Boot Lake is a small, infertile, bog stained lake located in northeastern Aitkin County. In the past anglers have had to get permission to cross private property to access the lake, but now there is a county administered carry-in access on the north side of the lake.
Historically, the lake has had a well-structured northern pike population. The 2012 pike catch of 9.8 per gill net was similar to previous assessments, which have been above normal compared to similar lakes. Size decreased from the last assessment with the average length of pike changing from 24 inches in 2002, to just 20 inches in 2012.
Bluegills are typically abundant in Boot Lake. Because of the large number of fish and the low fertility of the water, growth rates for these fish are slow and typically below county averages. Bluegill trap net catches were low in 2012, in part because the lake was sampled in August instead of June when water temperatures are high and fish are less susceptible to survey nets. In addition, unusual precipitation patterns may have also negatively influenced the bluegill catch. Bluegill size averaged 5.3 inches with fish up to 7.1 inches sampled. Panfish anglers may catch respectable sized hybrid sunfish which averaged 7.0 inches with fish measuring up to 8.5 inches.
Similar to bluegill, black crappie can be abundant, but are slow growing in Boot Lake. Survey nets indicate a decrease in abundance of black crappie from 2002, but still within the normal range for this type of lake. The average black crappie caught in this survey was about 8" long and weighed approximately a quarter of a pound. The largest black crappie caught was 10" in length.
Largemouth bass also provide angling opportunities in Boot Lake. Standard survey nets do not sample bass in large numbers and only seven largemouth bass were sampled in 2012. While bass grow slowly, they do reach respectable size with fish up to 15.5 inches captured in this survey.