If fishing is your outdoor sport of choice, then Minnesota, the "Land of 10,000 Lakes," will occupy a top spot. Thousands of anglers flock to Minnesota each year to pursue the state's native fish, including walleye, trout, crappie and bass. Regardless of what you try to catch, a fishing expedition in Minnesota is a memorable experience.
Mille Lacs Lake
Location: East central Minnesota
Closest town: Garrison, Minn.
Lake area: 128,223 acres
Maximum water depth: 42 feet
Mille Lacs Lake is one of Minnesota's most popular fishing lakes. It is reputed to be a glacially formed body of water as many of the regions lakes are. It is home to many native game fish, including walleye, yellow perch, northern pike, muskellunge and small-mouth bass.
With a surface area equivalent to 200 miles, it ranks as the second-largest lake in Minnesota. Shoreline and boat fishing opportunities are plentiful on Mille Lacs Lake. Ice fishing is another popular angling option as the lake typically freezes by early December. Lake MilIe Lacs also has the reputation of being the one of the world's most natural walleye lakes, based on the fact that the fish are able to produce billions of eggs and offspring in their environment. Other popular attractions/activities in the area are swimming, canoe trips and exploring numerous bike trails around the lake.
There is an abundance of lodging options in the area, and in the nearest town of Garrison. Consider Chapman's Mille Lacs Resort & Guide Service. In addition to lodging, it offers a private guide service and boat rental.
Closest town: Walker, Minn.
Lake area: 102,947 acres
Maximum water depth: 150 feet
Leech Lake is ranked as the third-largest lake in the state. The lake offers multi-species fishing opportunities and is nationally recognized as a game fish lake. It is regularly stocked, and has even earned the nickname "the walleye factory."
Just in case all members of the family are not fishing enthusiasts, there are various other activities around Leech Lake. Boating and sailing are popular tourist activities on the lake. The area also has biking, hiking and walking paved trails.
There are multiple lodging options in the nearest town of Walker. Consider the Steamboat Bay Resort on Leech Lake. It offers supervised activities for kids each night.
Closest town: Tower
Lake area: 39,271
Maximum water depth: 76 feet
This lake, known as "the lake of the red sunsets," was considered one of the most scenic in the United States by the National Geographic Society. Infinite fishing opportunities exist as the lake spans 42 miles from end to end, with 1,200 miles of shoreline. Game fish such as muskie, walleye, bass, northern pike and sunfish comprise the abundant population of the lake.
Rated as one of the finest resorts in northern Minnesota, the Vermilion Dam Lodge is worthy of consideration. The lodge offers numerous family activities, including kids' fishing contests, canoe excursions, bonfires and float-plane rides.