Coffee Lake is a 130 acre lake located 16.5 miles north of Isabella, Minnesota in the Superior National Forest. The shoreline around the lake is under state and federal ownership and consists primarily of mixed deciduous forest with small areas of bog. The maximum depth is 11 feet with brown bog-stained water. Boulder and sand are the main substrate types in the lake. The aquatic plant community in the lake is fairly diverse with 18 species present. Walleye and Northern Pike are the main game fish found in Coffee Lake. Yellow Perch, White Sucker, Rock Bass, and Pumpkinseed Sunfish also reside in the lake.
The lake access road (USFS Rd. 1244) is located off of Lake County Rd. 7 about 1.0 mile north of the Windy Lake access. The access road leads to the outlet of the lake after 1.7 miles of travel through very rough and brushy terrain. A high clearance four-wheel drive vehicle or ATV is recommended for traveling the road. The access is on the southwest end of the lake and depending on the lake water levels, small boats and canoes may need to be carried across the boulder field at the outlet to the lake. Fishing pressure on Coffee Lake is presumed to be light as it is a lake off of normal travel routes.
The Walleye population in Coffee Lake is maintained by natural reproduction. The 2015 Walleye gill net catch was slightly below average for similar northeastern Minnesota lakes, but consistent with the long term average for Coffee Lake. The average length was 14.1 inches and weight was 1.0 pound; the largest Walleye was 19.1 inches long and weighed 2.2 pounds. Natural reproduction appears to be consistent with a few strong year classes. The 2015 survey saw seven year classes present with two years classes (2012 and 2011) making up 60% of the catch. Growth is average in Coffee Lake when compared to other lakes in the Finland Area.
The Northern Pike catch was near the historical average for Coffee Lake, yet slightly below average when compared to lakes with similar characteristics. Average length of Northern Pike was 20.5 inches. Larger Northern Pike are present in the lake and three fish were measured over 32 inches in length, all three weighed over 8 pounds. The largest pike was 37.6 inches long and weighed 12.3 pounds.
Yellow Perch numbers in 2015 were near average for similar lakes in the area. However, the majority of perch tend to be smaller with the average length of 6.2 inches and weight of 0.1 pounds. The largest perch observed was 9.1 inches.
The White Sucker gillnet catch was average for the lake class. Size of White Sucker was near the average at 2.0 pounds and 15.7 inches. Twenty-three Rock Bass and single Pumpkinseed Sunfish were also sampled during the 2015 survey.
Coffee Lake offers a destination for anglers desiring to venture to a remote lake with a chance of catching large Northern Pike and decent sized Walleye. The water in Coffee Lake is very dark and there are many boulders in the lake, many of which are not easily seen. Boaters should take care when using a motor on the lake to avoid hitting a boulder.