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Minnesota Fishing Maps

May 22, 2013 6:31 am0 commentsViews: 947

Fishing Maps Help Find Fish

I fish two local lakes withing walking distance of my house in South Minneapolis. Lake Nokomis and Lake Hiawatha.

As city lakes, you might at first doubt their “fishability,” but you would be wrong. Both are well worth fishing, with Nokomis and several other city lakes stocked by DNR with Tiger Muskie and both having abundant panfish and other game fish.

I have been using the fishing docks or shore fishing. The big restriction on the city lakes is the prohibition of gas motors, but you can use an electric trolling motor.

And that’s where a good lake map and a depth finder can come in handy.

If you as an occasional fisher don’t have a top of the line depth finder, a map is a clear plus.  And you can get one for free for DNR. But it is a little tricky I discovered.

First do a search for “Minnesota DNR” on Google.

If you go directly to their site, look for the “Lake finder.”

It then asks you to put in the name of the lake and the county. (You would be surprised at how many Round, Long and Mud lakes there are in Minnesota)

You will be taken to a page that offers a variety of interesting information on the lake you choose. This includes a section called “Lake Maps.” However this is not where I would send you.

Before I share my recommended destination, let me mention that the site provides information on Lake water levels, a fish consumption advisory (important if you plan on eating your catch), water quality, water clarity, some thing called “recreational compass,” and finally topographical maps.

At first, I went to the Lake Map area, and learned about Lake Maps, and how to order them from the state bookstore. A time consuming process.

Then I discovered I could get a topo map in the Topographical map section. This was adequate, but had separation lines running though the map.

Only finally did I discover the best place to get a free map was the “Recreational Compass.”  I did have to scroll around to find my lake a bit, but once I did I was able to hone in and get a good map to identify basic lake structure.

Understanding lake structure is clearly the first step to identifying where to start fishing on any lake.

Lake Map Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis Minnesota

Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis Minnesota

Now you can find maps in a lot of places. If you want you can buy digital maps that directly tie into top of the line gps based depth finders. This is the ultimate, but not the typical approach for the occasional fisher.

We will be out teched by the pro’s, but with some basic information from a reliable lake map, we can at least get ourselves in the approximate area where the fish may be.

From there we will need to do what everyone else does, fish and experiment and not be afraid to move.  The map is a starting point, the skill is in learning to adapt to the circumstances we encounter while we are on the water.

Now if you are getting a bit serious about doing more than a once in a while fishing expedition this year, you may want to pop for a set of fishing maps.

You can find a wide variety on Amazon, including the digital items I mentioned above. But if you are from the Twin Cities Area you might want to pick up a set of maps from the Sportsman’s Connection Amazon

Twin Cities Area Fishing Map Guide: Lake Maps and Fishing Information for Over 100 Lakes in the Twin Cities Area [Spiral-bound]

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