Open Water Fishing | 1,000 Lakes Around Grand Rapids, MN
Skip to content

FISHING

circle treelogo 1

BOOK NOW

1,000+ LAKES PRIME FOR FISHING

The Grand Rapids, MN area is home to more than 1,000 lakes prime for fishing. A fishing mecca for anglers in search of walleye, bass, crappies, northerns, musky, trout, panfish, perch and more. The Itasca area lakes have proven themselves by hosting a variety of amateur and professional fishing tournaments throughout the years. Check out our list at the bottom of the page for which lakes have the best bass and walleye fishing, including DNR reports and public access information.

The mighty Mississippi River runs right through our city, as well as a number of smaller rivers and tributaries located in the area. If you want to casually fish overhead off of a bridge or go by boat, the river is the perfect place to target those walleye, bass, bluegill, crappie or muskie.

Fishing information

  • Grand Rapids Marine Center:  Grand Rapids Marine is your boating headquarters for Northern Minnesota. (P) 218-326-0351 (Website) www.grandrapidsmarine.com
  • Paddle Hoppers: Go Local, friendly, knowledgeable paddle shop, offering stand-up paddleboards (SUPs), kayaks, canoes, and paddling accessories to buy or rent. We also offer fun ½ day Mississippi river trips on Saturdays, and guided kayaking day trips to a couple of our favorite local lakes on Thursdays! We carry Northstar Canoes. Delta, Jackson, Wilderness Systems, and Perception Kayaks. Pau Hana, Boardworks, Tahoe, Grey Duck, and Glide Stand-up Paddle Boards (SUPs). As well as Malone trailers and many brands of Accessories. (P) 218-326-5853 (Email) holli@Paddlehoppers.com (Website) https://paddlehoppers.com/
 

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Optio, neque qui velit. Magni dolorum quidem ipsam eligendi, totam, facilis laudantium cum accusamus ullam voluptatibus commodi numquam, error, est. Ea, consequatur.

FISHING TOURNAMENTS

  • Grand Rapids Marine Center:  Grand Rapids Marine is your boating headquarters for Northern Minnesota. (P) 218-326-0351 (Website) www.grandrapidsmarine.com
  • Paddle Hoppers: Go Local, friendly, knowledgeable paddle shop, offering stand-up paddleboards (SUPs), kayaks, canoes, and paddling accessories to buy or rent. We also offer fun ½ day Mississippi river trips on Saturdays, and guided kayaking day trips to a couple of our favorite local lakes on Thursdays! We carry Northstar Canoes. Delta, Jackson, Wilderness Systems, and Perception Kayaks. Pau Hana, Boardworks, Tahoe, Grey Duck, and Glide Stand-up Paddle Boards (SUPs). As well as Malone trailers and many brands of Accessories. (P) 218-326-5853 (Email) holli@Paddlehoppers.com (Website) https://paddlehoppers.com/
 

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Optio, neque qui velit. Magni dolorum quidem ipsam eligendi, totam, facilis laudantium cum accusamus ullam voluptatibus commodi numquam, error, est. Ea, consequatur.

Area lakes

  • Location: Cohasset, 5 miles west of Grand Rapids
    Acres: 2,407
    Max Depth: 76 feet
    Clarity: 10.7 feet

    Predominant Fish Species: Northern Pike, Walleye, Sunfish, Bluegill, Yellow Perch, Rock Bass

    DNR Stocking/Lake Report

    Public Accesses: 2 concrete, 1 earthen
    Unique Qualities: Bass Lake has two different basins connected by a two-mile-long channel of marsh. The lake is stocked with walleye and has been a good producer of walleyes and bluegills for anglers.

    Member Place to Stay on Bass Lake:

    Wildwood Resort

  • Location: 17 miles north of Deer River (29 miles west and north of Grand Rapids)
    Acres: 9,220
    Max Depth: 32 feet
    Clarity: 6 feet

    Predominant Fish Species: Black Crappie, Walleye, Bullhead, Northern Pike, Yellow Perch

    DNR Stocking/Lake Report

    Public Accesses: 4 (3 concrete, 1 earthen)

    Unique Qualities: Excellent natural fish reproduction, especially for walleye and crappie. Bowstring Lake is a good all-around fishing lake with sand bars and rock points that provide a good structure for fish. Bowstring Lake connects with Sand Lake, another popular fishing lake.

    Interesting Fact or Legend about Bowstring Lake: Relatively shallow lakes, like Bowstring, heat and cool quickly so they are at the forefront of fishing peaks in the spring and fall.

    Member Place to stay on Bowstring Lake:
    Bowstring Shores Resort

  • Location: 26 miles north of Grand Rapids near Marcell
    Acres: 240
    Max Depth: 152 feet
    Clarity: 28 feet

    Predominant Fish Species: Lake Trout, Bluegill, Yellow Perch, Rock Bass

    DNR Stocking/Lake Report 

    Public Accesses: 1 gravel

    Unique Qualities: Dramatic shoreline elevations and excellent water clarity compliment the fishing experience. Caribou Lake is the clearest natural lake in Minnesota with a 28 foot water clarity.

    Interesting Fact or Legend about Caribou Lake:
    The largest Kokanee Salmon ever caught in Minnesota was taken from Caribou Lake in 1971. It weighed 2 pounds, 15 ounces and measured 20 inches long.

    Caribou Lake has been featured in National Geographic Magazine. Local legend claims there is a house in the bottom of Caribou Lake which broke through the ice during a winter house move across the lake.

    Member Place to Stay on Caribou Lake:
    Buckhorn Resort on Caribou

  • Location: nearest town is Squaw Lake

    Acres: 2,768
    Max Depth: 78 feet
    Clarity: 12 feet

    Predominant Fish Species: Walleye, Black Crappie, Northern Pike, Bluegill, Tullibee, Yellow Perch, Rock Bass, Bullhead

    DNR Stocking/Lake Report

    Public Accesses: 3 concrete, 1 earthen

    Unique Qualities: Cutfoot Sioux Lake is a very popular walleye fishing lake and can be crowded during the fishing opener. Cutfoot is connected to Lake Winnie and provides anglers with the choice of staying on Cutfoot or venturing out onto Big Winnie. The lake is stocked with walleye on a regular basis.

    Interesting Fact or Legend about Cutfoot Sioux Lake: Send us an interesting fact about Cutfoot Sioux Lake and we will post it here.

  • Location: Deer River, northwest of Grand Rapids

    Acres: 4,097
    Max Depth: 121 feet
    Clarity: 11 feet

    Predominant Fish Species: Walleye, Yellow Perch, Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Sunfish, Rock Bass, Smallmouth Bass, and some Muskellunge

    DNR Stocking/Lake Report

    Public Accesses: 1 concrete

    Unique Qualities: Deer Lake is moderately developed with family homes, cabins, and some smaller family resorts. The lake supports diverse fish species and is actively managed for walleye, musky and smallmouth bass.

    Interesting Fact or Legend about Deer Lake: Deer Lake is sometimes referred to as the Lake of Changing Colors.

  • Location: Talmoon, 32 miles northwest of Grand Rapids

    Acres: 1,753
    Max Depth: 42 feet
    Clarity: 8 feet

    Predominant Fish Species: Walleye, Yellow Perch, Northern Pike

    DNR Stocking/Lake Report

    Public Accesses: 1 concrete

    Unique Qualities: Jessie Lake is actively managed for walleyes and was aggressively stocked in 2002 and 2003. The relatively shallow depth of Jessie Lake allows for heating and cooling of the lake water slightly ahead of traditional lake trends in northern Minnesota.

    Member Place to Stay on Jessie Lake:
    Jessie View Resort

    Rising Eagle Resort
    Loons Landing

  • Mississippi River Information: Unique qualities: Be aware of the locations of dams along the Mississippi River and how they will impact your ability to navigate upstream or downstream. Fishing between the Blandin Paper Mill Dam and the Pokegama Dam is popular during the summer months. The river has bays which hold bass and panfish, and has several bridges that provide opportunities to fish underneath from shore.

    Interesting Fact or Legend about the Mississippi River: The Mississippi River landing in Grand Rapids was the furthermost stopping point for the early steamships on the river. At Grand Rapids the river became too shallow for the ships to continue northward and thus Grand Rapids became the entertainment, trading, and merchant shopping hub to the northern region.

  • Location: Deer River, northwest of Grand Rapids

    Acres: 1274
    Max Depth: 61 feet
    Clarity: 7.5 feet

    Predominant Fish Species: Walleye, Yellow Perch, Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Sunfish, Northern Pike, Rock Bass, Black Crappie, Smallmouth Bass, and some Muskellunge

    DNR Stocking/Lake Report

    Public Accesses: 1 concrete

    Interesting Fact or Legend about Moose Lake: If you know an interesting fact or legend about Moose Lake please send us an email and we will post it here!

    Member Places to Stay on Moose Lake:
    Moose Lake Resort

  • Location: Grand Rapids
    Acres: 6,612
    Max Depth: 112 feet
    Clarity: 18.5 feet

    Predominant Fish Species: Bluegill, Northern Pike, Rockbass, Walleye, Yellow Perch, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Crappie

    DNR Stocking/Lake Report

    Public Accesses: 7 (5 concrete, 2 earthen)

    Unique Qualities: Pokegama Lake is a 6612 acre recreational lake that provides access by water to Jay Gould Lake and the Mississippi River. The natural topography of Pokegama Lake provides the varied natural structure which sustains good quality and quantities of all game fish species. The lake has hosted a number of fishing tournaments over the years including bass, perch, and walleye tournaments.

    Interesting Fact or Legend about Pokegama Lake: The name Pokegama is a Native American word meaning many fingers or many bays.

    Member Places to Stay on Pokegama Lake:
    Pokegama lake Resort
    Green Heron B&B 

     

  • Location: 5 miles north of Grand Rapids off Highway 38 – The Edge of the Wilderness National Scenic Byway.

    Acres: 1064
    Max Depth: 31 feet
    Clarity: 6.5 feet

    Predominant Fish Species: Black crappie, Bluegill, Yellow Perch, Northern Pike, and Walleye

    DNR Stocking/Lake Report

    Public Accesses: 2 concrete

    Unique Qualities: Prairie Lake has a unique outcropping of rocks on its southern edge that forms the Prairie Lake Gorge. This scenic spot is a popular photography location that can also be accessed via a short hike from Gunn Park along the Itasca Bike Trail.  The location is not signed so listen for clues along the bike trail to know where to find the lake and its’ gorge.

  • Location: 8 miles SW of Marcell, 32 miles north of Grand Rapids

    Acres: 1,349
    Max Depth: 36 feet
    Clarity: 12.5 feet

    Predominant Fish Species: Bluegill, Yellow Perch, Northern Pike, Black Crappie, Walleye, Largemouth Bass

    DNR Stocking/Lake Report

    Public Accesses: 1 concrete

    Unique Qualities: Spider Lake supports diverse fish species and is managed for walleye production.

  • Location: Grand Rapids
    Acres: 1,420
    Max Depth: 34 feet
    Clarity: 8.5 feet

    Predominant Fish Species: Yellow Perch, Walleye, Northern Pike, Bluegill, Black Crappie, Sunfish

    DNR Stocking/Lake Report 

    Public Accesses: 1 concrete

    Unique Qualities: Splithand Lake is a residential lake with no commercial resort properties remaining on the lake. Its relatively shallow depth allow for heating and cooling water temperatures ahead of normal trends.

    Interesting Fact or Legend about Splithand Lake: If you know an interesting fact or legend about Splithand Lake please send us an email and we will post it here!

  • Location: 14 miles southwest of Grand Rapids

    Acres: 1306
    Max Depth: 105 feet
    Clarity: 26 feet

    Predominant Fish Species: Yellow Perch, Walleye, Rock Bass, Northern Pike, and Bluegill.

    DNR Stocking/Lake Report

    Public Accesses: 1 concrete
    Unique Qualities: Sugar Lake is managed for walleye and northern pike production. Locals recommend fishing the lake in the evening or on cloudy days because of the crystal clear water.

    Interesting Fact or Legend about Sugar Lake: A unique sand composition in the bottom of Sugar Lake along with exceptionally clear water creates an aquamarine color reflection. Sugar Lake Lodge was the host location of the 1999 Governor’s Fishing Opener with Jessie Ventura.

    Member place to stay on Sugar Lake:
    Sugar Lake Lodge

  • Location: Marcell, 35 miles north of Grand Rapids

    Acres: 2,052
    Max Depth: 137 feet
    Clarity: 12 feet

    Predominant Fish Species: Bluegill, Northern Pike, Rock Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, Tullibee (cisco), Yellow Perch

    DNR Stocking/Lake Report (link to: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/showreport.html?downum=31072500)

    Public Accesses: 1 concrete

    Unique Qualities: Turtle Lake is an aesthetically beautiful lake with clear, deep water. Its reputation for large smallmouth bass and a diverse fish species make it a popular fishing destination for recreational anglers. If you are lodging in Grand Rapids and plan to fish on Turtle Lake, Frontier Sports in Marcell is a good place to stop for fishing bait and last-minute supplies.

    Interesting Fact or Legend about Turtle Lake: Do you know of a legend or fact about Turtle Lake? Please send us an email?

  • Location: Near Bigfork, 35 miles northeast of Grand Rapids

    Acres: 450
    Max Depth: 67 feet
    Clarity: 14 feet

    Predominant Fish Species: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Bluegill, Pumpkinseed Sunfish, Northern Pike, Black Crappie

    DNR Stocking/Lake Report (link to: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/showreport.html?downum=31028100)

    Public Accesses: none

    Unique Qualities: Wasson Lake is a 450 acre, spring fed lake similar in appearance to a Canadian lakescape.  With only one family resort, no public access and the lack of development around the lake, the lake provides a quiet experience ideal for fishing, canoeing, kayaking and wildlife viewing.  The provides excellent fishing for large and smallmouth bass, northern pike, crappies and bluegills.

    Member Place to Stay on Wasson Lake:
    Loon Point Resort

  • Location: North of Deer River

    Acres: 58,544
    Max Depth: 70 feet
    Clarity: not recorded

    Predominant Fish Species: Walleye, Yellow Perch, Crappie, Northern Pike, Muskellunge, and Tullibee (Cisco)
    Public Accesses: 7 concrete

    DNR Stocking/Lake Report (link to: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/showreport.html?downum=11014700)

    Unique Qualities: Lake Winnie is a large lake that is popular with walleye anglers during open water season, and perch anglers during the ice fishing season. The lake is widely regarded as one of the top walleye fisheries in Minnesota. Much of the land around Lake Winnie is federal forestland and part of the Chippewa National Forest. Lake Winnibigoshish is actively managed for walleye production.

    Interesting Fact about Lake Winnie: The state record Musky (muskellunge) was caught in Lake Winnie in 1957. It weighed 54 pounds and measured 56 inches long.

EXPLORE MORE

GRAND RAPIDS, MINNESOTA

WHAT'S NEW

Fishing Report

Come Bike This May in Grand Rapids, MN

Come Bike This May in Grand Rapids, Minnesota Area

The top trails to explore in the Greater Grand Rapids area include Mesabi, Tioga, Legion, in-town trails and more!
Read More

Latest News

National Travel Tourism Week 2022 Header Image

National Travel & Tourism Blog

National Travel and Tourism Week is May 1-7, 2022 celebrates the collective strength of the greater Grand Rapids, MN tourism and hospitality industry.
Read More