The Best Fishing Holes in the Twin Cities

Fishing for bass

Her first bass with Dad

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.  There are tips for beginners and some great lakes to try.

Chris’s 3 Favorite Local Fishing Holes in the Northern Metro

1. Lake Johanna (within Tony Schmidt Regional Park, 3500 Lake Johanna Boulevard, Arden Hills) –– 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. 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) — a fun lake to fish on when your wife is expecting a baby any moment. 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.

3. Centerville Lake (within the city of Centerville) — a local favorite that’s worth the drive north. 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.

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.

  • Daddy's fishing buddyHer first northern! How exciting
  • fishing from the dockOne cool fisherman
  • fishing from the dockHere fishy, fishy!
Recommended Fishing Holes in the South Metro (courtesy of Minnemama Adventures)

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, you can Click Here to Find Them

Fishing Holes in the East Metro
Fishing on Lake Johanna

I’ve conquered fishing!

Please keep in mind that these fishing holes were found on the DNR website and had some some amenities that parents would want.  In particular, these fishing holes have bathrooms and playgrounds (according to the website)>

Fishing Holes in the West (ish)  Metro

Once again, these fishing holes were simply found on the DNR website and the amenities include bathrooms and playgrounds.  If anyone has a well-loved hole they want to share, please let us know.

  • Wirth Lake | Minneapolis
    Blue Gills, Largemouth Bass
  • Bryant Lake | Eden Prairie
    Blue Gills, Crappie
    Bryant Lake is managed by Three Rivers Park District which does phenomenal work maintaining their parks and natural habitats.

You can find even more metro fishing locations in our family fun directory.

Stay Legal
  1. 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.
  2. 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 have purchases 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.
Beginner’s Tips
  • Fishing poles –under age 5, little kiddy poles at Fleet Farm, 5-10 junior-sized pole about 4 feet long
  • Best time to fish–Better to fish in the morning, there is less recreational traffic.  Some lakes like Lake Johanna have wake restrictions and it’s best to go before 7:00 a.m.  Also, fishing is usually okay in the evening, but not all lakes have these restrictions
  • 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.

Large Mouth Bass

Most handsome fisherman in the world


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