Our Guides = Great Success: Catching fish, lots of fish, and big ones at that, with a great chance of landing a Manitoba Master Angler Trophy, is the bottom line on any Canada fly-in fishing trip.
Aikens Lake has an outstanding reputation for all of the above, and a great deal of the credit is due to the contribution of our Pro-Staff Guides. Selective harvest and high quality management policies of the lake have combined with cumulative Pro-Staff Guide knowledge to produce exceptional results. We take particular care in training all our fishing guides not only about fishing on Aikens Lake, but we also place a huge emphasis on customer service. We don’t ever want someone to tell us that although the fishing was good, they don’t want to fish with their guide anymore! We make sure that our fishing guides have the conversational and angling skills that will keep you informed and entertained every moment of the day.
Knowledge and Experience
Our Pro-Staff fishing guides have many years of experience fishing in Manitoba and at Aikens Lake. Their knowledge and experience enables them to share and demonstrate high percentage sport angling techniques, from jigging a bait over submerged structure to bottom-bouncing a hand-tied crawler rig in the flats for big ‘Eyes, the guides have numerous methods of attack specifically adapted to the incredible bounties of Aikens Lake.
At noon, our guides will prepare the most talked about dining experience in Canada... a fresh walleye shorelunch! With a variety of recipes and years of training, our Pro-Staff guides will make your mouth water as you await this great meal in a truly pristine environment. As good as the fishing is, it is difficult to shift the focus away from the fabulous shorelunches our guides prepare for you. Sit back and enjoy as your guide will whip up a fantastic shorelunch for you. Your mouth will water in anticipation!
Aikens Lake features a new fleet of fishing boats! Over a dozen spacious open-concept Lund Alaskans assure our clientele’s comfort and safety. These sturdy platforms provide anglers with a top-notch experience out on the lake. Truly, these are some of the best boats you’ll find at any Canada fly-in fishing lodge.
A typical day begins after your breakfast (served between 7:00 and 7:30). As you make your way to the dock, your Aikens fishing guide will have your boat prepped and ready to go. After a short strategy session with your guide, he will make sure all the final preparations for bait and beverages are taken care of. As you depart the dock, your guide will bring you right to the hottest spots based on what you would like to fish for depending on type of species, size of fish, and numbers of fish you are looking to catch. After, and most often before picking up your lunch fish, you will be reeling in lunker walleye, lake trout, and pike. Our fishing guides will listen to your every request, from casting to bottom-bouncing, to down rigging, and they will bring you to the primary areas where these techniques will be most effective. At noon, they will prepare a scrumptious meal for you, then it’s back on the water for more trophy fishing! Your day ends around 5:00 p.m.. Each guide can take 2 people per day in their 16-foot Lund Alaskans. By special request, we also have three 18-foot Lund Alaskans that can each accommodate a group of three fisherman plus guide.
You fish with your guide daily from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. You are assigned a boat if you would like to go fishing after supper. Because of the long days (sunlight till 10:45 in June!), there is still 3 to 4 hours of great fishing left! Our guides work 10 hours a day, 7 days a week. Therefore, your guide does not normally take you out after supper. However, if you would like them to bring you out, they can usually be persuaded to bring you to some more hotspots. All arrangements for evening fishing with any guide should be made directly with them.
Throughout the years, we have had some truly exceptional Manitoba fishing guides and head guides at Aikens. However, seeing as how we mostly hire university students, there does come a time when families or careers in the “real world” take them away from the Aikens family. We have developed a system that allows them to continue to enjoy a slice of Aikens while providing great service to our guests. It’s called the “Contract Guide” network. When the lodge gets busy (or even by special request!), we often bring back the best of our past guides to come in and help out for a weekend. We’ve had as many as 5 past head-guides on the water at the same time! Their vast experience on the lake allows for a quick reorientation and then they are off and running. Their skills and personalities make it easy for us to invite them back year after year. It is an honor for our guides to be placed on the contract guide list upon their departure from full-time guiding.
The place is absolutely Top Drawer in every aspect of the experience. Having dreamed about taking my 2 teenage grandsons on a fly in fishing trip for years I could not have written a better script. The accommodations, Food, equipment level of excellence was only surpassed by the people.
St. Paul, Minnesota
You have paid attention to every detail and it shows. The cabin and food is the best I have seen. Lots of neat spots to explore, wish we had more time!
Jason Mitchell Outdoors
It exceeded any expectation I had to the point that I’ve told my kids that if I get a bonus that’s exactly where we’re going. When you compare it against other luxury vacations, where you typically pay extra for a guide or various excursions, what you get at Aikens is a really good value. I’ve fished all over the world, from Alaska to Colorado to Costa Rica. I’d put Aikens over those in terms of the size fish you can catch and the quantity.
This week at Aikens for our anniversary has been absolutely the greatest gift! The only thing that would have made it better was if my dad and mom could have been with us.
They say “you get what you pay for” ... at Aikens you get more. They know what they’re doing, and it shows. Its called “The Aikens Experience.” The lodging is top notch. The food is outrageous! Aikens Lake is a dream to fish. The staff - how they find and keep so many polite, friendly, courteous, intelligent, and attentive people year after year I have no idea. They learn your likes and dislikes; they make you feel welcome and relaxed.
—Steven J Kuzmich,
People sometimes want to try new locations or lakes in Canada but I really do not know why our group would ever look elsewhere or even think about it. The fishing is world class and the accommodations and hospitality are five-star.
We wanted to get a true fly-in Canadian fishing/wilderness experience, but be able to do that without having to spend two days traveling to get there. Overall, the experience was exactly what we wanted. Great fishing, great setting, great service and accommodations that allow you to really relax and enjoy quality time with your family.
One of the coolest things about Aikens is you could have terrible fishing and have an awesome time there. Well-fed and well-served, plenty of beer to keep you warm. Tremendous service. Of course, the fishing’s great, too, but you have fun either way.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Incredible staff and amazing fishing. The accommodations are top notch and the food is first class. You won't find a better lodge in North America for pike and walleye fishing. The owners really know how to run this place. The memories made here are like no other.
What I love about Aikens? The ever present welcoming attitude that starts when you exit the plane and ends, well, never actually ends from what I can tell. The entire staff which is well selected and well trained, guides who make fishing fun and easy, the size of the lake (not too small for serious fishing and not too big for novices), the breakfasts, the shore lunches, the dinners, the awards handed out at dinner, the evening fishing with dock staff making sure your boat is ready, and the bar that gives you a chance to meet fun and interesting people to share a fishing story, a joke, or life story.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Trip number five and once again Aikens Lake out did itself. I thought it impossible for this wonderful place to get any better.
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.
Former United States Vice-President
The photos are amazing and like the memories, they will last a lifetime.
Former NFL MVP Quarterback, TV Commentator, and Founder of the Boomer Esiason Foundation (against cystic fibrosis)