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When it comes to scenic and exciting escapes, there’s no place better year-round than stunning Gull Lake, Minnesota. This beautiful and inviting locale is loved by travelers looking to make the most of summer weather fun, but it’s also a vibrant destination in the winter when the temperatures drop. Between snowshoeing, skiing, and exploring, Gull Lake has a lot to offer in the way of outdoor adventure. That said, one of the highlight events for winter travelers headed this way is often ice fishing in Gull Lake! Winter temperatures in this part of Minnesota make it simple to get out on the ice with confidence and reel in some fantastic catches when the snow falls. In fact, Gull Lake has frequently been pointed to as a top ice fishing destination in the state, bringing hardwater anglers to the region from the middle of December through February in droves.

Ice fishing season officially ends in March each year on Gull Lake, but that provides plenty of time to get some great bites under the ice. Those who come here to make the most of ice fishing experiences will love that it’s entirely possible to head out independently and see what’s biting or enjoy the experience alongside an experienced guide if that’s a better option. Either way, it’s an activity in this area that’s been beloved for years with no signs of slowing down.

Be Sure to Have the License You Need in Place

A key to having an amazing ice fishing experience on Gull Lake is having your fishing license in place well before you hit the ice. It’s necessary to obtain a license through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and information on specifics and applications can be found at 1-888-MINNDNR. Do keep in mind that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is your primary contact for ice fishing licensing as guides and resorts don’t typically provide this type of service in this area. Having the proper documentation in hand ahead of time will ensure that you’ll maximize your time on the ice and keep your peace of mind intact too.

What’s Biting Under the Ice?

Fortunately, a variety of species! Those who head to Gull Lake in the winter to make the most of ice fishing experiences will find themselves in the center of a haven of fish species that inhabit the waters year-round. Gull Lake is the largest of the bunch in the Brainerd Lakes region and covers an area encompassing more than 9,000 acres. The maximum depth of Gull Lake reaches around 80 feet, and while the area is heavily developed, being out on the ice provides a sense of seclusion that many ice anglers are seeking. When you cast a line under the ice on these waters, you’re likely to reel in everything from small and large-mouth bass to northern pike and walleye. Ice anglers have also been known to catch rock bass, crappie, muskie, and perch as well.

Partner Up with a Great Fishing Guide

Whether you could just use some local insight, or you’re new to ice fishing entirely, pairing up with an experienced guide is always a good idea. Luckily, there are plenty to be found around Gull Lake. One of the biggest benefits that comes with booking time with an ice fishing guide is that they’ll typically provide all of the equipment and gear you’ll need to make it a safe and productive day on the ice. They also know the most lucrative fishing spots in the region, ensuring you’ll catch something exciting along the way. When you’re looking for a place to start, consider contacting Walleyedan’s Guide Service out of Nisswa. This company pairs ice anglers up with a professional guide and makes customizing ice fishing on Gull Lake easier than ever. With this company, you can book a full-day or half-day trip, but no matter which you choose, you can count on an all-inclusive experience from start to finish. The Nisswa Guides League is another great option when you’re ready to book a guided ice fishing experience in this area. Having completed over 50,000 guided trips as of 2021, this company has the legacy and experience to help experienced and novice ice anglers alike. Book a 4-, 6- or 8-hour journey and be prepared to learn a lot about the area along the way as guides with this company are eager to share exciting insight.

Make It a January Trip for Ice Fishing Extravaganza Fun

If you’re looking to incorporate a bit of competition into your ice fishing experience on Gull Lake, make sure to come in January when the annual Ice Fishing Extravaganza is in full swing. The event will be held on January 29th in 2022 at Hole in the Day Bay, Gull Lake and is proud to be the largest ice fishing contest in North America. Thousands of hardwater anglers come to this event each year and try their luck at over $150,000 worth of prizes. Proceeds go to charity, and the fun is always included free of charge!

Book Your Gull Lake Adventure

When you’re ready to experience Gull Lake, make sure you have the accommodations to match by reaching out to Gull Lake Beach Resorts. We’ll make sure you’re settled into a comfortable and luxurious home away from home. We can’t wait to welcome you to Minnesota soon!

If you’re a winter-weather enthusiast who can’t wait for that first snowfall of the year, Minnesota is calling for you! If you have a passion for winters spent skiing, snowboarding, or tubing, you’re bound to love the awesome accumulation of white stuff in the Gull Lake region. The Brainerd Lakes area gets an average of 44 inches of snowfall per year compared to the nation’s average of 28 inches, creating a promising place for downhill ski adventures in the Minnesota winter season.

Gull Lake is a popular outdoor recreation destination all year ‘round, and in the winter, it’s the heart of some of Minnesota’s best cold-weather adventures. A winter wonderland of opportunity abounds in this northern territory where a weekend getaway must be on the wintertime to-do list.

Without a doubt, a winter weekend of fun starts at Mount Ski Gull. Situated on the scenic western shores of Gull Lake, this winter sports hot spot is a great place for solo adventurers and families alike. And the best part is that our friends on the mountain have partnered with Gull Lake Beach Resorts to offer our guests a 15% discount on lift and tubing tickets! You don’t need a code or a coupon, simply call Mount Ski Gull and mention your stay at Gull Lake Beach Resorts to purchase the discounted tickets. This special offer extends all the way through the current ski season.

A winter fun fixture since the 1980s, Mount Ski Gull hosts equal opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and tubing across terrain that’s meticulously maintained. Varying degrees of slopes make this a destination that’s well suited to outdoor adventurers of all ages and abilities. Mount Ski Gull boasts exceptional evening lighting for maximizing your time on the slopes, while high-speed rope tows make it easy to save your energy.

At Mount Ski Gull’s full-service chalet, you’ll enjoy access to a variety of snacks and beverages as well as a pair of oversized fireplaces to warm you after a day on the slopes. In this facility, you also can rent gear, making for light packing for a trip to Gull Lake.

The professionals at Mount Ski Gull even offer special sessions for those who live for skiing adventure. Private and semi-private lessons for novice skiers who want to improve their skills are held each Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m. Advanced registration is required for all lessons which begin December 26 and come at an extra cost beyond the lift ticket. For the younger skiers, holiday camps offer fun and instruction in two action-packed days. Ski and snowboard camps will be held December 27-28 and 29-30, 2021.


Whether it’s a winter weekend adventure this way, or a trip any other time of year that brings you to Minnesota, the team at Gull Lake Beach Resorts is here to make sure you have amazing accommodations to match the fun. Contact us today to learn more about our properties and to begin planning your trip!


For many travelers, summer tends to be the season to pack up the suitcase and hit the road or skies in the name of a fun and exciting adventure. While warm-weather destinations are certainly appealing, those looking to get out of town when winter rolls around will find plenty of options for entertainment waiting in Gull Lake, Minnesota. When you’re in the mood to travel and looking for a vacation destination where winter temperatures and landscapes offer up opportunities for outdoor fun, Gull Lake and the surrounding region provide a plethora of options. Between December and February, temperatures linger around the lower to upper 20s with plenty of snowfall too. The combination creates an inviting locale for outdoor recreation enthusiasts to bundle up and make the most of the terrain! The following are just a few of many options for winter Gull Lake activities and fun when you’re looking to expand on the cold-weather itinerary.

Spend Time Skiing

When your idea of the ultimate winter getaway comes with plenty of time savored on the slopes, Gull Lake has just the place for you! Downhill enthusiasts who can’t wait to conquer the fresh powder on skis and snowboards will enjoy every moment spent at Mount Ski Gull during their getaway. This ski resort is a great place for beginners to sign up for lessons and learn the basic techniques to lead to more advanced downhill fun. Those experienced skiers will find the runs at Mount Ski Gull just as engaging and definitely putting their skills to the test. Whether you aim to spend time skiing, enjoying the view from the lifts, or cozying up in the chalet—Mount Ski Gull has something for everyone this winter.

Hike the Winter Trails and Bird Watch

Gull Lake and the surrounding region provide hikers with a wonderful collection of trails to explore on foot in the summer months but that doesn’t mean they close down in the winter. On the contrary, many of these trails are meticulously maintained year-round, meaning those who are looking forward to bundling up and trekking out can do so with ease. The trails that wind through this area are also a great starting point for bird watchers. Bring your binoculars and extra warm hiking boots for an adventure that gives you a chance to observe some snowbirds in their natural environment with ease.

Enjoy Ice Fishing

Gull Lake is surrounded by streams and ponds, many of which freeze over in the winter months. If you happen to be in town when the ice is thick enough, taking time to enjoy ice fishing is definitely one of favorite Gull Lake activities for locals and visitors alike. Join up with a group heading out to make the most of the icy fun, or make it a solo adventure where you take some time in winter to connect with nature in a more independent way.

Go Snowmobiling

For some, winter adventures are all about thrilling speeds and if you’re the type of traveler that falls into this category, heading out on the Gull Lake trails via snowmobile is bound to be a highlight of your stay. Whether you bring your own gear or rent from a locally owned shop, snowmobiling is a breathtaking way to see the sights, enjoy the landscape, and bond with friends while you’re in town.

Have a Bonfire

When you’re ready to slow things down during your winter getaway, booking a vacation rental with an outdoor firepit and enjoying a snowy bonfire is a great option for fun. This family-friendly activity encourages making s’mores and taking time out of your vacation to simply sit around and enjoy each other’s company.

Enjoy Gull Lake Activities: Ice Skating and Hockey

If you’re a traveler with a knack for balance or simply in the mood for some friendly competition, heading to the frozen lakes and ponds with ice skates in hand is always a good idea when visiting the Gull Lake area. From recreational ice skating to full games of ice hockey, it’s likely you’ll run into other travelers and locals with the same idea looking to participate in the fun as well!

Try Snowshoeing and Photography

Gull Lake is truly a scenic destination year-round but when it’s covered with snow in the winter, it takes on a nearly whimsical quality. For photographers, this means plenty of opportunities to get out and capture those moments on camera. During your winter getaway, add a unique touch to your photo journey by strapping on snowshoes and gaining access to even more of the winter terrain!

A Trip to Remember

There’s never been a better time to head to Gull Lake and enjoy a refreshing moment away. When you’re in town, be sure the team at Gull Lake Beach Resorts have you settled into the ultimate vacation rental that keeps you close to the fun. Contact us today to learn more and to begin planning!