My last day on the water in 2022 was November 6th. It was a great fall on Lac Seul with many big muskies hitting the net.
I'd like to thank all my clients for their support during the 2022 season. With all border restrictions now lifted, I anticipate that my 2023 guiding season will be completely sold out before winter is over. I'f you're thinking about fishing Lac Seul with me in 2023 get in touch ASAP.
Going forward, I've decided that all musky guide trips will be 5 day trips that run from Monday through Friday. And as I've been doing for several years now, walleye trips are in May and June, and after July 1st all trips are MUSKY ONLY!!
My apologies, I'm long overdue for an update here. It has been a busy and fantastic season here on Lac Seul. Lets cut to the chase and get going with some fishing pictures.
My walleye season, which runs from 3rd Saturday in May until the end of June, was good. It's always fun to get back out on the water with family, friends and clients to catch some fish.
Hunting muskies on Lac Seul is my passion. The 2022 season has been the best I've ever experienced. Lots of fish and some really big ones! Here's some highlights from the season so far. Still another month of fishing to go, so check back for a fall wrap-up report in early November.
The good news is that you can launch at deception and boat around on the south end. The bad news is that Taylor Island to Bear Narrows is still ice. Beyond Bear Narrows is open water. So there's still about 5 miles of ice in the center section. The forecast is kind of cool so my guess is that on opening day (5/21) you could probably break/dodge ice to get to the north shore, but Lac Seul will not be completely ice free on opening day.
This isn't the update I'd like to be making, but this is the reality... Today is May 5th and people are still snowmobiling on area lakes, including Lac Seul. We're 16 days from Opening Day (May 21). Temperatures are on the rise and I suspect snowmobiling will cease any day now, however.....
If you have an opener trip planned, I'd contact your outfitter and make alternate plans. There's going to be some areas of open water on smaller lakes and areas with heavy current, but I have serious doubts about boating very far on Lac Seul. In my opinion, reaching Bear Narrows on opening weekend isn't going to happen. Getting across lost lake or down the Deception arm on opening day is 50/50 at this point.
Hopefully I'm wrong and things change fast. I'll do another update in the week before opener.
I use the word spring very lightly - looking outside it's still very much winter in Northwestern Ontario. We had an unbelievable amount of snow this winter and so far not much has melted.
April is always the 'swing month' when predicting ice out. A warm April will lead to earlier ice out, while a cold April means late ice out. Looking at the long range forecast, I'm beginning to realize that early ice out hopes are fading fast.
BORDER UPDATE - Some good news for US travellers coming to Canada this summer - you will NOT need to provide a negative Covid test to enter Canada. At this time, you still need to provide proof of vaccination in order to cross into Canada.
2022 Bookings - I have availability for walleye trips in May and June. After July 1st I exclusively guide for musky. At this time, I only have TWO musky trips available for the 2022 season. Get in touch soon if you're interested in a Lac Seul fishing trip with me this summer. These availabilities won't last.
Here's a few ice fishing pics to share. Admittedly, I haven't got out on the ice as much this year as I'd like. Fortunately (unfortunately?), there're plenty of winter left!
Happy New Year! I'm going to remain optimistic about the border staying open and continue to take bookings from US clients.
My 2022 schedule has filled up nicely with many returning clients. Thank you to those that have already booked. For those of you considering a trip to Lac Seul in 2022, please get in touch soon. I have dates available during most periods of the season.
Please remember - walleye trips run from opener in May until June 30th. From July 1 on, it's MUSKY ONLY!! I'm the only guide on Lac Seul with this distinction. Dedicating all my efforts to musky fishing puts me in the best position for staying on top of patterns and seasonal movements - resulting in your greatest chance of contacting a fish of a lifetime.
I'm pleased to share the new Logo for Ben Beattie Outdoors. Limited merchandise will be available starting this season.
We're all iced up here on Lac Seul and the 2021 season is a wrap. It was an awesome fall for BIG muskies in my boat. We got to fish later into November this year than most years.
I'm already booking for 2022. I anticipate filling up my schedule before spring. If you've ever wanted to try Lac Seul - get in touch ASAP.
Walleye Trips run from May 21st until June 30th. From July 1 on - it's MUSKY ONLY!
It sure doesn't feel like fall on Lac Seul right now, even though it's October 5th. We've been enjoying summer-like weather lately. This warm spell should guarantee a long fall of fishing this year.
The summer went well on Lac Seul - it was especially great to welcome my American friends/clients back. I had a busy season of guiding and the pictures tell a great story.
In other news, I'm proud to share my new boat... This is the machine that literally drives Ben Beattie Outdoors to success on the water.
A huge thank you to Mascotto's Marine Ltd. here in Sioux Lookout and to Lund Boats for their continued support.
For the next year I'll be running this gorgeous 2022 Impact 2025 XS, powered by a Mercury ProXS 200 hp.
Electronics by Minn Kota and Humminbird.
I look forward to hosting many existing and new clients in this boat during the 2022 season.
Although the remainder of the 2021 season is booked, I'll start filling my 2022 calendar soon. As always I reach out to my repeat clients first, followed by those who have enquired about dates but haven't fished with me before. If you want on the list for possible 2022 dates, please email, call or text me ASAP.
Note - Walleye trips run from 3rd Saturday in May until June 30th. From July 1 on it's musky ONLY!
Stay turned for my fall wrap-up report - it's sure to feature more BIG muskies!
I couldn't be happier to welcome back my US friends and clients starting on August 9th, 2021. The border opening has been much awaited and Ben Beattie Outdoors is ready to get back to normal - fishing with both my US and Canadian clients again.
For anyone interested in a trip this summer (August/Sept/October 2021) - please get in touch with me ASAP. I have about 28 days available in my schedule and I know they won't last long. Visit the CONTACT page here on my website for email and phone/text info.
For American visitors - there are plenty of resources out there to help you understand what is required to travel to Canada. I'm also here to help.
The biggest misconception is that US land borders are closed and American travellers won't be allowed back in to the USA.... this isn't true. The US border is currently closed to Canadians. If you have a US passport you can re-enter the USA at any time.
If you can't make it in 2021, I'll be putting my 2022 schedule together after this season ends, sometime in late 2021. Reach out to me to get your name on the list for a 2022 spot.
As always, here are some fishing pictures to share from earlier this season. As you'll see it's been the summer of my boys! They are both becoming multi-species experts! Spending more time fishing with them has been the silver lining to the border closure.
Spring arrived early in Sioux Lookout this year. We didn't get much snow this winter and for the most part it melted by mid-march. All signs point to an early ice out on Lac Seul. Water levels on all surrounding lakes are low. It's normal for water levels to fluctuate over the course of the year, but things are definitely starting out on the low side. Quading around on Minnitaki the last couple weeks, I've seen rocks poking up through the ice that I've never seen before.
With the predicted early ice out and low water levels it should be the perfect year to scout new areas on Lac Seul. I never stop learning new water to fish, and this is the best time to learn new routes and hazards. My prediction is that I'll be launching my Lund at deception on May 1st this year.
THE BORDER - Nobody in the outfitting/guiding/tourism business is expecting the border to open in time for fishing opener on May 15th. The most frustrating part remains that there's no indication/information on WHEN it will reopen. There has been no plan or framework provided for when and what the border reopening will look like. This makes it difficult to plan for the upcoming season.
I'm prepared to endure another season of no US clients by catering/marketing to Canadian fishermen. But rest assured my US friends/clients, as soon as the border opens I'll be ready!
With the ice season pretty much in the rear view mirror, I'll share a picture of my favourite catch of the season. This Minnitaki Lake lake trout is one I'll remember.
I've been busy this winter writing articles for Ontario OUT OF DOORS magazine. Look for several coming out this spring/summer, including one called Record Breaking Musky Water. Any guesses which 3 Ontario musky fisheries made the list?
Here's a look at a recent piece that I did for Ontario OUT OF DOORS magazine about props.
For the first half of the 2021 season I'll be back in my 2021 Lund ProV 1975. I'll run this boat until sometime in late July/early August when my 2022 Lund arrives. I'm on the fence about which boat to run next... either another 1975 ProV or back to a 2025 Impact like I had in 2020. Both amazing boats!
I'm super proud and honored to represent Lund Boats as a Pro-Staff memeber. Running a Lund boat is a dream come true. As always, a huge shoutout and thank you to both Lund Boats and my local Lund dealer Mascotto's Marine here in Sioux Lookout. Exciting happenings at Mascotto's right now with a huge renovation under way. Be sure to check them out next time you're in Sioux Lookout. For those currently interested in a boat, you better act fast... the market for boats continues to be hot and inventory is moving quickly.
Here's some new gear I'm really excited about trying this summer - the all new 10-foot Chaos 20/20 telescopic Assault Stick with Revolution Reel seat. What a beauty!
If you're still on the fence about telescopic muskie rods - after 2 years of exclusively using them - I can tell you there's zero downside. When in use, you'd never know it's telescopic. At the end of the day, collapse it and it fits easily in rod lockers, trucks, SUV's etc. Major win.
Me and my good friend Paul at PDeez Musky Inlines are going to have a big announcement soon. For the last 6 seasons I've exclusively been using Paul's blades on Lac Seul. They're the best out there, and they keep getting better. A couple season's ago his BELL lineup changed the game and this year's product launch is going to send the muskies into a tailspin. Click the picture below to visit the PDeez website. Send me a message and I'll tell you my top 5 all time favorite Lac Seul colors.
Shoutout to my fellow Ontario OUT OF DOORS writer and local Bass fishing legend Jeff Gustafson. Incase you live on another planet, Jeff won the Bassmaster ELITE event at the Tennessee River Back in February. Jeff is a Kenora guy who grew up fishing Lake of the Woods. It was awesome to watch him hoist that trophy over his head and also to see the unbelievable amount of support from the local and national fishing community. Gussy represents Canada well and we're all super proud of his accomplishments.
Another cool product I'm looking forward to using this season is some new Costa Del Mar sunglasses. Every year I like to try new frames - this year they're DIEGO.
My all-time favourite frame is Reefton, so we'll see how DIEGO compares. These Blue Mirror lenses are perfect for bright sunny days. When it's overcast I use Green Mirror and when it's really low light conditions I use Silver Sunrise Mirror.
The next update should include an on the water fishing report! This should be a great year for chasing ice out lake trout.
Ben Beattie is a fishing guide and outdoor writer living in Sioux Lookout, in northwestern Ontario.