Top 10 Largemouth Bass Fishing Lakes in Minnesota This Summer

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Minnesota won the lottery when it comes to great fishing. Sure, you know it for walleye, northern pike, muskies and some great smallmouth bass fishing.

And while largemouth bass don’t always make that list, you can have a blast catching trophy bigmouths up toward that 8-pound mark in many of those same waters.

The land of 10,000 lakes includes over 2,000 with self-sustaining largemouth bass populations. We’ve whittled that list way down, so here’s a quick look at some of the very best.

Leech Lake

Leech Lake in northern Minnesota is a fantastic largemouth lake. Its 112,000 acres are full of bass, walleye, and pike.

Walker Bay is a sweet spot to target. Its shallow waters are full of weed beds, submerged structures, and rocky points, all magnets for bucketmouths. During the warmer months, when bass congregate here, Walker Bay an ideal spot for casting topwater lures or diving crankbaits.

Sucker Bay is another must-hit area with submerged vegetation and rocky outcrops. There aren’t always as many bass here, but it’s a good spot to target larger fish. Texas-rigged soft plastics or jigs fished around the plentiful cover should do the trick.

Target the bays and channels around Pelican Island. With its network of submerged vegetation and drop-offs, Pelican Island attracts bass seeking shelter and abundant prey. Flipping jigs or pitching creature baits work well here.

The town of Walker has all the amenities you need. The lake also has plenty of resorts and campgrounds around its shores, most of which cater to anglers.

Mille Lacs Lake

Mille Lacs Lake can be an exceptional largemouth bass fishing water. It spans over 132,000 acres and has a wide range of habitats.  

Target the weed beds and aquatic vegetation found along its shores and in its bays. These areas provide plenty of cover and forage for bass.

Try fishing around the weeds with soft plastics or topwater lures. Shallow diving crankbaits work great as well.

There are plenty of submerged structures, such as sunken trees, rock piles, and drop-offs, throughout the lake. These features serve as natural ambush points for bass to prey on unsuspecting baitfish, making them prime targets for anglers hunting the hunters.

Hit the shallow flats scattered throughout the spring when bass move into these areas to feed and spawn. They’ll return to fatten up in the fall. Try Carolina rigs, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits to target bass in these shallow water flats.

Small towns around the lake offer bait and tackle and most amenities you may need. Resorts and campgrounds are readily available along the shore.

Lake Vermilion

Lake Vermilion in northeastern Minnesota is over 40,000 acres and boasts more than 1,200 miles of shoreline. Plenty of largies live here, and it’s also known as the most beautiful lake in Minnesota.

Look to the big lake’s structure-filled bays for the best largemouth fishing. Here are some to consider:

Frazer Bay, with its rocks and points at varying depths, is great in the heat of the summer. Early morning and evening hours are particularly good in Frazer Bay. Try using Texas rigs and deep-diving crankbaits.

Big Bay sits north of Peyla and offers bass and bass chasers extensive weed beds, flats, and deep pockets. Trolling along the edges of drop-offs and using crankbaits can work great here.

Norwegian Bay on the lake’s northwest side is another must for big largemouths. The bay’s diverse underwater topography, including sunken islands and submerged timber, provides plenty of ambush points for bucketmouths. Jigging and deep-diving crankbaits are effective techniques.

Lakeshore resorts and campgrounds cater to anglers and have most supplies you’ll need.

Lake Minnetonka

Lake Minnetonka, just west of Minneapolis, covers over 14,000 acres. With bays, channels, and weed beds, there’s plenty of prime habitat for largemouth bass.

The Upper Lake area, which includes Smith’s Bay, Brown’s Bay, and Wayzata Bay, should be your first stop. These bays provide submerged vegetation, fallen trees, and rocky outcrops to attract bass. Cast along the edges of weed lines or target submerged structures with topwater lures, plastic worms, or jigs.

Lake Minnetonka has an extensive network of channels and backwaters where you’ll find hungry bass with less boat traffic. Use a kayak or small boat to target shallow flats, points, and docks with finesse techniques like drop-shot rigs or flipping jigs.

Crystal Bay and Lafayette Bay are great spots when largemouth bass hold in deeper water. Use Carolina rigs or deep-diving crankbaits to reach them.

With its prime location in the Minneapolis metro area, Lake Minnetonka has something for everyone, including nearby lodging, supplies and great fishing.

Lake Washington

Lake Washington is a near-perfect largemouth fishery in the southern part of the state. It’s full of weed beds, brush piles, and rock piles. 

Hit the weed beds that flourish throughout the lake. These provide great cover and food sources for bass. Use topwater lures or weedless rigs to navigate through the thick vegetation.

Submerged fallen trees, brush piles, and rocky outcrops attract largemouth bass seeking shelter and ambush points. Target these areas with jigs, soft plastics, or crankbaits.

The shallow bays and coves are also productive areas, especially during the early morning and evening hours when bass move in to feed. Casting along the shoreline or around visible structures can produce hammering strikes from aggressive bass.

During warmer months, anglers often find largemouth bass in deeper water near drop-offs and ledges. Use deep-diving crankbaits or jigging techniques to tempt them.

Mankato has the amenities you’ll need, and there are a few resorts around the lake. Camping is also easy to find here.

Crooked Lake

Crooked Lake is a prime destination for trophy largemouth bass fishing. It offers plenty of weed beds, rocky areas, and sunken timber for big bass, and it’s right in the middle of the Minneapolis suburbs, practically within casting distance of a Costco.

Hit the expansive weed beds that dot its surface with Texas-rigged soft plastics or flipping jigs. Weedless is the way.

Fallen trees, submerged rocks, and brush piles offer promising fishing grounds. Largemouth bass use this habitat as ambush points to prey on passing baitfish. Mimic the buffet by casting topwater lures or diving crankbaits around these structures.

In the spring months, shallow bays and coves become hotspots. These areas offer warmer water temperatures and abundant forage, drawing bass in search of food and suitable spawning grounds. Try finesse techniques like drop-shot rigs or wacky worms. Ned rigs work well here.

Points bring depth changes and current flow to create natural feeding zones for largemouths. Casting jerkbaits or swimbaits along these points can trigger reaction strikes from lurking bass.

The greater Minneapolis area has everything you’ll need for a successful trip.

Green Lake/Solomon Lake

A couple hours west of the Twin Cities, Green Lake offers some of the best largemouth bass fishing in the region. With its clear waters, abundant vegetation, and diverse structure, it has exceptional habitat. 

Expansive weed beds stretch along the shoreline and extend into deeper water. These provide cover and food for bass, making them hotspots for you to target. Topwater lures, like frogs or poppers, are effective in these areas, especially during early morning or late evening when bass are most active.

Submerged structures such as fallen trees, brush piles, and rock formations will hold bass throughout the lake. Use soft plastic baits rigged weedless to navigate through the cover without getting snagged.

Try your luck around the docks and piers scattered around the lake. Largemouth bass are known to seek refuge and feed around these, especially if aquatic vegetation or other cover adds to the cover.

Another approach is trolling crankbaits or spinnerbaits along deep drop-offs, underwater points, and channels, where bass move around and feed.

Solomon Lake is a few miles southwest of Green Lake and is full of largemouths. If you’re fishing Green and having a hard go of it, head to Solomon and hit the expansive weed beds throughout the lake. Rocky points and humps are good targets as well.

Spicer on Green Lake or Willmar near Solomon Lake have most of what you’ll need for the trip, and there are a few resorts and campgrounds throughout the area.

Tetonka Lake

An hour or so south of Minneapolis, Tetonka Lake is approximately 1,336 acres of weed beds, rocky outcrops, and fallen trees. Largies love it here.

The expansive weed beds throughout the lake provide an ideal habitat for bass, offering cover and ample food sources. Flipping jigs, Texas-rigged soft plastics, or topwater lures early in the morning or evening should bring bass to the boat.

Target the fallen trees, submerged logs, and rocky outcrops around the lake. Pitching jigs or crankbaits around the structure’s perimeter should lead to success. Crayfish colors work well here.

Shoreline fishing can also be promising. With its irregular shoreline featuring points, coves, and shallows, there are a ton of nooks and crannies where bass may lurk. Casting along the shoreline with spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, or soft plastic swimbaits can be good.

Explore the deeper waters, particularly during the warmer months when bass head to cooler depths. Drop-offs, submerged humps, and channels are areas where bass congregate. Techniques such as Carolina rigging, deep-diving crankbaits, or jigging can be effective in these deeper zones.

Waterville is on the eastern shore of the lake and has all the amenities you’ll need. There’s a lodge and a campground on the lake and several more in the general area. 

Big Stone Lake

Big Stone Lake offers fantastic largemouth fishing opportunities on the Minnesota/South Dakota border. 

One of the most popular areas is the shoreline around Mallard Point. Its submerged vegetation and fallen trees create ideal habitats where bass lurk in search of prey. Cast topwater lures or soft plastics along the edges of weed beds. Spring and fall are the most productive times in this area, as the bass move shallow to feed and spawn.

Another notable location is the stretch along Hartford Beach State Park. The park’s shoreline and nearby structures serve as prime locations for perch to gather. It’s on the South Dakota side, so be sure to check out boundary water regulations.

The rocky structures and submerged points around Big Stone Lake State Park are great spots to try during summer. These natural ambush points are perfect spots to probe with jerkbaits, crankbaits in crayfish colors, or swimbaits for aggressive strikes.

Several resorts in the area and Big Stone City and Ortonville have all the services you might need.

Woman Lake

Woman Lake, just south of the aforementioned Leech Lake, is well known as an excellent largemouth bass fishery. It has clear waters, lots of vegetation and other structures that cater to trophy-sized bass.

Start with the weed beds, which make ideal hunting grounds for bass and the anglers trying to catch them. Target areas with a mix of emergent and submerged vegetation, such as cabbage beds and coon tail patches.

Fallen trees, logs, and brush piles also attract baitfish and bass. Swimbaits, jerkbaits, and crankbaits are the go-tos here.

Woman Lake’s bays, channels, and points are also promising largemouth spots. These areas provide shelter from wind and wave action along with the forage that draws in bass.

Early mornings and evenings are typically the most productive fishing times, as bass tend to be more active during low-light conditions. Topwater lures, such as buzzbaits and frogs, can bring on explosive strikes.

Resorts and lodging dot Woman Lake and the small lakes around it, and everything you need is available there or in nearby Hackensack.

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