Many Minnesota state parks offer great fishing. Here are a few fishing-friendly state parks to consider, some near the Twin Cities, some farther away:
• Wild River State Park: Located about an hour north of the Twin Cities, this park offers great canoeing and fishing along 18 miles of the St. Croix River. Canoe rentals and shuttles are available. Fishing generally is for smallmouth bass, but northern pike and some walleyes can be picked up on a float-and-fishing trip downriver. Park phone: 651-583-2125
• Father Hennepin State Park: Located on the southeast shore of Mille Lacs, this park has a good launch ramp if you bring your own boat. And while tight harvest restrictions regulate the lake’s walleyes this summer, fish are being caught, including on launch trips that head onto the lake daily. Seven anglers on a recent launch caught 21 walleyes and two perch in four hours — a lot of fun, even if none of the walleyes were of a size that could be kept. Launches provide fishing gear. 320-676-8763
• Zippel Bay State Park: Hard by the shores of giant Lake of the Woods, Zippel Bay can be an excellent fishing park. Bring your own boat or contract with a guide from Baudette, Warroad or another nearby community. Swimming beach, marina and picnic area are key attractions, as are the campsites. 218-783-6252
• Glacial Lakes State Park: This park has its own lake, Signalness, and canoe rental is available for fishing or paddling. Nearby, Lake Minnewaska offers more angling opportunities. Primarily managed as a walleye lake, Minnewaska also has good panfishing, as well as both largemouth and smallmouth bass. 320-239-2860
• Judge C.R. Magney State Park: This North Shore park (20 miles up the shore from Grand Marais) might not be well-known, but it’s a great stop. The hike alone to the Devil’s Kettle waterfall is worth the trip. But stay here, fish the Brule River, and for an exciting daylong side trip contract with a guide at the end of the Gunflint Trail for a day’s fishing on Saganaga and/or (in Ontario) Northern Light lakes (search online for those lake names and “fishing guide’’ for guide names). You might catch the walleye of a lifetime. 218-387-3039.
More information on these and other state parks is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/fishing.html.