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Ice Fishing Trips in Minnesota

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Minnesota ice fishing trips photos fill our family albums. The photos on this page are of some of our family enjoying this popular winter sport. Here are some tips and destinations for ice fishing in Minnesota.

Most family vacation destinations in Minnesota include beautiful family vacation resorts, cabins, and dozens of state parks and many other top family vacations spots.

Ice Fishing Trips

When we were kids, ice fishing simply involved drilling a hole in the ice and dropping a line. An upside down five gallon pail to sit on was the only other item we brought to the lake.

"Driving the truck out on a frozen lake to a village of shanties erected over drilled holes, sitting on an overturned five gallon pail, stamping your feet quite a bit, and drinking a lot of schnapps is a time honored tradition in the Great White North." ~Thomas Huhti

Lake of The Woods, where this photo of our son and grandson was taken, is a popular destination for ice fishing trips.

"Frostbite Flats" is the name given to a temporary settlement of about 6,000 ice ice shanties that spring up yearly on Mille Lacs lake.

Ice Fishing: A Complete Guide, Basic to Advanced

"I find it hard to believe that anyone would go ice fishing once and not want to do it again. Once you do it you're gonna be hooked. It's 100 percent my favorite type of fishing." ~ Jarrid Houston, quoted in MNExplorer, Winter 2018 - 2019 

Some "ice houses" are elaborate cabin-type structures that are amazing to see. Because we like to experience ice fishing trips to many lakes each winter, we opt for a portable ice fishing shanty.

If you want shelter for your ice fishing outings, you can find plans to build your own fish house....from simple to elaborate. It's true that some dedicated ice fishing people have elaborate shelters that include beds, comfy chairs and even a cookstove.

Zippel Bay State Park is located on the shores of Lake of the Woods. As with all state parks, you can camp in the park year round. If winter camping is not for you, there are several fishing resorts in the area that offer ice fishing trips onto the big lake.

Baudette Minnesota Resorts and Hotels can provide lodging for your fishing trip to Lake of the Woods.

Minnesota ice fishing is a safe sport if you use common sense and take the advice of the DNR, bait shop owners, and the owners of fishing resorts.

If you remember scenes from the Grumpy Old Men movie, ice fishing villages do populate the surface of many lakes in Minnesota as soon as the ice freezes to a safe depth.

Minnesota Fishing Resorts Will provide you with guides, fishing tips, and equipment to make sure you have the best fishing vacation ever.

Ice Fishing Trips and Snowmobiling

Snowmobiling out onto the lake adds to the fun in our opinion. You can get most of your gear with you on the snowmobile or pull it on a sled.

Driving a car or pickup truck onto the ice is what many fishermen and women do. Snowmobiles are an increasingly popular choice for ice fishing transportation.  You can also just walk out onto the ice of course.

A portable ice fishing shelter can be packed out for your day of fishing and taken home with you at the end of your day of fun. - Shappell WH5500 Wide House 5500 Ice Shelter
Ice Fishing Trips

Minnesota Ice Fishing Events and Tournaments

Walker Minnesota, on the shores of Leech Lake, is one of several towns that celebrate ice fishing with gusto...and the Eelpout Festival!

Cass Lake Chamber of Commerce and Palace Casino Winter Fishing Challenge is a yearly event.

Park Rapids holds an annual ice fishing contest and offers more than $110,000.00 in prizes.

Brainerd hosts the world's largest ice fishing tournament on Gull Lake. Held the third Saturday in January, ice fishers vie for thousands of dollars in prizes for the biggest catch.

Minnesota Ice Fishing

Lake Mille Lacs is one of Minnesota's favorite ice fishing lakes. Plowed roads offer access to the array of fish houses and to spots where you can fish. Fishing is open for walleye, northern pike and bass. You can rent a "dark house" if you want to spear for fish instead of angle. 

You surely know that in the "land of 10,000 lakes" you don't have to travel far to fish through the ice. You can walk onto any well-frozen lake, use your auger to dig a fishing hole and sit down with your fishing pole on any handy bucket or stool. 

Ice Fishing Trips

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Minnesota State Parks: From Afton to Zippel Bay