Cliff Lake is a very deep lake with clear water. Many anglers will drive right on by this lake as they head to better walleye lakes such as Cedar Lake, Wabaskang Lake, Lac Seul and others up in the Red Lake area. While it may not compare to the other great walleye lakes, there are some very nice walleye in Cliff Lake to go along with some very good fishing for lake trout and smallmouth bass. Northern pike, muskie and perch round out the fishery here.
As stated above, there are so many good walleye lakes in this area that most people do not even fish Cliff Lake for walleye. There are plenty of walleye in the lake, but its deep, clear waters make them a lot harder to catch. Anglers who target them here will usually end up with some quality fish, but don’t plan on getting tons of bites.
Lake Trout Fishing
Cliff Lake is one of the better lake trout lakes in this area. Anglers can find quality fish here in the clear, deep waters and minimal fishing pressure compared to the other area lakes.
Smallmouth Bass Fishing
While the walleye fishing may be tough on Cliff Lake, the smallmouth bass fishery is very good. Because of the deep, clear water here, most anglers will just go fish the shorelines when targeting smallmouth bass. The rocks and wood will hold plenty of bass. If you want to come here to target smallies, you can catch a lot of them with some big fish too.
Northern Pike Fishing
Cliff Lake has plenty of pike in the lake with big fish too. If you focus on the weeds in the bays, you will have plenty of action. Big fish up to and above 40 inches are caught here too. Because of the clear water, anglers who use fluorocarbon line or fluorocarbon leaders will usually do much better than those who decide to go with the steel leaders.
Some anglers report some very good muskie fishing on Cliff Lake, while many others struggle to consistently find active muskie in this deep water lake. Because of the deep, clear waters here, you are going to have to fish deeper than you might be used to if you are going to target muskie here. Live suckers and jigging baits can be very productive as you target the deeper water here. There are some big muskie in Cliff Lake, however, nearby Cedar Lake is known for putting out many more big muskie. If you enjoy fishing deep, clear water lakes, you might enjoy fishing Cliff Lake for muskie.
Perch are considered a bonus fish here, but some anglers do find some nice schools of them here as they target lake trout or walleye.