There are few settings in Manitoba as beautiful as a waterfall cutting through the Northern Regions Canadian shield.
Wekusko Falls near Snow Lake Manitoba is exactly that. Located along the banks of this stunning geographic landmark is Wekusko Falls Lodge. Over the years I have seen countless images and watched many videos showcasing the stunning landscape and the top-notch Ice fishing from this location. This has continually intrigued me to visit this spot for myself.
A Bucket-List Trip to a Top-Notch Ice Fishing Destination
Finally, in late December of last year, I decided to take the northern journey and spend a few days ice fishing out of Wekusko Falls Lodge. Upon arrival to the lodge, it did not disappoint in the slightest. I was greeted with a stunning sunset in the background and the sights and sounds of Wekusko Falls in the foreground. I immediately knew this trip was going to be everything I had been hoping for.
At the lodge, I met up with my friend Marcel as well as Weksuko Falls Lodge owner and operator, Bryan Bogdan and his friend Trevor. Over the next few days, the four of us set our sights primarily on catching some big golden walleye as well as a little bit of everything else that these world-class multispecies waters have to offer.
Wekusko Lake Walleyes
In the early hours of the following morning, the four of us loaded up the sleighs and began the journey onto Wekusko Lake. The initial travel across the snow-covered lake led us to a small bay that Bryan has had some luck on in the past. We spread out and began fishing while Bryan hole hopped with his live scope searching for fish. We began landing a few nice eater-sized walleye and a couple of burbots. Before long Bryan wasn’t finding what he was looking for on the Garmin and we loaded back up and headed to a new location.
Spot number two was an island point with a couple of shelves leading into deeper water. Marcel and I began on the top and Bryan and Trevor ventured a touch deeper off of the point. We immediately were on the walleye and decided to set up shop here for the day. Although we caught great numbers of walleye with an awesome average size, as the day came to a close, we never quite broke into that upper level of walleye size. Not discouraged in the slightest, we packed up for the day with plans of returning again the following day.
Day #2 on Wekusko Lake
The second day of fishing brought with it much of the same as day one. We got on the fish and stayed on the fish for the majority of the day. We continually iced an awesome average size of walleye mixed in with the odd whitefish. As the sun dropped below the treeline we experienced some exceptional burbot fishing to cap off the day. I was over the moon with the quality of fishing we were experiencing. However, Bryan is a bit of a fish snob, (I say that in the nicest way possible) and he wanted bigger and he wanted better for our third day of fishing. That evening we loaded all of our sleds and prepared for what was sure to be an epic day three filled with some top-notch ice fishing.
Top-Notch Ice Fishing at Wekusko Falls Lodge
In the early morning of the third day, we loaded up our convoy of trucks and began the short ride to Reed Lake. We quickly unloaded our sleds and sleighs and headed onto the lake to begin our journey across. When we rolled out onto our spot, Bryan was like a NASCAR pit crew, as he began directing traffic and drilling holes as we began setting our spread of tip-ups and deadlines.
Bryan assured us that this spot held big fish of many species which only grew my anticipation as this epic day of fishing was about to begin. For our dead-lines we had them set up with medium-sized ciscos and a quick-strike rig. Laying them along the bottom in a line from 12 feet of water down to about 17. For our active baits, we were using a variety of lures with a PK Rattle Spoon seeming to be the most effective.
My Best Day of Ice fishing
Just a few minutes into fishing I hooked into a small walleye. Immediately Bryan’s excitement was apparent, the fish were here and it was only a matter of time until the madness was to ensue. Sure enough, just minutes later our first flag of the day popped up! First to it was Trevor and after a great fight he reeled up a tank walleye, the biggest of the trip so far and the start to a magical day.
The next flag to go was mine! I did my best impression of a 20-yard dash as I came sliding in to grab the rod as the line screamed off the reel. Quickly closed the bail and set the hook, immediately feeling lots of weight load up on the rod. I knew this couldn’t be a walleye, and it didn’t take long to notice the all too familiar fight of a lake trout. After a brief and intense battle with the fish, I got its head up the hole. Sure enough, a lake trout… and one of the most coloured up, beautiful lakers I have seen to boot!
This was just the beginning! Flags began to go off in all directions as we all scrambled back and forth reeling in hard-fighting mid to high 30” pike, thick golden walleye, and colorful lakers one after another.
Giant Northern Pike on Reed Lake
About mid-way through this dream day on the water, Marcel’s flag popped up behind him. He quickly dashed over there and set the hook. The look on his face when he did so said it all. He hooked into something BIG! Even with his beefed-up tackle this fish was a struggle to control. Just when it seemed Marcel was beginning to gain on the fish, it went for another unstoppable line peeling run to the bottom. Finally, Marcel was beginning to get the edge on this battle as he began seeing glimpses of the fish under the ice, a monster pike! After some tedious work, he was finally able to get this massive head through the 10” hole.
Marcel and I were both in shock at our initial glimpses with the size of this fish. With its mouth opened it looked like you could fit a soccer ball in the side of it. After unhooking it Marcel quickly threw it on the bump board and measured it out as a massive 44 inches. Marcel then placed her back in the hole and watched her wave goodbye. Truly a lifetime fish and Marcel’s Personal best.
Top-notch Ice Fishing for Walleyes, Lake Trout, Pike, and More!
As the mid-afternoon set in. The madness that had occurred for many consecutive hours had started to slow down a bit. I settled into my ice shack and began working my rattle spoon again. I began to catch a handful of super respectable mid-20 inch walleye and a couple of Master Angler whitefish. Suddenly a mark appeared on my sonar that was much different than the rest. This mark was not only bigger than what I had been seeing, it also moved faster and more erratically. It came flying off the bottom a few times, totally missing my lure and streaking above it. When finally, it slammed my lure. It hit so hard it almost hurt my wrists as it began peeling drag off my reel. Again, I knew this had to be a laker.
Although I was fishing walleye with my walleye tackle, in 12 feet of water. This incredible fishery has a little bit of everything to offer and I was happy to be using a 38” medium rod for this fight. After a handful of powerful runs, I was finally able to get this fish into the hole. It was another amazing coloured up lake trout.
Supersized Fish in Manitoba's Northern Region
This amazing fishing continued for the remainder of the day, and when the dust settled, we were left speechless at the world-class fishing we just experienced. We came into the day with the hopes of hooking into a big walleye, and we got a whole lot more than we bargained for. We landed countless fish of all species in and around the Master Angler requirements for each. From walleye, pike, lake trout, and whitefish, EVERYTHING was supersized on this day. We capped off the day with an awesome sunset as we began to pack up and make the journey back to the lodge.
One More Day of Ice Fishing for Walleyes
The following day we were supposed to be heading back south to go home. However inclement weather and poor travel conditions somehow warranted another day of fishing… and we were not complaining! Marcel and I headed back onto Wekusko Lake for the day to chase walleyes yet again. Later in the day, we were joined by Bryan and the entire Bogdan family. Watching Bryan fish with his kids truly revealed the true passion he has for fishing. This left nothing up to interpretation why he is one of the best in the business.
Wekusko Falls Lodge, Ice Fishing at it's Finest
The following morning brought with it much better weather and I began my drive back home. My first trip to Wekusko Falls Lodge after many years of dreaming of it left nothing to be desired. My high expectations were far exceeded on every level. The lodging, the service, the fishery… All top-notch. I left the lodge that day knowing, that my first trip, was certainly not going to be my last.
Written by: Keevin Erickson
To book a trip for top-notch ice fishing at Wekusko Falls Lodge, visit the Wekusko Falls Lodge website.