My husband’s favorite thing to do with or without the kids is fishing. He has helped me to put together this guide for you even if you have never gone fishing before. He offers some tips for beginners and some great lakes to try. He shares the best fishing lakes in twin cities.
10 Best Fishing Holes in the Twin Cities
If you have a well-loved hole you want to share, please let us know.
Chris's 3 Favorite Local Fishing Holes in the Northern Metro
According to Chris, these lakes are fun to fish because they have many different types of fish and easily accessible boat launches. Fishing from shore is allowed at these lakes, too. In fact, kids may have a better time staying on the dock because of where fish like to hide. See below for tips.
1. Lake Johanna
Tony Schmidt Regional Park, 3500 Lake Johanna Boulevard, Arden Hills
Why We Love It: Lake Johana clinches the number one spot. It is close to our house and we can catch a lot of fish in one morning or afternoon. Lake Johanna is where I caught my muskie. I, Gianna, who doesn’t like to fish, caught a muskie. Some people wait their whole lives to catch a muskie. Every fisherperson I know is very proud of the fact that I caught a muskie including Chris.
Fish species: Walleye, Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Crappie, Hybrid Muskie, Bullhead species, Yellow Perch. Learn more at MN DNR.
Boat launch: Access to this lake is in Tony Schmidt Park along County Road E-2.
2. Snail Lake
4191 Snail Lake Boulevard, Shoreview/Vadnais Heights
Why We Love It: This is a fun lake to fish on when your wife is expecting a baby any moment.
Fish species: Walleye, Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Crappie, Bullhead species. Learn more at MN DNR.
Boat launch: Access to this lake is located on the south shore of the lake in Snail Lake Regional Park. Turn off Hodson Road (Mn. 49) onto Snail Lake Road. Follow Snail Lake Road to Snail Lake Blvd., then turn left around the lake to the park.
Within the City of Centerville & Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Regional Park Reserve
Why We Love It: Centerville lake is a a local favorite that’s worth the drive north.
Fish species: Walleye, Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Crappie, Bullhead species, Yellow Perch. Learn more at MN DNR.
Boat launch: The boat launch is located within the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Regional Park Reserve operated by Anoka County. There is a $5/vehicle fee to enter the park, but not to use the boat launch.
Recommended Fishing Holes in the South Metro
In 2015 Nicki from Minnemama Adventures had a guest post about going fishing with your kids. Here are a couple of the suggestions that were made. If you need more information about these lakes or other suggestions, check out Nicki’s article:
Fishing the East Metro
I found these fishing holes on the DNR website, which is full of great advice for new and experienced fishers. I chose these sites for amenities that parents would want. In particular, these fishing holes boast bathrooms and nearby playgrounds.
6. Tanners Lake
Fish Species: Blue Gills, Catfish, and Largemouth Bass
7. Colby Lake
Fish Species: Blue Gills and Catfish.
Family-Friendly Amenities: Colby Lake Park boasts an accessible playground, picnic areas with nearby restrooms and portable toilets, and various sports fields and courts.
- Joy likes Central Park in Roseville for beginners and shares a picture below of her six year old’s first experience when she caught (and released) tons of Sunnies.
Fishing Holes in the West (ish) Metro
Once again, I chose these fishing holes from the DNR website because they offer nearby bathrooms and playgrounds.
8. Wirth Lake
Fish Species: Blue Gills and Largemouth Bass.
Family-Friendly Amenities: Theodore Wirth Regional Park is packed full of family fun, including the Eloise Butler Flower Garden, a beach and playgrounds.
9. Bryant Lake
Fish Species: Blue Gills and Crappie.
Family-Friendly Amenities: Bryant Lake and Park is managed by Three Rivers Park District which does phenomenal work maintaining their parks and natural habitats.
Places to Fish in the Greater Metro and Beyond
New to fishing? Information & Tips for Beginners:
As part of their Fishing in the Neighborhood (“FiN”) program, the DNR has designated some fishing ponds to be “Kids Ponds”. These fishing spots offer great shore fishing for beginners and are located in family-friendly settings, such as parks. Get a “getting started” guide with all 60+ locations here.
Minnesota Fishing SeasonS
While we think of Mother’s Day Weekend as the Fishing Opener, there are fishing seasons throughout the year in Minnesota. Find the complete list here.
- Life Jackets–anyone under the age of 10 MUST wear a life jacket in a boat that is traveling across the water. The DNR suggests that any time a child is near water they are wearing a life jacket, but it’s not illegal to be in a boat tied to the dock without a life jacket.
- Fishing License–Anyone under 16 can fish without a license. However, if your kids want to do more than catch and release, collecting their own stockpile of fish, you need to purchase a family license. Get more information here or simply go to Gander Mountain or Fleet Farm where they can explain everything a little more clearly.
- Try It: Each June, Minnesota celebrates Take A Kid Fishing Weekend. Anyone can fish for free and without a license if they bring a kid along.
- Fishing poles — for under age 5, you can find little kiddy poles at Fleet Farm, for ages 5-10 look for junior-sized pole about 4 feet long.
- Best time to fish — It is best to fish in the morning. There is less recreational traffic. Some lakes, like Lake Johanna, have wake restrictions before 7:00 a.m. Evening is the next best time, but there is less likely to be wake restrictions at this time.
- Where to look for fish –“Fish like to hang out in the shaded areas in lakes.” You will most likely (but he won’t guarantee it) find good luck at the edge of lily pads, near trees in the water or on the shore and under docks.