Gull Lake, MN stands as a premier destination for ice fishing enthusiasts, attracting anglers from far and wide- especially for the annual Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza. This huge event boasts amazing prizes, and all contributions go towards a charitable cause. But why would Gull Lake host the biggest ice fishing competition on the planet? There are several reasons why Gull Lake is a fishing paradise, especially in the winter.  

Abundant and Diverse Fish Population: Gull Lake boasts a diverse range of fish species, including walleye, northern pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, and panfish. This variety keeps things interesting for anglers and creates a more exciting ice fishing experience.  

Quality Fish Size and Trophy Catches: There aren’t just a lot of fish in Gull Lake, they’re big fish! The lake is renowned for producing sizeable catches, with a particular emphasis on trophy-sized walleye. Anglers seeking a rewarding and challenging catch find Gull Lake to be a hotspot for quality fish. 

Well-Developed Infrastructure and Amenities: Gull Lake offers well-developed infrastructure to support ice fishing activities. Access points, ice houses for rent, and various services cater to the needs of anglers, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable fishing experience. Plus there are plenty of places for lodging where you can stay after a long day on the ice, including Gull Lake Beach Resorts. We offer the perfect accommodations for a restful night before grabbing the poles and heading to the lake again.  

Scenic Setting: Surrounded by picturesque landscapes, Gull Lake offers a serene and tranquil backdrop for ice fishing. The natural beauty of the area enhances the overall experience, making it not just about the thrill of the catch but also about immersing oneself in the great outdoors. 

Reliable Ice Conditions: Gull Lake typically experiences consistent ice formation during the winter months, ensuring a safe and accessible environment for ice anglers. This reliability extends the ice fishing season, providing ample time for enthusiasts to pursue their favorite fish. 

Vibrant Community and Events: The ice fishing community around Gull Lake is lively, with local events and tournaments adding an extra layer of excitement. These gatherings foster camaraderie among anglers and contribute to the overall appeal of ice fishing on the lake. 

Proximity to Services: Conveniently located near local towns and amenities, Gull Lake provides easy access to supplies, accommodations, and other necessities for visiting anglers. 

Gull Lake, with its blend of abundant fish, scenic beauty, and a welcoming community, stands as a must-visit destination for those seeking an unforgettable winter fishing experience. 


Want to get into Ice Fishing but don’t know where to start? Here’s a list of the basics: 

SAFETY FIRST: Before embarking on an ice fishing adventure, it’s crucial to check local conditions, adhere to safety guidelines, and tap into the wealth of local knowledge. The first thing is to make sure the ice is thick enough to support ice fishing. A minimum of 4 inches of clear ice is generally considered safe for a single individual.  

ESSENTIAL GEAR: Here is a list of the basic equipment you will need to begin ice fishing.  

  1. Ice Auger: a tool used to drill a hole in the ice that can be either manually or electrically powered  
  2. Ice fishing rod and reel: there are specially-made poles for ice fishing that are shorter than your typical fishing rod, since casting is not necessary in this sport 
  3. Tip-ups or tip-downs: a device set up above your drilled ice fishing hole that signals when a fish has bitten and gotten caught on your fishing hook  
  4. Bait, sinkers, and hooks: you need a strong, appropriately sized hook for your desired catch, sinkers to help weigh down your line, and some kind of live bait such as minnows or worms  
  5. Ice shelter or shanty: either portable or more permanent, these structures provide shelter from the elements like the snow and wind 


Be sure to wear lots of layers to fight the cold. Temperatures can drop to well below 0 in the deepest part of winter. Your outer layer should be waterproof as well as windproof. Insulated and waterproof boots are also essential to staying warm while ice fishing.  


Make sure you have a Minnesota state fishing license, and check more local regulations like allowed fish count and size. Be sure you adhere to all rules, as serious fines can be issued! 


Familiarize yourself with angler techniques like jigging, what areas of the lake contain what kind of fish, and what bait is preferred by your target fish species. Reading handbooks and manuals, watching online demonstration videos, and asking local members of the community are great ways to learn about ice fishing and start the path of becoming a pro!  


Gull Lake is the perfect place to try a new sport, enjoy the snowy scenery, and relax around a fire. Enjoy Gull Lake in the winter; we’re happy to have you in any season!