Bass fishing in Minnesota

By | Category: Travel destinations

bassFishing is the UK’s most popular sport knocking football, rugby and cricket into a cocked hat. More and more fishermen and women are seduced to fish abroad perhaps stimulated by the various television series that Robson Green makes.

One such place should be the US state of Minnesota and the reasons are not hard to see. For a start it has 2,000 largemouth bass lakes and 550 smallmouth bass lakes as well as opportunities to fish for walleye, pike and a fish that few of us will ever have the chance to catch, sturgeon.

In addition it has well over 250 different fishing competitions that attract people from around the world. Prize money can be almost $100,000 (Walleye Extravaganza) but most are under a thousand. Even the Sturgeon Championships held on rainy River in August award prizes up to $2,000. That’s not important. What is important for any fisherman is the opportunity to fish for sturgeon!

It is a shame that the state, which has just launched a promotion campaign called “Share the Passion” is not directing it at those of us in the UK who could be tempted across but just to those states that are its neighbours.

Of the 1.4 million people who bought state angling licences last year, 357,000 were interested in bass fishing. And of that number, only about 90,000 came from out-side the state. I’d be prepared to bet that few were Brits despite the fact that we have direct flights into Minneapolis and the nearest lakes in which to fish are just a few miles away.

Bass fishing has become a family bobby in the state. Not only did they fish longer, bass anglers fished more days during a 12 month period than non-bass anglers did.  About two-thirds of bass anglers reported fishing with children during the past year, compared to about half of non-bass anglers who responded and of those that fished with children; bass anglers fished almost double the number of days with children than non-bass anglers.

And where do they go from the thousands of choices they have? Bass Master 2014 top 100 bass lakes listed 6 waters in MinnesotaGreen Lake, Mille Lacs, Minnetonka, Leech, Mississippi River, & Rainy.

The smallmouth bass  early season this year is to be found north and east of highway 53 from Duluth to International Falls and Pelican and Ash lakes and will run from May the ninth under the end of February next year. The main season south and west of the highway will run from May the 23rd, again, until the end of February next year. For largemouth, the early season and main season dates are the same as for the smallmouth but the areas will be south and west of highway 53.

The other reason for bass fishing in Minnesota? One angler claimed you could make thirty casts and catch thirty fish.  I can’t believe that’s an exaggeration because anglers don’t do that, do they?

For more about fishing in Minnesota, click here.

For details of licences and permits, click here.


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