Dog Lake is one of Ontario's best-kept Walleye secrets. It's far enough south for a long growing season producing big Walleyes but still located in a very remote region of Northern Ontario. As a result Walleye fishing pressure is low and the population of Walleye is high. Dog Lake is fed fresh water and nutrients from the Lochalsh River and the Dog River. Dog Lake is the headwaters for the Michipicoten River, which is also famous for Walleye fishing. The Walleyes have lots of highly oxygenated water and food along with classic Canadian Shield structure, which is the environment they flourish in. The rivers also provide outstanding spawning grounds. Combining these factors has produced one of Ontario's top Walleye Lakes.
Walleye are common in the 1 to 3-pound range, which is 14 to 19 inches. During an average day of Walleye fishing you should catch 30 to 60 Walleyes depending on how hard you fish and how well you know the lake. Some days you may catch more. Some of our guests have found hot spots where it's one Walleye after another all morning. We show all our guests the hot spots but many want to go out and explore the lake and find new spots. Dog Lake is a big lake and it produces big Walleyes. During an average day of fishing you should pull in a few Walleyes in the 4 to 6-pound range. Occasionally really big Walleyes are caught over 10 pounds. The big Walleyes over 7 pounds are always female and they tend to stay a little deeper during the day but come into the shallows in the evening and at night. Trolling right close to shore in 3 to 4 foot deep of water right at dusk with floating Rapalas and Junior Thundersticks is your best chance at a big Trophy Walleye. Walleyes in the 7 to 10 pound range are much more rare than the smaller males but during a week of fishing at the right places at the right time your chances are excellent. That is not to say you will not catch a big Walleye during the day. Many of our guests catch outstanding Walleyes during the day but if catching a trophy Walleye is your mission, sunrise and sunset are the two best times.
Scents and Scented Baits:
Scented baits do not work well in the north. Actually, Walleyes will avoid lures that have had scent put on them so make sure you wash your lures and if you are going to buy twistertails for jigs, get unscented. Twistertails do not work that well either on Dog Lake. Green, pink and white jig heads with just a worm works best. Bring 1/4 oz for shallow to 15 feet deep and 3/8 for 15 to 22 feet deep. This will give you a better feel for the bottom. There is no need for rubber tails. 1/2 of a worm on a jig head and you're all set.
Don't waste your money buying Power Gulp or other similar products unless they specify that they are salted, not scented. Salted products do work as well as salted minnows. To give you an example, Gary and Greg were trolling the shoreline. They both had Perch colored Junior Thundersticks on. They had the same fishing line with the same amount of line out. The lures were side-by-side and they kept trolling back and fourth past the same point. In an hour of fishing, Greg caught 12 Walleyes including a 27 and a 30-incher while Gary caught nothing. The only difference is Gary covered his lure with Berkley Walleye Scent while Greg used no scent at all.
A jig head and a small piece of worm works great. A straight jig tipped with a minnow or leech also works. Mid-June to Mid-August the Walleyes will be off shoals, islands and rocky points where there is a nice drop-off. Jigs works best this time of year. In the spring, trolling really close to shore with small floating Rapalas and Thundersticks works best. Chartreuse, Fire Tiger and Red work best in the spring. In the evening and at night during the summer, trolling really close to shore with a small blue jointed Rapala works best. The J-11 Jointed Rapala is too big. You need to go to the smaller size, as you only want your lure a foot under the surface. Lures still work in the summer. If you want to troll for Walleyes off rocky points and along the shore, during the summer and fall the Walleyes like more natural colors such as Perch, silver & black or gold and black.
In the heat of the day the Walleyes slow down. They are still feeding but they get lazy. They will sit on bottom and pick off bugs. With this in mind, try putting a big worm on a hook with no weight. Let the worm dangle off the hook and literally drag the worm across the bottom or over rocks. You can let the worm just sit on bottom if there is no wind for a drift. This is the best way to keep the Walleye action going in the middle of the afternoon.
Dog Lake is a great place for you to spend your fishing vacation. There are lots of Walleyes including big trophy Walleyes. They are easy to catch including those 16 and 17-inch Walleyes, which are perfect for shore lunch. Here at Camp Missanabie, soon to be called Northern Walleye Lodge, we will do everything to make sure you catch tons of fish.