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Fishing in the Mankato Area

Fishing in Greater Mankato
Posted: October 28, 2020

Does fishing have you hooked? Whether you are a seasoned sport fisherman looking to win a tournament or simply want a weekend fishing getaway with your kids, Mankato has what you are looking for. The Mankato area has a little bit of everything when it comes to fishing. From shore, boat, kayak or canoe, you can cast your line into the areas many rivers, lakes and ponds. Here you’ll find some of the best fishing available in the upper Midwest.

Whether you are looking to land a trophy walleye for your wall while fishing one of our many lakes, or enjoy a beautiful summer day on the boat making memories with your children, Mankato is the place to drop your line. We even offer an area high school fishing team and bow fishing at the right time of year.

There are a number of local hot spots in the area depending on what type of fish you are hoping to hook. Tom Davis, a home grown National Professional Walleye Tournament angler and speaker with Ranger Boats, Evinrude Motors, Humminbird and Minn-Kota, making him a local fishing expert. Tom says, “Southern Minnesota has some of the best fishing opportunities found anywhere in our state.  Walleye, bass, pike, and panfish, to blue gills, crappies and perch are all very abundant.  Because our southern Minnesota lakes are rich in nutrition, the fish grow very fast, and all make excellent table fare.  Many of our lakes like Lake Washington, Madison Lake, Duck Lake, Ballantyne, Francis, and the Jefferson Chain of Lakes all have very nice boat ramp accesses. If you don’t have a boat, no problem as many of our lakes have public docks you can use for fishing. The public docks on the lakes make fishing very accessible for all ages and most all are handicap accessible.”

“Don’t forget that the Mankato area also has a very abundant river system like the Minnesota and Blue Earth River with very good fishing access to both rivers located at Sibley Park.  You also have great fishing upstream from Sibley Park on the Blue Earth River just downstream from the Rapidan Dam with a very nice campground nearby. Other rivers include the Maple, Cobb and LeSueur. All of the rivers offer excellent fishing from shore, canoe, kayak or small boats”, says Davis.

“Mankato has many fishing opportunities for all ages and types of fishing. You can also gather more information with up to date fishing reports from Paul Beinke at Walt’s Bait and Tackle in Mankato and from Nate and Jesse Green at Corner Bait and Tackle in Madison Lake.”

For anglers visiting in spring, Seven Mile Creek between Mankato and St. Peter offers scenic Brown Trout fishing. The ponds at Paul’s Creek near St. Peter offer great rainbow trout fishing each spring when they are stocked in the thousands by the DNR, creating a truly unique fishing experience.

To find more information on a local lake, you can use LakeFinder from the Minnesota DNR. Here you’ll find lake maps, water depths, species of fish and much more.

The Mankato area also has a vibrant fishing industry. Here you can companies specializing in fishing boats, motors, gear, accessories and much more. Local experts like Scheels, Fleet Farm, Johnson Outdoors, Minn Kota, and Alumacraft make Mankato the place to shop.

Below you’ll find information to help you plan your fishing adventure. We’ve compiled everything you need to make your trip a success. Whether you need gear from a local supplier, advice from an expert, or some bait before hitting the water, we have you covered.

Fishing Opener and Licenses

The 2020 Minnesota fishing opener is May 9th. Ice fishing in the area is dependent upon temperatures and ice thickness. For information on ice shelter licenses and removal dates, visit this DNR link.

Fishing licenses are valid March 1 through February 28 of the following year and are available online through the DNR. Licenses are also available at select local businesses listed below.

Have a friend or family member who isn’t sure about fishing? There are two statewide free fishing weekends. May 9-10 is take a mom fishing weekend and June 5-6 is take a kid fishing weekend. Take them for a trip. They might enjoy it!

 

Local Experts and Businesses

Scheels
1850 Adams Street
Mankato, MN 56001
https://www.scheels.com/
(507)-386-7767

Fleet Farm
1850 Premier Dr
Mankato, MN 56001
https://www.fleetfarm.com/
(507) 345-6401

Corner Bait in Madison Lake
500 Walnut Ave
Madison Lake, MN 56063
https://www.facebook.com/cornerbait/
(507) 243-4464

Westwood Marina
1400 Lake Washington Access Rd
Kasota, MN 56050
https://www.westwoodmarina.com/
(507) 243-9998

Bent River Outfitters
530 N Riverfront Dr. B
Mankato, MN 56001
https://bentriveroutfitter.com/
(507) 388-2368

Walt’s Bait and Tackle
1130 N River Dr.
North Mankato, MN 56003
https://waltsbaitshop.com/
(507) 625-4872

Johnson Outdoors and Minn Kota
1531 Madison Ave
Mankato, MN 56001
https://www.johnsonoutdoors.com/
(507) 345-4623

Alumacraft Boat Co.
315 W St. Julien St.
St Peter, MN 56082
http://www.alumacraft.com/
(507) 931-1050

Boat and Fish House Rental/Local Guides

Looking to fish in the Mankato area but don’t have a boat? You’re in luck! Your Boat Club offers boat rental and is coming soon to Westwood Marina on Lake Washington and at The Landing on Madison Lake.

Corner Bait in Madison Lake is your go to place for fish house rentals, bait, guide services, or just to see what’s biting. The owner even plows roads on to Madison Lake so ice fishermen have easy access. They can be reached at (507) 243-4464 or stop in at 500 Walnut Avenue, Madison Lake, MN 56063.

 

Contests/Tournaments

For those looking for a little competition, you may want enter a local tournament. Many fishing tournaments are held throughout the region each year. The Minnesota DNR keeps a current list of those tournaments here. A list of local tournament are below.

January -Lake Crystal Ice Fishing Extravaganza-Lake Crystal

February-Mad Bobber-Duck Lake

February -Elysian Post 311 Ice Fishing Contest-Lake Frances

June -Minnesota Fishing Event for Life on Lake Madison

June -Le Sueur Incorporated on Madison

 

Blue Earth County Locations for Purchasing Fishing Licenses

Eagle Express
401 Parkway Ave
Eagle Lake, MN 56024
(507) 257-3230

LC Ace
106 S. Main St.
Lake Crystal, MN 56055
(507) 726-2829

Corner Bait
500 Walnut Ave.
Madison Lake, MN 56063
(507) 243-4464

Fleet farm
1850 Premier Dr.
Mankato, MN 56001
(507) 345-6401

Blue Earth County License Center
410 S. 5th St.
Mankato, MN 56002
(507) 304-4456

Holiday Stationstore #11
1901 Adams St.
Mankato, MN 56001
(507) 387-5711

Walmart Supercenter #1473
1881 Madison Ave
Mankato, MN 56001
(507) 625-9318

River Hills Scheels
1850 Adams St. Ste. 6
Mankato, MN 56001
(507) 386-7767

Holiday Stationstore #21
1302 N. Riverfront Dr.
Mankato, MN 56001
(507) 388-6087

Maple Mart
407 Silver St. East
Mapleton, MN 56065
(507) 524-4400

 

Nicollet County Locations for Purchasing Fishing Licenses

Courtland Hardware
321 Main St.
Courtland, MN 56021
(507) 359-7811

George’s City Meats
430 3rd St.
Nicollet, MN 56074
(507) 232-3502

Nicollet Mart
220 Main St.
Nicollet, MN 56074
(507) 232-3232

North Mankato Motor Vehicle
310 Belgrade Ave
North Mankato, MN 56003
(507) 625-1586

Arrow Ace Hardware
201 S. Minnesota Ave
St. Peter, MN 56082
(507) 931-3830

Speedway #4141
123 Saint Julien St.
St. Peter, MN 56082
(507) 931-9477

Nicollet County Treasurer
501 S Minnesota Ave
St. Peter, MN 56082
(507) 931-6800

 

Local Hot Spots: Blue Earth River, Minnesota River, Below Rapidan Dam, Lake Washington, Madison Lake, Duck Lake, Lake Elysian, Lake Frances, Red Jacket Valley Lake, Indian Lake, Le Sueur River, Hiniker Pond, Swan Lake, Loon Lake, Spring Lake Park, St. Peter Pond, Seven Mile Creek for trout.

Below are the different species of fish found in local lakes.

Madison Lake-black bullhead, black crappie, bluegill, bullheads, channel catfish, crappie, green sunfish, hybrid sunfish, largemouth bass, northern pike, pumpkinseed, sunfish, walleye, white bass, white crappie, yellow bullhead, yellow perch, bigmouth buffalo, bowfin (dogfish), common carp, freshwater drum, highfin carpsucker, longnose gar, river carpsucker, shortnose gar, white sucker, bluntnose minnow, emerald shiner, fathead minnow, gizzard shad, golden shiner, Iowa darter, Johnny darter, logperch, minnows, spottail shiner

Lake Washington-black bullhead, black crappie, bluegill, brown bullhead, hybrid sunfish, largemouth bass, northern pike, pumpkinseed, walleye, white crappie, yellow bullhead, yellow perch, bigmouth buffalo, bowfin (dogfish), common carp, freshwater drum, highfin carpsucker, white sucker, bluntnose minnow, golden shiner, Johnny darter, spottail shiner

Lake Elysian-black bullhead, black crappie, bluegill, channel catfish, green sunfish, hybrid sunfish, largemouth bass, northern pike, pumpkinseed, walleye, white bass, white crappie, yellow bullhead, yellow perch, bigmouth buffalo, bowfin (dogfish), common carp, white sucker, darters, fathead minnow, golden shiner, Iowa darter, minnows, spottail shiner, tadpole madtom

Duck Lake-black bullhead, black crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass, northern pike, pumpkinseed, sauger, walleye, white crappie, yellow bullhead, yellow perch, bigmouth buffalo, bowfin (dogfish), common carp, freshwater drum, smallmouth buffalo, bluntnose minnow, emerald shiner, golden shiner, Johnny darter, spottail shiner

Lake Frances-black bullhead, black crappie, bluegill, brown bullhead, green sunfish, hybrid sunfish, largemouth bass, northern pike, pumpkinseed, walleye, white bass, white crappie, yellow bullhead, yellow perch, bowfin (dogfish), common carp, freshwater drum, white sucker, banded killifish, blackchin shiner, bluntnose minnow, golden shiner, Iowa darter, Johnny darter, mimic shiner, pugnose shiner, spottail shiner

Loon Lake-black bullhead, black crappie, bluegill, channel catfish, green sunfish, hybrid sunfish, northern pike, pumpkinseed, walleye, white crappie, yellow bullhead, yellow perch, common carp, white sucker, fathead minnow, golden shiner, Johnny darter