Endless Northern Minnesota Fishing Opportunities

Besides the excellent fishing of North Star Lake, you can also try your luck at many of the hundreds of other lakes in this area. From public accesses to carry-in rustics, you never run out of choices or varieties of lakes to fish. And since you are in the Chippewa National Forest, many of theses lakes do not even have a house on them giving you the perfect nature getaway.

A great place to start when looking for area lakes and their fishing information is the Minnesota DNR Recreation Compass. It allows you to navigate around to area lakes starting at Kokomo on North Star Lake. You can view lake maps and survey information.

Here are some of the most popular area lakes:

Sand Lakesand lake graphic
Sand Lake is known as a tremendous walleye lake due to an aggressive stocking program through the DNR and the Sand Lake Property Owners Association as well as its plentiful natural reproduction. It also boasts an abundant supply of crappie, jumbo perch, northern pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass and panfish. Sand Lake is a 4,328 acre naturally fed lake with a maximum depth of 70 feet, a median depth of 17 feet, and 19.9 miles of beautiful shoreline, all nestled in the Chippewa National Forest. It offers anglers many types of bottom structure variations, bays, islands, rock piles and has direct access to Bowstring Lake, Little Sand Lake, the Bowstring River, Rice Lake, Birds’ Eye Lake, Portage Lake, Dora Lake and the Bigfork River. [DNR REPORT]

Spider Lake
A long history of being an all-around good fishing lake keeps Spider Lake a popular destination year after year. There are good numbers and sizes of walleye, largemouth and smallmouth bass, northern pike, muskie and panfish. Spider is a DNR-designated muskie lake and it holds some impressive sized ones in its depths. There are also numerous northerns in the 5- to 10-pound class and even some 20-pounders to keep the action steady. Spider Lake is located southeast of Marcell. It has a maximum depth of 35 feet and a median depth of 12.1 feet. The shorelength is 16 miles. [DNR REPORT]

Wabana Lakewabana lake graphic
Wabana’s deep clear waters make this lake a difficult one to fish, but the variety and size of the fishpopulation is well worth the challenge. In thee 1970’s and 1980’s, the DNR managed the lake for northern pike. In the mid-80’s, the DNR switched their management DNR walleye stocking has created strong fishery with good natural reproduction. Most of the time anglers can catch northern, bass and walleye in the same outing, using the same bait. Panfish are plentiful and there are numerous jumbo perch in the lake as well. Wabana Lake covers 2,215 acres and has a maximum depth of 115 feet with a median depth of 26 feet. The shorelength is 23.2 miles. [DNR REPORT]

Bowstring Lakebowstring lake graphic
Bowstring Lake is located approximately 18 miles north of Deer River and contains 9,220 acres Bowstring Lake near Grand Rapids MN fishing resortof Minnesota’s top fishing waters for Walleye, Northern Pike, Crappie, Bass, Panfish and Jumbo Perch. It’s maximum depth of 30 feet and median depth of 15 feet allows Bowstring to warm up quickly in the spring and cool down quickly in early fall. Bowstring is a fairly easy lake to fish because it’s sandbars and rockpiles tend to hold the walleye and crappie. The north side of the lake is full of structured weed beds which are attractive to the lakes northern pike, perch and crappie. The Minnesota DNR lists Bowstring Lake as one of the state’s top walleye fishing lakes. According to data from the DNR’s latest lake survey, Bowstring is managed primarily for walleye and secondarily for black crappie, northern pike and jumbo perch. [DNR REPORT] pokegema lake graphic

Pokegama Lake
Pokegama Lake, in the heart of Grand Rapids, is a true multi-species lake with an abundant supply of pokegama Lake fishing resorts near Grand Rapids MNwalleye,northern pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass, panfish, jumbo perch and lake trout. At 6,600 acres and with more than 55 miles of  shoreline, the lake has a maximum depth of 110 feet and is full of steep drops with more structure than any other lake in the area. Pokegama tends to be a better early morning and evening lake due to the recreational boat traffic during the day. Walleyes tend to be found just about anywhere along the entire shoreline. Look for the gradual breaklines and start out in the 18-foot depths moving toward the shallows. Big northern pike lurk in the weedlines throughout the lake, with some being found in the 30-foot depths. Lake Trout can also be found at these depths. Pokegama has a lot of nice slab crappies and an established smallmouth and largemouth bass population. Try working the cabbage beds at 17 feet with spinnerbaits in the evenings for the largemouths. [DNR REPORT]

Jessie Lake
Jessie Lake is a 1,753 acre lake that boasts an abundant supply of walleye, nortjessie lake graphichern, crappie, jumbo perch, and small and largemouth bass. The Lake is approximately four miles long and one mile wide with 9.2 miles of shoreline. Jessie has a maximum depth of 42 feet and an average depth of 22 feet. The Minnesota DNR manages Jessie Lake primarily as a walleye lake and is currently stocked with walleye fry every three years. The Jessie Lake Watershed Association is a very active group that is working with the DNR to restore walleye spawning habitat and maintain or improve water quality. Jessie’s structure consists primarily of sunken islands, reefs and bars. The inlet area on the north side of the lake will generally hold nice crappie early after ice out and as the water warms you will find them, along with walleye, on the sand flats and the deeper water drop offs. [DNR REPORT]

Moose Lake
Moose Lake and Little Moose Lake are muskie waters that also produce some nice northern pike. Moose Lake’s reputation for producing 30- to 40-pound muskies is well known by the locals. The lakes’ forage bases and general ecological makeup seem to provide conditions for large fish sizes. Anglers can also find plenty of walleye on Moose by working the numerous underwater islands, bars and points. There are also fair numbers of largemouth bass, crappies and panfish. Moose Lake has a maximum depth of 61 feet with a median depth of 30 feet. It has a shorelength of 6.7 miles. [DNR REPORT]

Deer Lakedeer lake graphic
Located just north of Grand Rapids, Deer Lake is known as a walleye lake, but also has an abundance of muskie. The DNR stocks this lake annually with walleye fingerlings. Deer Lake also has a terrific population of smallmouth bass and has seen an increase in bluegill population over the past few years. Muskies in this lake tend to average about 39 inches, but 40-pound-class fish are reported caught fairly often. Deer Lake has a maximum depth of 121 feet. There is plenty of structure on this lake with numerous points and sunken islands. The shorelength is 23 miles. [DNR REPORT]