Minnesota Ice Fishing Charters

Minnesota Ice Fishing Charters

Best Ice Fishing Charters in Minnesota

Ice Fishing in Minnesota

It’s easy to see why the ice fishing Minnesota enjoys each year is such a big deal. The Land of 10,000 Lakes spends almost half the year below 32ºF. It also has one of the best mixes of freshwater gamefish in the country, with Walleye, Northern Pike, Muskellunge (Muskie), Trout, Bass, and more. During the height of the ice fishing season, entire villages can grow on some lakes, complete with plowed roads and streetlights. People really know how to make the most of winter here!

Minnesota Ice Fishing Spots

Cut a hole anywhere and you can pull up a panfish or two. If you want to take things to the next level, here's our bucket list of amazing lakes for ice fishing.
 

Mille Lacs

As many as 5,000 huts show up here each year. People come for the epic Walleye bite, but the Perch, Pike, and Muskies are great, too. Mille Lacs Lake can get crowded, but fishing here is a rite of passage for any ice fisher worth their salt.
 

Lake of the Woods

This is the most northern part of the contiguous US, so you get a long season once you set up your hut. Lake of the Woods has a Walleye bite to rival even Mille Lacs. It also has Sauger, Pike, and monster Muskies. 
 

Gull Lake

Gull Lake is home to home of the world’s biggest charity ice fishing competition, Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza. An incredible 10,000 people take part in this fun-filled event each year, and you’re welcome to join them!
 

Lake Superior

Lake Superior is so big, it rarely freezes entirely. It’s is the only place in the state where you can ice fish for Salmon. The lake is best known for its Trout fishing, though, with Brown and Lake Trout in huge numbers.
 

Red Lake

With a ton of tasty Walleye and easy access from State Highway 72, this is a great spot to visit for a day trip. The Upper Red Lake has the best ice fishing, but the whole lake can be productive.
 

And So Much More

Big Stone Lake is productive for Perch. Rainy Lake has some wonderful Walleye. Leech Lake is full of both. Honestly, you can find great fish everywhere!

Minnesota Ice Fishing Seasons

The best time to ice fish is in the winter. Alright, you might have guessed that. On average, the best and safest months for ice fishing are January and February, but it depends on the body of water.
 
The safe season for ice fishing depends on where in the state you are. On the border with Iowa, huts are cleared off the lake by mid-February. In the north of the state, you will find them out until the end of March. On-foot anglers often fish well into April.
 
It’s also down to depth. Shallow lakes like Mille Lacs freeze a lot earlier and are normally safe by mid-December. Deeper waters like Lake Superior freeze more slowly and aren’t ready until January. Larger lakes also hold more oxygen, keeping the fish active longer into the season.

Ice Fishing Techniques

The basic method is to cut a hole through the ice and jig lures like flash spoons or swimming lures. Finding the right depth is key to bringing in your specific species, as is knowing what the structure is like below. Walleye like easy access to deep water, while Musky and Pike hunt around humps and rocks. Drilling in the right spot is key, so fishing with a guide or an old hand really gives you a head start.

Need to Know

Ice fishing can be dangerous if you don’t take precautions. Stay away from dark ice. Ask the locals where’s safe. Better still, get a guide to show you where and how to fish. A general rule is that 4 inches will hold a person and 10 inches will hold a car. If you have to ask “is this ice thick enough?” you should probably stay away. You can find useful information on the DNR’s website.
 
Don’t let us scare you off, though! Ice fishing is great fun and a productive way of catching a delicious winter feast. It’s a core part of Minnesota life, so grab your biggest coat and get out there!
Minnesota
Excellent
4.5 / 5
Based on 29,000 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

What anglers said about Ice Fishing in Minnesota

It’s called fish and not “catch” for a reason your not always guaranteed fish.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
It’s called fish and not “catch” for a reason your not always guaranteed fish.
Happy Hooker Charters –
Happy Hooker Charters – "Aluminauti"
Weather is unpredictable this time of year, have layers, and water gear. Don’t forget a neck guard, glasses and some angler gloves.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Weather is unpredictable this time of year, have layers, and water gear. Don’t forget a neck guard, glasses and some angler gloves.
Fishing with Capt. Dusty Hafner
Fishing with Capt. Dusty Hafner
Be flexible. Predator fish weren't boting so guide found the crappie and three of us caught our limit in about 2.5 hours.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Be flexible. Predator fish weren't boting so guide found the crappie and three of us caught our limit in about 2.5 hours.
Nate Berg Fishing Guides
Nate Berg Fishing Guides
The weather in Duluth in May is a risk. It can be cold and winding. We were fortunate to have temperatures in the 70's. Be prepared with layered clothing.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
The weather in Duluth in May is a risk. It can be cold and winding. We were fortunate to have temperatures in the 70's. Be prepared with layered clothing.
Happy Hooker Charters –
Happy Hooker Charters – "Aluminauti"
We recommend Lopper every time! Hands down greatest experience. I didn't know what to expect but Captain Brody and Reed were very good. We are new customers that will be customers for life!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
We recommend Lopper every time! Hands down greatest experience. I didn't know what to expect but Captain Brody and Reed were very good. We are new customers that will be customers for life!
Looper Charters Lake Superior
Looper Charters Lake Superior
If the winds are up above 10 mph and you are susceptible to seasickness, take seabands or dramamine when fishing on a big lake.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
If the winds are up above 10 mph and you are susceptible to seasickness, take seabands or dramamine when fishing on a big lake.
Muskies And More Guide Service
Muskies And More Guide Service
It was a little too early for catching fish other than pan fish but still worth it.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
It was a little too early for catching fish other than pan fish but still worth it.
Fishing with Capt. Dusty Hafner
Fishing with Capt. Dusty Hafner
This was a mid-November trip and it was a gorgeous 50 degree day with no wind. It was still chilly on the water. Fish were a little slow to bite but then they started biting right before dark.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
This was a mid-November trip and it was a gorgeous 50 degree day with no wind. It was still chilly on the water. Fish were a little slow to bite but then they started biting right before dark.
Dutch's Fishing Guide Service – Red Wing Mn
Dutch's Fishing Guide Service – Red Wing Mn
Lake Minnetonka was quiet on a mid-week afternoon after Labor Day. The early fall weather was perfect.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Lake Minnetonka was quiet on a mid-week afternoon after Labor Day. The early fall weather was perfect.
Fishing with Capt. Dusty Hafner
Fishing with Capt. Dusty Hafner Carlsbad, CA
This boat and captain are the real deal,,, knowledgeable,fun, and professional
Excellent
5.0 / 5
This boat and captain are the real deal,,, knowledgeable,fun, and professional
Looper Charters Lake Superior
Looper Charters Lake Superior Stacy, MN
Fishing morning bring long sleeve and extra outer wear. Warms up as day goes on.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Fishing morning bring long sleeve and extra outer wear. Warms up as day goes on.
I'd Rather Be Fishing Charters
I'd Rather Be Fishing Charters Tamarack, MN
Wear layers. It can be chilly in the morning and warm in afternoon when sun comes out. Bring lots of snacks. Sunblock and shades
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Wear layers. It can be chilly in the morning and warm in afternoon when sun comes out. Bring lots of snacks. Sunblock and shades
I'd Rather Be Fishing Charters
I'd Rather Be Fishing Charters Saint Paul, MN
Definitely! This was an afternoon trip so we were unsure if we'd catch any but we definitely did!
Excellent
4.7 / 5
Definitely! This was an afternoon trip so we were unsure if we'd catch any but we definitely did!
Happy Hooker Charters Established 1976
Happy Hooker Charters Established 1976 Marshall, MN
Brian is extremely knowledgeable about the lakes he guides on. He is very easy and fun to talk with! He made an ethical decision to not target certain fish as to not harm the fish with the water being as warm as it was, but had us catching fish the whole time we were in the boat! If we didn’t live in Kansas we would use Brian’s guid services consistently, and we will definitely hire him again next time we are in Minnesota.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Brian is extremely knowledgeable about the lakes he guides on. He is very easy and fun to talk with! He made an ethical decision to not target certain fish as to not harm the fish with the water being as warm as it was, but had us catching fish the whole time we were in the boat! If we didn’t live in Kansas we would use Brian’s guid services consistently, and we will definitely hire him again next time we are in Minnesota.
Muskies And More Guide Service
Muskies And More Guide Service Pretty Prairie, KS
Couldn't believe how great the fishing was the end of July and with the temperatures around 90 degrees.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Couldn't believe how great the fishing was the end of July and with the temperatures around 90 degrees.
Nate Berg Fishing Guides
Nate Berg Fishing Guides
Take a guide on a hot day. Especially captain Brian with musky and more guide services. He will put you on the fish.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Take a guide on a hot day. Especially captain Brian with musky and more guide services. He will put you on the fish.
Muskies And More Guide Service
Muskies And More Guide Service Belle Plaine, MN
This is a great family trip for fishing. Book through Brody at Looper Charters!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
This is a great family trip for fishing. Book through Brody at Looper Charters!
Looper Charters Lake Superior
Looper Charters Lake Superior North River, ND
Great time with great views! Bring a sweatshirt…it was chilly in the lake!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Great time with great views! Bring a sweatshirt…it was chilly in the lake!
Muskies And More Guide Service
Muskies And More Guide Service Eagan, MN
Truly big fish are out there but don’t expect catch many. You will have fun catching a lot of fish.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Truly big fish are out there but don’t expect catch many. You will have fun catching a lot of fish.
Boggs Fishing Adventures
Boggs Fishing Adventures Minneapolis, MN
Bring appropriate winter clothing for a trip on Lake Superior, even in July
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Bring appropriate winter clothing for a trip on Lake Superior, even in July
Happy Hooker Charters Established 1976
Happy Hooker Charters Established 1976 Earlysville, VA

Top Targeted Ice Fishing Species in Minnesota