10 Best Ice Fishing Lakes in Minnesota

Top Ice Fishing Lakes in Minnesota

Every year, thousands of fishermen trade their boats for shelters, sleds, and cold weather gear to catch trophy fish on frozen lakes. Ice hockey is Minnesota’s official state sport. However, anglers and outdoorsmen will argue that Ice fishing is the best. Minnesota has a reputation for ice-fishing and being home to a thousand lakes.

It can be difficult to choose the right lake for ice fishing. We have researched the best hard water fisheries for ice fishing in the frozen state and have listed them here. Grab your ice fisherman’s tips, augers, and other ice-fishing gear to get on the hot spots.

These are the Best Minnesota Ice Fishing Lakes

Upper Red Lake

It is Minnesota’s largest inland lake, covering 289 000 acres. Upper Red Lake is a great place to catch Walleye. This is a remarkable fact after the lake was almost completely depleted of fish in the 1990s. This fishery has seen a huge recovery, particularly in the ice fishing season.

Clearwater Lake

Clearwater Lake, located in Wright County Minnesota near St. Cloud. The lake covers 3,200 acres. It offers excellent opportunities to Crappie fish through the ice. The best place to fish is in the water depth of 30-40 feet from some island drops. Before you set foot on the ice, stop by BJ’s Bait and Tackle to get some fishing tips.

Leech Lake

Leech lake, which has 113,000 acres of water, is Minnesota’s third-largest lake. Rumors say that the Walleye bite in Minnesota is lower than at other places, but this means that the Perch thrive without being threatened by predators. Leech Lake can reach a maximum depth in Walker Bay of 156 feet. Pine Point and Grand View Flats have been referred to as hot spots for ice fishing.

Lake Winnibigoshish

The ice fishing trip of the year is located very close to Leech. Anglers will be able to enjoy a great time at Lake Winnie, where they can catch Crappie, Walleye, and Perch. Many resorts are available around the lake, as well as lodging. Guides can be arranged to assist visitors in getting on the bite.

Lake of the Woods

Lake of the Woods is known for its northern pike and lake trout, as well as smallmouth bass, walleyes, largemouth Bass, lake sturgeon, musky, and crappie. The lake is often called the “walleye capital” of the world. It is a large lake, but it is smaller than the great lakes. This fishery has over 65,000 miles of shoreline and 14,000 islands.

Sauk Lake

Sauk Lake can be found in Minnesota, near the border of Todd County and Stearns County. In winter, Sauk Lake offers great fishing opportunities for many species such as Perch and Walleye. It is fed by the Sauk River and covers more than 2,100 acres

Gull Lake

Gull Lake covers more than 10,000 acres. It is home to large schools of crappie walleyes and northern pike. It is home to the Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Experiment, which is a world-famous ice fishing contest.

Mille Lacs Lake

This lake, which is located approximately 100 miles north of Minneapolis, is Minnesota’s second-largest lake. It covers 132,000 acres. It is shallow with maximum depths of up to 42 feet. The lake is located between 20-40 feet deep. The lake has stricter fishing regulations. Anglers can only catch one walleye per day due to a decline in its population.

Lake Vermilion

Lake Vermilion is renowned for its Musky, Walleye, and Pike fishing. This lake covers 40,000 acres. Cold weather anglers will find plenty of toothy fish in this area. The most popular method is to jig ice fisherman lures. The maximum depth of this lake is 76 feet. Lake Vermilion can be found in the Northeastern region of the state.

Big Stone Lake

Big Stone Lake is located on the border of Minnesota and South Dakota. It is 26 miles in length and contains more than 12,000 acres of water surface. Ice fishing is available on most Minnesota lakes and will be used to catch Walleye, Pike, and Perch.


Minnesota’s Best Ice Fishing Lures

Rapala Jiggingrap 07 Fishing lure for Perch, 2.75 Inch$12.07Check price
2.00 Inch 0.20 OzCheck price
Rapala Jigging Shadrap 05 Fishing lure 2-Inch, ShadCheck price
img alt=”Acme Kastmaster Fishing Lure, Gold 1/2 oz.” src=”https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/21L2vOVTrgL._SL160_.jpg”/>Acme Kastmaster Gold Fishing Lure, 1/2 oz.$7.49Check price
Goture Ice Fishing Jigs With Treble Hook Single Hook For Walleye Winter Fishing Lures ice JiggingCheck price
Custom Jigs SL18-P-214 Pro Slender Spoon, 1/8-Ounce, Gold/Firetiger$4.49Check price


We’d love to know what Minnesota’s favorite ice fishing lakes are, so please let us know by commenting below.

Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.