North Shore fishing

Lake Superior, its tributary streams and their headwaters offer a wide array of fishing opportunities for varieties of trout and salmon unique to Minnesota's rustically scenic North Shore. You can venture into the Superior National Forest to fish streams that flow to Lake Superior; hike upstream from the lake to find a spot streamside; cast from the mouths of rivers and the Lake Superior shoreline; venture out in small craft to troll; and even ice fish for that lunker of a laker.


Regional map & counties

Counties

Minnesota's North Shore trout regionThe North Shore trout fishing region includes only streams and their tributaries that flow into Lake Superior or the St. Louis River Estuary. Waterways depicted in blue and the yellow portion of the map represent the North Shore trout fishing region in the counties listed below.

  • Carlton
  • Cook
  • Lake
  • St. Louis

Many North Shore streams have barriers to fish movement such as falls. These barriers create two separate fish communities, one on the Lake Superior or lower side and one on the inland or upper side. These two areas have different fishing regulations.

Boundaries will be posted on each stream. Boundaries and regulations for upper and lower portions of streams can be found using the North Shore trout fishing map.

For detailed boundary information and location descriptions only, anglers can download a detailed list with GPS coordinates.

Resources & information

Regional resources

Information

Places to fish
* = Accessible site

  • Details: Various access points and parking within wildlife management areas off of CSAH 6; parking near bridge off Minnesota Highway 23 with carry-down access.
  • Fish Species: Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout.
  • View: Map

  • Details: Fishing piers (accessible), canoe/kayak access, restroom facilities, playground, picnic tables and access to hiking/biking trails Directions: From I-35 S in Duluth, take exit 251B and follow MN-23 to E Hwy 210/Oldenberg Pkwy
  • Fish Species: Catfish, Muskellunge, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, and Walleye.
  • View: Map

  • Details: Fish in the Park and downstream to 4th Street. The park has picnic areas, restrooms, playground and access to hiking Located at 1800 East Skyline Parkway
  • Fish Species: Brown Trout.
  • View: Map

  • Details: Carry-down access at wayside near Independence (Hwy 53/Hwy 33)
  • Fish Species: Channel Catfish and Smallmouth Bass.
  • View: Map

  • Details: Park has fishing pier, boat launch, swimming beach, picnic area and Agate Center Directions: At Moose Lake State Park: from I35, take the CR 137 exit, go E ¼ mile to the State Park entrance and turn right at the contact station
  • Fish Species: Bluegill and Largemouth Bass.
  • View: Map

  • Details: Shore fishing and canoe access/boat launch at Dam Directions: From Duluth, follow Hwy 53 N for approximately 10 miles, go right on CR 48 (Lavaque Road) for approximately 8 miles to the bridge
  • Fish Species: Black Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Walleye, Yellow Perch.
  • View: Map

  • Details: Cast into Lake Superior near the mouth of the river. No fishing allowed in the pool and from the river mouth upstream to the four-lane expressway Upstream fishing near Cant Road for Brown Trout especially in fall
  • Fish Species: Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Coho Salmon, Lake Trout (October through June).
  • View: Map

  • Details: Carry-in access, boardwalk and fishing spot where Keene Creek empties into the St. Louis River Located at 4901 Leisure Street in Duluth Fish species: Catfish, Muskellunge, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, and Walleye Hartley Pond (Tischer Creek) Nature center with fishing pond with access to hiking/biking trails and restroom facilities Located at 3001 Woodland Avenue (at Hartley Road)
  • Fish Species: Brook Trout, limited Rainbow trout (no longer stocked).
  • View: Map

  • Details: Shore fishing from causeway (small parking area below bridge) or at Dam Recreational area; accessible public beach with restrooms nearby Boat access on Abbott Road, just before causeway off Rice Lake Road and Hideaway Recreation area, continue past causeway to Andler Road For more information, see map: http://www.mpland.com/Content/Documents/Recreation%20Maps/HANDOUT_Island%20Lake%20Reservoir.pdf Directions: From Duluth, take Hwy 4/Rice Lake Road at Arlington and Arrowhead Roads and follow 14.5 miles to the causeway
  • Fish Species: Black Crappie, Northern Pike and Walleye.
  • View: Map

  • Details: Fishing spots near dog park; from Duluth follow I-35 S to MN-23 W/Grand Avenue, take exit 251B onto Grand Avenue; turn right on N 63rd Ave W and right onto Nicollet Street to parking lot on N 62nd Ave W; for parking upstream of park continue on N 63rd Ave W past Nicollet to Bristol street
  • Fish Species: Brown trout and Brook Trout (upstream of park).
  • View: Map

  • Details: Good fishing spot at the Western Waterfront crossing and along trail above the Lake Superior Zoo; fish stocked in zoo and Pionk Drive crossing
  • Fish Species: Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout below the zoo.
  • View: Map

  • Details: Fishing allowed in most of Knife River and its tributaries except fish sanctuaries, Knife River fish trap and Second Falls, upstream of Shilhon Road Orange signs are posted on a cable above the river, upstream and downstream of the fish sanctuaries, at both locations.
  • View: Map

  • Details: From bedrock waterfall near Lester Park Golf Course downstream to Lake Superior. No Fishing allowed immediately downstream from Superior Street Bridge to bottom of 1st falls.
  • Fish Species: Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Salmon (April-May, Sept.-Nov.). Shore casting into Lake Superior can be productive (Oct. to June).
  • View: Map

  • Details: Fishing piers (accessible), boat launch; restroom facilities, parking - https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/water_access/harbors/mcquade.html.
  • Fish Species: Coho Salmon and Rainbow trout (October through June).
  • View: Map

  • Details: Trail access to stream via parking lot off Trinity Road at Lake Superior College
  • Fish Species: Brook Trout.
  • View: Map

  • Details: In Moose Lake, off State Hwy 73, just N of the Moose Horn River on the W shore
  • Fish Species: Black Crappie, Bluegill and Northern Pike.
  • View: Map

  • Details: Indian Point Campground: Fishing pier off the Western Waterfront Trail Perch Lake: Fishing pier off Hwy 23 Rice’s Point: Fishing pier below the Blatnik Bridge, Interstate 535. Take the Garfield Ave. exit off Hwy 35
  • Fish Species: Catfish, Lake Sturgeon, Muskellunge, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, and Walleye Note: fishing allowed in Wisconsin waters of the Estuary with a Minnesota fishing license.
  • View: Map

  • Details: Jay Cooke State Park Thomson Dam – there is a small parking lot off Hwy 210 on west side of river Fish species: Catfish, Smallmouth Bass, and a few Walleye.
  • View: Map

  • Details: Access off the Old North Shore Road – park at gate west of Homestead Road
  • Fish Species: Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Salmon.
  • View: Map

  • Details: Boat launch, accessible crib dock and shore fishing; adjacent to Iona’s Beach Scientific and Natural Area and Gitchi-Gami State Trail. Located midway between Two Harbors and Silver Bay approximately 16 miles northeast of Two Harbors
  • Fish Species: Rainbow Trout, Salmon, Lake Trout.
  • View: Map

  • Details: Located at West Skyline Drive & 14th Avenue West; Facility info: Fishing, swimming, picnic tables, access to Superior hiking trail Good spot for ice fishing as well due to late fall stocking
  • Fish Species: Rainbow Trout.
  • View: Map

  • Details: From Hwy 61, turn right on Wilson Street to First Avenue, turn left at First Avenue, turn right on next two streets to Agate Bay. Fish species: Lake Trout, Salmon, Cisco, Rainbow Trout Rice Lake Boat launch at Rice Lake Dam
  • Fish Species: Crappie, Northern Pike, Perch, Walleye.
  • View: Map
Trout & salmon identification

Images by Peter Thompson. Courtesy of New York Sea Grant.