Kris Winkelman

Brace Lake Boats and Bears


May has been an exciting month for filming. Locally, the panfish fishing has been fantastic. For this month’s On The Road feature, I’d like to focus more on a recent trip to Ontario. Brace Lake Outfitters was a brief fly out trip away from Nakina.


Ontario Bear Hunting

You see, black bears are finally back on the menu for non resident hunters in Ontario. Thanks to a provincial move to reopen the spring hunt province-wide for the first time in 16 years!  Cabinet ministers cited concerns about human-bear conflicts and bear hunting as a tourism draw as the motivation behind the initiative. Because non-residents will be required to utilize the services of an outfitter, the move means big dollars for Ontario’s tourist and guiding industry. They also concluded that the approximated 105,000 black bear population living in Ontario are both healthy and sustainable.


After years of being unable, my family and I were excited to once again go spring bear hunting in Ontario at Brace Lake.  Cutting to the chase though, we arrived under an early timing when the bear were just coming out of hibernation and not quite yet in the mood for feeding or coming into baits.  Consequently, not a shot was fired with the Remington 783, Nikon scoped rifles, that we had loaded for bear.


Brace Lake walleye adventures

On the other hand, Brace Lake did offer up some fantastic walleye and big pike action. Which I’m excited to share with you all for 2017.  Early timing meant the walleyes were freshly into lethargic post spawn movements. I went with a shallow water presentation of 1/8 oz. jigs tipped with grubs or crawler. We lost count of how many walleyes were caught. But the highlight of the trip was Kris’ 38 ½ and Karlee’s 38 inch monster pike!   Talk about fun and tough to accomplish on such light gear! Those fish won’t soon be forgotten. Strangely, only a half inch shorter than Kris’, Karlee’s gator weighed about four more pounds!


Brace Lake Outfitters were fantastic hosts and we found their cabins, staff and services first rate.  For more information on taking your own trip there for black bear, moose hunting or a very special fishing trip with family or friends, go to


Cheers to my friends north of the border for reopening the spring bear hunt after all these years! Also to everyone at Brace Lake who treated us all to such a wonderful family adventure in the scenic wilderness of Ontario.  


For more information of taking care of your own land, hunting, fishing and much more; check out Babe’s website. If you want to see Babe live, head over to his Facebook Page.


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