When it comes to fishing in Central, MN, the name of the game is variety. From kayak fishing for smallmouth bass in the Mississippi River to trout fishing in the cool depths of Lake Watab to trolling for northern pike (and walleye) in one of the many other area lakes, there is something here for every type of angler.

Mississippi River

As host of the 2017 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener on the river, the Greater St. Cloud area has the fortunate opportunity of showing off all the angling opportunities there are in this mighty body of water. The local stretch of the Mississippi has been rated among the top 10 in the country for smallmouth bass fishing, and skilled anglers often land about five fish an hour. Plus, anglers in the river can expect to reel in walleye, northern pike, and even the occasional musky! The best all-around bait for river fishing may well be a nightcrawler on a short Lindy rig – a setup that works well for game fish and others like redhorse, sucker, carp, catfish and buffalo fish.

It’s not just the types of fish that vary in the Mississippi, either – it’s also the type of fishing. Shore fishing along the banks of the river is popular for anglers of any skill level, as the rocky edges make for great smallmouth bass habitat fisheries. The river also offers prime fly fishing locations along the banks as well, which is somewhat unique to this area. Of course, fishing from a prop boat, when done with experience and some caution, is also an effective and agile way to navigate the river. Growing in popularity along the river are jet boats, because they easily navigate through shallow water and pose less of a threat of coming into contact with unknown objects or obstacles below the surface. And if motors aren’t you’re thing, kayak and canoe fishing is quickly becoming very popular with river anglers in the area, because they make shallow shoreline navigation easy.

The river is often intimidating to anglers, which simply means that there are unfished waters waiting for you to cast a line! Plan your visit to the Mississippi River in Central MN to see what you can reel in.

sunset fishing

Local Lakes

Aside from the mystique and fun challenge of fishing the Mississippi, Central MN is home to many beautiful lakes full of prized fish just waiting to take your bait. Lake Watab reaches depths of over 100 feet at its deepest point, making it a prime location for trout to dwell in the cool waters. The Horseshoe Chain near Richmond, MN, is a prime catfish fishery if you’re looking for something a little different. It has also been recently stocked with muskies, and could be the location for your next trophy catch. If you’re just looking to have a little casual fun in the St. Cloud area, Lake George offers urban fishing right in town. Stocked with channel catfish each year and full of native black crappies, bluegills, and largemouth bass, anglers can fish from the shorelines – a great opportunity for kids and adults alike! Another urban fishing experience unlike any other in the area is trout fishing at Quarry Park and Nature Preserve. This county park is home to over 20 retired granite quarries which offer an experience all on its own. Trout fishing takes it to the next level! Nine of the quarries become home to over 700 stocked rainbow trout each year, and it’s said that the most effective bait is nightcrawlers, corn, and even marshmallows.
With many more local lakes and fishing opportunities, plan your visit now to experience them all!

Find a Public Pier

central mn fishing piers

For a complete list of fishing pier locations, click here.

Fishing Organizations

There are many organizations and services in Central MN that support fishing and make it easier for anglers to reel in the big one. From bait shops like Stop Light Bait & Tackle to locally made lures from Leena Lures, Central MN has what you need to make your fishing trip a success. Here are just a few of the great vendors and guide services that this area has to offer.

No matter what kind of fishing experience you’re looking for, the St. Cloud area has something for anglers of all kinds and skill levels. From urban fishing to river shore casting to lake trolling, experience them all when you Visit Greater St. Cloud. To stay up to date on fishing in the area and connect with other local area anglers, like Fish Greater St. Cloud on Facebook.