The first thing that you ought to bring with you when fishing in Minnesota is a fishing license. If you aren’t from the area, it might pay off to do a bit of research and even go online and look for the Minnesota DNR fishing licenses. If you are part of a guided trip, you have nothing to worry about with regard to the tackle, rods, reels, and any other type of equipment, as your guide will be responsible for providing all of this. On the other hand, if you aren’t willing to invest in such a trip, I’ve put together a simple list of the gear and other items you might require to get the most of your fishing adventure.
Aside from the actual angling gear, you’ll have to pack some beverages, rain gear, a camera, sunscreen, some bug repellent, a pair of good-quality polarized sunglasses, and a pair of rubber boots. Your tackle box can have a lot of items that may differ in size and actual features, depending on the area in Minnesota you’ll be fishing in, but also depending on the season. Some of the equipment that I have used over the years ranges from a spinning rod and reel to good-quality hooks and several types of bait. I personally prefer using a medium-action 6 to 7-ft rod with 6 to 10lb test line, but this depends on your requirements and expertise. Choose the right type of rod for the species you are targeting and for your skill level.
As for the bait, I use both artificial and natural. I typically utilize anything from rubber bodied jigs to floating jigs and even throw in some hair and feather type jigs, as well as plugs and topwater stick baits. To make sure that I’m prepared for every situation, I also bring some sinkers, bobbers and stringers. Needle nose pliers come in handy for releasing the fish, and you might give some thought to bringing them along, as well, as you don’t want to risk killing a young one and have no possibility to throw it back in the water. I know that the catch and release policy isn’t particularly popular with some anglers, but I have found it to be the most humane way of dealing with all of the fishing adventure business. It’s practically the single and most efficient method of ensuring that you’ll have some targets next year, as well.
Obviously, the bait that you’ll be putting in your tackle box will depend on the fish you’ll be trying to catch. For instance, when targeting smallmouth and largemouth bass, you might want to bring along some surface and diving plugs, spinnerbaits, and slip bobbers. For walleye, you’ll need floating jig heads, sinking plugs, as well as hair and feather type jigs. For northern pike, stick to spinnerbaits, surface, and diving plugs, as well as spoons. Panfish is the easiest of all as you’ll only have to take some assorted jigs in small to medium sizes and slip bobbers.