Comprehensive Guide to Trout Fishing in Minnesota

Comprehensive Guide to Trout Fishing in Minnesota

Minnesota, with its over 3800 miles of trout waters, offers a diverse range of experiences for trout fishing enthusiasts. From fly fishing in the summer to ice fishing in the winter, the state is home to brook, rainbow, and brown trout. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need about the best streams for trout fishing in Minnesota, regulations on size and catch limits, trout fishing seasons, and ice fishing for trout.

Best Trout Streams in Minnesota

Minnesota is blessed with numerous streams that are perfect for trout fishing. Here are some of the top spots:

  1. Whitewater River: Located in southeastern Minnesota, this river is a great spot for fly fishing. It is stocked with rainbow, brook, and brown trout, promising a bountiful catch.
  2. Trout Run Creek: Another gem in the southeastern part of the state, Trout Run Creek boasts 2000 to 4000 trout per mile.
  3. Temperance River: This northeastern Minnesota river is one of the top-rated trout fishing spots, housing all three trout species that Minnesota waters have to offer.
  4. Vermilion River and Cenaiko Lake: Near the state’s capital, these waters offer great trout fishing. The Vermilion River is home to many brown trout in excess of 20 inches in length, while Cenaiko Lake is abundant with rainbow trout, especially in the spring and fall.

Comprehensive Guide to Trout Fishing in Minnesota

Trout Fishing Regulations in Minnesota

When trout fishing is in season, only five total trout per person per day are allowed to be caught. This regulation includes rainbow, brook, splake, and brown trout. You may catch and keep any combination of these four species. However, only one fish greater than sixteen inches in total length is allowed to be kept per day. For more detailed information, you can check out the official Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website.

Minnesota Trout Fishing Season

The trout fishing season in Minnesota varies by region. For most of the state, excluding the southeastern counties, it occurs from mid-April through the end of September for brook, rainbow, brown, and splake trout. For the southeastern counties, the harvesting season occurs from mid-April to mid-September, while catch and release seasons are typically from mid-September to mid-October and the beginning of January to mid-April.

Ice Fishing for Trout in Minnesota

Ice fishing for trout in Minnesota occurs mostly within the winter fishing season, which takes place between the beginning of January and the end of March. The best waters to ice fish for trout are the lakes in northeastern and upper north-central Minnesota. These offer cold open waters in which the trout hunt and thrive. One of the best ice fishing spots for trout is on Lake Superior, where the ice stays thick for weeks. Waters of depths between thirty to one hundred feet are where trout usually are.


Minnesota offers a variety of trout fishing experiences for both summer and winter anglers. You can catch brown, brook, splake, and rainbow trout. The best trout streams are dotted throughout the state and offer a haven of trout fishing for any angler. Remember to always check the latest regulations and seasons to ensure a legal and enjoyable fishing experience.

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