When anglers think of fishing northern Canada, most thoughts first imagine walleye. Abundant, sporting and tasty, walleye are the cornerstone of great fishing trips in Northern Ontario, and if you are a walleye angler, Eagle Lake will not disappoint. The lake has a healthy and growing walleye population. Unlike some northern lakes that seem to produce unending numbers of walleye that are the cut out of the same 14-17 inch mold, Eagle’s walleye come in a variety of sizes. Each hook set could be anything between a good fish for shore lunch or your biggest walleye ever. This takes walleye fishing to the next level. Lots of bites and lots of sizes make for fantastic fishing and indicate a healthy walleye population.
The walleye fishing on Eagle breaks down to basically two seasons. From about opening day to the middle of July, most of the walleye are in shallower water. You’ll be casting, trolling and drifting in water that’s generally less than twenty feet deep with jigs, spinner rigs, live bait rigs, and crank baits. Casting jerk baits and swim baits along weed edges and shorelines is also an exciting way to catch walleye on Eagle.
Later in the season, the walleye tend to go deeper so fishing main lake points, islands, and shoals is a prime technique. Most of the fish are in water twenty feet or deeper so spinner and live bait rigs, as well as vertical jigging are the ticket now. In either season, catching walleye is generally extremely easy and unquestionably fun.
Eagle Lake’s pike population is healthy and heavy. Pike over ten pounds are common and you have a good shot at one over twenty in the spring and fall- which are the best times to target larger pike. That said, pike are caught all season long on Eagle, so it’s rare when the pike fishing on Eagle is poor.
Early in the spring, anglers should target pike in shallow weedy bays, creek mouths and flats. Anywhere the water warms quickly after ice out is a good spot to look for pike. Casting weedless spoons and top water lures to reed edges works well, as does casting soft plastics, spoons and smaller jerk baits in slightly deeper areas. Black, white, fire-tiger and metallic silver and gold are good choices for lures.
Summertime pike anglers should look for cooler water and deeper drop-offs where pike ambush baitfish. Anywhere you find cooler temperatures and baitfish you will find summer pike.
In the fall, the pike move shallow again as the water temperatures drop. They will be right on top of the shallow rock and weeds that the muskies were just a week or so before. Casting spoons, jerk-baits, larger swim baits and buck tails at this time of the year can be spectacular, as the fish are thick and aggressively feeding to put on more weight for the upcoming winter. In the fall on Eagle, you also have a chance of putting a twenty pound pike in the boat the same day you slip the net under a thirty pound muskie. Not many lakes give you an honest chance at doing that. Eagle does.
The muskie fishing on Eagle Lake is legendary. Eagle Lake’s muskie are not only abundant, they are big. This is one of the few lakes on the planet that holds muskie that will tip the scales over fifty pounds. This is not just wishful thinking- they have been caught here before. If you want to catch a muskie of a lifetime, Eagle Lake should be at least in your top five choices, if not number one.
The muskie fishing on Eagle is excellent the whole season but like walleye the habitat they use changes as the season progresses. Early in the season, shallower weed beds are prime locations for muskie. Casting buck tails, spinner baits, jerk baits and surface lures are the ticket for these fish. While it’s hard to beat the color black with a sliver and/gold combo, black with hot orange or chartreuse, fire-tiger and white are also must have early season colors on Eagle Lake.
Later in the summer, casting main lake points and other structure near deeper water is a good idea. The same lures that worked well in the spring are also a good choice here, but upsizing them is a good idea, as is casting large plastic swim baits.
Once the fall arrives and the waters cool, trolling bigger crank baits near deep water break lines or casting big jerk baits and soft plastics to rock shoals and deep water points is a great way to get a major league muskie to hit. The fall fishing remains good all the way up to freeze-up when anglers must reluctantly stow the boat for another year.
While the smallies are at the edge of their northern range and not targeted as much as the other species are, the bass fishing on Eagle can be excellent. Three to four pound smallmouth aren’t uncommon and fish over five pounds are caught each year. And the great thing about smallmouth is that the warmer things get, the better the bass fishing. So if you are on Eagle during a heat wave, it’s time to bust out the bass gear.
Summer is the time to target bass on Eagle. Fish spinner-baits, jerk-baits, tubes and grubs around spots with rock-weed mixtures that often occur around points, islands and the mouths of bays. Fish these same areas with top-water lures during calm mornings and evenings. Also, when you do find smallmouth on Eagle, be ready for more action as these fish often school up in prime areas, making for fast action.