Minnesota Fishing Trip Ideas

Discussion in 'Fishing the Midwest' started by AZHunter, Mar 20, 2016.

  1. AZHunter

    AZHunter Fire Eater

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    I've finally convinced my wife that we need to take a fishing vacation like I used to do when I was a kid, going up to friends' cabin in Ontario. I told her the kids are ready and she'd LOVE hammering big pike and walleye all day long, as well as some smallies. Because this summer is already booked with trips and soccer camp, we're planning now for a 2017 trip. We're looking at Canada fishing packages (thanks, Kaare, if you're reading this; Tobin Lake is high on our list). One of the ideas thrown out was a cabin rental/package on a good lake in Minnesota or even southern Ontario. I know a couple of guys on here from MN and I have messaged back and forth on hunting info and one or two of them have offered to help out. If any of you have any information to offer/guide us with our planning, I would be greatly appreciative. We'd probably fly into Des Moines, spend a night with my mom and head north after that. If you have date ranges to consider over others, we'd appreciate that, too, keeping in mind our school schedule is kind of weird in Arizona. School lets out late May and starts early August (yep, you read that right; don't get me started). Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. SaskGuy

    SaskGuy Active Member

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    What exactly are you looking for? I obviously cannot on anywhere other than SK but there are lots of great options here if you ever get the itch to go a little further. By "looking for" I mean lodging, expectations in terms of fish (numbers and size).
     
  4. AZHunter

    AZHunter Fire Eater

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    I'm just looking to get the family into the type of fishing I remember up in Ontario where we could catch 2-5 lb walleyes all day, perch, and pike when they were in the mood. Smallmouth are always a nice bonus, but walleye and pike are high on the list. I actually saved a couple of PMs from you from a few years back and Tobin Lake is high on our list right now. I looked at Keeley Lake Lodge, but it was more oriented towards hunting. I still have to call about fishing opportunities, as the website suggests. Most fully-outfitted packages are out of our price range right now, at $2-$5k/person without airfare. I sent my wife the Tobin Lake Lodge website and she actually loved it. If we can get a guided day one day to learn the lake, great! And then rent a boat the rest of the time would be nice. A cabin to sleep in and cook some food is also a nice feature. If you have other suggestions for SK that are on par with what Tobin Lake Lodge has to offer, Kaare, that would be great. Thanks!
     
  5. Hardwood11

    Hardwood11 PMA Member

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    Minnesota has some nice options....

    Leech Lake in Walker would be a good family option. Walleye, northern, bass and you can often find crappie and nice bluegills as well. Walker has nice shops, restaurants.

    Brainerd would be another good choice, with many lakes around there. Gull Lake is nice and there are many things for the wife do to in Nisswa/Pequot and Brainerd area.

    I live near Alexandria and there is around 150 lakes within 30 miles of me. Good fishing and nice resorts/restaurants. The chain of lakes in Alexandria has 5 lakes and they offer good walleye/northern and bass fishing...really good panfish.

    In each case, probably not going to compete with Ontario, but you should do well on any of the nice MN lakes. Kids can swim and hang out on the beach etc.... Night life is pretty active in Walker/Brainerd or Alex for restaurants and sitting back and having a few drinks.
     
  6. bigbuckhunter88

    bigbuckhunter88 PMA Member

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    Well I'd have to vote for going north of the border. It is something all children should get to experience. I've fished Minnesota plenty and it doesn't compare. I've been to both Ontario and Saskatchewan. It was probably just the lakes but I would go back to Saskatchewan first. In Ontario we went to Cedar Lake. It was great and we caught tons of walleye, northern and smallies but all the smallies and northern were small. When in Saskatchewan we were on Lake Mirond. That trip was simply awesome. You could pick your poison by jigging for eater and bigger walleye or casting for big pike. Our biggest eye was 27ish I think and our biggest northern was over 40 with almost everyone catching one over 38 if memory serves me right. I'll try to dig up my thread. The only negatives about the lake I fished in Saskatchewan was no smallies or muskie, but a 40 plus puke makes up for that in my book. If ya have any questions or if ya GPS coordinates if ya happen to go to either of those lakes let me know and I can send them your way.
    http://iowawhitetail.com/forum/showthread.php?t=50827
     
  7. BDAHMS

    BDAHMS Be here Now

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    I would have to vote for north of the border. If you stay south- I'd vote for lake vermillion. Caught a ton of smallmouth and northern and caught a 52.5" Muskie there and loved the people there as well.
     
  8. hotshott2289

    hotshott2289 Member

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    been going to Lake Kabetogama since before i could walk.. Plenty of great fishing up there!
     
  9. HorseDoctor

    HorseDoctor PMA Member

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    I love Minnesota! Got a cabin there myself, but for an every once in awhile family vacation, you'll want to be somewhere up in Canada to get better fishing.
     
  10. SaskGuy

    SaskGuy Active Member

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    Some good posts, like an active thread. I guess it is what you want to experience. I think Saskatchewan will get you far less night life/restaurants than you'd find in most places just due to the being farther north and more remote. I can say that I am fortunate enough to have a cabin at a lake you can rent nice places and boats at but you'd have to bring your food and cook in their modern cabins, definitely less convenient. However, in June if we're not catching between 1 and 200 eyes up to 27 or 28" with the avg. fish being around 19-20, then it's a slower than avg. day. I do confess though that we target them less because we like catching pike more and we get lots of fish in the high 30s with some topping 40 at that time of year.
    I guess just to get everyone thinking fish I'll post our best one from last weekend at the lake we have a cabin at. Never fished with within eye sight of another truck (I love remoteness). The last 4 days on that spot this March have produced piles of fish over 36" and multiple over 40. This one is 43 and HEAVVVY!
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Hardwood11

    Hardwood11 PMA Member

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    I guess when I was making the comparison, I thought the wife was coming with so I mentioned the resorts and gift shops. Some wives, mine included, do not care for the isolation of Canada and therefore a compromise is---lake life with restaurants, gift shops and other people---such as Walker, Brainerd, Alexandria, Duluth, Battle Lake, Detroit Lakes, Spicer or some of the other nice resort towns in Minnesota.

    Quite likely you will not have catch the same amount of fish, but you should be able to catch plenty and the distance is 1/2 or less.
     
  12. PointBlank

    PointBlank Member

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    We take an annual family camping trip to Minnesota and have stayed at a couple different lake resorts. We have avoided the big lakes such as Leech, Winnie, Rainy River, etc and have always had good fishing, but not like what you would likely find in Canada. We are going to Pelican Lake near Orr, MN this year and are excited after what we have read online. We plan to fish a lot but it is still a family vacation to experience the Northwoods first and foremost.
     
  13. AZHunter

    AZHunter Fire Eater

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    Thanks for all the replies and ideas so far, guys! I greatly appreciate it. My wife is definitely going and she loves to fish and be out in the middle of nowhere. We did 5 days in the Boundary Waters back before we were married and she wants to go back. Gift shops, fancy restaurants, and other people are far from a requirement for us. In fact, I do better when not in those situations. Having said that, we'll be looking at all of our options, especially those recommended so far. Like others have said, though, I'd really like my wife and kids to experience Canada fishing at least once in their lives. Some of my best memories are on the English River near Ear Falls in Ontario.
     
  14. hoosierhunter

    hoosierhunter Active Member

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    I've been to black duck( 15 miles north of Orr) twice and experienced good walleye and smallie fishing. I thought everyone was out of their mind the first trip when they recommended leeches with slip bobbers. The biggest problem we had is that we couldn't get the bait down before it got hit by smallies.
     
  15. meyeri

    meyeri PMA Member

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    I'll second black duck, boundary waters are good too. I've been going to black duck since I was in diapers. Haven't been in about 4 years, but there is some good fishing there and some decent resorts to choose from. We did have a pretty good guide though since my grandpa lived on the lake and ran a resort for a while.
     
  16. Hardwood11

    Hardwood11 PMA Member

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    I'll mention two more one in MN and one in Canada, both are great...

    Red Lake in Minnesota, can be as good as Canada. Great walleye, some nice northern, the only drawback is a windy day can put you on shore, but you can try smaller lakes in the area if it is really windy.

    Lac Seul in Ontario, is really really good. The lake is like 160 miles long, huge, but you can fish the first 5-20 miles and have world class fishing. We have caught 100 walleye in a day between 18-28 inches. Evergreen Lodge is a great place to stay on the north end....Gary Beardsley is from Iowa I believe, and runs a great place.
     
  17. shednut

    shednut Member

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    Lake of the Woods, Sioux narrows area. Awesome walleye, muskie, small mouth, crappie and even large mouth. Some very nice resorts, not to far and awesome scenery. If you find the right spot easy to catch 100 eyes a day in this area; per boat. Myself and family typically target muskie and then go after eyes for shore lunch. While fishing skies, we usually get a couple northern in the 40-43 inch range. I'm from MN and Canada is night and day better fishing, that being said MN has some great fishing as well. You will have a great time with Canada or MN
     
  18. mplane72

    mplane72 Active Member

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    When I was a kid we always did Leech Lake. Had a lot of fun and lucked I to some big pike but I wouldn't call it anything like Canada fishing. To much pressure I guess. The fish just aren't that dumb.
    Last time I was in Canada it was a place called Tall Pines Camp. It's way up by Loc Suel which Hardwood mentioned. The lake name is Wabaskang. Nice cabins and boats. Black bear all over the place. Good walleye, pike and pertch. The small mouth are excellent. Good lake you can get out of the wind. I'm heading back this September.
     
  19. Central Iowa

    Central Iowa Administrator

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    The wind etc. can be a big deal on Lac Seul like you mentioned without a big boat.
     
  20. tslc

    tslc PMA Member

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    Devils Lake ND has been one of the hottest lakes in the US for the last few years.
     
  21. Spizzzlion

    Spizzzlion New Member

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    My family has had a cabin on Leech Lake for 30 years and I've been going up their ever since I was 3 weeks old. If I'm not there I'm thinking about being there. Always have great success with basically whatever species you want.
     

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