We have live bait (crawlers) (minnows 1 mile away), docks aplenty and a cement boat ramp for easy access.
11th Crow Wing Lake is an almost 800 acre spring fed, crystal clear lake; official headwaters (very steady water table) to the Crow Wing Chain of Lakes.
(Eleven lakes in all which flow into the Crow Wing River - 1st National Scenic Canoe Waterway! The Crow Wing River then flows into the mighty Mississippi about an hour or so drive south in the Brainerd area.
In theory, you could float a canoe from our lodge all the way to the Gulf of Mexico!)
'Course, for those of us weenies who need a motor on our boat (*ahem*), access to the lakes and river ways can be a bit more limited. (Lake access/boating questions.)
FISH IN OUR LAKE
- Northern Pike
- Large Mouth Bass
- Rock Bass
- DNR Lake Survey
Bringing a boat? View AIS requirements
Northern Pike Rearing Project
Releasing the pike at CWC! (June 2013)
The DNR stocks our lake with walleye fingerling every other year, and their testing indicates samples of walleye as far back as 22 years +. They have mentioned to us that this lake is probably in the top 10 walleye lakes in the state for trophy size fish, although with the plentiful supply of food for them, they aren't always easy to catch.
We dam up the natural springs behind the house to create a rearing pond.
The DNR typically set up two nets in a 24 hour period (just as the ice is breaking up in April - we call 'em to tell 'em when the northern are stacking up in the creek). Then they cull through the 100+ pikes caught overnight and choose a dozen or so fish of a certain size (usually 3-4 females, 6-10 males), and gently release them into the rearing pond. After three or four weeks, we pull the stop board and allow the rearing pond to flow into the lake, taking with it hundreds of newly hatched pike fingerlings. We have the only northern pike producing project in the county!
Numbers of fish hatched vary each year. For example 2015 was a dry spring, so no attempt was made to hold water in the pond. In 2011, we had a very large number of fingerling due to high rainfall, which allowed half of pond to flush into lake on June 5, a few weeks earlier than normal. Fry were approx. 1" at that time --- we estimate thousands went into lake, along with the high water earlier that week. Big John finished flushing pond out on June 23. Fingerling were approx. 2.5". We estimate 500 - 3,000 fingerling went into stocking 11th Crow Wing Lake during the second flush.
Remarkably pretty darn good in this lake. One repeat family in July has an in-house bass tournament each year - strictly catch and release. If the DNR doesn't covet their "x-marks-the- spot" bass maps of the lake, they should!
The pan fish are nothin' trophy size but plentiful, and make a good food supply for the bigger predator fish in the lake. Take a tip from Joe, they also taste pretty darn good at a family meal. It's as fresh as you can get, straight from spring fed, clean waters!
BIG JOHN CAN DIRECT YOU TO OTHER NEARBY LAKES
There's Big John on a good crappie day (pic at right - there are crappie in 11th Crow Wing, but this particular stringer was not caught here). Tell the big guy what you're wanting and he might be able to hand you a map and suggest a trip for you. Remember, there are 90 lakes within a 10 mile radius.
If you'd like professional fishing help check out area fishing guides.
The following dates are best fishing conditions predicted by Farmer's Almanac for this year: