10 Best Fishing Spots in Minnesota


The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reveals that the state is home to 11,842 lakes. Many of these lakes are easily accessible with plenty of accommodations for overnight fishing trips. It also houses diverse species of fish, whether small or big. With all of these things, there is no doubt that Minnesota fishing is an activity you’ll enjoy!

Minnesota is a year-round fishing destination. Whether you would like to try walleye river fishing or ice fishing, there is a place you can visit. Regardless if you intend to catch largemouth bass, salmon, catfish, rainbow trout, bluegill, or crappie, you will not run out of places to check out.

If you are wondering about where to go fishing in Minnesota, read on and we’ll let you know all of the best places to check out!

1. Mille Lacs Lake

With a size of 132,516 acres, this lake covers parts of Crow Wing, Mille Lacs, and Aitkin counties. It is the first lake that walleye enthusiasts would always check out when the fishing season starts. Throughout the year, even during the winter months, this is a popular choice amongst seasoned anglers. This is a good place to practice the ice fishing tips you have previously learned. This is also a great destination if your fishing targets include muskies, northern pikes, smallmouth bass, and largemouth bass, among others.

2. Leech Lake

This is a clear water lake that is located in north-central Minnesota and covers a total area of 112,000 acres. One of the most popular sports in the lake is Walker Bay, which is known for its 200-foot depth. Get your largemouth and smallmouth bass lures ready as these are two of the species that are abundant in the area. Also, it is home to walleyes, bluegills, crappie, perch, and common carp. While it is a great place to take your motorized boat, it is also generally calm and forgiving, even for fishing kayaks.

3. St. Croix River

It is home to more than 60 species of fish, making it another great choice if you are looking for the best spots for Minnesota fishing. Some of the species that you will find along the river include walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, black crappie, yellow perch, rock bass, buffalo, sturgeon, and freshwater drum, among others. The fishable water covers approximately 200 miles.  It also has generous limits, allowing anglers to make the most out of their fishing trips.

4. Lake Winnibigoshish

If you are interested in walleye fishing, this is one of the prime spots you might want to check out. make sure to familiarize yourself with walleye fishing tips to succeed! Aside from walleyes, it is also home to bullheads, bluegills, bass, perch, and muskellunge, among others. If you are fishing during fall and spring, some of the best spots to check out are shallow and rocky flats. When fishing off-season, portable fish finders can be handy to make your trip less frustrating.

5. Rainy Lake


At an area of more than 228,000 acres, this is one of the largest lakes in the state that should be part of your list for Minnesota fishing spots. Local rainfall dictates the level of water here. From June to September, it is best to concentrate on the shallow portions of the lake. During the summer months, on the other hand, you might want to move to the deeper portions. Some of the species that you can find in this lake include rock bass, pumpkin seed, white fish, tullibee, and sauger, among others.

6. Big Stone Lake

This lake is located at the border of Minnesota and Dakota, which has been a prime location for walleye fishing. Don’t forget to pack the best walleye lures and jigs to increase the chances of taking home a huge catch. Whether you are fishing in spring or winter, you won’t end up being frustrated. Aside from walleye, this is also a great spot to look for panfish and perch.

7. Sand Lake

It has a total area of 4,328 acres and is regularly stocked by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Aside from an abundance of fishing opportunities, this is also frequented by many because it is surrounded by scenic forests. There are underwater structures that create the ideal habitat for crappie, panfish, northern pike, walleye, and bluegill.

8. Otter Tail Lake

Located in Otter Tail County, this lake occupies a total area of 13,789 acres. The lake is known for being shallow, and it is estimated that about 60% of the water is less than 15 feet in depth. If you want to try shoreline fishing in Minnesota, this is one of the best places. You will also have plenty of accommodation choices for multi-day fishing trips, so you don’t have to set-up your own camping tent.

9. Hay Creek

If you are searching for the best-kept Minnesota fishing destinations, this is where you should go. It is not as popular as the others, so you can expect less competition. This is also a good stream where you can put into use your fly fishing reels. It is a good place to fish for trout, so make sure that you master the techniques for trout fishing in streams. However, take note that trout fishing at Hay Creek is caught and release basis only.

10. Snelling Lake

This lake forms part of the Fort Snelling State Park, which attracts tons of nature lovers who are looking for a tranquil place. With an area of 101 acres, it is quite smaller compared to the other spots for fishing in Minnesota that we have mentioned in this guide. Take note that gas-powered boats are not allowed in the lake. It is best to use lightweight kayaks and canoes instead. You don’t have to worry as the water remains generally calm.

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You will not run out of choices if you want to try Minnesota fishing. It is, after all, the land of 10,000 lakes. Whether you are a novice or an experienced angler, there are endless choices to bring your fishing rods and reels, or even your cast net!

What are you waiting for? Explore Minnesota today and take home a fresh catch!

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!