trout are also voracious early in the season. Walleye and pike compete for the same food and seek warmer water, and can be found together. The Gammon River, which flows in and out of Aikens Lake, is a great spawning and transition area. There is a lot of river fishing at this time of year with the most popular spot being called the Honeyhole (the inlet where the Gammon flows into Aikens). Lake trout prefer the colder waters and roam the entire water column in the spring. They can be caught by jigging or trolling spoons with cranks in 15’ to 40’ of water.

Trophy Walleye (catch and release)

Trophy Walleye (catch and release)

Mid to late-summer patterns: beginning in July, the water will have sufficiently warmed for the thermocline to set in. This makes for some of the best walleye fishing, since the Walleye begin to congregate on main lake reefs and humps. They generally start out in 12’ to 15’ of water and as the thermocline gets pushed deeper by the warming water the fish follow suit. Walleye are generally found in about 25’ by late July, and 32’ to 35’ feet in September. The most trusted presentation is the jig & minnow, but they are also susceptible to bottom bouncers, spinner rigs, or deep-trolling crankbaits. Our guides are well-versed in the many techniques that can produce great fish. In the summertime, pike up to 30″ can be found in the shallow bays for those interested in casting the bays or fly-fishing. That said, all of the larger trophy fish have left the bays in search of deeper, cooler waters of the main lake. Although it is no longer a numbers game, impressive trophy pike can be caught with some trolling patterns and a bit of patience. Lastly, the lake trout have now moved into the depths of Aikens. Downriggers go to 60’ to 120’ but we would not really recommend booking a lake trout experience in the mid-summer or the autumn.

Trophy Walleye (catch and release)

Trophy Walleye (catch and release)

All told there is never a “bad” time for an Aikens Lake fishing vacation. Be it spring, summer, or autumn there’s always something biting and the guides know the lake, local conditions and seasons perfectly.

End of the day
On-site is Big Molly’s bar: after all, what’s the point of the day if you can’t compare notes afterwards?! There’s even a smoker at the main lodge if you fancy a bit of extra flavour.

Immortality Awaits!
The Province of Manitoba recognizes anglers who catch trophy fish through a unique program: The Manitoba Master Angler Program and will issue certificates, gilet patches and badges to any angler who registers a trophy fish.

 

The principal fish species of Aiken
Aikens Lake is a catch-and-release lake, with the exception of what you eat at picnic shore-lunch each day. Everything else is thrown back. Furthermore, all walleye over 19”, Northern Pike over 30” and all Lake Trout are returned.

Walleye
Walleye is the No. 1 species. They are abundant and offer fast action, but what really makes the walleye one of the best in Canada is the incredible population of big fish (28” and more). The lake record is 33.5″. If you hook a 28” fish you become “Master Angler” and you can join the Century Club when you hook four walleyes in one day totalling 100″ or better. 100% of these giant walleyes stay in the lake and keep growing and spawning their big DNA for future generations. Guests can keep a few eating size walleyes each day for the picnic shore-lunch and regulars say eating fresh-from-the-lake walleye is a highlight of the Aikens Experience.

Northern Pike
Aikens Lake offers outstanding northern pike fishing, especially in the early season. One of the most ferocious freshwater fish, these toothy predators will devour baits and make your drag scream. Pike can grow up to extreme lengths at Aikens (lake record is 49″) and there are a great number of Master Anglers catches every year (41″ or bigger). Many guests catch Master Angler pike “by accident” in the midst of jigging for walleyes and what a thrill it is with light-action rods and 8-pound test. Guides are adept at a variety of productive pike tactics.

Lake Trout
Lake trout are the biggest predators in Aikens Lake. The lake record is 44.25″ there are even bigger fish in the depths. Of course, even the average 6-7 pounder makes your wrist sore because lake trout offer the best fight of any fish. We suggest you jig for lakers with lighter tackle to make the fight even more intense. Fishing is better in spring before the water temperature rises and the lake trout run to depths of 80, 150 or even 200+ feet. While the lake trout’s oily flesh makes them unsuitable to fry at shore-lunch, baked lake trout is a delicacy. When wrapped in foil and filled with butter, garlic herb, onions, lemons, cilantro, and other spices, lakers offer a special taste which cannot be duplicated.

Other species include
• Whitefish: (24” +/-)
• Yellow perch (8” to 9”)
• Burbot or freshwater cod: the head of a catfish on the body of an eel! Best fished for in total darkness

Accommodation

Aitkens can accommodate 32 visitors and has 30 staff – practically man-to-man marking! Excellent service guaranteed. You will be greeted by a smile that will prove contagious! The formula here is tried, tested and true and is called “The Aitkens Experience”

Main Lodge.
There are three options at the Main Lodge: two on-site and the third a little ways away.

Two-Person Suites (1 or 2 persons)
Well-appointed comfortable rooms with, two twin or king beds, featuring
• A/C
• Complementary Wi-Fi
• Bathroom
• Bar
• Fridge
• Coffee maker
• Screened-in porch overlooking the lake

Min 3 night stay

Chalets (Groups of 3 to 6 persons)
Not your typical ‘log cabin in the woods’! Spacious, elegant and impressive. The luxury chalets are the pinnacle of fly-in fishing comfort. Each chalet offers:
• Two bedrooms with either twin beds or a king bed
• Two washrooms
• Large common room
• Wood-burner fireplace
• Bar with fridge
• Coffee maker
• A/C
• Complimentary Wi-Fi
• Screened-in porch overlooking the lake

Min 3 night stay

Great Gray Owl Mini-lodge (6 to 12 persons)
On the southern shore of Aikens Lake, the Great Gray Owl (GGO) is a stand-alone mini-lodge in a beautiful peaceful setting. Guests get the full-service experience offered at the Main Lodge with the privacy and exclusivity of GGO’s removed setting. GGO features:
• Four bedrooms, two bathrooms
• Full kitchen
• Daily housekeeping
• Pro-Staff guides
Private dinners
• Wifi
• Satellite radio and VHF radio
• Ice machine
• Screened-in porch with views onto the lake
• Fire pit with benches
• Covered shore-side lunch site
• Private dock

Min 3 night stay

The final accommodation option is altogether more ‘Robinson Crusoe’!

Lost Lake Outpost; LLO (4 to 8 persons)
This is the DIY option for the wilderness enthusiast. The words ‘luxury’ and ‘remote’ or ‘outpost’ aren’t usually seen in the same sentence. They are here! LLO is designed for do-it-yourself groups, but with everything provided; you can even order a grocery package, so there’s no need to bring your own rations, only to prepare them. The lodge is on a peninsula between Lost Lake and Aikens Lake and groups at the LLO have exclusive rights to Lost Lake. Guests can also fish Aikens Lake and its rivers. LLO features:
• Large great room with vaulted ceiling and stone fireplace
• Four bedrooms, two bathrooms
• Full kitchen
• Wrap-around screened-in porch
• 24hr power
• Hot water on demand
• Wifi
• Docks on Lost Lake and Aikens Lake
• Dockside filet shack
• Four boats with 20hp four-stroke motors

Min 3 night stay