Top Tips When Planning a Minnesota Fishing Trip

When searching for an ideal state for a fishing trip, Minnesota is one that tops many peoples’ lists. The state offers more than 11,000 lakes that have a surface area of 10 acres or more, which provides anglers with a huge variety of opportunities. And as far as species go, well you can expect to find a wide variety here such as lake trout, muskie, largemouth and smallmouth bass, salmon, rainbow trout, and many others.

With so many fishing options, it can almost feel a bit overwhelming planning a Minnesota fishing trip. That is exactly why we’ve put together these tips that will help the planning process go off much smoother, giving you more time to relax and enjoy what the state has to offer.

Give Thought to Your Accommodation

The first thing you’ll want to think about is your accommodation. Now you are likely working within a set budget, which is fine, but there needs to be more factors that play into the decision process. Take a look at what amenities the accommodation offers, its location (is it close to fishing or will you need to travel), does it offer things such as boat and equipment rental, what kind of fishing is nearby, and is it a busy area?

In most cases, you’ll probably want to be based right at or at least near a popular lake. Take for example Birch Forest Lodge which provides you with fishing on the famous Pelican Lake. Not only will you have access to the lake filled with a number of different species, but the lodge offers amenities like Minnesota boat rental on-site so  that you don’t have to bring your own, a chance to stay in a cabin, a games room, a sand beach, and even disc golf.

What Kind of Fish Do You Want to Catch?

Another thing to think about is what kind of fish you are after. Obviously, each lake is going to be different, so if there are some specific species you are in search of, then you will want to plan your trip accordingly.

Can You Drive to the Fishing Spots?

There are a number of states and destinations as a whole that in order to enjoy their fishing you will need to fly to them. Minnesota is unique in that it offers so many great fishing spots that you can literally drive your car right up to. This makes the ease of access extremely high. It also means you may be able to visit more lakes in one trip since getting in and out is so simple.

Know What the Best Time of Year to Fish Is

It’s fine to make plans to fish in Minnesota, but if you aren’t planning your trip for the “right” time of year, then you will most likely be heading home disappointed. Making sure you know when the best time of year to fish is imperative to a successful trip.

Each species has its own season, so you’ll need to narrow down to the ones your after and then figure out the best time of year to visit. Minnesota does offer year-round fishing, so there is always something to catch.

This is the time when there are bugs and mosquitoes in large quantity as well, so make sure you carry repellents, long sleeve shirts and long nylon pants to stay safe.

If you are fishing in peak season, which is mid-June till mid-Aug, you will have to plan your trip according to the entry date you get for an entry permit.

Where to Buy
Minnesota's Best Lakes Fishing Maps Guide Book
Fish of Minnesota Field Guide
The Great Minnesota Fish Book


1. Minnesota’s Best Lakes Fishing Maps Guide Book

This is a detailed guidebook with the best Minnesota fishing lakes you can possibly think of to plan your trip. From the biggest best ones like Leech, red, Mille Lacs and Winnibigoshish and Red ill the smaller yet worth fishing lakes such as Big Stone, Saganaga and Bemidji and many more. The book also provides hands-on knowledge on fishing, survey information, DNR fish stocking and tips for successful fishing. For beginners, the book also entails contour lake map with marked fishing spots of each lake so that you know where exactly to hook on.

2. Fish of Minnesota Field Guide

You have already looked at the fishing lakes and planned your trip, so now is the time to know what kind of fishes you should aim to catch. How do you that? Here is a fish guide for Minnesota field that will give you information on all the types of fish present in Minnesota with illustrations and comparable features. The book also talks about the spawning behavior of these species and their feeding habits to aim towards a successful catch rate. The best part of the book is its waterproof pages, so you can take it along your trip.

3. The Great Minnesota Fish Book

Written by Tom Dickson, this fish book is a tribute to the fishes of Minnesota with stories on the history, culture and habitat of these fishes. Comprehensive, informative and eye-catching illustrations make this book a great deal to keep if you are fond of fishing. The illustrations come from the renowned fish illustrator Joseph R. Tomelleri, who has managed to provide clear descriptions of fish and their habitats, their behavior, growth patterns, and historical anecdotes for fishermen and women to easily identify and learn about them.


Fishing isn’t just about picking a rod and heading towards a lake but rather a job that requires planning and guidance, especially when it is fishing in Minnesota Lake. Known as the top fishing destinations in the world, Minnesota hides in itself, thousands of lakes and thousands of species; so there isn’t a question of no catch if you do it the right way.