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TALKIN WITH DOKKEN: Fishing trip suggestions

Q. Do you have any ideas on where I can take my dad fishing? He is going to retire at the end of this month, and I would love to take him somewhere to catch some big pike, muskies, lake trout, walleyes … whatever we can catch and lots of them.

A. As much as I like to talk fishing, finding a destination where you’re going to catch big pike, muskies, lake trout and walleyes in the same location is beyond my realm of expertise, especially if you’re looking for both size and numbers.

If you find such a place, I hope you let ME know!

That being said, there’s no question the Ontario side of Lake of the Woods offers the potential for catching all four species, but you’ll likely have to cover some water. Whitefish Bay near Sioux Narrows, Ont., probably has the four species in closest proximity, with the added bonus of smallmouth bass and even largemouth bass.

Muskie fishing is never a numbers game, but there are ample opportunities to catch walleyes in both quantity and quality on Lake of the Woods, and pike pushing 20 pounds certainly aren’t out of the question, though far from guaranteed.

If you’re looking for quantity, it’s difficult to match the fishing available by hopping on a floatplane and spending a few days at a remote outpost camp. It’s not at all uncommon to boat 100 walleyes a day, but realistically, most will be 16 inches to 20 inches. That’s not a bad way to spend a few days, though, especially when you have the lake to yourself.

In terms of drive-to destinations, Reed Lake in northern Manitoba, about six hours by road north of Winnipeg, offers good to excellent fishing for walleyes, northern pike and lake trout, with the potential for both quality and numbers. Lac Seul in Ontario is worth researching for big walleyes and muskies, and I’ve heard reports of great fishing for walleyes, lake trout and pike at Fort Peck Reservoir in Montana.

I’ve fished Reed Lake, but neither Lac Seul nor Fort Peck.

My best advice would be to narrow down the species you prefer and how far you want to travel, and then start researching destinations online. Planning is half the fun and — trust me on this — exploring potential getaways for that next “big trip” is a great way to make the winter go by faster.

Good luck.

If you have a question for Talkin’ with Dokken, call (701) 780-1148 or send an email to

Brad Dokken

Brad Dokken is editor of the Herald's Northland Outdoors section and also works as a copy editor and page designer. Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and joined the Herald staff in 1989. He worked as a copy editor in the features and news departments before becoming outdoors editor in 1998. He also writes a blog called Compass Points. A Roseau, Minn., native, Dokken is a graduate of Bemidji State University. 

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