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2024 "opener"- slot sizes - fish I.D and more...

Updated: Feb 23

Minnesota fishing opener 2024 is Saturday, May 11th

Walleye/Sauger Limit:

Walleye and Sauger: Combined possession limit six, only four may be walleye. All walleye from 18-26" must be immediately released. One over 26" allowed in possession.

DNR information for Kabetogama (click here)

for Namakan (click here)

for Rainy Lake (click here)

Quick reference on Walleye vs Sauger: Sauger do NOT count on "slot limit" so an 18" sauger can be kept on our system. To identify, look for spots on the dorsal fin...if you see spots, likely a sauger. Next look and the lower portion of the tail fin...if there is a white tip, likely a walleye. Also sauger will generally be "brown color" with dark "blotches" on the scales. Taste is the same...delicious.

Bass season: when can I fish for bass?

Anglers can fish for smallmouth and largemouth bass starting each year on same day as the walleye and northern pike fishing opener. On that day, an early bass harvest season opens north and east of U.S. Highway 53 from Duluth to International Falls (red area), and in the rest of the state (green area) there is a catch-and-release bass season that runs from the regular harvest season until late May.

What's the limit on Northern Pike? Is there a "slot limit" on northern pike?

  • season opens May 11th on Kabetogama

  • Northeast (our zone) In the northeast zone, anglers can keep two pike. All from 30 to 40 inches require release and only one over 40 inches is allowed in possession. Spearers can take two pike but only one may be larger than 26 inches.

We are located in the Northeast Zone.

According to the MN DNR:

Because pike populations differ in various regions of the state there isn't just one issue – or one solution.

In the northeast, pike are present in relatively low numbers and at relatively large sizes. They reproduce naturally. Although they grow slowly, they can grow quite large because relatively few anglers scatter limited fishing pressure across a large number of lakes.

In southern Minnesota, pike are less abundant and don't reproduce as well as in the north. Southern Minnesota has high fishing pressure and a high harvest rate relative to the number of pike; however, these fish grow fast.

The north central area is plagued by too many small pike. There is moderate to high fishing pressure and high harvest of large and medium size pike. Pike grow slowly here, and an over-abundance of small pike is the result.

Onterio fishing opener: third Saturday in May (May 18th, 2024)

Wisconsin fishing opener Saturday May 4th, 2024

Minnesota/Wisconsin Border Waters (click for DNR info)

From MN DNR site: Border Waters: Wisconsin

To what waters do these regulations apply?

Seasons and regulations apply to the Mississippi River (downstream of the highway bridge in Prescott, WI, and all waters between the Burlington Northern [Wisconsin] and Canadian Pacific [Minnesota] railroad tracks), Lake Pepin, St. Croix River, Lake St. Croix, St. Louis River, St. Louis Bay and Superior Bay.

Are daily and possession limits different?

Daily and possession limits are the same.

How many lines and hooks can I use?

Two lines with a single lure or bait on each are permitted. If fishing with one line, you may use two baits.

What if I snag a fish?

Fish hooked in any part of the body, except the mouth, must be returned to the water immediately.

How close must I be to my tip-up when ice fishing?

Angler must be within 400 feet of their tip-ups.

Can I spear fish?

Spearing game fish is prohibited. However rough fish may be taken by spearing and dip-netting during daylight hours. Dip net hoops may not exceed 24" diameter.

Can I have a spear when the season is closed?

It is unlawful to have a spear on or adjacent to any body of water where the spearing season is closed.

Can I fish with a bow and arrow?

Minnesota bowfishing regulations are allowed only on Minnesota's portion of the border waters if they differ from Wisconsin regulations.

Can I return fish to the water after I keep them?

Yes. You may release live fish (sort) anytime.

Where can't I fish?

  • Mississippi River: Within 300 feet below Mississippi River Lock and Dam 3 (near Red Wing) and Lock and Dam 4 (Alma, WI) from March 1-April 30.

  • St. Croix River: From Taylors Falls (St. Croix Falls) dam to 50 feet downstream from the pier in center of river.

St. Louis River: No fishing allowed at any time from the Fond du Lac Dam downstream to the Minnesota-Wisconsin boundary cable. No fishing allowed from the boundary cable downstream to the Highway 23 bridge from February 28 - May 18.

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