Boating Elbow Lake, Cook, MN

Boating Elbow Lake, Cook, MN

This article is a wonderful primer for your boating enjoyment during your stay at Elbow Lake. It covers the basics of Elbow Lake itself, where to access the lake with your own boat, where to rent boats, and has some basic fishing information. 

boating on elbow lake

Boating Elbow Lake

Boating at Elbow Lake is wonderful. The lake is a approximately 6 miles long with an area of about 1600 acres. There are no speed limits on the lake and while it is generally very quiet, jet skies and other watercraft are allowed. For more information about the lake, visit the DNR page here.

Boat Access and Rentals

You can easily access Elbow Lake from one of two public boat launches or through Elbow Lake Lodge. The first public launch is located on the Southwest side of the lake if you are coming from Cook, MN. The second is located on the “North arm” and is accessed via Orr, MN. If you are looking to rent a boat, the easiest way is to contact Elbow Lake Lodge at 218-666-2631. They have a sheltered marina and both fishing and pontoon boats.

elbow lake boating
Image from MN DNR website. These are the public access points for Elbow Lake out of Orr (North East) and Cook (South West)

If Elbow Lake Lodge doesn’t have what you are looking for, check out Timbuktu Marina. It is  located on Lake Vermilion, they will deliver boats to Elbow Lake. You can reach them at 218-666-2434 or online at:


End of the Road Cabin has a large dock you can tie your boat up to. Creekside cabin is part of Elbow Lake Lodge and they rent dock space in their sheltered marina.


Elbow Lake is one of the best small mouth bass lakes I have ever fished. I don’t know why these feisty fighters are so prevalent, but they are they are a welcome part of every trip I take up there. For a lot of fun, try fly-fishing with a dry fly and watch the water explode as these little guys take your fly. There are also abundant walleye, sunfish, and northern. All are native to the lake, but the walleye are stocked by the DNR.

In the spring, shore line fishing is a must. All of the fish are in the warmer shallow water. By June, the Walleye will start to school on a few reefs in the lake feeding on the cisco and crayfish. The preferred bait by a long shot is leaches. You can purchase them at Elbow Lake Lodge or in the town of Cook. Your best bet is to buy bait from a small little shack right on Highway 53 located next to the Muni liquor store in town on your way up. The guy who runs it won’t let me take a picture of him or his shop because he doesn’t want anything online. But he is the cheapest and has good quality bait. Plus he is Weird Al Yankovich’s doppelgänger. For more on fishing, visit our article “Fishing Elbow Lake.

Thanks for reading about Elbow Lake! If you have any questions or would like to stay on the lake, please call Chris at 651-492-7092 or visit our page at

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About Chris 759 Articles
Chris Ashbach is one of the founders of Dan330. Chris is a pilot and avid outdoorsman who loves fishing, hunting, camping, and exploring. He loves taking kids (especially his own) on trips to share his passion of the outdoors. Chris is also a gardener, volunteers at Let's Go Fishing, and teaches Sunday school. Chris holds a MA in Organizational Leadership and is faculty at a local university in Minnesota; teaching undergraduate business classes.