O; ;;; ;;;;;;; ;;;; ;; ;;; ;;;;;, the Mississippi River’s sprawling backwaters and mile-wide
pools o;er excellent opportunities for
catching largemouth and smallmouth
bass. Slightly inland, the Root River is
a great choice for those who want to
pursue smallmouth bass while taking in
the historic Blu; Country scenery.
In south-central Minnesota, the
Waterville, Faribault and Waseca areas
are among the go-to destinations
for largemouth bass in the region.
the prairie and Minnesota River Valley
areas—features mostly shallow lakes
be;er suited for ducks than bass. Still,
anglers have options.
An advantage of fishing southern
Minnesota lakes in the spring is that
they warm more quickly than northern
lakes. As a result, bass spawn earlier and
begin biting sooner. Catch-and-release
smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing
begins on inland lakes and rivers in mid-May; the actual bass fishing season (when
you can keep what you
catch) opens late May.
Head South for Bass
Bass anglers who visit southern Minnesota can easily
hook into some outstanding fishing. | C.B. BYLANDER
The statewide bass limit is six.
Ready to cast your line? Explore these
The bass fishing season never closes
on the Mississippi River’s Minnesota-Wisconsin border. The continuous
season enables bass anglers to fish year-round from Hastings all the way south
to the Iowa border. That’s roughly 150
miles of fishing.
One of the most popular destinations
is Lake Pepin, a spectacularly wide pool
nestled below towering blu;s that
serves as the eastern boundary of Lake
City. Lake Onalaska, a 7,688-acre pool
further south at Dresbach, is another
beloved angling destination.
This popular river has three branches:
north, south and middle. All are shallow
wading and dri;ing waters that
meander through scenic hardwood hills
and valleys. Some stretches are home to
brook and brown trout.
Good fishing can be found on the
North Branch downstream from a canoe
access just west of Chatfield on Highway
2. Similarly, there’s good fishing on the
South Branch downstream from the
charming city of Lanesboro, where
canoe rentals are available.
There’s also good fishing just east and
west of the I- 35 corridor. Clear Lake in
Waseca—a catch-and-release only bass
fishing lake—contains largemouth up to
20 inches long. Mazaska Lake northwest
of Faribault is a great all-around fishing
lake. Nearby Cedar, Shields and French
lakes are excellent options as well.
The Je;erson Chain of Lakes and
connected German Lake are popular
bass fishing destinations near Mankato.
In the Fairmont Chain of Lakes, bass
anglers should try Lake Sisseton and
South Silver Lake.
Those looking for a quiet li;le lake
should consider Del Clark Reservoir
at Stonehill Regional Park near Canby.
No waterskiing is allowed, making it a
peaceful place to fish and camp.
Big Stone Lake is home to plenty of
white bass and some largemouth in
its sound end. This large lake is 26
miles long and covers more than
12,000 acres along the Minnesota-
South Dakota border. The bass
angling season opens in late April on this
GEORGE LAKE, FAIRMONT