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!