There are many highly sought-after bodies of water that are in Minnesota’s North Country, including Lake of the Woods, Rainy River, Red Lake, Vermillion, Leech Lake, Lake Superior and many more. I have been fortunate enough to have grown up fishing these beautiful bodies of water, that offer some of the best fishing for all freshwater species.
Northern Minnesota offers many options for both ice fishing and open water. Almost every fresh water species is present in these lakes. My current residence is Bemidji, MN, and is literally in the middle of hundreds of different lakes that offer these species. Not only is the fishing very special, but the scenery on these lakes is second to none.
Growing up in my hometown of Salol, MN, I was spoiled with arguably the best walleye fishery around. Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River is nothing less than spectacular when it comes to walleye and northern pike. I was lucky enough to have one of the best LOTW and Rainy River guides around, my DAD.
Whether we were jigging reefs, pulling shad raps, or bottom bouncing, we have boated many walleyes over the magical 30” mark. With numerous high-class resorts, Lake of the Woods also offers some of the best accommodations that make the trip that much more special.
After I graduated high school, I attended Bemidji State University, where my focus deviated from walleyes to fishing one of the top fresh water predators, Musky. My wife and I have since become very hard core musky anglers and enthusiasts.
As many musky nuts know, Northern Minnesota has been producing some of the world’s largest Muskies. The combination of stocking Leech Lake strain musky, high population of forage and the 54” minimum, has made Northern MN a destination for world class musky fishing. It is amazing what the DNR has done with stocking and protecting of these fish. I have musky fished 20+ lakes in northern Minnesota and have caught or seen 50” fish in all of them.
During the winter months, when I can’t musky fish, I like to target slab panfish. Many of the lakes that I target, are lakes off the beaten path, usually the toughest ones to get to are the best. There are numerous lakes in northern Minnesota that pump out large crappies, bluegills, and perch on a consistent basis. Targeting them in the basins during winter months is the most consistent bite.
If you’re looking for a true angling adventure, the BWCA (Boundary Waters Canoe Area), up in the Ely, MN area, offers some spectacular trout, walleye, and bass fishing. These trips can be some of the most memorable, as many of these lakes need to be portaged to without the help of a motorized boat and often include camping. This area offers some of the most beautiful views Minnesota has to offer.
Lake Superior, the largest body of water in the US, offers an adventure with a whole different spectrum of fishing that you can’t find in the rest of the state. Coho and King are a highly sought after table fish and both can be targeted in this big body of water. The North Shore between Duluth and Grand portage has numerous areas that can be fished from shore, and if you hit it at the right time, can produce some amazing salmon and trout fishing.
Northern Minnesota is any angler’s dream destination, come up and experience all that is offered in the Northland.