Great fishing in heart of Minnesota’s Metro area

By C.B. Bylander

Aug 20, 2018

People interested in trying to squeeze-in a little more fishing before school starts should give the Minneapolis-St. Paul area a try. It features many outstanding fishing lakes plus three major rivers. It is also home to one of the Vermillion River, a high quality trout stream.   

Wondering where to fish in Minnesota? If so, give the Minneapolis-St. Paul area a try. It features many great lakes plus three major rivers – the Minnesota, Mississippi and St. Croix. Moreover, it is home to virtually all of the state’s popular fish species such as walleye, bass, muskellunge, trout, catfish, lake sturgeon and sunfish. And big ones, too. Several of Minnesota’s state record fish have been caught in the St. Paul/Minneapolis Metro Area.

Cleary, the region’s rivers are a top draw. The Mississippi River is as a great bass fishery, and Pool 2 – that portion of the river between the dams at St. Paul and Hastings – is a world-class year-round catch-and-release fishery for walleye. The St. Croix River is known for its smallmouth bass, walleye, flathead catfish and lake sturgeon. Several smaller rivers and streams flow through the Metro Area too, including the Rum, Crow and Vermillion. The Vermillion is a designated trout stream that holds good numbers brown trout that exceed five pounds.

The Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis also features a number of large lakes that produce quality-sized fish. Popular lakes in the West Metro include Waconia, Minnetonka, Prior, Independence, Nakomis and Medicine. Top fishing lakes in the East Metro include White Bear, Bald Eagle, Forest, Marine and Coon. Muskellunge lakes in the Metro Area include White bear, Forest and Owasso. Tiger muskellunge, a hybrid of a northern pike and muskellunge, are stocked in several other lakes such as Lake Elmo, Johanna and Crystal.

In addition to big water for serious anglers the Metro Region also features many ponds that are perfect for kids. In fact, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has a Fishing in the Neighborhood (FiN) program that stocks some 60 ponds with catchable-sized sunfish and publishes a helpful guide to these locations as well. You can view or print these materials by going to Youth and Family Fishing Guide on the agency’s website. Among the popular kids’ shorefishing destinations are Wolfe Lake in St. Louis Park, Centennial Lake in Edina, Smith Lake in Bloomington and Powderhorn Lake in south Minneapolis. In the East Metro Powers Lake in Woodbury and Simley Pond in Inver Grove Heights are good options.

Boating guides for the Mississippi and other metro rivers are available on the DNR’s website, too.

For season and limit information consult the MN 2018 fishing regulations.
C.B. Bylander
C.B. Bylander
C.B. Bylander is a long-time Minnesota angler who has extensive fishing experience throughout the state. He is a former outdoor magazine field editor, daily newspaper outdoor editor and Department of Natural Resources fisheries communication specialist.