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Anyone fish the mine pit lakes in the Iron Range?

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I am curious if there are any good boat landings to fish in the mine pits near Virginia to Ely. I really like the beauty of being in those lakes. We have been fishing the pits in the Cuyuna Range and want to see some other lakes.

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Cliff Wagenbach

Many of the abandoned mine pits in this area have been planted with trout and have access landings on them.


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The pit up on the road to giants ridge has brook, rainbow, and lake trout. Many of the non-stocked pits have northerns and bass in them. Everyone I have ever fished had some type of fish in there. Just be cautious about trespassing if you check out some of the more remote pits. Some of the mining companys are really anal about it.

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The pit up on the road to giants ridge has brook, rainbow, and lake trout. ...

That one (Embarrass Pit) has a nice landing that is plowed out well and it can be a blast to fish. The water is gin clear so you can watch the fish in 30 feet of water come crusing in and peg your lure.

Miners in Ely is also stocked with rainbows a brookies.

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The Buhl pit lake at the end of the downtown one has a nice boat launch area and dock. Stubler lake across from campground has two fishing docks but no launch Mott put in Mt Irin has a boat launch  than there’s the another in Hibbing but don’t know the name

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I could be talking out of my rear end, but as a cautionary note, I thought that I remembered reading that many of the pit lakes carry invasive species. I think that the Rouchleau Pit has zebras. My only point is to be careful and read up on the pits before hopping from lake to lake or pit to pit.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • SkunkedAgain
      I fish for sunnies but that's because it is the only thing my wife and daughter have patience for. Besides, it's actually fun with a super light action rod. I would generally suggest fishing near vegetation or fishing by a dock with nearby vegetation (I wouldn't fish a dock where the cabin owner is around though!). The west end supposedly has more vegetation so supposedly more panfish. I never pay too close attention to the weed situation the few times a year that I boat east.   As for walleye fishing, I enjoy it but often don't invest the time either (hence my name). I do fine at opener and good in the fall, so essentially when any fool like me should catch them. The rest of the year I seem to enjoy the other things about Vermilion, enjoy my time repairing and fixing things, being in the woods, and swimming in the lake. I'm as happy to spend a weekend cutting and splitting wood, or making improvements, as hooking a limit of walleye. There really is a ton to love about being on such as beautiful lake.
    • papadarv
      Right on. Sand lake Zebras were found in 2013 and now found 20+ miles up the Big Fork river through several lakes. Bowstring is only 5.5 miles south of Sand via the Bowstring river. Although going against flow, during most of the year flow rate is extreamly slow. DNR states wide area coverage of adault Zebras on north end. Adult females produce 1,000,000 eggs annually so most likely will spread over the entire lake by end of the year. 
    • Kettle
    • PRO-V
      Probably took them this long to look.🙄 You can bet they are in every connected body of water.
    • Wishin4Walleyes
      Where bouts? Was in TH and went 1 for 5 with 1 king. It was slow with a lot of really short strikes.
    • tacklejunkie
      Lake Superior was HOT this morning!!!   It all stopped after 10 am but 5 lakers, one king, and lost a dandy walleye. Spoons no particular color
    • AlexKempston
      Has anyone caught any muskie/musky on any of the Horseshoe/Sauk River Chain of Lakes this year? 
    • Wanderer
      Stop in at Redding’s and ask if they can help.  Or maybe even Emily Meats.  Owned and operated by long time area residents.  They might know if someone would be willing.   Any preference on lake or type of fish?
    • Dash 1
      East end pike bay area.
    • Muskies
      Beautiful day to be out on rainy lake today(Friday) Fished from 10am to 1:30pm walleye fishing on the north arm temperature about 86 degrees Fahrenheit.  Had to check 4 reef before finding active fish. Caught 16 walleyes ranging from 22” down to 13”( only 2 -13”, 4 -14”-17”), 2 perch and a 33” northern. Fishing jig and minnow in 26’ with surface temperature at 75 degrees. 
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