Big Pine Lake

Otter Tail County - Minnesota
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Caught by Maurice Peterson

Frequently Asked Questions About Big Pine Lake, MN

How big is Big Pine Lake?
Big Pine Lake is approximately 4,726 sq acres (19.1 sq km) in size with 15 miles (23.5 km) of shoreline.

How deep is Big Pine Lake?
Big Pine Lake is approximately 76 feet (23.2 m) at its deepest point.

What kind of fish can you catch in Big Pine Lake?
Although thery may be others but anglers can expect to find a variety of fish including Black Bullhead, Black Crappie, Bluegill, Bowfin, Brown Bullhead, Burbot, Carp, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Pumpkinseed, Rock Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, Yellow Bullhead and Yellow Perch in Big Pine Lake.

Other fish species in the lake include Cisco (Tullibee), Freshwater Drum, Golden Shiner, Green Sunfish, Hybrid Sunfish, Shorthead Redhorse and White Sucker.

Are there places to stay in the Big Pine Lake area?
Are you craving a weekend escape from the hustle and bustle of city life? Or maybe you're an avid angler in search of the perfect fishing spot? Look no further! Big Pine Lake and its surrounding area offer an abundance of options to suit your needs. If you're in need of accommodation, check out our area map which highlights some of the best places to stay. And if you're looking for even more options, head on over to our Travel section. But why settle for a traditional hotel or resort when you can take your adventure to the next level by renting a RV? The open road awaits you!
More Lodging Options

Are there topographical lake maps available Big Pine Lake?
We have an topograpical map for online viewing near the top of this page. Lake-Link Pro users can download an print a topograpical map of Big Pine Lake (.pdf format) along with 2,700 more lake maps. For more information on all the benefits of Lake-Link Pro click here.

Are there boat launches on Big Pine Lake?
We know of 3 public boat launches on Big Pine Lake. Please observe any specific lake regulations posted by the boat launch and please help keep the launch area free of litter.

Are there places to eat and drink near Big Pine Lake?
Yes, you can find numerous options in the area. Click the button below to see what's nearby.

What are the fishing regulations for Big Pine Lake?
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources There are specific fishing regulations Big Pine Lake that you need to know. For complete fishing regulations visit the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. To report a violation call (800) 652-9093. Need a Minnesota fishing license?

What aquatic invasive species are found in Big Pine Lake?
There are some aquatic invasive species found in Big Pine Lake including zebra mussel.

Join us in the fight to prevent the spread of invasive species These sneaky creatures can hitch a ride on boats, clinging onto propellers, anchor lines, and trailers. They can even survive in hidden places like bilge water and ballast tanks, or disguise themselves in dirt and sand that sticks to nets, buckets, anchors, and waders. But don't worry, we have the power to stop them in their tracks with just a few simple steps. So let's do our part and protect our waters from these unwanted invaders.

History & Status of the Fishery

Big Pine Lake is a 4,730-acre mesotrophic (moderately fertile) lake located in northeastern Otter Tail County approximately three miles east of Perham, MN. Big Pine Lake is part of the Otter Tail River Watershed and is connected to Little Pine and Rush Lakes via the Otter Tail River. The Otter Tail River inlet is located along the northwest shoreline while the outlet is located along the west shoreline of the lake. Minnesota DNR controlled dams at the outlets of Little Pine and Big Pine Lakes impede navigability between this chain of lakes. The immediate watershed is composed primarily of mixed hardwoods. The maximum depth of Big Pine Lake is 76 feet; however, fifty percent of the lake is less than 15 feet in depth. The secchi disk reading during the 2011 lake survey was 5.1 feet. Previous secchi disk readings have ranged from 4.5 to 8.5 feet.
The shoreline of Big Pine Lake has been extensively developed. Homes, cottages, and resorts compose the majority of the development. The 1992 lake resurvey referenced nine resorts and approximately 202 homes/cottages. DNR owned concrete public water accesses are located along the northwest and southeast shorelines of the lake. A DNR owned earthen public water access is located along the north shoreline. The shoal water substrates consist primarily of sand and rubble. Stands of hardstem bulrush, common cattail, and wild rice are scattered along the entire shoreline of the lake; however, the largest stands are along areas that haven't been highly developed and are located on the east, west and south shorelines. Emergent aquatic plants such as bulrush, cattail, and wild rice provide valuable fish and wildlife habitat, and are critical for maintaining good water quality. Emergent plants provide spawning areas for fish such as northern pike, largemouth bass, and panfish. They also serve as important nursery areas for all species of fish. Because of their ecological value, emergent plants may not be removed without a DNR permit. To maintain the excellent angling that this lake has to offer, it is imperative to preserve the quality of the aquatic habitat.
Big Pine Lake is a popular angling lake. The lake has a reputation as one of the premier walleye angling lakes in Otter Tail County. Black crappie, northern pike, and yellow perch are also abundant. The prolificacy of these species can be attributed to the abundance of suitable spawning habitat that is available.
Walleye is a primary management specie in Big Pine Lake. Walleye abundance has historically been high in Big Pine Lake. Walleyes ranged in length from 6.8 to 25.5 inches with an average length and weight of 13.1 inches and 0.9 pounds. Age and catch data indicate that the 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 year classes are strong. These strong year classes should provide excellent walleye angling for several years. Age and catch data from recent lake surveys indicate that walleye natural reproduction and recruitment is substantial enough to consistently sustain the walleye population at or above DNR long range management goals. Walleyes attain an average length of 14.7 inches at four years of age.
An experimental walleye regulation was implemented on May 10, 2003. The regulation is an 18.0 to 26.0 protected slot limit with one walleye over 26.0 inches allowed in possession. The intent of this regulation is to improve the size structure of the walleye population in Big Pine Lake. The regulation will be in effect for ten years during which time its effectiveness will be evaluated.
Northern pike population characteristics have demonstrated stability over the recent series of lake surveys. The pike population has remained at a moderate density and natural reproduction has continued to be consistently good. Northern pike ranged in length from 12.9 to 34.6 inches with an average length and weight of 21.1 inches and 2.3 pounds. Pike exhibit fast growth rates with an average length of 25.8 inches at four years of age.
Historical catch and length data indicate that yellow perch size structure fluctuates. Eighteen percent of the perch in this assessment were 8.0 inches or greater in length.
Anglers can also maintain the quality of angling in Big Pine Lake by practicing selective harvest. Selective harvest encourages the release of medium to large-size fish while allowing the harvest of the more abundant smaller fish for table fare. Releasing the medium to large fish will ensure that the lake will have enough spawning age fish on an annual basis and will provide anglers with more opportunities to catch large fish in the future.

What is the average air temp for Big Pine Lake?
Looking forward to your next adventure at Big Pine Lake? Don't forget to plan ahead! Weather can be unpredictable, but we've got you covered. On average, air temperatures during this time of year range from a high around 54°F (12°C) to a low around 32°F (0°C). Of course, these are just historical averages, so be prepared for anything Mother Nature throws your way. For the most up-to-date weather information, be sure to check out our Weather Bar located at the top of this page.

Are there any state parks near Big Pine Lake?
Enjoy more of the outdoors with a visit to an area state park. There are 2 state parks in the vacinity of Big Pine Lake.

For more Minnesota State Park information see our State Park Guide.

More Nearby Lakes To Explore
There's more lake's to explore around Big Pine Lake...
Nitche Lake 0.9 mi 76 28 ft
Little Pine Lake 3.7 mi 2,080 63 ft
Bear Lake 6.4 mi 198 32 ft
Schuster Lake 6.8 mi 44 80 ft
Dead Lake 8.1 mi 270 19 ft
Devils Lake 8.2 mi 355 67 ft
Boedigheimer Lake 8.3 mi 169 26 ft
Rush Lake 8.7 mi 5,234 68 ft
Moenkedick Lake 9.4 mi 103 35 ft
Round Lake 9.8 mi 273 36 ft
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