Lake Minnetonka

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Fishing in Lake Minnetonka

Lake Minnetonka offers anglers a unique opportunity to explore over 100 miles of shoreline, numerous hidden hotspots, and plenty of stunning scenery. This is the ninth largest out of over 12,000 lakes in Minnesota, and boasts stable populations of a variety of game fish. Booking a trip with one of the Lake Minnetonka fishing guides will allow you to get the most out of your visit to this rich fishery.

Although one of the lake’s main draws is that it’s recognized nationally as a Largemouth Bass fishery, it also allows for reliable targeting of many other prized species. All over the lake, guides will also put you on Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Musky, and various Panfish. Naturally, some of these fish are not available year-round, so targeting a specific species may require you to book a trip with this in mind.

The main reason for this diversity of species is that the lake itself is made up of many different bays. These bays almost act as separate lakes, offering slightly different conditions to fish species calling them home. This is why certain species tend to show up in some parts of the lake more often than others. Maxwell Bay is a good example of this, traditionally boasting an above-average population of Northern Pike. 

Even the most experienced of anglers could use assistance from a local guide when learning the ins and outs of this rich fishery. Luckily, visiting anglers won’t have to look too hard since fishing has been an obsession for generations of local anglers here. Depending on which parts of the lake you’d like to fish, the towns of Spring Park and Wayzata should prove to be excellent starting points.

Rules & Regulations

Before getting your Lake Minnetonka adventure going, you’ll need to obtain a Minnesota fishing license. You can do this either by visiting the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website or one of the local bait shops. The DNR website will also provide information on the seasons for game fish species, allowing you to plan your visit accordingly. 

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Lake Minnetonka Fishing Seasons

If you’re not dissuaded by the cold weather, January on Lake Minnetonka will give you plenty of opportunities for a great experience. Ice fishing is very popular, and Bluegill, Crappie, Walleye, and Pike are all possible targets.

Many of January’s favorites are still going strong. Smallmouth Bass catch-and-release season is slowly coming to an end so if you’re looking for some final winter action, February is your month.

Some parts of the lake may still have safe ice covers, allowing anglers to go ice fishing for year-round species, such as Crappie. Many of the game fish species are closed for harvest but consult the DNR website for catch-and-release species.

April is the calm before the storm, in many ways. Game fish openers are just around the corner, but anglers coming out to the lake with the first sunny days can still have productive trips. The main targets will be Sunfish, Crappie, and Yellow Perch.

The action is finally in full swing! May brings Walleye and Northern Pike openers while Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass are catch-and-release for most of the month. However, Bass is also open during the month’s final days.

June is the month when Musky finally joins the party. If you’ve been dreaming of landing one of these brutes, this is your time. The Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, and Walleye bite isn’t slowing down either. 

Musky and Bass keep leading the show through July, as well. However, if these aren’t your preferred targets, there are many bays that will allow you to go after some of the other species that call Minnetonka home.

Musky season is at its peak and many anglers looking to push their skills to the limit make their way to Minnetonka. If you’re planning on joining them, get ready for a fierce battle if you find one of these beasts at the end of your line.

The waters are beginning to cool and many popular species are spending more and more time in shallow waters. This makes fall a great time to target trophy Largemouth Bass, but there are plenty more targets out there.

With the cold weather arriving on the lake, Musky is back to being on top of every angler’s wishlist. With some luck, you might even get a shot at a trophy specimen this month. Crappie and Smallmouth are also good targets, although Bass is catch-and-release only.

The winter is here and, for some species, the bite is starting to slow down. Parts of the lake may be already frozen over. Still, there are fish to be caught – specifically, Walleye, Perch, and Pike.

With winter in full swing, some of the local ice fishing enthusiasts are already beginning to set up their huts on the lake. It’s not surprising, considering the fact that Musky, Pike, Walleye, and Perch can all still be targeted.

Lake Minnetonka Fishing Calendar

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Top Targeted Species in Lake Minnetonka

Bass (Largemouth)

Bass (Largemouth)

Walleye

Walleye

Crappie

Crappie

Muskellunge (Musky)

Muskellunge (Musky)

Sunfish

Sunfish

Bass (Smallmouth)

Bass (Smallmouth)

Pike (Northern)

Pike (Northern)

Perch (Yellow)

Perch (Yellow)

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