Fish Inland Lakes and Streams

Holding the Minnesota state fish record for largest Chinook Salmon, Pink Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout, Lake Trout, Whitefish, and Walleye – it’s no wonder Cook County has a trophy-size reputation as Minnesota’s premier angling destination.

Whether you prefer to cast from a peaceful shore, a canoe in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, a charter boat, a cozy ice shack, or somewhere else, Cook County has fishing spots sure to satisfy you.

River and Stream Fishing in Minnesota

The stream steelhead fishing begins around mid-April. For the hardy types, stream fishing also includes Kamloops rainbow trout from October into May. Our streams and inland lakes provide an ideal habitat for trout species including Brown, Brook, and Rainbow along with Chinook salmon.

Finding the Perfect Inland lake

Spring fishing finds the Walleyes ready to feed after ice-out, and night fishing is especially successful. May and early June are also prime time for lake trout. Mid-June brings unrivaled bass fishing.

As summer warms the inland lake water, it’s the perfect time to fish for Walleyes, panfish and even Whitefish. With around a thousand lakes to choose from, finding the perfect lake can take some time. Check out the LakeFinder app from the MN DNR.

Download a copy of the Public Water Access Maps of EASTERN & WESTERN Cook County MN provided by Minnesota State Parks and Trails.

Eastern Cook County Water Access Map
Download Eastern Cook County Water Access Map PDF
Western Cook County Water Access Map
Download Western Cook County Water Access Map PDF

Download this PDF Map of favorite fishing lakes on the Gunflint Trail.

Fishing on the Gunflint Trail – updated 2016
Download Fishing on the Gunflint Trail – updated 2016 PDF

Fishing Guides

Let the local experts guide you to the best fishing spots in Cook County.

Download a PDF list of guides and services
Download Download a PDF list of guides and services PDF
  • What to expect: Inland lake fishing offers some of the most diverse fishing experiences. You’ll find a wide variety of fish and an endless list of lakes. Some guides will be in a traditional fishing boat while others offer the opportunity to paddle a canoe into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
  • What to bring: Most guides will provide all the gear you’ll need but your camera and often include a freshly caught shore lunch. Check with your guide service on specifics. Bring lots of layers, shoes that can get wet, sunscreen, and plenty of bug spray.
  • License type: Anyone age 16+ must have a MN Fishing License. License year begins March 1 and ends the last day of February (except where otherwise noted).

The weekly, year-round MN Fishing Report has the latest on where the fish are biting. Just select the most recent issue and click “Northeast.”

View upcoming fishing events.

Events Calendar

Fishing Outfitters & Guides

Outfitters & Guides

Hot Deals

Hot Deals

Don’t just visit Cook County. Experience it like a pro with the hottest deals in the state. We’ve worked with our local vendors, artisans and owners to curate the best prices and most unique packages for our out-of-town visitors. Check out our hot deals today.

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