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The 10 Best Fishing Lakes in Minnesota

Discover the best fishing lakes in Minnesota! Learn about the top spots for fishing in Minnesota, including tips for where to fish and what type of fish can be found in each lake. Get the most out of your next fishing trip with the best lakes in Minnesota.

1.

Lake of the Woods

Lake of the Woods is located in Northern Minnesota at the border to Canada and spans over 70,000 acres.

    Types of Fish: Walleye, Northern Pike, Muskie, Smallmouth & Largemouth Bass, Crappie, Perch, and Catfish

    Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, ice fishing, and boat fishing
    Fishing Equipment Rental: Available in nearby towns
    Fishing Guide Service: Available from local resorts
    Closest Hotels to this Lake: Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge and Angle Inn & Resort
    Nearest Fishing Store and How Far Away It Is: Lake of the Woods Outdoors in Baudette, MN, 10 miles away
    Basic Fishing Regulations: Based on Minnesota state regulations
    Amenities of the Lake: Numerous boat launches, resorts, lodging and restaurants
    Nearest Gas Station and How Far Away It Is: T’s Gas & Food in Baudette, MN, 10 miles away

2.

Leech Lake

Leech Lake, located in Minnesota’s North Central Region, is the third largest lake in the state at 111,527 acres.

    Types of Fish: Walleye, Northern Pike, Muskie, Smallmouth Bass, Crappie, and Sunfish

    Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, ice fishing, and boat fishing
    Fishing Equipment Rental: Available in nearby towns
    Fishing Guide Service: Available from local resorts
    Closest Hotels to this Lake: Grand Casino Mille Lacs & The Lodge at Leech Lake
    Nearest Fishing Store and How Far Away It Is: Leech Lake Bait and Tackle in Walker, MN, 7 miles away
    Basic Fishing Regulations: Based on Minnesota state regulations
    Amenities of the Lake: Numerous boat launches, resorts, lodging, and restaurants
    Nearest Gas Station and How Far Away It Is: T’s Grocery & Bait in Walker, MN, 7 miles away

3.

Red Lake

Red Lake is the largest lake in Minnesota, located in Northwestern Minnesota and spanning 218,000 acres.

    Types of Fish: Walleye, Northern Pike, and Black Crappie

    Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, ice fishing, and boat fishing
    Fishing Equipment Rental: Available in nearby towns
    Fishing Guide Service: Available from local resorts
    Closest Hotels to this Lake: Country Inn & Suites by Radisson in Bemidji, MN and Red Lake Hotel & Casino
    Nearest Fishing Store and How Far Away It Is: North Country Angler in Bemidji, MN, 15 miles away
    Basic Fishing Regulations: Based on Minnesota state regulations
    Amenities of the Lake: Numerous boat launches, resorts, lodging, and restaurants
    Nearest Gas Station and How Far Away It Is: Viking Gas Station in Bemidji, MN, 15 miles away

4.

Lake Minnetonka

Lake Minnetonka is located in the Minneapolis metropolitan area and spans over 14,000 acres.

    Types of Fish: Walleye, Northern Pike, Muskie, Largemouth bass, Yellow Perch, and Crappie

    Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, ice fishing, and boat fishing
    Fishing Equipment Rental: Available in nearby towns
    Fishing Guide Service: Available from local resorts
    Closest Hotels to this Lake: Grand Hotel Minneapolis, The Depot Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, Courtyard by Marriott Minneapolis, and Hilton Minneapolis/St Paul Airport Mall of America
    Nearest Fishing Store and How Far Away It Is: Minnetonka Bait and Tackle in Mound, MN, 2 miles away
    Basic Fishing Regulations: Based on Minnesota state regulations
    Amenities of the Lake: Numerous boat launches, resorts, lodging, and restaurants
    Nearest Gas Station and How Far Away It Is: BP Gas Station in Mound, MN, 3 miles away

5.

Upper Red Lake

Upper Red Lake is located in Northwestern Minnesota and is the state’s fourth largest lake at 75,526 acres.

    Types of Fish: Walleye, Northern Pike, and Crappie

    Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, ice fishing, and boat fishing
    Fishing Equipment Rental: Available in nearby towns
    Fishing Guide Service: Available from local resorts
    Closest Hotels to this Lake: Country Inn & Suites in Bemidji, MN and the Red Lake Hotel & Casino
    Nearest Fishing Store and How Far Away It Is: U-Save in Thief River Falls, MN, 22 miles away
    Basic Fishing Regulations: Based on Minnesota state regulations
    Amenities of the Lake: Numerous boat launches, resorts, lodging, and restaurants
    Nearest Gas Station and How Far Away It Is: Mid-County Coop in Thief River Falls, MN, 22 miles away

6.

Lake Winnibigoshish

Lake Winnibigoshish is located in Central Minnesota and is the second largest lake in the state at 63,000 acres.

    Types of Fish: Walleye, Northern Pike, Muskie, Catfish, Crappie, Bluegill, and Perch

    Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, ice fishing, and boat fishing
    Fishing Equipment Rental: Available in nearby towns
    Fishing Guide Service: Available from local resorts
    Closest Hotels to this Lake: AmericInn by Wyndham Grand Rapids and Spring Lake Resort
    Nearest Fishing Store and How Far Away It Is: Grand Rapids Bait & Tackle in Grand Rapids, MN, 5 miles away
    Basic Fishing Regulations: Based on Minnesota state regulations
    Amenities of the Lake: Numerous boat launches, resorts, lodging, and restaurants
    Nearest Gas Station and How Far Away It Is: Cenex in Grand Rapids, MN, 5 miles away

7.

Rainy Lake

Rainy Lake is located in Northwestern Minnesota and spans over 48,000 acres.

    Types of Fish: Walleye, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Muskie, Crappie, and Perch

    Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, ice fishing, and boat fishing
    Fishing Equipment Rental: Available in nearby towns
    Fishing Guide Service: Available from local resorts
    Closest Hotels to this Lake: Rainy Lake Houseboats and Pine Harbor Resort & Campground
    Nearest Fishing Store and How Far Away It Is: The Great Outdoors in International Falls, MN, 3 miles away
    Basic Fishing Regulations: Based on Minnesota state regulations
    Amenities of the Lake: Numerous boat launches, resorts, lodging, and restaurants
    Nearest Gas Station and How Far Away It Is: Super America in International Falls, MN, 3 miles away

8.

Lake Vermilion

Lake Vermilion is located in Northeastern Minnesota and spans 40,000 acres.

    Types of Fish: Walleye, Northern Pike, Muskie, Smallmouth Bass, Crappie, and Sunfish

    Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, ice fishing, and boat fishing
    Fishing Equipment Rental: Available in nearby towns
    Fishing Guide Service: Available from local resorts
    Closest Hotels to this Lake: Fortune Bay Resort Casino and The Shoreline Inn & Suites
    Nearest Fishing Store and How Far Away It Is: Bill’s Outpost in Tower, MN, 10 miles away
    Basic Fishing Regulations: Based on Minnesota state regulations
    Amenities of the Lake: Numerous boat launches, resorts, lodging, and restaurants
    Nearest Gas Station and How Far Away It Is: SuperAmerica in Tower, MN, 10 miles away

9.

Lake Mille Lacs

Lake Mille Lacs is located in East Central Minnesota and spans over 132,000 acres.

    Types of Fish: Walleye, Northern Pike, Muskie, White and Yellow Perch, and Panfish

    Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, ice fishing, and boat fishing
    Fishing Equipment Rental: Available in nearby towns
    Fishing Guide Service: Available from local resorts
    Closest Hotels to this Lake: Grand Casino Mille Lacs and The Lodge at Mille Lacs
    Nearest Fishing Store and How Far Away It Is: Denny’s on Mille Lacs in Isle, MN, 6 miles away
    Basic Fishing Regulations: Based on Minnesota state regulations
    Amenities of the Lake: Numerous boat launches, resorts, lodging, and restaurants
    Nearest Gas Station and How Far Away It Is: K&K Market in Isle, MN, 6 miles away

10.

Lake Superior

Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes and the world’s largest freshwater lake, located in Northeastern Minnesota and spanning 31,700 square miles.

    Types of Fish: Walleye, Northern Pike, Lake Trout, Brook Trout, Chinook Salmon, and Smallmouth Bass

    Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, ice fishing, and boat fishing
    Fishing Equipment Rental: Available in nearby towns
    Fishing Guide Service: Available from local resorts
    Closest Hotels to this Lake: Holiday Inn Duluth-Downtown and The Suites Hotel at Waterfront Plaza
    Nearest Fishing Store and How Far Away It Is: Glens Tackle & Marina in Duluth, MN, 8 miles away
    Basic Fishing Regulations: Based on Minnesota state regulations
    Amenities of the Lake: Numerous boat launches, resorts, lodging, and restaurants
    Nearest Gas Station and How Far Away It Is: SuperAmerica in Duluth, MN, 8 miles away

Find Good Fishing Spots in Minnesota and Other Nearby Lakes on The Map

If you’re looking for a great fishing spot in Minnesota, explore the Google map below for some excellent options. You can find some of the state’s most popular lakes and other great fishing locations. Whether you’re looking for a lake to spend the day, a secluded spot for a weekend getaway, or somewhere to try your luck on the ice, you’re sure to find something to suit your needs. So take some time to explore the map and find your perfect spot!

Check the Weather Forecast for Your Next Fishing Trip to Minnesota

Minnesota offers sport fishing opportunities throughout the year. The weather in Minnesota is quite varied, with hot summers and cold winters. During the summer months, temperatures can range from the mid-70s to the mid-80s Fahrenheit (21-30 Celsius). Winters can be cold, with temperatures ranging from the single digits to the teens Fahrenheit (-17 to -7 Celsius). Depending on the region and season, snowfall can vary significantly. In the northern parts of Minnesota, snow totals can be as high as 100 inches (254 cm), while the southern parts of the state average just over 50 inches (127 cm).


Fishing Lakes in Minnesota
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