MN Fishing Pros

The best rated & most experienced fishing guides on Lake Winnibigoshish and beyond

Grand Rapids, Deer River and surrounding areas

Fishing Pro Guides Bill Broberg, Jeff Skelley, Charlie Worrath, Jason Boser at L&M Supply

Knowing Your Fishing Regulations

by fishing guide Charlie Worrath

In this day and age knowing and keeping up with your fishing regulations is not all that easy. With each coming year there’s many law changes made to our area lakes, such as slot size, limit reduction, limit increases, state slots and much more. Everyone should get a new regulations book when they purchase their new fishing license for the up-coming fishing season and read it from cover to cover, and make note of any changes to lakes you fish this coming season. (You can also download the MN DNR Fishing Regulations here.)

Winter fishing for crappie
Winter fishing for crappie

This law change occurred a couple years ago, of only 1 walleye over 20 inches may be taken in one day on all state inland waters, instead of the previous (1 over 23 inches). This could have been overlooked by many. Just because certain waters don’t have their own special regulation (and a 20-inch walleye not being all that big), the state slot could get over looked if you don’t keep up with the changing regulations.

Another big change in recent years: on area lakes Round, Sand, Bowstring and joining waters: all northern pike 22-36 inches must be immediately released. One over 36 inches is allowed in possession, with a possession limit of nine! The idea of increasing the limit on these small northern pike is to limit some of the predation on the small walleyes. If you ever fished on one of these lakes, can you imagine what it would be like to be a small walleye and swim around for 365 days a year and not run into one of those hungry little northerns. If you’re fishing one of these lakes take advantage of the liberal limits. These are great spots to fish, for all you pickled fish eaters. The state law on inland lakes for northern pike is 1 over 30 inches of your limit of 3 pike total. Again check your regulation on the lake you plan to fish for special slot for northern pike. A lot of lakes have a special release clause on northern pike.

The big change for all you muskie fisherman and women is the Experimental/Special regulations, which concerns 47 muskie lakes and connecting waters and two rivers,  is a 48 inche minimum size limit for muskie. Some of the area lakes are Big & Little Boy, Cass, Deer, Leech, Big & Little Moose, North Star, Pokegama, Blackwater, Blandin Reservoir, Big & Little Winnie, Boy River, and Big Fork River. This sure should help improve the quality of mukies fishing in this area.

The regulation that I run into a lot when fishing with non-residents, which seems somewhat confusing, is that kids less than 16 years old don’t need a license to fish, so they can fish, but they can’t possess a limit of fish, unlike all residents under age of 16 can possess their own limit of fish. The parents have to purchase a family license. If they have purchase an individual license, the child can purchase his own fishing license so he or she can posses is own limit. Something to keep in mind if you’re having friends and relatives coming up this summer and plan to do a little fishing.

These are alway new and old regulations that are constantly changing. Some of the older rules like lake slots, that have been around for some time, get asked about a lot. I know on those days when you only catch a few fish and they all happen to be on the release side of the slot and you go home empty handed it hurts. My personal experience with many days on the water in heavily fished lakes is I’ve seen a lot fish return back unharmed to the lake to spawn and restock the lake in future years ahead. This definitely can’t hurt. Most of those fish I know would have all been put into the fry pan years ago. With slot sizes and reduced limits, there are no lakes left that you can keep every fish you catch, so a meal of fresh fish is all that can and should be expected out of wonderful day on the water.


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Fishing 411

2017 Fishing Opener Dates

Walleye & Northern Pike - May 13, 2017
Largemouth & Smallmouth Bass - May 13, 2017
Muskie - June 3, 2017

2017 Fishing Regulations

MN DNR 2017 Fishing Regulations
MN DNR Fishing Regulation Handbook for 2017

Purchase your MN fishing license online


Charlie Worrath on Jason Mitchell Outdoors talking early season walleyes

Jason Mitchell Outdoors host Jason Mitchell with MN Fishing Pro Guide Charlie Worrath and early season walleye

Charlie Worrath talks early season walleye for the television program Jason Mitchell Outdoors on Lake Winnibigoshish in northern Minnesota. (watch the video)


Jason Boser appears with Jason Mitchell on Jason Mitchell Outdoors

Jason Mitchell Outdoors host Jason Mitchell with MN FIshing Pro Guide Jason Boser and a Lake Winnibigoshish walleye
(l - r) Jason Boser and Jason Mitchell pose with a Lake Winnie walleye

Jason Boser appearing on an episode for the television program Jason Mitchell Outdoors on Lake Winnibigoshish in northern Minnesota. (watch the video)




Listen for Charlie and Jason on "Fishin' Paul Bunyan Country" on Continuous Country KB 101 in Bemidji at 12:30 and 5:30 pm Monday through Friday beginning May 2 and continuing throughout the fishing season.
Charlie Worrath - May Fishing on Lake Winnie- click for audio
Jason Boser - Why Do You Fish?- click for audio
Click here for seasonal report archives (up to the last two weeks).

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Moose Lake Wild Rice Co. C-N-J Savory Fish Batter Charlie Worrath with Crappie
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