Minnesota is the land of ten thousand lakes (12,000 actually), making it a mecca for fishermen from around the world. Here are the 6 best places to fish in Minnesota. We’ll give a few recommendations for every budget and preference so there’s something for everyone – including those who want to come on the trip and do something other than fishing.
Pelican Lake, MN
Pelican Lake, MN borders Voyageurs National Park in north-eastern Minnesota. It is best known for its legendary pan fishing. One of the benefits of Pelican Lake is the sheer variety of fish you can find here. You can find bluegills, crappies, northern pike, small bass, big bass and walleye. One of the attractions of this site is the generous slot limits. That there’s no slot limit on walleyes, bass slot limits are around 14”, and northern pike have a slot limit of 24” to 36”.
If you want to take a break from fishing, you can enjoy wildlife viewing. Otters, eagles, the namesake pelicans, swans and other animals can be found in this area. The Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a number of black bears that you can safely view from the distance.
Lake Minnewashta, MN
Lake Minnewashta is known for its consistent supply of northern pike, muskies, walleye and other fish. And you can fish here during the day before visiting all the attractions in the Twin Cities. Or stay in the park itself and enjoy the beach, bike trails, volleyball courts, playground and dog park. If you want to go fishing while your family has plenty of other things to do, this is the place for you. A close tie for second place are lakes White Bear and Lake Waconia. White Bear Lake provides the best chance to get trophy muskie and northern pike, while Waconia has better walleye fishing.
Lake Minnetonka, MN
Lake Minnetonka is about 15 miles from Minneapolis. Its greatest attraction is the sheer number of bass tournaments. You can also hike in the Carver Park Reserve or Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The arboretum has gardens, trails and artistic sculptures. Or fish in the morning before visiting all of the museums in Minneapolis.
Red Lake, MN
Red Lake is one of the biggest lakes in Minnesota. It is best known for crappie fishing in the summer and ice fishing in the winter. You can find campsites year round, or even rent an RV in the area if you decide you want to camp here. You can rent ice houses in the winter or rent boats to go out on the lake in the summer.
Leech Lake, MN
Are you angling for the fish so big people think you’re exaggerating your claims? Lake Leech is a 112,000 acre lake known for people pulling in fish up to fifty pounds in weight. The lakefront is well developed, so you can find restaurants, museums, swimming areas, boat docks and boutiques. This is a great place for the family to spend some time at the lake and then let Dad fish while everyone else enjoys all the other amenities in the area.
Lake Winniebigoshish, MN
Lake Winniebigoshish is called Lake Winnie for short by locals. The fishing here is top-notch. There are fishing and lodging opportunities here, and you’re half an hour away from Grand Rapids. Whether you want to go fishing one day and hit the John Ball Zoo and its famous aquarium, visit the planetarium or drop by the Gerald Ford museum, you can plan a major trip based around a fishing expedition to Lake Winnie.
Minnesota offers tons of great lodging options for fishing lovers as well as great scenery and tons of fish varieties. If you enjoy fishing or hiking with a little bit of city life, Minnesota is the place to go.