Once a retreat for oil company moguls now it's yours...
By: John Ross
IN THE MID 1940S, an American oil company sought a wilderness setting, not too far from an airfield but on an isolated lake where the fishing was better than good. Settling on Perrault Lake, the company built a log lodge and a number of cabins, a rustic hideaway for upper- echelon executives and top customers. The lodge is Manotak. Today it is among the more affordable fishing resorts in Ontario.
Perrault Lake's 50 miles of shoreline contain scores of secluded bays, rocky headlands, drop-offs and shallows. A navigable stream connects to Cedar Lake, which has another 67 miles of structure. A warmwater fishery, the lakes produce good walleyes (to 12 pounds), northern pike (four to 20 pounds), smallmouths averaging three pounds-plus, muskies between 20 and 45 pounds, whitefish to five pounds and perch. Walleyes hit best in May and June and again at the end of the season in August and September. Pike are hot in June and July. The smallmouths fish well from July through September, and muskies are at the top of their form from August to September. You'll hook whitefish in September as well, and you can take perch pretty near anytime.
Guides are not included in most packages, but are available, and many guests take advantage of their knowledge of the lakes and their fish. You can also take fly outs to other lakes.
Manotak's packages include 16-foot Lund or Alumarine boats, pushed by 20hp electric start Yamahas, that contain everything you need: cushions, bait buckets, anchors, paddles and nets. You'll start the morning with six gallons of gas. Buy your bait of choice and you're on your way. At night, after a full day of fishing, amble over to the main lodge, its log walls hung with pelts, to play pool or watch TV You'll stay in one of 16 log cabins that sleep from two to 12, all with private baths and lake views. Most have kitchenettes. You may cook as little or as much as you like. Manotak offers a full American plan, a supper-only plan and a housekeeping plan. For lunches, the lodge will provide you with all the fixings (including pots, pans and Coleman stove) for a shore lunch. If you'd rather eat on the run, opt for a bag of sandwiches.