Fab 4 Fishing Destinations

Updated: By Karl Kalonka

I get asked by a lot of people which ‘exact’ locations should they consider based on my own personal experiences fishing in Ontario’s Algoma Country for either smallmouth bass or walleye.

This is not an easy question to answer because we have been blessed to be able to fish so many different lakes and river systems across this region but certain trips stand out either because of excellent timing or memorable fish catches.

Based on the aforementioned, here are my ‘Fab 4 Fishing’ destinations for those planning an angling vacation this year.

1. Trophy Smallmouth Bass


The unique world-class alley from Spanish to Chapleau is truly special when it comes to the opportunities for giant brown bass. We have experienced some incredible smallmouth fishing from early May to late September in these areas and caught them on everything from loud, splashy topwater baits to fishing vertically right below our boat with soft plastics catching trophy-sized bass in the five to six-pound class with regularity. The majority of these locations occurred while visiting with the many angling lodge operators in this sector and easy to get to drive to locations with our own boat.

2. Wonderful Wawa Walleye


The Algoma region is blessed with countless lakes and rivers that harbour these golden bars but a few trips stand out in terms of non-stop action regardless of the time of day or time of year. The waters of Wawa and its vicinity have provided us with some of the most memorable trips for shallow-water walleye. Water depths ranging from five to ten feet deep and literally fishing fifteen feet from the boat, cast after cast catching marble-eyed critters.

These trips have included some trophy-sized walleye, but the majority of these trips were based on just having fun, catching a ton of fish, eating some freshly caught fish and just spending time in the wonderful wilderness settings of Algoma country.

3. Non-Stop Bass


Similar to the above walleye trips, some of our most memorable trips to Algoma resulted in timing the top water bite to a T! Warm summer evenings, glass-like lake conditions and smallmouth bass busting the surface until dark are priceless moments for any bass angler to experience. The Mississagi Valley truly has to be fished for bass if you’re looking for sheer numbers of bass. This is one of the most scenic areas of Northern Ontario! The Mississagi Valley (Hwy 129 – Ontario’s Tail of the Dragon) is a favourite destination for fishermen. The many lakes and streams of the Mississagi Valley are also home to trout, smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike and panfish.

4. Wilderness Walleye


I call these areas wilderness walleye regions because of the perfect combination of trophy walleye catches and the serenity of the wilderness surroundings that sometimes can result in being the only boat on the lake, these opportunities exist in areas like Elliot Lake, Hornepayne, White River and Missanabie.

On any given hookset you could hook the walleye of a lifetime but it is the remote fishing opportunities that drag me back to these areas every year. Enjoying fresh caught shore lunches while getting close to nature is what these trips are all about. The perfect escape.



About Karl Kalonka

It's possible Karl's love for fishing began as early as the age of five. His parents took the kids on weekend trips across Ontario fishing for panfish, catfish, and bass. "I started with a bobber and worm from the time I was five years old," says Karl. These days, he has the enviable task of doing what he loves for a living, travelling across Ontario fishing, filming and producing two outdoor series, Extreme Angler and Crappie Angler TV.

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