Because of it’s geographical location, Minnesota offers most and some of the best best ice fishing lakes compared to anywhere else in the states. If you live here, or in some warmer states and want to come as a visitor, this tutorial will answer all your questions and explain everything you need to know. We’ll talk about lake locations as well as buying or renting ice fishing equipment locally. If you have or plan to bring everything on your own, that’s acceptable as well.
If you’ve never been ice fishing before, first thing you should do is making sure that you have everything you need. There are tons of things that you might need, but in this article i want to talk about most essential parts of ice fishing gear. First of all, you will need auger to cut holes in the ice, so that you can access the waters underneath it. There are many different types of augers, so their cost varies too. The cheapest and most reliable option is to simply buy hand auger. If you like to change your location very often and don’t have the patience required for manual work, you can buy gas or battery powered augers. They’re quick and much more effective. You’ll also need ice fishing rod and reel that you’ll use to actually catch the fish. I would also recommend to get variety of jigs and other types of baits, but if, for some reason, you can’t, get at least a few different ones. Lastly, but most importantly, warm clothes. Especially pay attention to what you wear on your hands and feet. You have to make sure that the boots and gloves you choose to wear are absolutely waterproof. In my experience, it’s also good idea to get cleats for your boots. Even though outsoles of boots are designed not to be slippery, ice is especially slippery in Minnesota, and you don’t want to take any chances. If you need help with choosing good ice fishing boots, either ask your friends or read a review written by expert.
Once you’re done with organizational preparation, it’s time to go out there and actually catch some fish. Most common fish in Minnesota’s lakes are walleyes, northern pikes and lake trouts. I generally don’t go out fishing for specific species, but i believe there is map somewhere that shows lakes that have significant amount of each specie.
Season in Minnesota starts quite early. Starting mid-autumn, it’s possible to find some decent locations. Most people don’t go out that early though. January and February is usually the time when mainstream anglers head out to lakes for ice fishing. If you’re just a beginner and don’t have any friends who are experienced in this field, don’t worry, there are plenty of guides that you can hire. They’ll show you good spots and answer any of the remaining questions you might have.