walleye fisherman with bent rod and another fishing boat

fishing on the north shore

So here you are on the biggest freshwater lake in the world. Have you thought about fishing?

You can fish Lake Superior, it’s tributaries or inland lakes and streams. Catch lake trout and a variety of salmon on the big lake, trout and salmon in streams, and walleye, smallmouth bass, northern pike, perch and brook trout from inland lakes.  See fish descriptions and a few tips on catching below.

No boat? Don’t worry. Shorecast form any public lands along Lake Superior, [think public access areas and state parks]. Inland, choose one of the fishing piers noted below, or hire a charter. You can find charter fishing boats in Duluth, Two Harbors, Silver Bay and Grand Marais. Inland fishing guides are centered along the Gunflint Trail with a few near Grand Marais.

Licenses, bait, tackle and gear can be found at most gas stations and outfitters along the shore and up the Gunflint Trail-see the list below. You will need a trout stamp if fishing for trout. What happens if you don’t catch any? Well, you probably had a great day outdoors, but check local grocery stores and fish markets for fresh and smoked Lake Superior fish, too!

Check out details on the specific fish below and here are the details for the Spring Creel Report on Lake Superior Tributaries.

Prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by cleaning boats and gear, draining water, and drying your watercraft. Did you know boating and fishing are threatened by the spread of aquatic invasive species? Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are organisms that are not native and cause significant harm to an ecosystem when introduced. Harmful impacts can include effects on local game fish populations and impaired swimming waters.

good luck fishing!

north shore charter fishing and guides

grand marais charters e1560460976627
mile 109.1

Captain Gary is a USCG licensed charter boat captain with over 30 years of experience fishing out of the Grand Marais marina on Lake Superior.  During May and June, we will be downrigging in deeper water for lake trout and salmon.   During the months of July, August, and September the salmon action picks up and the lake trout come closer to the surface.  During these months we will be using a combination of downriggers, boards, and dipsy divers.

115 S 8th Ave | Grand Marais
218-370-5800
Grand Marais Boat Rides and Reel Swede Charters
mile 109.1

We leave the dock in the morning and head out in search of Lake Superior's Trout and Salmon. All ages are welcome and our USCG license allows us to take up to 6 passengers.

Captain Randy is a USCG licensed boat captain.  He  has been navigating the waters of the great lakes since 1984.  With over 30 years of experience on inland water, Gulf of Mexico, and the great lakes.  He has boated on Lake Michigan, Lake Ontario, and Lake Superior.  Lake Superior is our favorite, and where we stay today.

115 S 8th Ave | Grand Marais
612-889-7273
North Coast Charters
mile 24.0

Join Captain Tom aboard the Lonestar for great fishing along the North Shore of Lake Superior! You will appreciate Tom’s experience, easygoing attitude and helpful tips. Onboard the Lonestar, you are welcome to help set-up lines, or sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery.

947 Scenic Drive | Two Harbors
218-370-8830
mile 107.9

Enjoy a guided fishing trip in our Classic 165 Alumacraft. Equipped with a 50HP 4-stroke and up-to-date electronics. We also supply rods & reels, bait, tackle, and life vests.

Catch and Release or take them home. We clean and package your catch upon request. If you don't want to touch your bait or fish I'll do that for you. I was born and raised here so I know all the good spots! My Idea of a good fishing trip: Safety First!, Catching Fish, and Good Conversation. Sorry, we do not do expeditions on Lake Superior. Children Welcome!

| Grand Marais
218-370-8726
mile 109.7

Welcome aboard the 2 Eazy!!  The 2 Eazy is a 1992 Searay Sundancer 290 29 feet in length with a 9-foot beam. Your Captain Tom (2E) Bernier is a US Coast Guard Certified Charter Boat Captain. I started fishing Lake Superior when I was 13 and have yet to stop, This gives me almost 40 years of fishing experience on the Big Lake. The boat is equipped with Radar, GPS/Sonar, Downriggers, Rods, Reels, divers, and lures. The boat also has a full head and all safety equipment on board.

115 S 8th Ave | Grand Marais
218-387-5035
mile 109.1

Take a charter fishing trip on Lake Superior and fish for trout and salmon or go inland and fish for Smallmouth bass, walleyes, northern pike or muskie or do both! I offer a morning Lake Superior Charter, the donut run, and an evening inland fishing package.

115 S 8th Ave | Grand Marais
218-370-8726
mile 190.8

Fly fishing opportunities abound near Grand Marais. The tributaries that flow into Lake Superior and our inland lakes are some of Minnesota’s most wild and scenic settings. Our guides are experienced and accomplished in a few sport-fishing methods, including fly-fishing and spin-fishing or baitcasting. Stone Harbor also specializes in the Japanese-style fly-fishing known as Tenkara. We’ve taught clients new methods and have had them fishing in a matter of hours. No previous experience is required. Each tour begins with outfitting and then basic instruction occurs at the lake/tributary. We cover kick boat operation, stream wading technique, and basic fly casting.

22 1st #818 | Grand Marais
218-387-3136
mile 110.3

Guided fishing in and near the BWCA on mid-Gunflint Trail lakes for walleyes, smallmouth bass, bluegills, rainbow trout, splake trout, lake trout, and brook trout. Prices include everything needed for trip except MN fishing license, lunch, drinks, and bait.  Bait can be provided by guide; customer will be charged for what is used.  Shore lunches can be arranged for in advance; cost is $7.00 per person (not available during fire bans).  Customer will purchase own fishing license and bring own drinks.

69 Brandon Lane | Grand Marais
218-388-9942
mile 76.9

Welcome Aboard Tofte Charters! Join us for a relaxing scenic cruise or fishing trip aboard Tofte Charters on Lake Superior. Watch the Sawtooth Mountain range and the Superior National Forest slide slowly by as we troll along the rugged North Shore. King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Steelhead and Lake Trout inhabit the local waters and all make for fine dining after the trip.

| Tofte
218-663-9932

boat ramps and carry-down launches are open – see the list of open campgrounds here

Check out these North Shore Favorites

upcoming events

state record fish

  • Atlantic Salmon: 12 pounds, 13 oz; Baptism River at Tettegouche State Park
  • Chinook Salmon: [shared record] 33 pounds 4 oz, Poplar River, Lutsen and Lake Superior, near Duluth
  • Coho Salmon: 10 pounds 6.5 oz, Lake Superior, northeast of Two Harbors
  • Pink Salmon: 4 pounds 8 oz, Cascade River, Lutsen
  • Steelhead Rainbow: 16 pounds 6 oz, Devil Track River, Grand Marais
  • Lake Trout: 43 pounds 8 oz, Lake Superior, Hovland
  • Brown Trout: 16 pounds 12 oz, Lake Superior, northeast of Two Harbors
  • Walleye: 17 pounds 8oz, Seagull River, end of the Gunflint Trail

    fish descriptions & tips

walleye fishing

walleye

description

Average 1-2 pounds, but can exceed 10 pounds

Found in shallow waters (less than 15 feet) moving to deeper waters as temperatures increase, best bite is at dawn & dusk

A “walleye chop” (waves) on the water or overcast skies usually means more active fish

tips

Try a spinner-bait, slip-bobber rig or jig head with bait (minnow, leech or nightcrawler)

smallmouth bass fishing

smallmouth bass

description

average weight 1 pound; great fighting fish

found in shallow water [less than 15 feet] moving to deeper waters as temperatures increase

tips

try a spinner-bait combo or troll with a Rapala

lake-trout

lake trout

description

average 2-3 pounds, but can exceed 40 pounds

prefer cold water, so move deeper as temperatures rise

tips

for shorecasting, try yarn flies, tiny spinners or spoons

from a boat, try dodger fly with downriggers or planer boards

brook trout fishing

other trout: brook, brown, splake, rainbow

description

average .5 – 1 pound, elusive fish

found in pools on shaded small streams, and tributaries and small inland lakes

tips

small spinners, nightcrawlers or flies

check regulations concerning live bait

lake superior salmon fishing

salmon: chinook, coho, pink, & atlantic

description

size varies with type of salmon

can be found on Lake Superior and it’s tributaries

tips

pinks run in odd-numbered years and are caught late summer

Coho prefer cooler water and are found in early July

Chinook run peaks in early July

Atlantics have a fall run around the first of October

where to fish from shore

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR] and US Forest Service [USFS] provide accessible fishing piers in the North Shore area. These are great areas to fish if you don’t have a boat.

hogback lake

Accessible fishing pier at rustic campground; fish for rainbow trout and splake

From Hwy 61 MM 60, drive north on the MN Hwy 1 for 22 miles, turn east / right on the Wanless Road for 11.9 miles

crescent lake

Fish for walleye, smallmouth bass and an occasional muskie from this pier. An accessible campsite is adjacent to the pier.

From Hwy 61 MM 83.2, drive north on the Sawbill Trail for 17 miles, turn west / right on the Wanless Road for 11.9 miles

sawbill lake

Cast for walleyes and enjoy the view of the lake.

From Hwy 61 MM 83.2, drive north on the Sawbill Trail for 23 miles.

white pine lake

Try for walleye or northern at dawn or dusk.

From Hwy 61 MM 92.5, drive north on the Caribou Trail 6.7 miles, go west / left on the Honeymoon Trail for 2.6 miles, then right onto white Pine Access Road

mink lake

Catch splake and rainbow trout off the pier.

From Hwy 61 MM 109.1, drive north on 5th Ave W for .7 miles, turn left onto the Gunflint Trail for 10 miles, thens east / right onto Trout Lake Road for 1.7 miles

trestle pine lake

Note the old railroad trestle crossing the lake; fish for rainbow and splake.

From Hwy 61 MM 90.1, drive north on 5th Ave W for .7 miles, turn left onto the Gunflint Trail for 3 miles, west / left on Devil Track Road for 5.7 miles, north / right on Ball Club Road 4.6 miles, then east / right on Trestle Pine Road for .9 miles