Ice fishing has a huge, almost religious-style following across the entire state of Minnesota. But it's not the only way to catch that big trophy or dinner.

Explore Minnesota has put out a list of a few ways to both handle fishing outside of your ice-house this winter and where the best spots are. (Spoiler alert -- one's right in our backyard.)


  • 1

    Fish in Lake Superior

    Biggest lake means the biggest fish, right?

    This one's easy. There's a ton of shore fishing options along the North Shore from Duluth to Canada. Explore Minnesota admits Lake Superior can freeze over, but says that's a rare sight.

    The state's largest lake is home to a bunch of trout and salmon species which stay close to shore in the winter, so you should have some luck.

  • 2

    The Mississippi River

    Way easier on the car's gas.

    Well here's something right near us in the St. Cloud Metro.

    The mighty Mississippi does see its backwaters freeze, but the main river stays open for all your year-round fishing needs.

    If you're not too picky about what fish you catch, Explore Minnesota says you can find fish like walleyes and sheepshead bass hanging out around the shoreline.

    PHOTO: Tim Lyon
  • 3

    Trout Streams

    How many times do you see us talk about these?

    This may require some road trips since a lot of the trout streams in our area are protected.

    Southeastern Minnesota may be your go-to, says Explore Minnesota. The Bluff Country is a good spot for brown trout.

    However, you have to let them go during the winter. Make sure to check the DNR's website for all the information you need.

  • 4

    Now that you're out of the ice house, let's stay warm

    No one wants to become a bear's springtime lunch.

    Since the fish house keeps most anglers pretty warm, it's important to remember, if you pick open water fishing during the winter, you don't have that option.

    Explore Minnesota says the best way to stay warm, is to keep moving as you're fishing. So walk to a new spot down the shoreline after you've caught a few.

    And use some common sense -- dress warmly.

    Photo courtesy of the Minnesota DNR