Minnesota is surrounded by some of the most beautiful lakes which makes it the best destination for fishing. The waterways are blessed with abundant fish because of the collaborative efforts of the fisheries department, state biologists, and others concerned to preserve the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”-Minnesota. As a citizen we must fish responsibly and protect the natural resources by reading up the Minnesota fishing laws and getting a license.

  • It’s permitted to enter any public water access stated on the DNR website
  • Anyone can enter any public land or roads that border the water body
  • It is prohibited to reach the surface of the water through private land without permission from the landowner.
  • Trespassing any private land can cost up to $3,000 and your license being revoked or taken away
  • You should ask for landlords’ permission if you are in doubt when trespassing a private land
  • Do not trespass any licensed private agricultural land to gain access to the water. It will be violating both fishing law and a trespassing law.

Inland Water Species, Season, and Bag Limits

Walleye and Sauger

Period: 5/15/21 – 2/27/22

Possession: 6 in total permittable. Only 1 Walleye can be over 20”

Largemouth Bass

Period: 9/13/21 – 2/27/22

Possession: Daily possession limit 6

Smallmouth bass



Possession Limit

Smallmouth Bass

9/13/21 – 2/27/22

Catch-and-release only

Rock Bass

All time



All time



All time



All time


White Bass

All time




20 daily and 40 in procession





Possession Limit


Northern Pike


2; only 1 over 40”


Northern Pike

11/15/21 – 2/27/22

Darkhouse spearing: 2; Only 1 over 26”


Northern Pike

5/15/21 – 2/27/22

Angling 10; Limited to 2 over 26”

Northern Pike

11/15/21 – 2/27/22

Darkhouse spearing: 10; Only 1 over 26” and 1 between 22-26

Southern Zone

Northern Pike

5/15/21 – 2/27/22

Angling: 2 (Minimum size 24″)

Northern Pike

11/15/21 – 2/27/22

Darkhouse spearing: 2; Min. 24”


6/5/21 – 12/1/21

1, No less than 54”

License Requirements

Residents aged 16 to 89 must have a fishing license to legally fish in Minnesota. To be a resident, a person has to reside for 16 years or longer in Minnesota. It is required to show proof of residency, driver’s license, or an identity card to purchase a license. It is compulsory to carry the license along when moving to any fishing places. 

Non-residents must have a valid license except those children aged under 15; whose parent or guardian is licensed. 

Who doesn’t require a fishing license?

  • Residents who are under 16 and over 90 years
  • Residents of Minnesota who are in the U.S. Armed Forces, stationed outside the state, and visiting home. It is a must to have your leave paper when setting out for fishing.
  • Residents who have served outside the US in federal active service for the previous 24 months and not on duty now. (Discharge papers is required when fishing)
  • Residents who possess a nursing or boarding care home license
  • An in-patient of a U.S. Veterans Administration hospital

Where can I get a fishing license?

It’s no hassle to get your fishing license done in Minnesota. You can either collect it in person, online, or by calling whichever seems convenient to you.

Getting License Online:

The easiest way to get your license within a few clicks and swipes. Just click here to find your desired license.

Visiting in Person:

Licensed retailers including Walmart, bait, hardware store, or tackle store sells fishing licenses near the water. You can also purchase a Minnesota fishing license from the DNR office anytime.

A Call Away:

Call this toll-free number 1-888-MN-LICEN (665-4236) MN DNR to speak to an operator who will assist you to get your fishing license done on a phone call. 

Types of Fishing License in Minnesota:

  1. Individual Angling: If you are single this license id for you
  2. Combination Angling: Married couples who love to fish together 
  3. Individual Sport: A single person who want to hunt small game and fish
  4. Combination Sports: Permits one person to hunt and the other individual to fish only
  5. Non-resident Angling: Non-residents of Minnesota need to purchase this license for fishing

How much do I need to pay to get a fishing license in Minnesota?


Resident ($)

Non-resident ($)







1 Week






Annual License



Family Annual License



Married Annual License



Annual Conservation License



Annual Sports




When can I go fishing in Minnesota?

You just need a license to go fishing in Minnesota now. It is permitted to take crappie, catfish, sunfish, perch, and bullhead at all seasons. However, check out the specific regulations for off-season fish and their daily possession limit.

Can I fish in Minnesota without a license?

Yes, residents of Minnesota can go for ice fishing and fish in most state parks without a license. Fishing from shore, through ice, or from a boat is acceptable on designated lakes if a person doesn’t have a license. Also, in places where a trout stamp isn’t required a Minnesota resident can fish without a license.

Am I allowed to fish at night in Minnesota?

You can catch a Walleye at midnight on Saturday (1 minute after 12:59 p.m. Friday). It is limited to 6 fish in possession and no more than 1 can be over 20 inches. 

Final Verdict:

Fishing can only be fun and entertaining when the state-designed rules and regulations are not violated. It is compulsory to get a fishing license for an angler who wants to experience the richly populated waterways of Minnesota on a fishing trip. We recommend reading the entire fishing regulations of Minnesota on this website for a better understanding and additional information.

You Can Also Read: Fishing Guide for Beginners

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