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Burntside Lake, MN (St. Louis County) | Best Lake Review On The Web

Burntside Lake Stats

  • Acres: 7313.9
  • Max Depth: 126 feet
  • Shore length: 103.46
  • Water Clarity: 20.7 feet (2003)
  • Google Maps Location

Fish Species in Burntside

  • Lake Trout
  • Northern Pike
  • Walleye
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Burbot
  • Rock Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Yellow Perch
  • Green Sunfish
  • Hybrid Sunfish
  • Lake Whitefish

Watch us fish Burntside lake in late May

Boat Landings on Burntside Lake

Burntside boat landing

Burntside has five public boat landings. Two of them require a fee to use. I used landing #1 pictured above. It was probably the most primitive landing of the bunch, but it was in the right location, so I used it.

Baot launch #1

Landing #1 has a gravel boat launch with no dock. It was a shallow landing, so we had to step into the water to get in the boat.

Parking at landing #1

The parking lot was small. Only cars without trailers could park here.

Road to remote parking

To get to the parking lot that will accommodate trailers, you will have to take a five minute walk down this gravel road.

Remote parking

Here is the remote parking lot I used. It was currently under construction when I was here.

Landings #2 and #3 both require fees to use. All but #1 have concrete ramps. I did not visit any of the other boat landings, so I can’t give you any other details about them.

Commentary about Burntside Lake

Islands on Burntside

Burntside lake is located just outside Ely, MN and is known as one of the premiere lakes of northern Minnesota. This lake is big and deep! It has outstanding clarity at over 20 feet down. There are 150 islands here ranging greatly in size.

House on island

Some of the islands have homes built on them. A few of the islands are part of the Burntside islands SNA (Scientific and Natural Areas). Pine island still has old growth red and white pines estimated to be 300 years old!

The SNA also protects Minnesota’s state bird, the Loon, which relies upon areas of undeveloped shoreline on large lakes.

Fishing Burntside

So how’s the fishing at Burntside? Well, if you want to catch some big fish, this is the lake for you. Lake trout are popular here. They are mostly fished in the winter through the ice. The northern pike average over 26 inches, and smallmouth bass are good sized too.

If you like walleye, there are some nice sized walleye in here too. There is a high abundance of smelt here, and apparently are affecting the walleyes natural reproduction. The DNR has been stocking walleye here so there are still plenty of them. Those same smelt are providing a food source, which may be why the other fish get so big.

Burntside underwater

The water here is very clear, so the fish can get spooked easily. I have found some giant pike laying up in the shallow bays around 5 feet dep. You can easily see them swimming around. Its enough to get your heart pounding.

Fishing Experience on Burntside Lake

I have fished Burntside lake twice now, and both times, I have seen MONSTER fish! Unfortunately I have yet to get one in the boat.

Smallmouth bass

The above photo is a huge smallmouth bass. Probably the biggest one I’ve ever had on my line. Unfortunately it threw my hook before I got it in the boat. I was fishing with a single barbless hook, to keep from harming the fish. because of this, it sometimes means I lose the fish before landing it.

Missing huge pike

Here is me showing how big the northern pike was that just followed my lure to the boat. We had this happen a few times. For some reason we just couldn’t get them to commit.

Big pike on Burntside

This boat was fishing near us and apparently had better luck than us.

Burntside lake pike

I did manage to capture this one underwater, although it was the smallest one I saw all day.

Burntside bottom

I do have to mention to watch out for rocks! The bottom is mainly made up of rocks and boulders. Most of this lake is really deep, so you don’t have to worry about it, but if you are working the shallow areas, keep your eyes peeled for big boulders that come out of nowhere.

I can’t say I’ve ever caught a lot of fish here, but the ones I saw were massive! If you know how to fish this lake, you could do really well. If you want to catch lake trout, I would suggest getting a fishing guide that can show you how to do it your first time out here. You can catch them in the summer, but will probably have better luck in the winter.

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