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Minnesota Ice Fishing Trips

Minnesota ice fishing trips are a wonderful way to enjoy Minnesota winter. You can expect to catch popular ice fishing fish like walleye, northerns, crappies and maybe even a "muskie."

Men, women and children all find that ice fishing is both easy and exciting. It's not as difficult or as cold as you might imagine. Keep it simple and you can catch fish with little effort. 

At the most basic level, ice fishing only requires a lake with ice that is thick enough to be safe, an auger to cut a hole in the ice, an ice fishing rod, some bait and a five gallon pail to sit on. And, oh yes, your fishing license!

Many Minnesota ice fishermen (and women) prefer to add to this list. Every year my family increases their stash of ice fishing gear. Ice fishing huts are sometimes the first purchase. 

Fishing resorts and fishing lodges in Minnesota almost all stay open year round. Ice fishing huts or "shanties" spring up on Minnesota fishing lakes all across the state. You have many options when you begin to plan your ice fishing trips.

The pan fish season in Minnesota is open year round. The season for fishing Walleye and Northern Pike is also open during ice fishing season.

The gear now available to ice fishing enthusiasts has become increasing sophisticated. You can purchase collapsible ice fishing huts, fish house heaters, and for the real fans of this sport who basically "live on the ice" bed, grill, and lighting systems are all available.


Some of the most popular ice fishing lakes in Minnesota are Leech Lake, Gull Lake near Brainerd, Mille Lacs Lake, and Lake of the Woods. Many of these areas sonsor ice fishing festivals. These are fun to attend even if you are not fishing.

Ice Fishing Secrets by Al Linder will give you all the insight you need into how and where to fish through the ice.
Minnesota Fishing Resorts

Minnesota Ice Fishing Starts Young!

Ice fishing in Minnesota is often a family sport.

This is our grandson, Luke, a few years ago on one of his first ice fishing trips with his dad.

His first ice fishing fish was a tiny perch. He was ecstatic!

Even quite young children can go ice fishing with proper safety precautions, warm clothing and supervision.

Be sure to include snacks for them in your provisions and be ready to take them to a warm place as soon as they begin to get cold.

Planning Your Ice Fishing Trips

Here is a short list of what we consider to be basic ice fishing gear:

  • Ice auger
  • Sled for auger or 4-wheeler or other vehicle if the ice is thick enough.
  • Ice scoop
  • Ice fishing rods, reels and tip-ups
  • Jigs and spoons and hooks,bobbers
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Small knife or fingernail clipper (to cut line)
  • Bait bucket and bait
  • A portable chair or stool
Ice Fishing Gear can be purchased online of course which will save you a trip to the stores.

Ice Fishing Fish Species

Avid ice fishers all have their favorite ice fishing fish to catch. Topping the list for most are walleye, northern and muskies.

Minnesota walleye fishing has its own enthusiasts. We'll tell you where to find them and how to cook them.

Ice Fish for Free in Most Minnesota State Parks

A Minnesota resident may fish in a Minnesota State Park without a fishing license when:

  1. the body of water does not require a trout stamp
  2. fishing from shore or wading in water within the state park
  3. fishing through the ice, from a boat or a float on a designated lake within a Minnesota state park

Check for more details at: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/fishing.html

Related Pages:

Ice Fishing Trips

Fishing Minnesota

Minnesota Fishing Lakes

Fishing Resorts Minnesota

Minnesota Fishing Report

Lake Superior Fishing Charters

Voyageurs National Park

Boundary Waters Minnesota Vacation

Walker Minnesota Vacations

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