Family Fun: Find a Fish

sunset fish

If there is one thing that Minnesota is not lacking, it’s fish. 

We have fish in our lakes. 

We have fish in our aquariums. 

We have fish on our walls. 

And we also have fish immortalized as statues around the entire state.  Are you looking for a fun family scavenger hunt? 

Introducing the Ultimate Fish Finder.  Travel around Minnesota, find works of art, and catch a big one!

two boys with a fish

North (on Lake Mille Lacs)
Mean Walleye, Massive Muskie, and Zilla:
Hwy 47, Isle, MN
This is a great off-the-beaten-path stop on your way to Duluth or as a destination on its own.  You won’t be disappointed.

  1. Catch this trio at Johnson Portside about a mile north of Isle
  2. Johnson Portside houses these three monsters as well as a Fishing Boat to check out. 
  3. The Mille Lacs area has a ton to do for your whole family.  Visit Father Hennepin or Mille Lacs Kathio State Parks, play a round of mini-golf, bike on the Soo Line Trail, or just relax on the shore of one of Minnesota’s prized lakes.

There’s North and then there’s NORTH.  This is North
The Big Fish Supper Club
456 US-2 NE, Bena, MN  
This gets a pretty high rating on Roadside Attractions.  If you are in the area, check it out.

  1. Catch a tasty meal on Highway 2 heading east from Bemidji (approximately 30 miles)
  2. Sometime in late 1950’s The Big Fish Supper Club was opened and has gone through many transformations.  But you will want to grab a photo before you enter the belly of this big fish.
  3. Open Tuesday-Sunday 5 pm-10 pm

Far North
Billy the Bluegill:
Orr, MN
I grew up going fishing with my dad and we caught sunnies.  At least that’s what I thought I was catching.  Turns out I was catching a variety of bluegills.  

  1. Catch Billy on the north side of Highway 53 attached to the Welcome to Orr sign.
  2. I’m not sure how big Billy is, but he is the biggest bluegill I’ve ever seen.  And the most colorful
  3. While in Orr you can explore the Orr Bog Walk or Vermillion Falls. Head up to Voyageurs National Park and catch the Leaping Walleye on the way.

Farther North
Leaping Walleye
9378 US-53, Ray, MN
If you are already heading up to Voyageurs National Park, make sure you find this gem just south of the park.
1. Catch this fish across the street from Gateway General Store at the corner of Highway 53 and Salmi Road
2. A very tall fish at 14 feet high 
3. Grab a picture with you sitting on the saddle 

Super Duper Far North–Like Practically Canada North
Willie Walleye
International Drive NE, Baudette, MN
This one is by far the farthest haul for you to bring your kids, but it is absolutely worth the drive.  There is so much to do.  If you are looking for a unique in-state vacation, Baudette could be the perfect location.

  1. Catch Willie at the corner of International Drive NE and Main St.  He is at home in his own park. 
  2. Willie is the biggest walleye from Baudette, the Walleye Capital of the World at 40 feet 4 inches long. 
  3. Baudette and Lake of the Woods are  idyllic Minnesota destinations. Go fishing, explore the lake shore, trek along Rainy River, go berry picking or morel mushroom hunting, and visit some of Minnesota’s historic landmarks.
Exterior of Weisman Art Museum

Standing Glass Fish
Weisman Art Museum
333 E River Parkway, Minneapolis
If you don’t want to travel too far from the metro, check this out.  It’s our only indoor statue.

  1. Catch this beautiful iconic Minnesotan work of art at the Weisman Art Museum.  At it’s birth you could find the fish at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, but after the garden’s remodel, it made itself home at Weisman on the U of M campus.
  2. Admission is FREE.
  3. Open Thursday-Sunday, Noon-5 pm
(Fishy Island, by Erik Johansson)

North and West
World’s Largest Tiger Muskie:
Bunyan Trails Rd, Nevis, MN 56467
If you are near Itasca State Park or near Leech Lake, I’ve heard it’s worth the detour.

  1. Catch the Muskie on the southeast corner of E. Main St. and Bunyan Trails Rd.
  2. This is a terrifyingly monster of a muskie at 31 feet long.   And it’s under a roof so you can grab a photo rain or shine.
  3. There are 90 lakes to check out in a 10 mile radius.  Nevis is made for the outdoors.

Just a Little West 
Bass Fish 
108 Broadway St. East, Rockville, MN
This is just a little guy compared to the other statues we have found.  But if you are headed west, you don’t want to miss him.

  1. Catch this Bass off of Highway 94 and US Hwy 52.  He sits on top of a bait shop.
  2. This fine specimen of a catch is made of fiberglass and painted with bright colors.  Bright colors for a fish anyway. 
  3. When you are done visiting Rockville, you can head up to St. Cloud and check out the Munsinger Gardens or stroll along the Mississippi River.

Far West
Lou T. Fisk:
J.F. Jacobson Park, Madison, MN
If you are heading west on a road trip, take a slight detour north of  Highway 212. You won’t be disappointed.  Then, maybe try the “tasty” delicacy that Lou T. Fish memorializes.

  1. Catch Lou T. Fisk on US Highway 75  into Madison
  2.  LARGE fish at 25 feet long
  3.  Google Maps says that you can see him 24 hours a day.  So you won’t miss him.         

Very West
Sunny Sculptures
Scattered throughout Detroit Lakes
The most recent information I could find about these adorable sculptures was from 2019.  So if you are headed to Fargo/Moorhead for any reason, maybe you could stop by and search for these artistic beauties.

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