Ontario’s largest north-country outfitter for fishing and hunting, Cochrane Air offers 40+ outpost lakes with great fishing and hunting. However, looking through the Cochrane Air website, you won’t find West French Lake listed among its outpost camps / lakes. The West French Lake outpost is a moose-hunt camp – but it has great fishing for walleyes and northern pike, too. A tiny lake by any standard, it is ideal for groups or 2 to 4 and / or for short stays.
Plump walleyes in the 16-22” range abound at West French as do many small-to-medium pike. However, the chance of catching a trophy fish is very real – as this Northern Ontario Fisherman did there last summer (2016) – a heavy 42″ / 24-lb northern pike.
While we caught walleyes in many areas of the lake – off points, along weedlines, shallow back bays – the reed bank that extends out into the lake always provided the best fishing. Trolling with twister tail jigs parallel to the reed bank in 5-9 feet of water or jigging out from the tip of the reed bank in 8 to 14 feet of water produced walleyes throughout the day.
While we didn’t target pike, many were caught while fishing walleyes, including that trophy pike. However, trolling bigger baits (spoons, body baits) along deeper breaklines is a proven technique for bigger fish.
Cochrane Air has a “no-fish-out” policy in place to protect and enhance the fisheries at their remote lakes.