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Kesagami Lake

Species: Pike

Season: Spring: mid-May to mid-June

Coordinates: 50.372°N 80.234°W

Location: Northeastern Ontario’s Hudson Bay Lowlands

Surface area: 3,900 square kilometres

Hottest spot: Small Bay

Why we chose it

Best for trophy northern pike

Nothing excites me more than catching huge, 30-pound-plus northern pike with so many gleaming white teeth they can slice a walleye in half. And the best place I’ve found to indulge this passion is 3,900-square-kilometre Kesagami Lake in northeastern Ontario’s vast Hudson Bay Lowlands. There, Kesagami Wilderness Lodge opens its doors for only half the potential season, setting it apart from most other tourist operations I’ve ever visited. That’s right: the lodge caters to guests only when the fishing is at its absolute best, the prime eight weeks after ice-out. Not only does this maximize the chance of catching multiple knee-knocking, trophy-sized pike, it also means the fish are always shallow, accessible and hungry. Combine those conditions with the fact early summer days that far north come with 18 hours of daylight and perfect water temperatures for pike, and you know the odds are stacked in your favour. And you can’t beat the excitement; much of the action is visual, with the prodigious predators inhaling surface lures and flies stripped just under the surface. Along with the short season, the fishery is further managed through Kesagami’s catch-and-release policy and the mandatory use of single, barbless hooks. As a result, the lake’s largest northerns approach 40 pounds, and every year, fish in the 52- to 55-inch range are caught, photographed and released to fight another day.

Hot lure: Castaic’s Giant Jerky J Minnow on a scrounger jig head

Hot fly: Dahlberg Diver

Learn more: Kesagami Wilderness Lodge

Gord Pyzer

Gord Pyzer

Fishing Editor Gord Pyzer is widely regarded as Canada's most scientific angler. Known in fishing circles as Doctor Pyzer, he worked for 30 years as a senior manager with Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources before devoting all his energies to fishing. A member of the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame, the award-winning writer is also an internationally sought out speaker, tournament angler and field editor with In-Fisherman Magazine and Television. As well, he co-hosts the Real Fishing Radio Show with Bob Izumi. Catch Gord on the Outdoor Journal Radio Show live every Saturday morning 8:05AM EST. If you're in southern Ontario, tune your radio to Sportsnet 590 The FAN AM or visit www.fan590.com and listen live online.

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