Fishing the Other 1000+ Area Lakes

Wildwood Resort is located in the heart of Minnesota’s best fishing for walleye, northern, muskie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, perch and panfish. In fact, Itasca County where we are located is home to more than 1400 Minnesota Fishing Lakes. When you stay at Wildwood, you’ll have direct access to Bass Lake, and can access a number of other popular Northern Minnesota lakes with just a short drive.
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Here is some information about a few of the most popular area lakes:

Lake Winnibigoshish

Also known as Lake Winnie and sometimes misspelled Lake Winibigosh or Winnibigosh, this is the fifth largest lake in Minnesota and covers 67,000 acres. Lake Winnibigoshish is well known as one of the finest walleye fishing lakes in Minnesota. Big Winnie is a great producer of both walleye and northern pike. As a general rule, the best time to fish for walleye is from May thru the first week in July and then again from mid–August until freeze up. The best time for northern fishing is from July through October. The jumbo perch bite well here all year. The state record musky was caught on Lake Winnie and a number of large muskies prowl the depths of the lake. There are also crappie, bass, perch, sunfish and bluegill found in the lake. Big Winnie has a maximum depth of 65 feet and a median depth of 15 feet. The Mississippi River flows through its center. Nearly 95 percent of the 35-mile-shorelength is undeveloped. [DNR REPORT]

Cutfoot Sioux Lake

Cutfoot Sioux Lake is probably the most popular fishing spot in the entire region on opening weekend as well as at many other times. A classic spawning area for Big Winnie’s walleyes, the heavy concentrations are fished relentless-ly boat to boat at times, especially around William’s Narrows. One- to 1.5-pound males are usually the most active early in the year with some 8- to 10-pound females becoming more responsive after the post-spawn period. The Gap, Battleship Point and the island to the east of Battleship give up some good fish each autumn. As in most walleye lakes, plan on some northern pike line bite-offs. Slab crappies are also found throughout Cutfoot. Cutfoot is 2,851 acres in size, has a maximum depth of 78 feet and a median depth of 23.6 feet. It has a shorelength of 18.2 miles. [DNR REPORT]

Sand Lake

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]

Bowstring Lake

Located approximately 18 miles north of Deer River, Bowstring Lake contains 9,220 acres of 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]

Pokegama Lake

Located in the heart of Grand Rapids, Pokegama Lake is a true multi-species lake with an abundant supply of walleye,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′ with spinnerbaits in the evenings for largemouths. [DNR REPORT]

Round Lake

Located just off Hwy. 46 near Squaw Lake, Round Lake is a 2,828 acre lake with a maximum depth of 24 feet and a median depth of 12 feet. This lake is best known for its phenomenal jumbo perch. Perch are often taken in the 3/4 to 1-pound range with even larger ones not uncommon. Round Lake also has plentiful walleyes, though they’re a bit tough to fish at times. There are a few crappies in the lake and quite a few northerns prowling the water. The mid–lake structure is the best place to hunt for walleye and northerns. [DNR REPORT]

Jessie Lake

Jessie Lake is a 1,753 acre lake that boasts an abundant supply of walleye, northern, 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’ll find them, along with walleye on the sand flats and the drop-offs. [DNR REPORT]

Ball Club Lake

A naturally fed 5,111 acre lake, Ball Club Lake has a maximum depth of 95 feet and a water clarity of 12-14 feet. The lake is part of the Mississippi River Watershed, has excellent structure, and is fed by many deep underwater springs. Anglers love the tremendous fishing here. The lake boasts an abundant supply of walleye, northern, bass, jumbo perch, crappie and panfish. [DNR REPORT]

Moose Lake and Little Moose Lake

Moose and Little Moose Lakes 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 Lake

Located just north of Wildwood Resort, 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]