Johnston Island Lodge
Fifteen years ago Lakers Unlimited started here as a single lodge with a kitchen and dining area. Cooking was done over a campfire. How we’ve grown! Now the campfire is just for singalongs, accompanied on guitar by some of our multi-talented guides. In 2005 we completed a sixth guest cabin, and there are now three washrooms with two hot showers. In 2004 we installed a one micron water filtration system, so the tap water is safe to drink. In 2009 we put solar lights and a few other upgrades in the guest cabins, and completed some renovations to the dining room.
The main lodge has been greatly expanded over the years, and now includes the comfortable Sowers Lounge, named for the legendary fisherman Jim Sowers who over the years spent 18 weeks fishing with Lakers Unlimited. It's a great place to relax around a wood stove at the end of a day of battling big fish on Lake Athabasca.
Johnston Island is located on an island archipelago south of the Crackingstone Peninsula, a huge mass which juts into the main basin of Lake Athabasca. The area is a tangled maze of islands, reefs and bays, with dozens of excellent spots for Lakers, Northerns and Arctic Grayling. The lodge is in the heart of a sheltered bay at the east end of this seven mile long island. Protected by hills, the bay provides easy access to the many pike bays in the area as well as the prime trout fishing grounds on Lake Athabasca: Johnston Island is in the heart of the action.
Pike fishermen take note: Johnston Island's reputation may be primarily as a Lake Trout lodge, but the facts say otherwise. The Lakers Unlimited record pike - a 32 pounder - was caught at Johnston several years ago - and another 32 pounder was caught in 2009.
Spring Bay Lodge
The Spring Bay area is, in our opinion, Lake Athabasca’s premier trophy northern pike area. The extensive Northern habitat found in Spring, Maurice and Ness Bays add up to a pike lover’s dream, whether you're a fly fishermen or use conventional tackle. Most of the water in the bays is four to ten feet deep. As the summer progresses, large weed beds develop throughout the bays, and that’s there the big ones will lurk in wait. Our lodge is the only one in the area, so you’ll have it all to yourselves.
From their wake-up at ice-out in June to the warm days of August, northern fishing here is always exciting – and in fact, though southern pike fishermen might not believe it, August is when our 30s have been caught.
But Spring Bay Lodge is not just for pike fishermen. Just like Johnston Island Lodge, Spring Bay offers something for everyone. The islands and reefs outside the protected bays are home to plenty of big Lakers, there are several highly productive Arctic grayling spots, and there are occasional catches of walleye in the five to eight pound range. With the abundance of great habitat for Northern Pike, we have also landed Trout into the 40lb plus range.
The open pine forest is home to an excellent berry crop most years – and we will pick them for the best blueberry or Saskatoon pies you have ever tasted. Moose are commonly seen, and even the elusive timber wolf is not an unusual sight. Sandhill cranes are another annual visitor, nesting nearby and frequently flying directly over the lodge. At campfires nighthawks sometime drop by, and by late July there’s a good chance to see the northern lights.
In the end, it’s the fishing that’s important, and Spring Bay Lodge and Johnston Island lodge both offer world class fishing for both Lake Trout and Northern Pike in their own unique way. Either lodge you choose has the fishing you have been dreaming about.
Come visit us soon and experience your own trip of a lifetime!