Lake of the Woods could well be rated as not only the best all-round fishing lake in Ontario, but in all of Canada—and arguably even the entire world. Yes, that’s a bold claim, but we challenge you to name a better all-around angling destination. Good luck with that!
We’ve been on this impressive body of water several times, and each visit has left us with lasting memories of great fishing. Along with 105,000 kilometres of shoreline, the lake boasts 14,552 islands, making for plenty of fish-holding structure. The bulk of Lake of the Woods—or LOTW for short—lies in northwestern Ontario, with the southwest portion straddling the Manitoba and Minnesota borders.
One of the other main factors that make LOTW so highly rated is its year-round fishery. There’s rarely a day it doesn’t serve up awesome angling, and that includes throughout the winter. By early December in this part of Ontario, it’s time to store the boats and break out the snowmobiles, warm clothing and ice augers.
Also making LOTW such a great angling destination is its diversity of available sportfish, even in the dead of winter—crappies, lake trout (above), northern pike, walleye, whitefish and yellow perch top the hardwater hit list. Where else can you match that, especially considering this massive lake boasts both numbers and trophy sizes of these fish?
Another big draw during winter is that visiting anglers can call on one of the many local outfitters and be out on the ice in no time. All you need to bring is warm clothing and it’s game on. No matter whether you visit during the spring, summer, fall or winter, LOTW should be high on your fishing bucket list.