From kayaking unspoiled back country, wilderness lakes to lounging in the comfort and convenience of lakeside lodges and houseboat rentals, northeast Minnesota provides opportunities for every kind of freshwater fishing vacation you can imagine. This is a land of vast waterways, with magnificent lakes, wetlands, river rapids, and waterfalls. Its woods and waters are a favorite destination for a wide variety of outdoor recreation, with boating and fishing at the top of the list. There are distinct areas within the northeast Minnesota region, each with its own unique character with fishing pros and cons. On the following pages, you will find descriptions, industry interviews about the best spots and most likely catches in each area, and maps of the winding waterways.
One of the best fishing destinations in northeast Minnesota is Rainy Lake, located within Minnesota’s only national park – Voyageurs National Park. Voyageurs is a water based park. This means that visitors must leave automobiles behind and row, motor, or paddle the interconnected waterways to enjoy the unspoiled lakes, islands, and shorelines here. You can read about the best Rainy Lake fishing spots for walleye, sauger, muskie, crappie, and smallmouth bass, or find a link to the most affordable Rainy Lake houseboats or Rainy Lake resorts for accommodation during your family’s fishing vacation in this pristine national park.
Another northern Minnesota fishing lake, Lake Vermilion, was once declared one of the ten most scenic lakes in the nation by the National Geographic Society. Read here about its 40,000 acres of open water, 365 small islands, and over 1200 miles of shoreline to see if Lake Vermilion fishing is the right trip for you and your family. You can learn about the nearby Lake Vermilion State Park and Soudan Underground Mine State Park, as well as peruse the diverse rental accommodations around the lake, from family-friendly resorts to rustic Lake Vermilion cabin rentals to basic shoreline fishing camps, and everything in between.
Just north of Lake Vermilion is the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) Wilderness. BWCA is a million-acre wilderness area unparalleled for its fishing opportunities in all seasons. Whatever the season of your visit to northeast Minnesota, if fishing is your priority you will want to spend some time among the Boundary Waters lakes and rivers. We have a detailed Boundary Waters map to help you plan your trip. You may also want to check out Bear Head Lake State Park (located just south of the BWCA) or Gunflint Trail, which winds through northeast Minnesota from Grand Marais to the Boundary Waters.
We have information and travel tips for many other northeast Minnesota fishing destinations as well, including Pelican Lake MN fishing area with its excellent family fishing, and the Grand Portage along the north shore of Lake Superior. Whatever you need to know about the northeast Minnesota region, we have you covered.