Great drive-to fishing lodges in Ontario
For families and friends who love fishing, it doesn’t get much better than being able to drive to a full-service destination with great fishing and luxury accommodations.
Fishing at remote, fly-in lodges is an exciting trip, but anglers can only bring a limited selection of gear. Drive-to operations welcome guests with their own boats, loaded with their own rods, reels and electronics. In addition, guests of drive-to resorts have their own vehicles and all the services of surrounding communities are at their disposal.
Different angling options
Ontario’s fishing lodges offer a variety of angling experiences.
A bit of research helps anglers select a fishing holiday that will meet their expectations. Things to consider include the type of water body a lodge is located on, the species present and what angling techniques are used to catch them.
Walleye, northern pike and smallmouth bass are probably the most common and sought after species in Ontario. Other exciting options include lake trout, brook trout, muskie, whitefish, perch, largemouth bass and crappie.
Fishable waterways come in all shapes and sizes, from connecting river systems to lakes of various sizes and depths. The fish species combined with the unique characteristics of each water body will determine the type of fishing that is most appropriate including fly fishing, spin casting, trolling or down rigging.
Accommodations and services
Guests can also choose the level of comfort and luxury to meet their needs. Options include main lodge accommodations with dining rooms where all meals are provided or housekeeping cottages where visitors cook their own meals.
Anglers can bring their own boats or can choose to rent a boat from the lodge’s fleet.
Staff members are available to point self-guided anglers in the right direction or guests can hire a guide to lead them to fish, prepare a daily shore lunch and process their catch at the end of the day.
Many destinations will provide options for those who might not be hard-core anglers like a network of hiking trails or canoe, kayak and standup paddle board rentals.
Whether it’s a group of fishing buddies, couples or families, there is a drive-to fishing lodge to satisfy the fishing and accommodation needs of every group.
Fishing lodges with road access
Here are some of Ontario’s top drive-in fishing lodges:
It might be a long drive up Highway 105 towards the Northwestern Ontario town of Red Lake, but 25-kilometre-long Gull Rock Lake has some of the finest walleye and pike fishing anglers can drive to.
Five Lakes Lodge has nine fully equipped housekeeping cottages and is open year-round with bonus access to additional lake and river systems.
Location: Gull Rock Lake
Massive Lac Seul is the playground of guests driving the mix of paved and gravel road 67 kilometres north of Dryden to Silver Water Wheel Lodge.
Guides fishing out of 115 horsepower Kingfisher boats lead guests to trophy walleye, northern pike and smallmouth bass. Accommodations and meals match the fishery at this high end all-inclusive resort.
Location: Lac Seul
Eagle Lake is famous for its ability to produce large specimens of walleye, bass, lake trout, pike, and muskie and Cedar Point Lodge is just one example of the luxury resorts operating along it’s more than 500 kilometres of shoreline.
Accommodations range from 3000 square foot chalets to one bedroom housekeeping cabins.
Location: Eagle Lake
Just south of Dryden, 30-kilometre-long Wabigoon Lake is well-known for walleye, muskie, northern pike and bass.
The housekeeping cabins, docking facilities and main lodge of Bonny Bay Camp is just off the TransCanada Highway and provides everything needed to make the most of this legendary fishery.
Location: Wabigoon Lake
With 13 summer cabins and seven insulated year-round housekeeping cabins near the town of Sioux Narrows, Crawford’s Camp well situated and equipped to lead guests to the best of Lake of the Woods (LOW) winter or summer.
Second generation camp owner Matt Ryberg can help anglers choose between the virtually limitless lake trout, muskie, bass and walleye opportunities within LOW’s mind-boggling 100,000 kilometres of shoreline.
Location: Lake of the Woods
At the northwest arm of Rainy Lake, Labelle's Birch Point Camp offers drive-to access to some of the best fishing available on Rainy Lake for walleye, crappie, smallmouth and pike.
Winterized cabins, main lodge, meal plan options and bait and tackle make this an excellent base for exploring sprawling Rainy Lake.
Location: Rainy Lake
Known as the Caribbean of the North, the long sand beaches of Clearwater Lake and the remote wooded shores of White Otter Lake hold big northern pike and trophy lake trout.
Brown’s Clearwater Lodge is a year-round operation with a variety of accommodations including a 75 site campground plus lakeshore studio apartments and even winter outpost camps.
Location: Clearwater Lake
An hour west of Thunder Bay, 40-kilometre-long Shebandowan Lake is loaded with walleye, pike and smallmouth bass.
At the mouth of the main spawning river guests regularly catch walleye right from the dock at Kaskabowie River Resort. Added touches like a sauna on the beach near a scenic falls compliment excellent fishing and accommodations.
Location: Shebandowan Lake
The Nipigon River is famous for producing the world record brook trout in 1915 and today fly anglers regularly catch trophy brookies that continue to thrive here through careful management.
Québec Lodge is a 4000 square foot log structure built in 1937 near the mouth of the Nipigon River offering guiding and comfortable accommodations for trout aficionados looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Location: Nipigon River
With main lodge, housekeeping cabins and even motels units built on the southwest corner of Borden Lake, Chapleau Lodge provides plenty of choice for guests targeting the walleye, northern pike and smallmouth bass that swim the rocky structure of this long and narrow lake.
Location: Borden Lake
Exquisitely crafted horizontal log main lodge and a collection of chalets are built along the rapids and falls of a small river joining Flack and Mikel Lakes.
Laurentian Lodge began in the 1930s as a fly-in fishing destination. Today it’s accessible via Highway 639 and the great fishing for lake trout in Flack Lake remains.
Location: Flack and Mikel Lakes
Main lodge, cabins and docking facilities rest on the smooth rocky shoreline near the mouth of the Spanish River.
Brennan Harbour Resort provides access to the picturesque Whalesback Channel of Lake Huron where a wealth of islands, bays, narrows and inlets are habitat for walleye, northern pike, bass and muskie.
Location: Spanish River
Lake Manitou is the largest lake within a freshwater island on Manitoulin Island and the home of Timberline Rustic Lodges.
With a launch ramp and docking facilities contained within a tiny man-made harbour, guests can fish for lake trout, walleye and bass contained within Manitou’s 140 kilometres of shoreline.
Location: Lake Manitou
Perched on top of a glacier scoured rock cut overlooking the Northeast arm of Lake Temagami, Temagami Shores Inn and Resort offers a range of accommodation from motels suites to white pine shaded cabins. Guests enjoy all the services of the town of Temagami and the great fishing for lake trout, walleye and bass of 50-kilometre-long Lake Temagami.
Location: of Lake Temagami
What began as a lumber camp in the 1920s evolved into a fishing lodge with 16 rustic cottages, main lodge, restaurant and marina.
Wolseley Lodge is near the mouth of the Wolseley River, the main spawning grounds for the walleye, northern pike and muskie that swim this 25-kilometre-long section of the French River.
Location: Wolseley River
Located on an island in the heart of the French River, Chaudiere Lodge offers a collection of all-inclusive shoreline cabins complemented by a 3200 square-foot main lodge where gourmet meals are served.
Guests are welcome to fish on their own or hire one of the lodge’s guides to target walleye, northern pike, bass and muskie.
Location: French River
Lake Nipissing is well-known for its walleye, pike, muskie and bass fishing, as well as an abundance of drive-to fishing lodges including Tama Kwa Vacationland.
Located at the east end of Nipissing, guests enjoy well appointed cabins, a private sand beach at Callander Bay, great fishing and close proximity to the town of Callander and the city of North Bay.
Location: Lake Nipissing
Built in the 1920s, the main lodge features guest’s fishing photographs displayed on the restored wooden plank walls of this historic building.
Cabins are built on the sloping smooth rocks of Lake Nipissing’s West Bay where guests of Memquisit Lodge explore the islands, inlets, bays and narrows for pike, muskie, bass and walleye.
Location: Lake Nipissing
With ten housekeeping cottages at the narrows between Stoney and Buckhorn Lakes, Ardagh Cottage Resort is well situated for anglers to experience the walleye, bass, pike and muskie fishing of the famous Kawartha Lakes chain.
Guests also enjoy fishing and boating the more than 350 kilometre Trent Severn Waterway.
Location: Stoney and Buckhorn Lakes
Near the town of Picton, Merlin Park Resort is a four-season lodge where guests target the trophy walleye of the famous Bay of Quinte.
A variety of accommodations from small cottages originating from the 1920s to modern fully insulated units keep guests comfortable year-round.
Location: Bay of Quinte
This second generation, family run operation has been leading guests to the walleye, bass and pike of the Ottawa River for more than 40 years.
Antlers Kingfisher Lodge is just off TransCanada Highway 17 near Deux Rivieres offering housekeeping cottages and tent and trailer sites nestled in the shoreline woods.
Location: Ottawa River
With boat launch, docking facilities and housekeeping cottages along the shore of the St. Lawrence River, Spencer’s Riverfront Cottages provide access to the tremendous angling and boating of the Thousand Islands area.
South of Highway 401 near Gananoque, these waters are known for trophy muskie, pike and bass.
Location: St. Lawrence River
Crossing the border from the United States into Canada
Visitors from the United States have a long tradition of crossing at International Falls/Fort Frances, the twin cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Port Huron/Sarnia or Detroit/Windsor borders to fish Ontario waters.
The Canadian Border Services Agency provides useful information for visitors to Canada.
When transporting a boat and trailer it’s important to avoid the introduction of aquatic invasive species. Most states and provinces have regulations around the introduction of aquatic species. Learn how to prevent the spread of invasive species for anglers and specific tips for boaters.
Find more useful fishing tips for anyone angling in Ontario with information on everything from licenses to live bait.
Last updated: September 8, 2023