Minnesota Fishing Trips – Best MN Guides and Charters

Minnesota Fishing Trips - Kid casting into the sunset fishing for Northnern Pike

Minnesota fishing trips are some of the best in the country. The state is home to over 10,000 lakes and 1.4 million licensed anglers, all bringing home a fair catch!

Minnesota is recognized as one of the best fisheries for walleye, northern pike, and muskellunge (musky) in the continental US. It also is home to many other sport fish, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rock bass, lake trout, black crappie, bluegill, other sunfish, jumbo perch, and many more.

Not only are the fish species diverse, but so are the seasons. Minnesota fishing trips happen all year round. Looking for some large mouth bass on a warm, sunny day, then hit up any of the lakes in the center of the state in the summer. Looking for some of the best walleye fishing of your life? Then come during ice fishing season in the winter.

Regardless of what you are targeting and when you are visiting, you are sure to have a great experience!

Minnesota Fishing Trips – Guides and Charters

With so many lakes to choose from, and so many species to target, hiring a guide or charter is a must. This is especially true if you are not from Minnesota, do not fish often, or are fishing in a part of the state that is unfamiliar.

But you’ll need to hire the right guide and to do so, you need to be an informed consumer. The next section talks about what to expect on a guided fishing trip in Minnesota.

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What should you expect on a Guided Minnesota Fishing Trip?

Fishing Trips in MN - Girl catching a sunfish from a canoe in Minnesota

All guides and charters are different, however they all provide a standard set of services.

Half, 3/4, and Full Day Guided Fishing Trips

Minnesota fishing trips generally include:

  • Comfortable boat with quality, state-of-the-art equipment
  • Fishing poles, rods, and tackle
  • Live bait (although sometimes there is an extra charge)
  • Complimentary fish cleaning and packaging
  • Shore Lunch (they cook your fish for you)
  • Ice house/gear in the winter
  • Understanding of which fish species you will be targeting
  • Safety equipment like life jackets
  • Lake Map
  • U.S. Coast Guard Licensed Captain (not always)

Your professional fishing guide will generally:

  • Come with a tone of local fishing experience
  • Be fully insured
  • Have CPR/1st aid certifications

You will need to bring:

  • MN Fishing License (plus Trout Stamp for Lake Trout)
  • Food and Drinks
  • Clothing appropriate for the weather
  • Camera and cellphone

Overnight Fishing Trips

Minnesota is not home to fly-in fishing trips. For that, you’d have to go up to Ontario.

That being said, we have a ton of top-notch fishing resorts that will set you up with everything you see above, plus quality lodging, entertainment, and food and drink. At many resorts, you can even bring your own boat.

Which Minnesota Fishing Guides and Charters are the Best?

There are a multitude of guides and charters for hire. Whether you’ll be fishing northern Minnesota waters in search of walleye and small mouth bass, the rivers of northern Minnesota for trout, or the lakes and rivers in the south for largemouth bass and panfish, a grand adventure awaits you.

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Below is a short list of the best fishing lakes and the guides and resorts that are the best in the area.

  1. Lake of the Woods – Walleye Capital of the World
  2. Mille Lacs Lake
  3. Lake Winnibigoshish – Lake Winnie
  4. Upper Red Lake
  5. Lake Vermilion
  6. Gull Lake
  7. Leech Lake
  8. Rainy Lake
  9. Crane Lake
  10. Lake Minnetonka
  11. Famous Basswood Lake

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FAQs related to Minnesota Fishing Trips

What months are the best for fishing in Minnesota?

The best month for fishing all depends on which species you are targeting. Below is a general guide:;

  • January: Crappies
  • February: Yellow Perch
  • March: Walleye
  • April: Lake Sturgeon
  • May: Walleye
  • June: Bass
  • July: Smallmouth Bass
  • August: Catfish
  • September: Largemouth Bass
  • October: Northern Pike
  • November: Muskies
  • December: Panfish

How much does a fishing guide cost in Minnesota?

The cost of a fishing guide is determined by how long you will be fishing and how many people are in your group. On a per hour basis, full day trips are more economical than half-day. Full day for 4 people averages $850, or $26.56 per person per hour (plus a free lunch). Half-day trips average $450, or $28.13 per hour, without lunch!

What lake has the most walleye in Minnesota?

No single lake has the most walleye in Minnesota. The best lakes for walleye fishing are Leech Lake, Lake Winnibigoshish (Lake Winnie), Lake Vermilion, Upper Red Lake, and Lake of the Woods (also called the Walleye Capital of the World).

What lake in Minnesota has the most fish?

It is impossible to tell which lake in Minnesota has the most fish, although Lake Superior, being the largest lake in the state, likely holds the title! The larger lakes, like Leech Lake, Lake Winnibigoshish (Lake Winnie), Lake Vermilion, Upper Red Lake, Mille Lacs, and Lake of the Woods (also called the Walleye Capital of the World).


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We are the Quills! An ordinary family sharing our extraordinary travel experiences. 


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