Fishing in Minnesota is one of the most amazing experiences an angler will have. The state has some of the most incredible walleye and muskie fishing in the entire US. With more than 11,800 lakes, you are sure to find a location that will scratch your fishing itch in no time. Minnesota lakes give any angler with any experience level the opportunity to catch a record-breaking walleye or muskie. Some of the records that Minnesota waters hold include the over 45-pound northern pike, 54-pound muskie, over 3-pound perch, 38-pound channel catfish, over 43-pound lake trout, over 17-pound walleye and 70-pound flathead catfish! Are you kidding! That’s an incredible amount of single fish records for one state and reason why Minnesota should be on every angler’s bucket list for places to go fishing in one’s lifetime.
Minnesota is ranked year after year as one of the best states in the country for fishing. In fact, even though the state may be best know for it’s walleye fishing, but Minnesota fisheries are just as well-known for it’s super high-quality largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, muskie, sauger, crappie, bluegill, perch, sturgeon, catfish, lake trout, brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, steelhead and salmon fishing. To help “guide” you to and through many of the over 11,000 bodies of fishing water, Minnesota has hundreds of local guides and charters that make their living by getting anglers of all levels into quality fishing locations.
And yes, we don’t want to leave out the fact that Minnesota probably has the best ice fishing in the country. Guess what! Fish don’t stop eating just because it gets a little cold outside. Ice fishing has been and always will be a favorite pastime for anglers of all generations. Whether you prefer to “rough it” by just drilling a hole and sitting on a bucket or prefer a heated fish house, ice fishing for northern pike, walleye and more in Minnesota is an experience all should enjoy.
For a list of licenses, fees and where to buy, see our Minnesota Fishing License page.
The locations below are listed alphabetically and just a sampling of the many places to go fishing and some of the species you can catch in Minnesota.
Places To Go Fishing In Minnesota
Lake Winnibigoshish: Also known as Lake Winnie, this lake comes in at around 67,000 acres, making it the fifth largest lake in Minnesota. It has an average depth of 15 feet and a maximum depth of 78 feet. To many, it is considered a world-class fishery for walleye fishing. Lake Winnie has many underwater structures, making it a prime body of water to fish for many other species of fish, including the state record muskie. Again, when you go to “Winnie”, it’s time for walleye, walleye, walleye!
Popular Species To Catch: Walleye, Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass, Muskie, Crappie, Perch, Panfish
Leech Lake: Leech Lake is the third largest lake in Minnesota – coming in at over 112,000 acres with a max depth of 156 feet in Walker Bay. However, a vast majority of the main body of water is less than 35 feet deep. It is considered a favorite among many anglers. It is know to regularly produce 30, 40 and up to 50-pound muskie and walleye. The lake does want anglers to practice the voluntary catch and release program to enhance the quality of the walleye fishing (hence the reason for the large sizes caught).
Popular Species To Catch: Muskie, Walleye, Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass, Crappie, Perch, Panfish, Eelpout
Upper and Lower Red Lake: Red Lake is close to 120,000 acres, making it one of the biggest lakes in Minnesota. However, it is quite shallow with a maximum depth of about 15 feet. It is best known for the great crappie and ice fishing. Many locals have also claimed seeing trophy-size northern pike – up to 40 inches in length. The Upper Red Lake is know to produce top-notch walleye fishing, some of the best in northern Minnesota some will claim.
Popular Species To Catch: Walleye, Northern Pike, Muskie, Largemouth Bass, Yellow Perch, Black Bullhead, Brown Bullhead, Rock Bass, Sturgeon, Bluegill
Lake Mille Lacs: Coming in at about 132,500 acres, Lake Mille Lacs in central Minnesota is one of the biggest lakes in the state. Those that spend enough time here know that this body of water is known to produce trophy-class walleye, muskie, northern pike, and bass. Lake Mille Lacs also has regularly updated fishing reports for the species aforementioned.
Popular Species To Catch: Walleye, Northern Pike, Muskie, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Perch, Tullibee
Steiger Lake: This is definitely a lake on the smaller size at only 166 acres and about 37 feet deep at it’s deepest. It is known to have some of the biggest northern pike and largemouth bass due to the required practice of catch and release for both species since 1988. One other note is that the little lake does have a small fishing pier for anglers that wish to fish from shore.
Popular Species To Catch: Black Bullhead, Bluegill, Brown Bullhead, Green Sunfish, Largemouth Bass, Muskie, Northern Pike, Walleye, Yellow Bullhead, Yellow Perch, Carp, Golden Shiner, Pumpkinseed, Hybrid Sunfish, White Sucker
Spider Lake: Located in Itasca County in east Minnesota, Spider Lake is 1,392 acres of mostly uninhabited natural fishing beauty. It has a maximum depth of 36 feet, but most of the lake has a depth of less than 15 feet. Spider Lake has a lot of underwater structure, making it a prime source for catching trophy-size fish.
Popular Species To Catch: Walleye, Muskie, Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Rock Bass, Black Crappie, Bluegill, Perch, Sunfish, Black Bullhead, Brown Bullhead,
Many more locations to come. If you have any favorite spots or bodies of water that you think should definitely be on this page, please send us a note.
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