The Lunge Lodge

The Lunge Lodge on the Upper French River

Brian Bernhardt
  • 43, Male
  • Independence, OH
  • United States
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Brian Bernhardt's Page

Profile Information

What is your favorite species of fish to target at The Lunge Lodge? (Due to recent spammers joining this site, failure to answer will result in declined membership.)
27 Since 1988 (Never Enough!)
How many trips have you made to The Lunge Lodge? (Due to recent spammers joining this site, failure to answer will result in declined membership.)


My grandfather, John Bernhardt, started going up to Lunge Lodge in 1963. My father Gary Bernhardt in 1972. My first time was in 1988 when I was 14 years old.   It's been my passion ever since.  Wolfgang and Barb Strahfl owned it back then.

I first met Mike O'neil and Todd Klaas in the Summer of 1998. We were the only guests that week and the place was very run down (Take a look at the "Yesterday Today" video on their dvd and you will see what I mean. I think I actually fell through the dock that year. Anyways, Mike and Todd were up there scouting the area because they knew the lodge was for sale. They spent a night or two in the cabin next to us. Low and behold we go to the Sportsman Show the following year and they are the new owners! We became fast friends (Who says Pittsburgh and Cleveland can't get along?) We were just so impressed with the way they turned that place around and breathed new life into it. Being in video production I asked them if they would be interested in doing a video to hand out to their potential guests. I have been doing their dvds ever since.

After a 10 year run, we were sad to learn the news that Mike and Todd had sold the lodge.  But were happy to hear that long time guests Steve Zacharyasz and Mike Pettry were the new owner and manager.  We had met them years prior at various muskie madness weeks, so we knew that lunge lodge was in good hands.  The improvements they have made in the first 4 years has been nothing short of awesome!  Mike Pettry and his dad have been guests since the 1970s. He's a great guy, very down to earth, and cares about his fellow fisherman having success on the Upper French River.

I usually go 2 times a year.  1 Week in July with my dad, son, friends and extended family.  And Musky Madness week in September with my dad. It's a great family tradition that continues every year and now my 11 year old son Alex is hooked!

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Brian Bernhardt's Blog

3 New Videos!

Posted on January 11, 2017 at 1:16am 0 Comments

Just a reminder, we have 3 new videos that were posted this week on the "Videos" Page.

1.  2016 Lunge Lodge Pettry/Collins Bass Tournament

2.  2016 Muskie Madness Tournament Results…


2016 Highlights Video (Please Submit Pictures ASAP)

Posted on December 19, 2016 at 11:58am 0 Comments

Hello friends of Lunge Lodge!  It's that time of the year again where we recap this year's Lunge Lodge/French River successes and look forward to the 2017 season.  This is addressed to all of the guests from the 2016 season.  I am putting together the annual highlight reel.  I am asking everyone to please email me any pics or video you may have from the 2016 season that you think would be worthy of a highlight reel.  It doesn't have to be just fish, it can be scenery, or anything related to…


July 16th - 25th Bernhardts

Posted on July 29, 2016 at 11:00am 1 Comment

Had another great time at Lunge this year with our group of 11.  Hot weather and steady winds made a few days really tough but we still managed to catch some nice fish throughout the week.  The Walleye window of opportunity came mostly in the evenings between 8pm and 9:30pm.  After hardly seeing any pike all week, they seemed to finally turn on fri evening.  And after raising a couple Muskies during the week, I managed to end the trip on a high note catching a nice 42" Muskie Sunday morning…


July 16th - 24th Emmit, Jeff, Keith, & Pete Muskies and Pike

Posted on July 29, 2016 at 10:30am 1 Comment

Here are some Muskie and Pike Pics caught the week of July 16th - 25th sent from Jeff.

Emmit Pike

Emmit 32" Muskie…


3 New Videos Available from the 2015 Season

Posted on January 11, 2016 at 12:50pm 0 Comments

Well, they are finally done!  3 new videos from the 2015 season have been uploaded.  You can watch the Bass Tournament, Muskie Tournament, and General Highlights Video.  Thanks to all who contributed!  Hope to see everyone at the shows starting this weekend in Cleveland.  Make sure you pick up a new 2016 DVD which has all the new videos on it plus a whole lot more!

Here is a link to the videos page.…


Comment Wall (14 comments)

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At 7:40am on April 30, 2014, Tony Petras gave Brian Bernhardt a gift
Happy Birthday, Brian!
At 8:48pm on April 30, 2013, Tony Petras gave Brian Bernhardt a gift
Happy Birthday, Brian! Rock on!!
At 7:28pm on April 30, 2012, Tony Petras gave Brian Bernhardt a gift
Happy Birthday, Brian - have a drink on me!
At 10:06pm on February 22, 2012, mary sipprell said…

Hi Brian, Everything is good in North Bay.  Two months and approximately seven days before I go to the lodge.  Yes, you're right can't wait to get back to work. The amount of snow fallen this year has been good so far.  I checked the mattawa conservation site and it said the water level for this time of year was normal.  We haven't had any serious snow days for several weeks but our winter isn't over yet.  I've had to shovel my roof three times which is a good sign.  My neighbor has used his snow blower several times on my driveway.  So I don't think there will be a serious problem with the water level.  I haven't heard from your Dad this year.  Hope everything is good with him.  Talk to you soon.  Mary

At 5:01pm on January 21, 2012, mary sipprell said…

Hey Brian  Did you forget the rules when you made the video.  Funny, forget the rules when you make a video forget the tomato soup at Lunge Lodge.  Other than that you did a great job on 99.9% of it.  Say hello to your family.  Can't wait to get out there in May and see everyone when they arrive into camp.  Mary

At 4:45pm on December 30, 2011, Robert J. Folino said…

Brian, I have some pictures. Can i e-mail them to you? Your address?


Bob Folino

At 4:04pm on December 27, 2011, Robert J. Folino said…

I will send what I have when I am back in Cleveland

At 2:20pm on November 22, 2010, steve zacharyasz said…
Brian, looking for any winter pics, let me know if you have any. Steve.
At 7:03pm on February 21, 2010, mary sipprell said…
Hey there, I have been meaning to contact you about your videos. What a super job. The only thing, the way everyone carried on about Mary, I going to have a lot to live up to. Who is that woman anyway. All kidding aside,the comments from those devoted guests should bring in many new guests. Again, super job. Say hi to everyone and can't wait to see you all in July. Seventy-six days until I put my feet on Lunge Lodge's soil. Mary
At 9:53am on May 1, 2009, mary sipprell said…
Happy Birthday Brian. See you in June. Looking forward to making the Tomato soup. Mary

Contact Information

Phone: (705) 763-2317
           (216) 314-9612

French River Water Levels

Check out this link for detailed information about Lake Nipissing and French River water levels.


Clearwater Fishing

Started by Fletcher in Camp Fire Discussions Jul 17, 2016. 0 Replies

Sittin' around the Camp Fire

Started by John McCullough in Camp Fire Discussions. Last reply by Tony S. Jul 11, 2016. 4 Replies

Another Great Week

Started by Mark Beaven in Camp Fire Discussions. Last reply by Tony Petras Jul 10, 2016. 2 Replies


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