Whitefish Chain Fishing Guide

Crosslake lakes area has so many quality lakes to choose from, sometimes it is difficult to decide which one to fish. You can’t go wrong with the Whitefish Chain of Lakes. Todd Andrist is your go to Whitefish Chain fishing guide. We can arrange to meet at the lake access, or pick up at your hotel, resort, or dock.

Whitefish Chain Fishing Guide Data

Whitefish Chain of Lakes: Source MN DNR 

The Whitefish Chain of Lakes is located near the cities of Crosslake, Jenkins, and Pequot Lakes, in Crow Wing County, north-central Minnesota. These lakes occur in the southern half of the Pine River Watershed and are connected to the Pine River, which drains the watershed to the south.

The chain of lakes includes 13 waterbodies and is named for Whitefish Lake, the largest lake in the system. Whitefish Lake is a natural flow-through lake with an inlet from and outlet to the Pine River. Water flows southeast from the west side of Whitefish Lake into a navigable channel that connects to Rush-Hen Lake, and continues southeast as it outlets at Cross Lake.

Many of these lakes were not originally connected but were joined after 1886 when the Pine River Dam was
completed at Cross Lake and raised water levels, making permanent channels between the lakes. Some lands that originally occurred as peninsulas adjacent to open water became converted to islands as water levels increased.

Although lakes in the Whitefish Chain are connected, differences such as lake size, depth, flow, and shoreland management create differences in nutrient levels and water clarity between the lakes. Lakes range in depth and trophic status from shallow and eutrophic, such as Arrowhead Lake, to deep and oligotrophic, such as Big Trout and Island-Loon lakes. Water clarity ranges from nine feet in Little Pine, Daggett, and Arrowhead lakes to 14 feet in Big Trout, Island-Loon, and Lower Hay lakes.

The Whitefish Chain of Lakes is popular with recreationalists (Knapp 2005). Approximately 91% of the Whitefish Chain shoreline is privately owned and has about 14 resorts. Six public accesses are available on the chain; they are located on Lower Hay, Whitefish, Clamshell, Big Trout, and Cross lakes. The Minnesota DNR Section of Fisheries primarily manages Whitefish Lake for walleye and northern pike. Big Trout Lake is the only lake in the Brainerd Fisheries area that is managed and stocked for trout.

The Whitefish Chain covers a surface area of over 14,000 acres and has a total shoreline length of 115 miles. Whitefish Lake is the largest of the 13 lakes and the second largest in the Pine River Watershed. It has a surface area of about 7,715 acres and 32 miles of shoreline. Loon, Island and Pig lakes are the smallest lakes in the chain, each having a surface area less than 200 acres.