Moccasin Trail Adventures banner


Questions & Package Info

Youth Discounts Offered
(17 years or younger)

Air Service Information

Jeff Haug
2436 N 800W
Frankfort, Indiana, USA 46041

Arrows III and Tackle Too
2888 State Road 25N
Lafayette, Indiana, USA 47905

Site Map

photos of float plane at dock, aerial of lakes, fishherman wearing Moccasin Trails Adventures hat, moose and sumset on the lake at Chipai Oupost

Fishing Tackle & Hunting Gear Recommendations

This hefty northern hit a big Canoe Spoon

Other than considering some of the tackle items mentioned below, there are some “must haves” that you  will need , regardless of what type of fish you’re planning on catching: long nosed pliers and jaw spreader (both to aid hook removal mainly in northern pike, but also for other fish), fish stringer (or fish  chain).  Sunglasses are essential and the polarized type work best as they’ll help you to see into the water to some degree.

Bring a couple extra spools of fishing line.  You’ve come all this way, right?

Pike commonly eat walleyes just like this one… his nickname is “Lucky”

Most people bring two or three rods… one for walleyes, lake trout and specks, and one ‘big boy’ for those hog-sized northern pike!  Besides, rods do get broken and rods do end up in the lake.  Please bring two-piece rods when possible, as they are much easier to transport in the float plane.  They must be in a hard shell rod tube or case… that is, if want them to arrive in camp in the original number of pieces that you they were purchased in – two.  Every summer, anglers show up at the float plane base with rods in hand, not packed in anything, let alone a hard shell case.  And, yes, they get broken.

Bring a tape measure because there are some length restrictions for some of the fish you may catch on your trip.
Bring a camera to capture some fantastic memories of your incredible wilderness vacation!


Walleyes and jigs… two words that go together well!

If you are fishing for walleyes, you don’t need anything too elaborate.  A simple six or six and half foot spinning rod and matching reel spooled with 8 pound test monofilament line is all you need.  If you prefer to use a bait caster (level wind) outfit, you can, but, most people use spinning tackle for walleyes.  Most fish will weigh less than five pounds, so if you’re a smallmouth bass person… bring your rod and reel.
The most popular type of terminal tackle used for walleyes is the jig.  Depending on how deep the water is or how fast the current is where you’re fishing, anywhere from ¼ ounce up to ½ ounce jigs will normally do.  Bright colours such as pink, yellow, white or chartreuse are popular for both jig heads and plastic grub bodies, but natural colours like black, brown, smoke and dark green are just as effective.  Plastic worms work wonders when trolled with a bottom bouncer or a walking sinker, in twenty or more feet of water.

Walleyes are suckers for slender crankbaits!

Medium sized crank baits that dive down to about the ten to twelve foot mark work well too, as do minnow imitators while being trolled along rocky shorelines, drop offs or reefs.  Long, slender crank baits with a tight wobble seem to work well, as compared to something short and stubby that you’d use for bass. 

Northern Pike

Big pike go nuts for big plugs

Hard-core pike fishermen (and fisherwomen!) often use heavy rods and reels while in pursuit of these big, tackle busting brutes.   Hooking up with a 45 – 50 inch (30 – 35 pound) gator is very possible.   A 7 ½ or 8 foot heavy bait casting rod and reel is a good choice.   You can use spinning gear, but if you do, make it big and robust.  If you land a 20 pound northern on your medium action six foot spinning rod with 8 pound test monofilament, it doesn’t mean you’re a skilled angler.  It means you got lucky.

For line, regular mono will work just fine, but the newer super lines have a couple of advantages.  One, they don’t stretch and this gives you a solid hook set, especially, if you have a lot of line out. And, two, the smaller diameter allows you to use a much heavier pound test, such as thirty or even forty pound test without the fish seeing your line.

If you do use one of the super lines (Berkley Fireline for example) you must add a piece of solid mono to the end of it just before you tie on your wire leader.  These so-called “super lines” are incredibly strong and almost never break.  If you happen to get your hook stuck at the bottom of the lake and you aren’t using a piece of mono leader, you’ll probably have to cut the line with a knife.  Not only is this type of line expensive, but you’ll be leaving a pile of line in the lake (garbage) that fish and birds will get tangled up in. 

If you have a two foot section of mono leader at the end (even 30 pound test) it’ll break eventually, and then you can reel in the rest of your expensive super line, leaving no garbage behind.

You can’t too big for pike… this board is a 2x10…

Regardless of what type or style of line you use, you must include a fine wire or steel leader at the end.  Pike have incredibly sharp teeth and even a small one will easily bite through even the most expensive of the new super lines.  Use a thin diameter wire leader of at least 30 pound test and you’ll save a lot of money on lures.  Besides the cost of losing them, we don’t want to see a big pike swim away with a 10 inch lure stuck in its mouth.  It’ll probably die if this happens.
Pike lures can include a wide variety of spoons, plugs and soft plastic baits.  These big, aggressive fish are known to eat just about anything including young ducklings, musk rats and small beavers.  Once on the Albany River, A thirty-two pounder was caught and unfortunately was not able to be resuscitated at the boat side and it died.  So, as not to let it go to waste, it was brought back to camp for consumption and when it was cleaned, a half decayed, three pound whitefish was in its belly.

Northern pike just love spoons and spinners!

If you really want to catch a big northern, use big lures… very big lures.  If you’re fishing in the early season, the pike will be in shallow and that’s when slow moving surface baits work very well.  Hang on to your fishing rod because when a pike attacks its prey and breaks the surface it’ll pull “you and your whole tackle box” into the lake if you’re not paying attention.

Pike will hammer any big soft plastic baits you throw at ‘em!

Other lures that work well for big gators include, large flashy spoons (red and white are very popular), in-line (buck tail type) spinners, large soft plastics rigged with 1/0, 2/0 or 3/0 hooks, especially if fishing in the shallow, weedy bays.

Virtually anything that resembles a big minnow or small fish will attract northern pike.  Ten inch long minnow imitators that dive down about three feet while being trolled or retrieved are hard to be beat, even in twelve to fifteen feet of water.  They’ll come up like a bull shark and smash it with reckless abandon.

Fly fishing for giant pike (even the smaller ones) is an enormous thrill and great sport!  Using a 9 or 10 weight rod and matching reel, with a weight forward floating line… and any “big, goofy-looking streamers and surface bugs” will keep you worn out.  Again, you’ll need a small diameter, wire leader to prevent constant bite-offs.   I wouldn’t call this type of fly fishing “finesse casting,” but it sure is a lot of fun.  Keep your knuckles out of the way of your reel handle… and make sure you have plenty of backing under your 100 foot fly line.  You’ll need it! 

Most of the lake trout you’ll catch will weigh less than ten pounds, so your walleye gear will work just fine.  But, if you are serious about hunting for (and landing) a twenty plus pounder, use either your heavy duty pike fishing outfit or bring a heavy duty spinning rod combo. 

Lakers find white tube jigs irresistible!

A lake trout’s teeth (like that of the walleye) come down pretty much point on point, so they will not normally bite you off like a pike will. But they do tend to roll up in your line once at the surface and their gill plate will cut your line with ease.  So, use a small diameter wire leader.

For the “business end” of the line, trout are suckers for bright, flashy spoons that resemble a small whitefish.  They also go hard for tube jigs (white works great) on a ½ ounce jig head.  Jigging in about 30 – 50 feet of water, trout will aggressively hammer these natural looking offerings.  Smaller in-line spinners work well for lake trout too, especially in the early part of the season when the fish are in shallow, hanging around rocky reefs and shoals. 

Brook Trout or “Specks”

The Winisk River is full of “specks” just like this one!

Fly fishing is popular among brook trout enthusiasts, but many elect to use a medium – medium light action spinning rod and reel.  Your walleye gear will work just fine.
Fly gear should be somewhere in the 5 – 6 weight area with matching reel and line weights.  If I were to choose one, I go with a 9 foot, six weight rod and reel, with a weight forward floating line.  Leader material should be in the 9 – 10 foot range because the waters of the Winisk River are “gin clear” in spots.   Not that our fish are spooky, but the additional leader length will help to keep your fly line away from your fly.

Streamers work well for brook trout on the Winisk River

Proven streamer patterns include, the Bunny Strip Leech, Clouser Minnow, Muddler Minnow, Woolly Bugger, Mickey Finn and the Deceiver.  For dry flies, you could try the March Brown, Humpy, Adams, Black Gnat, in sizes 12 – 14. And, later in the summer when the weather warms up, terrestrials like ant and hopper patterns are hard to beat.

Bring a good pair of light, breathable chest waders.  Some fishing will be done from the freighter canoes, but there will be plenty of walk and wade opportunities as well.  Don’t forget your polarized sunglasses so you can see into the water.  By wearing good quality, polarized glasses, you’ll catch more and fall less!  If you have a wading staff, bring it, but you can always cut a stick along the river. 


Link to Moose Hunting Link to Winisk River Trip Link to Chipai Outpost Camp Link to Wakikopa Outpost Camp Link to Kanuchuan Outpost Camp Link to Ozhiski Outpost Camp Link to Photo Gallery Link to Home