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If it's winter time and you want to fish, Brainerd is hard to beat.

That's the clear message after website FishingBooker named the central Minnesota city the top ice fishing destination in the U.S., after last year declaring it the best winter fishing destination.

"Whether you’re going for an ice fishing trip on Round Lake, trying your luck at Lake Hubert, or joining in the activities on Gull Lake, you’re in the right place," the service — which lets anglers book trips with fishing guides across the country — wrote in its ice fishing rankings.

The site ranked its top 8 overall — and Wisconsin even got a shout-out at No. 4:

  1. Brainerd, Minnesota
  2. Lake Habeeb, Maryland
  3. Devils Lake, North Dakota
  4. Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin
  5. Copper Harbor, Michigan
  6. Castle Lake, California
  7. Boysen Reservoir, Wyoming
  8. Moosehead Lake, Maine

What sets Brainerd apart, FishingBooker says, is access — there are more than 460 lakes within 25 miles of the city — and variety of fish available, including bluegills, walleye, largemouth bass, yellow perch and northern pike.

And of course the Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza, which is set for Jan. 29, 2022.

"The fishing is great any day of the year and even in winter that doesn’t change," wrote FishingBooker.

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