The Ultimate SnoBear Adventure on Lake Kabetogama with Kab Outdoors
Whether you are looking for a secluded wilderness experience in Minnesota or a nearly all-inclusive fishing experience from the luxury of a SnoBear, then Kab Outdoors on Lake Kabetogama is it. It’s where luxury fishing meets remote fishing – rarely do I find both!
Situated near the international border, Lake Kabetogama presents some of the best multi-species fishing in the midwest. Its relation to Voyageurs National Park protects it from much of the chaos currently occurring in Minnesota’s other major bodies of water, leaving not only great fishing but the true outdoor experience most of us anglers yearn for.
Now there is nothing wrong with permanent ice shack fishing and piles of trucks on the lake if the ice can support it, but if you are anything like me, this year had too much chaos. Navigating through thousands of ice shacks and vehicles isn’t my favorite way to experience ice fishing.
So with the incredible increase in angler participation causing heavy pressure on many of Minnesota’s bodies of water, I chose to head Northeast, to an area protected by a national park and wilderness interests – to target fish on the beautiful Lake Kabetogama.
ABOUT LAKE KABETOGAMA
Lake Kabetogama’s relation to Voyageurs National Park keeps it protected from much of the overdevelopment and pressure that many of the state’s bodies of water are seeing. This also means the backdrop is filled with ancient rock, remote islands, and beautiful forests. In fact, at one point during our trip, I just stood outside – basking in the scenery as the snow fell silently across the landscape. The trees were layered in fresh white snow and there wasn’t another soul in sight. That is one of the best parts of this place, it still has the wilderness feeling many of us enjoy.
The lake itself is 26 miles long, comprised of great fishing, forests, and an array of islands to explore. For those who love to travel to Northwest Ontario for adventures (not just for the fishing, but the serene experience we often don’t experience in the states), this will be your fix while the border is shutdown. Who knows, you may even enjoy it more.
LAKE KABETOGAMA IS ALL ABOUT STRUCTURE
For someone who spends their time fishing a lot of flat, mud-dominant water, structure fishing can be a lot of fun. Lake Kabetogama is filled with large and small islands, rocky reefs, and a pure abundance of structure to breakdown. It was truly some of the most prominent structure fishing experiences I’ve had in a long time.
It’s these types of lakes that provide some of the best educational experiences when it comes to fish patterns and behavior. Learning which breaklines to set up on, which reefs are active, and how the structure of the lake affects the filtering of different species can be a lot of fun.
No to mention, one of the best parts of Lake Kabetogama is the fact that you can catch trophy fish in nearly every species. From smallmouth bass to walleye, trophy pike, and jumbo perch, there is something here for everyone.
LODGING ON LAKE KABETOGAMA
Despite its remote location, there is a variety of lodging options scattered along the lake. However, we chose a resort filled with modern conveniences and top-notch travel opportunities: Kab Outdoors.
This is a family-owned resort and tackle store, comprised of a variety of accommodations including a fancy guest cabin and SnoBear rental. They also offer permanent ice shack rental for those who want the overnight experience.
KAB OUTDOORS ACCOMMODATIONS
Kab Outdoors offers a cabin, sleeper shacks, and a SnoBear package during ice season. During the summer they offer both cabin and boat rental packages, as well as guiding for those who want some guidance.
For this ice trip, we chose the SnoBear/guest cabin combination – hardcore fishing all day and comradery and games at night. This way we had the conveniences of home, a better night’s sleep, while still having the ability to fish in comfort. Plus, with the SnoBear you can cover the entire lake with ease.
The guest cabin on Lake Kabetogama is not just big but also recently renovated. There are two bedrooms (1 king bed & 2 queens with a twin bunk), a large kitchen and dining area, complete with a TV and massaging couch.
However, premium lodging is just a slice of what Kab Outdoors has to offer. Their entire list of options include:
Ice House Rental
Tackle and Convenience Store
& Boat Rental if You Choose to Come in the Summer
They accommodate everything you need in one of the most remote locations of Minnesota.
This was one of the things I was most excited for. When it comes to ice fishing a major body of water, there is no better way to do it than with a SnoBear. Of course, Megan and I decided we preferred the heat, luxury, and space, so we sent the boys out on the sleds while we enjoyed the SnoBear to ourselves. We were able to break down more structure, faster, allowing us to land on a couple of hotspots, including a smallie-loaded midlake reef. We enjoyed a few hours of incredible smallmouth fishing at this spot.
If you want to introduce someone new to fishing or bring someone who doesn’t fare well in cold weather, then this is the way to do it. Or if you are a diehard like us, but want to treat yourself to a luxurious experience once in a while, then I highly recommend heading up north andrenting one of these.
Best of all, it was loaded with both Humminbird mapping and Panoptix Livescope. There is not a better combination of fishing electronics and you have full access to it in the bear.
If you want an adventure where you can simply show up and ice fish in 70F, this is it.
LAKE KABETOGAMA IS FULL OF MULTI-SPECIES OPPORTUNITIES
As previously mentioned, Lake Kabetogama is not just a walleye destination. In fact, it’s great for a variety of species. From trophy pike to jumbo perch, if there is a species that isn’t biting, you will likely find a different species that is.
When we were there we picked up:
& Multiple smallies.
We did have to work for fish at times, which is typical of a heavily structured lake. However, the SnoBear made that incredibly easy, and with a variety of fish to target, we were never bored.
To get more lines in the water we also set up a circle of tip-ups when sitting on a reef with the SnoBear. This gave us plenty of opportunities to target trophy pike while jigging for walleye, sauger, bass, and perch in 70 degrees right out of the machine.
WHAT TO BRING
When it comes to packing, you really don’t need to bring anything. The SnoBear was completely filled with everything we needed – including rods, reels, baits, electronics, and an auger. If you just want to show up in jeans and a sweatshirt, you probably can do it. We only needed sheets, food, beverages, and ice gear – but if you are taking the SnoBear that, too, is optional.
When it came to lures, we found that the smallest baits worked the best on everything. From walleye to smallmouth, using a panfish-sized spoon seemed to be the best option. I also brought my favorite rods, because I can’t live without TUCR Commander.
GREAT ICE FISHING AND OPEN WATER ADVENTURES
If you want a SnoBear adventure, don’t be afraid to book that now. However, you don’t have to stop there. I will be returning to Kab Outdoors this May to enjoy their hot walleye bite. I not only plan on not exploring the waterway by boat this time, but I also plan on taking advantage of their walleye dock bite. If you are looking for a great spring walleye destination this is going to be it.
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