Minnesota is home to more lakes than you can imagine and fishing is definitely a big income generator in the state. Heading to Minnesota means the potential for reeling in a variety of fish, some of which you may never have caught before. As with any state, you should familiarize yourself with the specific rules and regulation regarding licensing and fishing seasons, but there are some other unique things about Minnesota fishing that don't require a strict familiarity with legalese.
The walleye is the state fish of Minnesota and chances are you will reel in a few during your excursion to the state. Just about any lake in Minnesota in which you drop your line will eventually produce some walleye, but the best spots are in the cooler lakes to the north. Hot spots for bringing up walleye include Rainy Lake, Lake of the Woods, and the lake always guaranteed to produce a smile if you bring the kids along, Lake Winnibigoshish.
Although the lakes and the abundance of walleye get most of the attention, don't forget that there are a couple of thousand miles of rivers and streams in Minnesota. Fly fishing in these parts mainly means trout. In Minnesota that means rainbow trout, brown trout and brook trout--better known as brookies. While trout may make up the bulk of your haul, don't be surprised to find some crappie and bass of both the big and small mouth variety.
While typical game fish from the walleye to the bass are more common, Minnesota's lakes make for a nice introduction to some species that look almost prehistoric. You might just find yourself fighting against a 100-pound sturgeon; the kind of cartilaginous fish that some people claim lake monsters really are instead of long extinct species. Head directly to the Lake of the Woods if you want to reel in one of these monsters. The only other legal place to catch a sturgeon is Rainy River. Large though they may be, there is no great secret trick to catching sturgeon. Just make sure you've got a strong hook and some nightcrawlers. Other species to be found in Minnesota that may look like something out of a nightmare include the sharp-toothed shortnose gar and the paddlefish.
The long winters of Minnesota mean plenty of opportunity for ice fishing. Newcomers, especially those from the South who have never engaged in this type of fishing, need to pay special attention to others around them. The winters here are colder than you imagine so you probably can't come too prepared for keeping warm. In fact, if you forget your cooler, even your ice coffee will likely freeze pretty quickly. Never go out on ice alone. In fact, all newbies should hire an experienced ice fishing guide before.
Article Written By Timothy Sexton
Timothy Sexton is an award-winning author who started writing in 1994. He has written on topics ranging from politics and golf to nutrition and travel, and his work appears online for Zappos.com, Disaboom and MOJO, among others. He has also done work for "Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of West Florida.