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  • Writer's pictureAmy Trudell

Amy's Angle>

Let's Chat About...Fishing


The 2nd weekend in May is opening fishing in Minnesota. I'm not sure about other places around the country, but fishing is a big deal here in Minnesota, especially up north!



Since we are the land of 10,000 lakes, fishing is readily available. I would say the biggest lake to go fishing on is Lake of the Woods near Warroad and Baudette. We live about 120 miles Southwest of there, so it's not too far of a drive for a day of fishing. Our daughter Jenica lives in Baudette and she and Noah love fishing on the Rainy River!



The general inland fishing season in Minnesota starts at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 13 for walleye, northern pike, and bass. Bass fishing south and west of U.S. Highway 53 is catch-and-release only until May 27. Panfish fishing, including perch, sunfish, and crappies, is allowed all year. Musky season starts June 3.


I am not much of a seafood eater; about the only thing I like is fresh walleye. It is a common menu item in the local restaurants and considered a bit of a delicacy. Our Minnesota lakes are full of them, and they are one of the favorites to fish.


Fun Fact: Walleye is the Minnesota State Fish



Walleyes tend to feed more at dawn & dusk on cloudy days under choppy conditions. The "Walleye Chop" is considered rough water with typical wind speeds of 5-15 mph. In sunny conditions, walleye tend to move into schools in deeper water.


There are 2 common methods used for walleye fishing. "Casting" is the act of the angler throwing the bait on a hook over the water by slinging the line with a fishing rod. "Trolling" is when 1 or more fishing lines with bait are drawn through the water at a consistent low speed.


Artificial or live bait may be used on the hook of your line. Common artificial bait includes spinners, jigs and spoons. The most frequently used live bait are minnows, worms or leaches.



As I said earlier, fresh walleye makes a great meal! There are many ways to prepare it, but my favorites are either pan fried or deep fried. It is usually coated with some sort of batter before cooking.


"No matter how it’s prepared, the flaky, thick and mild-tasting walleye is a feast fit for royalty.

For people who are serious about eating walleyes, there are a variety of ways to do so in Minnesota. While some people swear by coating walleye with breadcrumbs and spices and deep-frying it, others prefer a simple approach of basic seasoning and a few minutes in the oven. Simpler yet, fishermen who prize freshness above all else may catch a few walleyes in the morning, pull their boat ashore at lunch and cook their catch over an open fire."


"There’s a certain satisfaction that comes with eating walleyes you caught yourself, and there’s no other way to get a fresher fillet. For the average person who isn’t a walleye-fishing expert, hiring a professional guide not only reduces the learning curve, but also provides the best opportunity to catch your next meal. Guides have intimate knowledge of the waters they fish and generally know exactly where to go."


"There are fishing guides throughout the state who specialize in leading people to walleyes. Some of them include shore lunches in their packages, which involves the guide cooking the fish their clients catch. These services make it possible for anglers to catch their fish and eat them just minutes or hours later. Not every guide offers a shore lunch option, but almost all of them will clean the fish for you, at minimum."


"If hiring a guide isn’t in the cards or you’d rather give it a shot on your own, consider lakes such as Lake of the Woods, Leech, Mille Lacs, Minnetonka, Otter Tail, Sarah, Upper Red and Vermilion. All have robust walleye populations.

Once caught, eating walleye is the reward for all of your hard work. Most people prefer to cook their own catch, but some restaurants in Minnesota will prepare the fish you’ve caught while you relax after a long pursuit. (Check with them before bringing in your fish since most want to do the filleting themselves).

Among the places that will cook fish that anglers have caught are Border View Lodge in Baudette, Outpost Bar & Grill in Deer River, Splashing Rock Restaurant in Two Harbors, Twin Pines Resort in Garrison and West Wind Resort in Waskish." -Explore Minnesota



Another popular fish to catch is the Sturgeon. I want to touch on this one because it's what Jenica and Noah like to fish for on the Rainy River in Northern Minnesota.


Sturgeons are long living fish with distinctive characteristics such as a heterocercal caudal fin similar to that of a shark. They have a long smooth skin body with 5 rows of bony plates called scutes. These fish can grow very large and can reach up to 7-12 feet in length.


Many species of Sturgeon are harvested for their Roe (Eggs) which are processed into caviar. But here in Minnesota, angler fish them for the sport of it. They are usually caught and released again, (after taking a good photo of it).


Noah said it took over a half hour to reel in this dandy posted below!



"Fishing licenses are effective from March 1 to the last day of February of the following year. A fishing license for the current 2024-25 license year is effective until Feb. 28, 2025.

The purchase price of every fishing license goes into the Game and Fish Fund, a dedicated account that can only be used for fish, wildlife, law enforcement and certain other outdoor-related activities."



12/30/23 - 03/31/24

Lake trout

Lakes entirely within the BWCA


01/13/24 - 03/31/24

Lake trout

Lakes partially or completely outside the BWCA


03/01/24 - 02/28/25

Minnesota waters


03/01/24 - 02/28/25

Minnesota waters


03/01/24 - 02/28/25

Channel catfish

Minnesota waters


03/01/24 - 02/28/25

Minnesota waters


03/01/24 - 02/28/25

Minnesota waters


03/01/24 - 02/28/25

Minnesota waters


03/01/24 - 02/28/25

Minnesota waters


03/01/24 - 02/28/25

Minnesota waters


03/01/24 - 02/28/25

Minnesota waters


03/01/24 - 02/28/25

Minnesota waters


03/01/24 - 02/28/25

Minnesota waters


03/01/24 - 02/28/25

Minnesota waters


04/01/24 - 11/30/24

Flathead catfish

Minnesota waters


05/11/24 - 02/23/25

Northeastern Minnesota


05/11/24 - 02/23/25

Minnesota waters


05/11/24 - 02/23/25

Minnesota waters


05/11/24 - 02/23/25

Northeastern Minnesota


05/11/24 - 02/23/25

Minnesota waters


05/25/24 - 02/28/25

Largemouth bass

Statewide except the northeast


05/25/24 - 09/08/24

Smallmouth bass

Statewide except the northeast


06/01/24 - 12/01/24

Minnesota waters


06/16/24 - 04/14/25

Minnesota waters


09/09/24 - 02/23/25

Smallmouth bass - catch-and-release

Statewide except the northeast


For more information regarding the rules and regulations of fishing in Minnesota, visit the link provided below:


"You need to buy a Minnesota fishing license if you're 16 or older. Annual licenses allow you to fish from March 1 to the last day of February the following year. Lower-cost licenses are available for shorter time periods. There is an added cost to fish for trout, salmon or sturgeon.

To qualify for a resident fishing license you must:

  • Have established a legal residence in Minnesota for at least the past 60 consecutive days.

  • If 21 or older, possess a current Minnesota driver’s license, state-issued identification card or have a receipt for an application for a driver’s license or state ID that is at least 60 days old.

  • Be at least 16 years of age.

In most cases, Minnesotans don't need a license if they're fishing in a State Park.

All non-residents, regardless of age, must buy a fishing license." -MN DRN


For more information regarding obtaining a license to fish in Minnesota, visit the link provided below:



Although, I'm not very knowledgeable on this subject, I must admit it was very interesting doing the research on it!


If you have any information or tall tales to tell about your fishing experiences, please share in the comments below.


What's Your Angle>


















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