Call Us Today! 630-607-9287 (September 10th - April 30th) or Email Us (May 1st - September 9th) at fishblackbear@yahoo.com

F.A.Q.

/F.A.Q.
F.A.Q.2017-03-01T18:12:56+00:00
Do you have references that we can contact?2013-10-28T20:11:05+00:00

Yes we do.  Please call or email us to receive this information.

What are your preferred arrival / departure times?2016-09-26T23:07:23+00:00

All guests are to arrive on Saturday between 12pm and 2pm.  If you are not able to arrive on Saturday please inform us so we can plan ahead.

All guests are to depart at 9am the following Saturday.  Many of our guests leave Friday night or before breakfast on Saturday morning to beat the border traffic.  We can make arrangements for you to leave at anytime before 9am Saturday if needed.
**The hours between 9am and noon (on Saturday) are reserved for cleaning cabins, organizing boats, preparing meals, etc.
PLEASE DO NOT ARRIVE BEFORE NOON……IT WILL NOT GET YOU OUT FISHING FASTER! (see below)
**All guests must attend orientation.  Orientation will be at 2:30 unless otherwise told when you arrive at camp.  BOATS WILL NOT BE GIVEN OUT UNTIL AFTER ORIENTATION.
Boaters Safety (required by Canadian Government for all guests operating our camp boats) will be after general orientation.  If all guests arrive by noon it is likely that orientation will by at 12:30, etc.
When is the final payment?2013-10-28T20:11:05+00:00

All payments are due in U.S. funds on the day of your arrival to Black Bear Lodge. You may also make your final payment any time before your trip as well.

Do you require a deposit?2017-03-01T18:12:56+00:00

Yes, we require at least a $100.00 (fishing) $600.00 (hunting) non-refundable deposit for each person in your group. This deposit confirms and holds your cabin and boat for the week. Hunters will also have additional deposits due.  PLEASE REFER TO LODGING AND RATES PAGE FOR MORE INFO.

**Hunters**  The above is for 2017 and 2018 hunts.  If booking hunts after those dates then your deposit is 1/3 of the total cost of the trip.  This is unknown currently for 2019 and further as those rates are TBD still.

How much are taxes?2016-09-26T23:11:07+00:00

As of July 1, 2010 the RST and PST were combined in to HST.  The new HST is 13%.   The rates on this website INCLUDE these taxes.

Are there refunds for bad weather?2013-11-13T17:09:46+00:00

Unfortunately we do not give refunds or discounts for inclement weather or difficult fishing conditions. Mother Nature sets her own schedule and we can not control what she throws at us from week to week. If you bring up the appropriate clothing; quality rain gear, waterproof boots, a positive attitude, and a sense of adventure, you should be able to catch fish in any type of weather. Also, do not feel bad if you just hang out in your cabin or our main lodge play games, read, share stories with good friends, or take a well deserved nap – after all, you are on vacation.

What’s included in the American Plan?2017-03-01T18:12:56+00:00

Our American Plan includes the following:

  • Log cabin (bunk beds, foam mattresses, oil stove, and battery operated lights).
  • All meals (breakfast, sack or shore lunch, and dinner)
  • Boat and motor (includes: plastic swivel seat, seat cushion, paddles, landing net, lake map, whistle, and throw line. You must supply your own wearable personal floatation device (life vest) and flashlight.)
  • Gas for the week (5 gal per day)
  • Portages lakes if you choose to fish them
  • Storage of your fish (ice to cool in bins or deep freezer for take home fish)
  • Access to the ice machines
  • Propane and cooking supplies for your shore lunch
  • CANADIAN TAXES- the 13% HST is included in the cost of your trip.
How can I reserve a trip?2017-03-01T18:12:56+00:00

Every group will be required to fill out and send in a booking/registration form with their deposits.

You can reserve a trip by contacting us by phone, or e-mail. Let us know who you are, how we can contact you, the best times to reach you,  what week(s) you would like, the number of people in your group, and if you will be bringing up your own boat or not. Also let us know if you have any other special requests or needs.

Phone #:
630-607-9287

E-Mail:
fishblackbear@yahoo.com

Do you offer group rates?2016-09-26T23:11:43+00:00

Yes we do.  Group Rates start at 10 people.  Please call or email us for more information.

How much does it cost for a hunting trip?2017-03-01T18:12:56+00:00

Please refer to lodging and rates page for more info.

How much does it cost for a fishing trip?2017-03-01T18:12:56+00:00

Please refer to lodging and rates page for more info.

What type of wildlife might I expect to see?2013-11-16T03:27:45+00:00

Although we can not guarantee anything, there is always a good chance you may see some of the following: bald and golden eagles, moose, bears, birds, loons, ducks, otters, beavers, fox, linx, or hummingbirds just to name a few.

Can I make a campfire at night?2013-10-28T20:11:05+00:00

Yes, there is a fire ring located in the middle of camp that overlooks our bay. It is a beautiful place to star gaze and to listen to the lyrical calls of the loons while enjoying a warm fire. You may have a campfire any night you wish as long is it remains supervised and there is two water buckets ready. The fire must be completely doused every evening. There is plenty of fire wood in our wood shed so you will not have to collect any of your own. We also ask that you keep it respectfully quite after lights out.

Is there a place to go swimming?2013-11-16T03:29:16+00:00

Yes, we have a floating swim raft/ trampoline anchored in front of our camp away from the boat docks. There are also many sandy “beaches” located on our end of Red Lake which are perfect places for a cool swim.

What else is there to do at camp besides fishing?2013-10-28T20:11:05+00:00
Although fishing is main reason why most people come to Black Bear Lodge, there are many other activities to do as well. Some of them include:

  • Canoeing
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Berry picking (wild strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries typically ripen by late June to mid July)
  • Photography (we have some of the best sunsets you’ve ever seen)
  • Star gazing or witnessing the magical Northern Lights
  • Reading, playing games, or relaxing in the main lodge
  • Relaxing by a warm campfire
  • Viewing the wildlife (eagles, moose, bears, birds, loons, ducks, otters, beavers, fox, or hummingbirds just to name a few)
  • Bear watching at the Red Lake waste center
  • Shopping at the local shops in Red Lake
  • Visit one of the many active or abandoned gold mines
  • Taking a nap or just taking the time to reconnect with nature in one of the quietest most secluded places you will ever visit
  • Hanging out in our hammocks from eaglesnestoutfittersinc.com
Can I cook in my cabin?2013-10-28T20:11:05+00:00

No, we do not allow any cooking in the cabins. Cooking in the cabins is a serious fire hazard as well as an attractant to bears.

Do you offer shore lunches?2013-10-28T20:11:05+00:00

Yes, you can have a shore lunch with any fish caught that same day. We will supply you with a propane burner, propane tank, deep frying pot or frying pan, potatoes, onions, oil, plates, silverware, and spices. Please sign up for your shore lunch in the main lodge at least a day before. We will provide you with the equiptment for one free shore lunch.  If you are interested in doing more than one there will be a charge and we need to know well in advance so we can order supplies appropriately.
(NOTE: Ontario law does not allow you to transport any fish to a shore lunch that have been previously gutted, filleted, or cleaned. All fish must be whole and be from that days fishing).

What are the meal times?2013-11-16T03:32:17+00:00

Typically we serve breakfast at 8AM and dinner at 5PM.  Lunch fixings are set out at breakfast for everyone to make their own sac lunch to take with them.  Meal times for the hunters is decided when all hunters arrive at camp (we adjust their meal times around hunting hours).

What types of meals are provided?2016-09-26T23:21:01+00:00
  • Breakfast consists of pancakes, french toast, or eggs with a side of bacon or ham.
  • Lunch fixings are put out at breakfast for campers to pack their own sack lunch.  Lunch meats, cheese, peanut butter and jelly, fruit, and cookies are typical.
  • Dinner consists of a main entree, side dishes, and a dessert.  You will not go hungry at camp. (menu may change at cooks free will, but here is the general idea)
    •  DINNERS:
      • Spaghetti, garden salad, bread and butter, sliced peaches
      • BBQ Pulled Pork, Coleslaw, Baked Beans, Chips, Rice Krispie Treat
      • Giant Taco Bar, Chips and Salsa, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie
      • Baked/Grilled Chicken Breast, Potato Salad, Peas, Sliced Pears
      • Baked Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Corn, Gravy, Bread and Butter, Cream Puffs
      • Baked Rotini (cheesy pasta), Garden Salad, Garlic Bread, Fruit Cocktail
      • Steak, Baked Potato, 7 Layer Salad, Wacky Coco Cake

**Typically breakfast is served at 8am and dinner at 5pm. **

****HUNTERS**** your meals are modified and a bit more elaborate.  You will also have a baked desert every night instead of every other.

Do you have a problem with bears coming into camp?2013-10-28T20:11:05+00:00

Because we are located in the heart of the Canadian wilderness, there is always a chance that a curious bear may wander into camp. We rarely have problem bears that linger around camp because we make a strong effort to keep the camp clean of garbage or accessible food. We also have two young dogs that do an excellent job of chasing out any unwanted bears. Black bears by their nature are very docile creatures. They are usually more afraid of us than we are of them. If you always make your presence known when walking, carry a flashlight a night, and keep all food and drinks in your cabin, you should have little to worry about.

Is there a phone at camp?2016-09-26T23:27:53+00:00

There is not a public phone located in camp.

In the event of an EMERGENCY we do have internet and a phone we can use.  We DO NOT give out our phone number or internet password.  We have it to be able to keep in contact with our guests easier and for emergency weather updates or issues that may arise.

If you are needed to be reached by a family member while you are at camp due to an emergency, they are to email us and we will take proper actions to get you to a phone or email back if needed.  We do check our email often, but don’t want camp to turn into Starbucks and have everyone on their phones and computers.  You are here to get away from it all!  Rest assure our system has never failed us.

If you need to contact someone back home just to touch bases, lots of cell phones work out on the big waters or some at the top of the trail.  There are also public phones located in the nearby Town of Red Lake and you may rent a computer at the public library for $1.00/hour.  If you just want family/friends to know you arrived safely to camp we can always send the an email for you.

Is there a hospital nearby in case of an emergency?2013-10-28T19:36:46+00:00

Yes, there is a hospital located in the Town of Red Lake. The hospital is approximately 25 miles from camp which takes 40 minutes by car.

What is the weather like?2017-03-01T18:12:56+00:00

The weather up here can vary from day to day. Typically you can expect the afternoon temperatures to be around 65-85 degrees and the evenings to be around 40-50 degrees. May is typically the coolest month; in June the weather starts to warm up; July is usually quite warm; and August has very pleasant stable weather. The only predicable thing about the weather up here, is that it is unpredictable. Come prepared for a wide range of conditions.

Can I bring my pet up to camp?2013-10-28T19:35:20+00:00

No, we do not allow our customers to bring their dogs or pets to camp.

Where is the camp located?2013-11-16T03:57:42+00:00

Black Bear Lodge is a drive in outpost fishing camp located 250 miles north of International Falls, Minnesota.  It is about 20 miles west of the town of Red Lake, Ontario.  Click on Map/Directions above to get exact directions.

What type of bathroom facility does the camp have?2013-11-16T03:58:43+00:00

Black Bear Lodge has always been a wilderness outpost camp, and to maintain its original feel we do not have indoor toilets in the cabins. Instead, we have 2 separate outhouses throughout the camp, similar to the ones the pioneers used when the camp was founded more than 60 years ago. We do, however, have a shower house with hot and cold running water for you to use at your leisure.

Where do we park our vehicles once we arrive?2013-11-16T04:01:02+00:00

There is a parking area located at the top of the trail to our camp.  Please Do Not drive into camp without calling us on the walkie talkie left at the top of the trail under the bucket. You can always have one or two people walk down the trail into camp to let us know you have arrived also. Once we have permitted you to drive into camp to unload your gear please do so and then return your car to the top of the trail parking area for the remainder of the week.

Are there hot showers in each cabin?2013-11-16T04:01:50+00:00

No.  There are hot showers in the shower house. Both showers have locks on the doors so the can be used by  men or women.

What is in each cabin?2017-03-01T18:12:57+00:00

Each log cabin has bunk beds with foam mattresses, table and chairs, oil burning stoves, and battery opperated lights.

What age groups do you cater to?2013-11-16T04:03:13+00:00

Children and adults of all ages are welcome.  Our youngest guest was 4 years old….of course that doesn’t count our children who were 10 days old and 6 months old on their first trip!

Do women come to camp?2013-10-28T19:23:38+00:00

Yes, every year we are seeing more and more women and girls coming up to camp. One year we even had a week where the women out numbered the men.

Where are you located?2013-10-28T19:23:06+00:00

Coordinates to Camp-

GPS:  +50_59.71
          -94_07.80
Lat.:      N +50° 59′ 45″
Long:    W-94° 07′ 47″
Decimal:  +50.9958
               -94.1297
Tips on making the border crossing easier.2013-10-28T20:12:16+00:00

Crossing the Canadian border is usually quite routine and effortless.  You simply drive up to the booth and the custom officer will ask you a few questions.  Be truthful to the officer’s questions and you need not volunteer any more information than they ask.

There is only a small chance that you may be randomly asked to pull your car to the side for a spot check by the officers.  Remember to bring your proper forms of ID and also a copy of your motor vehicle registration.

Be aware that if you have had a Drinking While Driving conviction you may be denied access to Canada.  Call ahead and work this out with the Canadian boarder.

What do I need to cross the border?2013-12-09T18:18:31+00:00

A Passport………There is a new thing called PASSPORT CARD which is good for 5 years and is cheaper also!

Any child traveling with an adult whom is not his or her parent needs a letter of permission from the parent.

PROOF OF CAR INSURANCE-
The owner of the car that is crossing the border also needs proof that the car is insured in Canada.  This is obtained by going to your USA insurance office and asking them if it is covered.  If it is then they give you a form or card to prove it when you get to the border.  They dont always ask for this but it is necessary if they do decide to ask.

Do you offer non-guided hunts?2013-11-16T04:12:23+00:00

Yes, we offer self guided hunts.  It includes everything in a guided hunt EXCEPT: a baited stand and transportation (you do your own baiting).

Do you have a references list of previous hunters?2013-10-28T19:14:49+00:00

Yes, please call for more information.

What is the success rate?2016-09-26T23:29:29+00:00

We currently have near 80% shot opportunity and have harvested over 55 bears in the past 11 years!

Do you supply fishing and/or hunting licenses?2013-11-16T04:16:22+00:00

No, we do not carry fishing or hunting licenses. You can purchase your license once you cross the border at one of the many tackle stores along your route, or at Red Lake Marine located in the Town of Red Lake. Or as of 2013 you can purchase your licenses on line.  This is highly recommended! It saves time when you are trying to get to camp  and also you don’t have to worry about getting to the places that sell at a certain time, nor will you need to wait in a potential line.

What items should we bring to camp?2017-03-01T18:12:57+00:00

See the Travel Checklist for some items you may wish to bring.

Can I fish before breakfast?2013-11-16T04:17:51+00:00

Yes, you may fish before breakfast. The sun typically rises around 5am, giving you 2-3 hours of quality fishing time before breakfast is served. Please be back for your required seating time or let Jillian know the night before that you will be skipping breakfast (and lunch unless you convince someone else to pack your sack lunch).

Can I fish after sunset?2013-10-28T18:58:55+00:00

If you are fishing in one of our camp boats, you can not fish after the sun sets because there are no navigation lights on the boats. If you bring up your own boat and it has the appropriate lights then you may fish as late as you like. We do require that you let us know that you will be out late and the general location you will be fishing.

Do you have a catch and release policy?2013-11-16T04:20:23+00:00

Although we do not have a required catch and release policy for our guests, we strongly encourage all fishermen to be environmentally responsible. In order to maintain the strong fishery that we have had over the years, fisherman are encourage to release all trophy sized fish and to keep only those fish they wish to eat at their shore lunch. With the cost of fiberglass replicas going down every year, we would prefer that our guests take some quick photos and measurements of their trophy and then release the fish so others may have a chance to enjoy the thrill of catching the fish another day.

What type of tackle should I bring up?2017-03-01T18:12:57+00:00

Walleye

Walleye is the most popular of our game fish on Red Lake. Walleye season opener is the third Saturday in May.

Drifting or vertically fishing jigs tipped with a live minnow, leech or night crawler is the most popular presentation for catching these fascinating fish. A mixture of jig colors in 1/16 through 1/2 ounce should be in your tackle.
Other angling methods that produce well are trolling with bottom bouncers and spinner rigs or crankbaits such as the Rapala husky jerk and shad rap or the Storm ThunderStick. When it comes to finesse fishing, live bait rigs such as slip bobber or Lindy rigs works the best.

Light to medium action rods and spinning reels spooled with a clear line in the 6-8lb test range is suitable for most walleye fishing methods. For trolling bottom bouncers and cranks a medium action bait-casting rod and reel works well.

Northern Pike

Northern Pike with a demeanor that is unmatched, are one of the most aggressive and hardest fighting freshwater game fish.  Pike are abundant throughout Red Lake. Casting or trolling over weed beds and along weed lines is a popular method to catch these aggressive predators. Think bright colors when fishing for these toothy critters. Your tackle should include a wide range of artificial lures including:
Tandem spinnerbaits in the 3/8 to 1 ounce size with gold, silver or orange blades matched with white or florescent skirts.
Larger spoons, including the five of diamonds and red/white Daredevil are a Canadian tradition.
Inline spinners such as the Mepp’s Musky Killer.

Imitation minnow lures such as Rapala Husky Jerks and Storm Thunderstick.
Rat-L-Traps in larger sizes, emphasis on red, blue, silver and gold.
Large jigs 3/8 – 3/4 oz tipped with 4-6 inch twister tails.

Under most conditions, Northerns will eagerly attack just about every kind of live and artificial bait presented to them. A good rod and reel combination to pursue lunker gators with is a 6 – 7 ft medium heavy action rod with a bait casting reel spooled with 12 – 30 lb test line. Braided line such as Power Pro is an excellent choice with a 6 – 12″ leader attaching your lure.  Many anglers prefer to use spinning rods and reels, which is fine. Many huge pike have unintentionally been caught while jigging for walleye using lighter equipment. It is suggested to use at least a 10 lb test line with wire leader.

Our lake waters has a slot size limit of 27.5 – 35.4 inches, pike in this length range must be released. Northern Pike fishing season is open year round.

Lake Trout

After ice-out,  Lake Trout cruise the shoreline shallows and reefs in depths shallower than 20 feet. They will hang out at these depths until water temperatures start to rise later in the spring. Once the water warms above the mid 50 degrees range, the lake trout seek the cooler depths. Look for them in depths usually in the 60′-120′ water column. Troll with downriggers, wire line, or dipsy divers, using crankbaits or flashy spoons. Vertical jigging with spoons or 1-2 oz jigs and a white mister twister tail tipped with a minnow or cut bait is another popular summer fishing method.
A medium action fishing rod and spinning reel spooled with plenty of 8-12 lb test line is a suitable choice throughout the seasons.

Muskie

The legendary Muskellunge (Muskie) is Canada’s largest freshwater predator fish. Dedicated muskie anglers live for the chance to catch this fish which is referred to as the “fish of 10,000 casts”. Muskie season opens on the 3rd Saturday of June and closes on December 15. The minimum length in which you may keep one fish with a sport fishing license is 48″.  We strongly urge our guests to practice C.P.R. Catch- Picture- Release.

Early season success can come to those who fish areas close to weed and reed filled bays. Jerkbaits, in-line bucktails and spinnerbaits in natural colors perform well in our clear waters. Many classic muskie holding structures including saddles, underwater humps, mid lake shoals, weeds, deep shorelines and fallen shoreline trees. Deep water trolling with crankbaits above the baitfish often produces.

Quality equipment is essential for muskie fishing.  A 6 1/2 – 7 ft. medium heavy action baitcasting rod and baitcasting reel spooled with 30-65 lb test braided line works well.  Polarized sunglasses, camera, soft measuring tape and a release kit with bolt cutters and long nosed pliers should be part of your basic tackle.
Red Lake does not have a large muskie population, although we see a few caught every year. If you are serious about landing one of these elusive fish, then a portage to Flat Lake is recommended. Flat lake is a great muskie lake, with a large population of trophy sized fish.

 

Camp Records2017-03-01T18:12:57+00:00

FISH

CAMP RECORD

OPEN

Take Note

Northern Pike

50+” – 30#

all season

lots over 40″

Walleye

32″ – 10#

3rd Saturday  in  May


(avg.22″ in 2011)
“Best spawn in 15 yrs.” -MNR Officer

Lake Trout

36#

all season

Catch and Release only

Muskie

Flat Lk. 40+”


3rd Saturday  in  June

Catch and Release only

Sm. Mouth Bass

All season

Caught near falls

How should my fish be prepared for transportation across the border?2013-10-28T19:21:31+00:00

All fish must be prepared or packaged so they may be immediately identifiable as to the type and size of each fish. Fish can only be transported in the same vehicle as the license holder.

Here are some of the preferred methods:

  • Gut and gill (each fish must be tagged by the license holder)
  • Filleted and put in a Zip-lock bag (Only 1 fish per bag, at least 2 inches of skin left on each half of fillet, bag is labeled by license holder, and fillets are laying flat so approximate length can be determined)
How many people will fish per boat?2013-10-28T18:58:55+00:00

Typically there are 2-3 people per boat, depending on the number of people in camp that week. We try hard to keep the ratio at 2 adults per 16 foot boat. If you prefer you may fish up to 4 people per boat.

Where do we store the fish we plan on keeping?2013-11-16T04:36:18+00:00

We have fish bins or coolers located in our brand new fish house for you to keep your fish in. You may use your own coolers if you so choose. There are also 3 flaked ice machines located in the fish house to keep your fish cold until your trip home.

What are the fishing regulations and possession limits?2013-10-28T18:58:55+00:00

For the most recent and up to date Ontario fishing regulations in our Zone (ZONE #2) visit the Ministry of Natural Resources web site :
http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/stdprodconsume/groups/lr/@mnr/@letsfish/documents/document/198220.pdf

Do you supply live bait?2013-11-16T04:40:43+00:00

Yes, we sell a variety of live bait at camp.

Small Minnows = $5.00/doz
Large Minnows = $7.00/doz
Night Crawlers = $2.00/doz  -or- $68.00/flat (these are not kept at camp at all times and are subject to prices in town)
Leeches =  Hard to get in Red Lake, but will try to get some if needed.

(note: all prices are subject to change based on our suppliers’ prices)
Will we have access to portage lakes?2016-09-26T23:32:18+00:00

Yes, there are at least 5 different portage lakes that you can fish. All of the lakes (except Parker) have boats and motors at the end of each portage, so you only need to bring your fishing gear, a camera and maybe a lunch. All of our portages are free of charge.  We ask that you sign up for each portage lake at least a day in advance, and please give other fisherman a opportunity to sign up as well. The sign up sheet for all portages will be located in the main lodge.

What is the boat set up?2017-03-01T18:12:57+00:00

You will have a 16 ft. aluminum boat with 15+hp Honda or Mercury out board motor.  The boats come equipped with plastic swivel boat seats, landing nets, seat cushions, two paddles, and emergency throw line and whistle.  Each boat is provided with 5 gallons of gas per day.  There will be 2-3 passengers per boat, although we try to keep the ratio at 2 adults per boat. Boat upgrades are available, call for more details.  Please provide your own wearable personal flotation device and waterproof flashlight, required by Canadian law.

How big is the lake?2013-10-28T18:58:56+00:00

43,680 acres with a maximum depth of 140 feet.

What types of fish are in the lake?2013-10-28T18:58:56+00:00
  • Walleye
  • Northern Pike
  • Muskie
  • Lake Trout
  • White Fish
  • Small Mouth
Can I bring my own boat?2013-12-09T18:22:52+00:00

Yes, you are welcome to bring up your own boat. There is a public boat launch located at the Government Dock in the nearby town of Red Lake. It is only a 25 minute boat ride to our camp. Or you can drive a couple more miles to St. Paul’s Bay launch site.  This site is much easier to navigate while backing in your boat and also has a parking area you can leave your car at (however, we are not responsible for your car if you choose to do this) We do not have a boat launch at our camp.