If you’re a walleye-fishing fanatic, then northern Ontario’s Chapleau region is a destination well worth checking out. I recently stayed at Chapleau Lodge on Borden Lake, situated directly east of the town of Chapleau. It’s a great place to kick back and give the fishing a shot. It’s also one of Canada’s premier commercial diving schools, if joining the fish for a swim is also of interest to you.
Although Chapleau is one of those places that many assume are situated at the northernmost reaches of Ontario, it is, in fact, only a nine-hour drive from the Greater Toronto Area. I had no problem making the trip in just one day—and the fishing was well worth it.
On Borden Lake, I encountered a tough bite due to an unexpected weather system, but I still caught loads of walleye and some bonus smallmouth bass. The fishing is just that good. I landed the beauty walleye pictured above, for example, while slowly dragging a full nightcrawler along a steep breakline.
Not that Borden is the only fish-filled waterbody in the Chapleau region. Big-name lakes such as Missinaibi and Wabatongushi, as well as the Oba, Albany and Michipicoten Rivers, are all top-ranked walleye waters. They also fish well for pike, and even serve up some smallmouth bass.
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Angling is a way of life for the locals in the Chapleau region, and they truly believe they have some of the best fishing in Ontario. I have to agree. Whether you’re out on the ice, on the open water or simply casting from shore, this region ranks very high as one of the province’s top fishing destinations.