The community of Minaki is situated along the river and in the center of our fishery. Bayview Lodge is located across the river from Minaki providing us with privacy and solitude, but keeping us close to the amenities of town. Minaki is a small wilderness community of about 150 people in winter and a larger population in summer. It offers a limited number of stores, services and recreational activities which enhance our vacation services. Bayview Lodge is located just a half mile or so from the centre of the town (village).
Minaki is a remote wilderness area with spectacular scenery, unparalleled fishing opportunities in both still and moving waters, and is very sparsely populated. While you may see another boat in the distance occasionally, the fishery is so large and so protected by bays, islands and turns in the various rivers, you hardly ever see anyone.
We have many portage lakes in the area offering access to huge Lake Trout, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Crappies, Perch, Sturgeon, Whitefish and Muskies. The Winnipeg Lakes and River Fishery is known for its abundant Walleye of which eight to nine pound fish are fairly common. Occasionally Walleye weighing more than twelve pounds are caught and released. The largest Muskie caught here was 65 lbs.
Trolling with crank baits in 30 to 60 feet of water seems to be the most productive technique for the big fish, although there's also some excellent action to be had while vertical jigging on mid-lake structures. Some very large Walleye and Musky are caught just around the corner from Bayview Lodge's ideal location in the center of our fishery.
Due to the wide variety of structure throughout the Winnipeg Lakes and River Fishery system, fish can be found almost anywhere in the five lakes and three rivers of the system at any time of the season.
Fish producing areas generally shift over the course of the season. The season starts with river channel fishing after the spring spawn with the larger schools moving down river into the Big Sand Lake area in mid-June to mid-July. By September, most of these schools are widely dispersed, scattered in the larger lake bodies moving in a migratory pattern upriver. Toward the end of September and October the fish move back into the current providing great late season action.
The River and Lake features include mud and sand bottoms with a variety of structures from rock bars to sand bars, along with muskie cabbage weeds and reefs. The fishery varies in depth to 200 feet. The deep holes provide shelter for the larger Northern Pike and Muskie when they are not foraging in shallow waters. The forage base for all species includes Ciscos, Shiners, other bait fish and the junior fish of all species. The Ministry of Natural Resources claims the growth rate of Northern Pike and Muskies in this area is approximately two pounds per year.
Targeting suspended schools of Walleye over deep basins in both the river and lakes is a popular summer fishing method. Sunken islands offer excellent structure and fishing opportunities. Lindy rigging, jigging, long-line trolling or casting crank baits as well as down-rigging all work here. We recommend starting with methods familiar to you but keep an open mind for alternative techniques if the action slows.
There are plenty of fish to pursue and as long as we all follow the Fishing Regulations for our area and let the bigger fish go, the great wilderness fishing we offer will be sustained forever! Fishing here is as good as it was hundreds of years ago and we maintain this by managing our fishery with care and conservative fishing practices. Let the trophies go to spawn again and handle fish with the care they deserve. Your next Canada fishing trip will be a success at Bayview Lodge Minaki.