Fishing Season

To provide our guests with a fulfilling fishing season, Aikens Lake opens in late May and stays open until mid-September. You can break our season down into two halves: the spring bite, and our mid-summer patterns. Known as one of the premier walleye fishing lakes in the country, fishing for this species in particular in great year round. However, with depths up to 295 feet we also boast great opportunities for toothy pike and mammoth lake trout as well. This means you have two great options when it comes to fly-in fishing vacations.

Spring Bite: In the spring, our anglers have the best opportunity to catch the "Big 3" - walleye, northern pike, and lake trout.  Spring walleye fishing is fantastic, since the walleye are regaining their appetite after a long winter of lethargy, but pike and lake trout are also voracious early in the season. Walleye and pike are often competing for food and warm water and can be found together, as they all try to find the warmest waters where many of the baitfish are hanging out.  The Gammon River, which flows in and out of Aikens Lake, is a great spawning and transition area.  There is a lot of river fishing at this time of year, with the most popular spot being called the Honeyhole (the inlet where the Gammon flows into Aikens).  Lake trout, which prefer the coldest waters in the lake, are free to roam the entire water column in the spring.  They can be caught by jigging or trolling spoons & cranks in 15-40 feet of water. Make sure that you don’t miss the spring walleye fishing! 

Mid to late-summer patterns: Beginning in July, the water will have sufficiently warmed for the thermocline to set in.  This makes for some of the best walleye fishing, since the Walleye begin to congregate on main lake reefs and humps. They generally start out in 12-15 feet of water, and as the thermocline gets pushed deeper by the warming water the fish follow suit.  Walleye are generally found in about 25 feet of water by late July, and 32-35 feet of water in September.  Our most trusted presentation is the jig & minnow, but they are also susceptible to bottom bouncers, spinner rigs, or deep-trolling crankbaits.  Our guides are well-versed in the many techniques that can produce great fish.  In the summertime, pike up to 30" can still be found in the shallow bays for those interested in casting the bays or fly-fishing.  That said, all of the larger trophy fish have left the bays to go and find the deeper, cooler waters of the main lake.  Although it is no longer a numbers game, impressive trophy pike can be caught with some trolling patterns and a bit of patience.  Lastly, the lake trout have now moved into the depths of Aikens.  We have downriggers to go after them in 60-120 feet of water, but we would not recommend booking a lake trout experience in the mid-summer or fall seasons. 

So all told there is never a "bad" time for an Aikens Lake fishing vacation.  Be it spring, summer, or fall, there is always something biting and our guides are well trained to find fish in all conditions and seasons. 

Our guide really listened to what we wanted to do and tailored our day specifically to us. To me, the shorelunch was the highlight of each day. The shorelunch sites are set-up so well in very scenic spots. You can watch the Aikens videos and read the website about the fancy cabins, and the food, and how great the fishing and the service is, but one thing you can't really appreciate until you're here is how beautiful it all is.

—Paul Capecchi,
Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota

I’m an amateur rank fisherman and I caught a ton of fish, including a Master Angler pike. That’s what makes Aikens Lake so great, you can get guys like me that really don’t know what they’re doing, and you start to believe that you might.

—John MacDonald,
Minneapolis, Minnesota

My husband and my dad had always talked about going to Canada or Alaska, so when I got the idea to give them a fishing trip as a surprise gift I did about six months of research. Once I talked with Pit, I was sold. It was really a surprise to them. They were so excited, and they just had a wonderful time at Aikens. They enjoyed their dream trip, and I don’t think it will be their last time to Aikens.

—Debbie Nutter,
Elizabeth, Colorado

Pit and his team have done a wonderful job of putting together the perfect gem of an outpost camp. We love going to the Lost Lake outpost because it provides you the seclusion and serenity without comprising the nice luxury-type components.

—Scot Woolley,
Minnetonka, Minnesota

The Four Seasons of fishing lodges. What's truly impressive is that ownership is constantly improving the experience. Every year you arrive and notice improvements. I'm just back from our trip to Aikens with my son. In the last 15 months he's been to Copenhagen, Berlin, Estonia, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Venice, Croatia, Greece and Turkey – but said this was his favorite trip ever. He slept with his Aikens hat on last night!

—Greg Borca,
Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin

Those young staff members make me realize that our future is in good hands. Every one of them are class act young people, such a joy to associate with when you see what is going on across the land. Thanks again for the great hospitality from you and ALL of the staff.

—Jeff Hall,
North Little Rock, Arkansas

Truly an experience you'll want to relive over and over. This father-son-grandpa trip went from being a once in a lifetime experience, to an annual fishing trip! See you next summer!

—Mark L.,
Winnipeg, Canada

Aikens is the perfect place for a family trip. The cabins are the best we’ve ever been in, the lodge is beautiful, and of course Pit and Julie are wonderful hosts.

—Jim Deleeuw,
Wisconsin President Organization, Group Leader

My husband and I never go back to the same place twice, but we loved it so much at Aikens we knew by the end of our first week we’d be back. It’s just how well they take care of you there. They make you feel like you’re part of the family.

—Denise Kozlowski,
Lake Oswego, Oregon

I’ve taken many large groups to Aikens and I always tell people beforehand how incredible the service is at Aikens. Every person has said to me at the end of the trip, “We believed you before, but I just can’t believe how good they treat you here!” One time Pit and Julie didn’t have the type of alcohol on-hand one of our guests was drinking, so they sent a plane out and got it.

—Ron Ball,
Westman Dreams for Kids

I call it a 5-star hotel in the wilderness. It’s the neatest place we’ve ever been, it’s like fantasy island.

—Joe Harrington,
Monticello, Arkansas

Each year we go somewhere as a family. We’ve been to Hawaii, Disney and many other places, but Aikens was one of the best trips we’ve ever had. Our trip was terrific, and my grandson loved every minute of it.

—Sherry Martin,
Cordova, Illinois

You think you’re at a Ritz-Carlton, you seriously get that level of treatment and amenities. Nobody in Manitoba can compete with Aikens for the quality of the fishing, staff, and facilities.

—Steve Andersen,
Lincoln, Nebraska

Trip number five and once again Aikens Lake out did itself. I thought it impossible for this wonderful place to get any better.

—Kris King,
NHL Senior VP of Hockey Operations, 14 year NHL player and captain, and Aikens Lake Honorary Pro Staff Guide

From the accommodations, to the staff and especially shore lunch, the entire experience at Aikens Lake is unmatched.

—Dan Quayle,
Former United States Vice-President

The photos are amazing and like the memories, they will last a lifetime.

—Boomer Esiason,
Former NFL MVP Quarterback, TV Commentator, and Founder of the Boomer Esiason Foundation (against cystic fibrosis)