Eagle River Chain Musky Fishing
Updated: Jan 22
The Eagle River Chain of lakes is a series of 10 lakes that are all connected through narrow river channels where the Eagle River originally flowed before being dammed to create the chain of lakes. It is considered to be the world’s largest chain of freshwater lakes as it is connected to 18 more lakes in the town of Three Lakes, bringing the total to 28 lakes. The two chains that are considered one, are separated by a dam that has a boat lift that will allow you to travel all 28 lakes. Because of all the lakes being connected by boatable water it is classified as a single chain. For the purpose of this article, I am going to focus on the 10 lakes, that total just under 3,600 acres in size, on the Eagle River side of the dam. The waters on this chain are quite shallow and stained a fairly dark brown color due to tannic acid. The tannic acid originates in all the tamarack swamps in the area that connect to many of our lakes waters. The lakes consist of many points, weed bars, and river channels. The bottom is mainly sand and muck, and only in a few places will you find a hard rocky bottom. The deepest point on any of the 10 lakes is only 30 feet and the lakes are relatively small. Only two of the lakes are more than 1000 acres in size, with the average size per lake being approximately 360 acres. This makes it relatively easy to learn and pick apart each lake in the system.
The Eagle River Chain of lakes is the one of the most pressured fishing waters, when it comes to musky fishing, in the world. Every year it plays host to four musky tournaments and two weekly musky leagues. With its reputation as a phenomenal action group of lakes, anglers are enticed to fish these events for the prized predators that so commonly roam these waters. Despite the pressure, muskies are caught regularly by many anglers. The average size musky on the Eagle River side of the chain is approximately 36 inches, but there is always the potential for a trophy. Because there are so many muskies present in the ecosystem and the relatively easy tactics used to catch them on a regular basis out there, it is a great place for someone to catch their first musky.
When fishing the Eagle River Chain, you will find a lot of good weed growth in shallow water. Oftentimes, you will find this weed growth along shorelines, off of points, on mid-lake bars or humps, and outside river channels. The fish will relate to the shallow weed cover for hunting grounds throughout the entirety of the season, which enables an angler to fish shallow using easy to work baits such as bucktails and topwater all season long. Smaller baits are often the key to catching fish in these areas. Small bucktails, double 8’s and smaller, any and all topwater baits, small rubber, such as mid medusas, and small twitch baits, like the 6 inch slammer, are all effective presentations for catching fish throughout the season. In the start of the season, use smaller baits and progressively work your way up to larger baits as the weather warms and the fish become more active as their metabolism speeds up.