Kenora, Ontario is the most popular part of Lake of the Woods. This is where you are going to find the most services, the most people and basically everything you will need for an ideal fishing vacation. The downside is that you will see more people fishing here than on other parts of Lake of the Woods, but with a 15 to 20 minute boat ride, you can easily find some water all to yourself. This is an amazing part of Lake of the Woods that gives you the feel of being around everything while also still feeling like you are getting away from it all. It’s an awesome destination and anglers catch smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike, muskie, perch, crappie and largemouth bass.
Primary Species of Fish
This area is home to some incredible fishing on Lake of the Woods. The smallmouth bass fishery is outstanding for numbers and some big fish are here too. You will find lots of 2 to 3 pound smallies here with some smaller and some bigger. Northern pike are here in good numbers and some big fish live here too. Walleye fishing can be very good if you know how to target them. Big fish in the upper 20 inch range are possible with some fish exceeding 30 inches. The muskie fishing is very good as well. Good numbers of fish are possible and big fish up to and above 50 inches are possible.
Secondary Species of Fish
Largemouth bass, perch and crappie are here and if you know how to target them here, you may have some awesome fishing experiences here. However, these fish are secondary in this area compared to the pike, smallmouth bass, muskie and walleye.
We have plenty of fishing tips in the following sections:
Fishing the Bays
There are so many bays in the Kenora area. Most of them will have rocks, some with have sand bottoms and some will have some weeds in them. The bays are great for targeting a variety of fish in the spring and early summer. You will find smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye and other fish in the bays too. As water temperatures warm up though, most of the better quality fish will move out of the smaller bays onto main lake structure. That doesn’t mean that you can’t catch some fish in the smaller bays from spring through fall though and the larger bays will fish more like smaller lakes within a huge lake.
Fishing the Drop-offs
There are so many spots where there are good drop-offs along the shorelines off the islands and off the reefs. From summer through fall, you’re going to find a good amount of fish on these drop-offs.
Fishing the Flats
Some of the bays have some nice shallow flats that will hold fish in the spring time. You can catch some very big pike and smallmouth bass on these shallow flats in just a few feet of water. You may find some other fish on the flats too depending on the time of year and the water temperature.
Fishing the Points
There are a lot of points to fish whether they are on the mainland or on an island. Fishing the points is a good pattern here from spring through fall. All major game fish will be around these points at some point and you will find some panfish mixed in too.
Fishing the Islands
There are so many islands here to fish that you could just fish the islands and never run out of good water to fish. The islands will hold lots of smallmouth bass, some walleye, northern pike and muskie too. Perch and crappie can often be found mixed in as well, but you’re going to find a lot more smallmouth bass relating to these islands here.
Fishing the Reefs
The reefs are a great summer and fall pattern for smallmouth bass, northern pike and walleye. Some big muskie will hang around these reefs too, so don’t be shocked if you see a giant in these areas. There are a lot of reefs in this area, so make sure you get a good map and some good electronics to help you find these spots quickly.
Fishing the Rocks
There are rocks everywhere, so plan on fishing the rocks while here on a trip. Smallmouth bass love the rocks and you’ll find plenty of these fish all over the place. Pike, walleye, muskie and other fish relate to the rocks here as well.
Fishing the Weeds
There are some weeds in this area, but definitely a lot more rocks. When you find the weeds, you’re going to catch more northern pike, but you’ll find some other fish there too. The deeper weed edges around the islands are great spots to target bigger northern pike.
Ontario Regulations (Lake of the Woods is in Zone 5)