While Minnesota has an abundance of lakes from which to choose, if you’re looking to fish and have a great time, Gull Lake is one of the best out there. Located at the center of one of Minnesota’s most popular recreation areas, Gull Lake is the perfect place to take a family fishing trip with lots of other fun activities nearby. Although the lake’s shoreline is highly developed, with lots of resorts and great vacation rentals available, it’s also one of the state’s most productive sport fishery areas. That means it’s so easy to plan a vacation here that everyone will enjoy!
Fishing Options at Gull Lake
Gull Lake is one of the most consistent fishing lakes in Minnesota and is regularly stocked with walleye. You’ll also find bluegill, sunfish, northern pike, largemouth bass, and crappie. Gull Lake has the perfect natural structure for fish to grow and thrive, with abundant weed cover lining much of the shoreline, providing excellent habitat for fish to spawn and multiply, as well as clean, clear water overall. Your options for fishing include dock fishing and shore fishing, as well as renting a pontoon boat for the ultimate day of family fishing fun.
The lake is managed by Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources, and you’ll need to be aware of the rules in place before you begin. There’s a daily limit on bluegill and sunfish, to make sure everyone is able to get some premier fish for their frying pan! Additionally, you will need to have a fishing license before you head out, which can be purchased online.
With an overall area of 10,000 acres of open water, Gull Lake offers many different areas in which to cast your line. The lake is an average of 30 feet in depth, although some areas are up to 80 feet, and nearly a third of the lake is 15 feet or less. This means there are a lot of different habitat areas for fish, and the serious fisherman will want to bring along a depth finder in order to help find the best areas to aim for.
If you’re not a serious angler to begin with, don’t worry! You can still have a lot of fun catching fish in Gull Lake. One of the best ways to do that is to book a private fishing tour; there are tons of local guides in the area who can show you their favorite spots to cast a line. You might want to shop around for a guide by thinking first about what kind of fish you’d like to catch, as some of them specialize in certain types. Some of the best options out there include Brainerd Guides, Cragun’s Resort, and Eagle Ridge.
One important thing to remember when you head out to fish at Gull Lake is that there are invasive zebra mussels in the lake. If you bring your own boat, you must be a responsible boater by following the state aquatic invasive species laws when you visit! Please remember to clean off any aquatic plants, mussels, and other species from your boat, trailer, and other equipment before you leave the shoreline, as well as properly draining any equipment before heading away from the lake. It would be unfortunate if boaters accidentally transported invasive species to another lake in the area!
Post-Fishing Entertainment at Gull Lake
While a day can easily be consumed with the excitement of reeling in beautiful fish, you might find yourself looking for something to do afterward (besides cooking up those fish for dinner, of course!). Luckily, Gull Lake is an area surrounded by entertainment for all ages. One of the classic activities in summer is a family bonfire on the lakeshore; you can roast up your day’s catch, as well as some marshmallows, and enjoy an evening spent on the beach.
If some members of your party are less enthusiastic about days spent fishing the lake, they’ll easily find other things to do nearby. Enjoy a walk on one of the area’s beautiful hiking trails, or a bike ride on the Paul Bunyan Bikeway. Restless kiddos will enjoy a visit to Paul Bunyan Land, where they can chat with the giant animatronic Paul Bunyan, as well as hop on some classic theme park rides. Children are also easily entertained at Nisswa Family Fun Center, which offers summertime water slide fun at very affordable prices (with hot tubs for the grownups!). Challenge your little ones to beat you at mini-golf, while enjoying the fun pirate-themed atmosphere at Pirate’s Cove. Animal lovers will revel in the opportunities available at Safari North, a unique zoo where kids can not only talk to parrots, but also ride a camel and actually feed a giraffe! They’re sure to remember it forever.
Have fun on your fishing trip to Gull Lake!