Welcome to our Whitefish Chain of Lakes Home Page
The Whitefish Area of Minnesota features the Whitefish Chain of Lakes, which is a very popular chain of lakes for boating and fishing. There are many resorts here and plenty of places to find a bite to eat. This region is located just north of Brainerd, Minnesota.
Primary Species of Fish
Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike & Walleye
This area is known for its fast action largemouth bass fishing and some solid fishing for pike and walleye. You will find some good-sized fish in the Whitefish Chain, but don’t expect to have all the good fishing spots to yourself. This chain of lakes has a lot of people that fish these waters every summer. It’s a very good fishing destination if you’re looking to catch some fish and have some fun around the water.
Secondary Species of Fish
Smallmouth Bass, Perch, Crappie & Bluegill
There are good numbers of panfish in the chain, however, most anglers come here to target the largemouth bass, pike and walleye. If you want to fish for panfish, you should be able to do well. Bluegill and other sunfish are here in good numbers if you want to target them. Smallies are here in lower numbers, but you may end up catching some of these bass too.
Fishing the Bays
There are plenty of bays on the chain and these bays will hold plenty of fish. The weeds will hold panfish, largemouth bass, some northern pike and some walleye too. The bays can hold a lot of fish early in the year as fish move into the shallows to spawn. Once the water temperatures warm up, the fish will usually head out to deeper water for the summer. This chain has such a strong largemouth bass fishery that many of these bays will have good weed growth and you can find some largemouth here through the entire summer. The fall brings some fish back into the bays with the cooler water temperatures, so make sure to hit the bays again as the fall bite gets good.
Fishing the Channels
Some anglers report some good fishing in the channels on the chain. Depending on which spot you are fishing and whether or not boats are moving through or not, you may be able to fish some of these areas or you may not. Bass and panfish will often be found in these areas with some other fish mixed in occasionally too.
Fishing the Drop-offs
The drop-offs will hold most of the better quality fish from summer through fall. There are a lot of weeds on the chain, so target the deeper weed edges when the fish go deep and you can catch walleye, pike, bass and panfish.
Fishing the Islands
There are some islands out on the chain and these islands will hold a variety of fish. Many anglers fish the islands and do quite well targeting bass, walleye, pike and panfish.
Fishing the Points
There are a lot of points throughout the chain and fish will relate to these points throughout the year. Find the points with nice drop-offs and some good weed growth and you will have better odds of finding larger numbers of fish and quality fish too.
Fishing the Rocks
There are some rock bars, humps and reefs throughout the chain. These are spots where you will usually find walleye and an occasional smallmouth bass here too. Northern pike, largemouth bass and panfish will move onto these spots too, so don’t be shocked if you get a mixed bag by targeting the rocks.
Fishing the Weeds
There is a lot of vegetation on this chain of lakes. From spring through fall, you can just focus on the weeds on the chain and have success all year. Most anglers will be fishing the deeper weed edges for walleye and the shallow stuff for pike and largemouth bass, however, if you consistently fish the weed edges and focus on the some of the deeper stuff too, you will run into just about everything that swims in the lake. You may catch largemouth bass, pike, walleye, perch, crappie, bluegill and other sunfish too.
Good Strategies for Fishing the Chain
Clear Water Tips
Make longer casts.
Use flourocarbon line or at least as a leader so fish aren’t spooked by your fishing line.
Jigging & Drop Shotting
The walleye anglers love jigging and drop shotting the deeper, clear waters here. You can target bass, panfish and pike this way too. Just find the offshore structure or target the deeper weed edges and stay vertical over deeper water. With the clear water, you may need to be fishing 15 feet or deeper for the vertical techniques to work as well.
You have so many areas to break out the casting gear on this chain of lakes. Most anglers that you see casting will be targeting largemouth bass or northern pike. Fish the weeds, points, bays and you should have plenty of action here.
Live bait works great and with so many different fish on the chain of lakes, you will catch a nice variety depending on what live bait you are using. Smaller minnows will catch walleye, bass and a variety of panfish with some small pike too. Upsizing minnows will attract bigger bass, walleye and pike. Nightcrawlers and leeches work great for bass, walleye and panfish.
Run & Gun
There is a lot of water to fish here and a lot of spots to fish. You can easily get on a pattern and then run and gun to find similar patterns to keep adding to your fish total for the day.
Trolling with the Big Motor
Some anglers have good success by trolling with the big motor for walleye and pike. Crankbaits, swimbaits and spinner rigs are the popular baits that anglers use to target fish here while trolling.
Slow Trolling with the Trolling Motor
Slow trolling can be effective, especially when you want to stay close to a deep weed edge with some live bait or your favorite soft plastics rigged on a jighead or drop shot rig. Stay vertical and fish deeper with this technique and you’ll have some success.
Drifting can always be effective and there are so many productive spots to drift out on these lakes. Use live baits or your favorite soft plastics and you should have some success drifting.
On some of the deep water spots, you may want to drop an anchor to hold your spot.