Fishing in Minnesota state parks

People fishing in Minnesota State Parks and Trails.

Fishing tips, tricks, and locations

Whether you want to catch a record-breaking walleye or are simply in need of a relaxing day on the pier, Minnesota state parks has the perfect fishing spot for you. Minnesota is consistently ranked as one of the best states in the country for fishing. Fishing is a fun activity for all ages. New to fishing? Learn how at an I Can Fish! workshop- equipment and bait are provided. Pack up your tackle, drop a bobber, and make some memories! 

Before you go:


Purchase a vehicle permit today and get a year of unlimited visits to all of Minnesota's state parks and recreation areas.

Where to go:

Here are a few favorite spots in Minnesota State Parks for fishing. Don't see what you're looking for? Find a lake or search for the perfect pier. Many of our state parks can loan you fishing gear for free!

state map showing this park's locationBear Head Lake State Park
Abundant walleye, bass, crappies and trout.

state map showing this park's locationBig Bog State Recreation Area
Panfish, walleye and northern pike, plus an accessible fish cleaning house.

state map showing this park's locationFort Snelling State Park
There is great fishing in this state park just minutes from the metro area.

state map showing this park's locationRed River State Recreation Area
Catch some catfish in the rich waters of the Red River.

state map showing this park's locationZippel Bay State Park
Catch walleye, sauger, bass, perch and muskie in Lake of the Woods.

state map showing this park's locationBeaver Creek Valley State Park
Clear streams with brown and brook trout.

state map showing this park's locationFather Hennepin State Park
Bass, northern pike and walleye make their home in Mille Lacs Lake.

state map showing this park's locationGlendalough State Park
Large sunfish and crappies for the frying pan, and bass for the camera.

state map showing this park's locationMaplewood State Park
This park has eight major lakes and numerous ponds, all with good fishing.

state map showing this park's locationWhitewater State Park
An angler's paradise with brown, brook, and rainbow trout.

Tips for fishing with your family:

Tips and tricks that will help even the littlest ones hook the big fish, and to ensure the whole family enjoys the whole experience:

  • Plan to have fun and remember to bring a camera to document your adventures.
  • Remember that catching a small fish is still catching a fish! Try for bluegill, perch or bullhead (Use live bait to increase your chances of catching a fish).
  • Use this helpful guide with how-to instructions for the different steps in learning to fish for all ages.
  • Remember the basics: sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first aid kit. Don't forget to bring snacks and water!
  • Need more family fishing ideas or resources? Try MinnAqua.

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