Minnesotans are gearing up for another season of open-water fishing and with ice-out happening earlier than normal this spring – the fishing opener is May 13 – anglers will certainly get more time on the water in 2021.
And in the Land of 10,000 Lakes there's no shortage of awesome fishing holes. In fact, nine Minnesota waterways are included in the top 100 places to fish in the U.S. by fishing technology company Abu Garcia. Here they are:
Red River - #4
The Red River, which serves as the border for Minnesota and North Dakota, comes in at No. 4 overall on the top 100 list. The Abu Garcia rankings explain that the river is great for channel catfish, especially during the late spring and early summer. It's also known for walleye, musky, sauger, northern pike and smallmouth bass.
Mille Lacs - #17
Coming in at No. 17 overall, Lake Mille Lacs is widely known among Minnesota anglers as one of the bests spots in the state. The rankings say it's great for walleye, smallmouth bass, northern pike, muskie and yellow perch – especially in May and June.
Boundary Waters #39
Ranked No. 39, the pristine nature of the Boundary Waters is also a hot spot for catching a variety of fish – walleye, northern pike, bass, lake trout and crappies – especially May through September, the rankings say.
Lake of the Woods #42
Minnesota's northernmost location is ranked No. 42. It's great year-round and namely known for amazing walleye fishing, The Abu Garcia rankings say.
Rainy Lake #54
Another trip up north, Rainy Lake comes in at No. 54. It's a terrific spring and summer lake for catching pike, walleye, sturgeon, smallmouth bass, crappie and perch.
Leech Lake - #56
Another great lake for open-water fishing, Leech Lake is ranked No. 56. Swimming in the large lake are bountiful largemouth bass, walleye, crappie, muskie, northern pike and perch.
Mississippi River pools at Red Wing #71
Doing a little river fishing can net anglers a wonderful variety in Red Wing, where the river pools – ranked No. 71 – are known to produce all kinds of bass, walleye, sauger, bluegill, crappie, northern pike and catfish.
Lake Minnetonka - #78
The lake Twin Cities-area lake is ranked No. 78 overall and said to be great for reeling in bass, pike, walleye and muskie, especially between April and October.
Lake Vermilion - #80
Minnesota's ninth location in the top 100 is Lake Vermilion at No. 80 overall. It's best for walleye, muskie and smallmouth bass in May and June.
Meteorologist Sven Sundgaard said Friday that ice-out is rapidly happening due to a warmer than normal start to spring, with big metro area lakes like Minnetonka and White Bear potentially reaching ice-out this week.