Ice fishing this season? If so, you should consider–no, decide–on Grand Rapids, Minnesota. As noted in previous stories, I have an ice fishing bucket list. This city and its surrounding lakes provided enough species to keep me in the Minnesota borders if I didn’t have a “lake bucket list” that keeps me on the road. I fished the satellite waters around Lake Winnibigoshish and reeled in pike, crappies, perch, walleyes and on beautiful Bass Lake, near-trophy bluegills. Bass Lake is one of only two lakes in Itasca county, Minnesota that are specifically managed for trophy bluegill fishing and the results are self evident.

Hidden Haven Resort in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

I stayed at Hidden Haven Resort in amazing cabin 12. The resort offers top-notch accommodations with cabins right on the lake. During the summer months, guests enjoy the 300-foot sand beach, canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, and pontoon boats. Those that choose to take advantage of the hardwater season will be in total awe as they awake to the view of a beautiful frozen landscape and warm their toes in front of the roaring fire. The resort supplies guests with firewood cut right on the grounds.

After a great day of fishing, resort owner Bob Barton will clean your fish for you at no extra charge. That may seem like a small thing, but I can honestly say that in all of my travels, I very rarely have ever found a resort that offers this service. It’s a big plus in my book. The cabins offer a full kitchen if you like to cook your own meals, and they have propane fish cookers on site if you’d like to serve up your daily catch. But if you’d like to go out, I have a recommendation for that as well.

Forest Lake Steak House grilled up a fabulous top sirloin and finished her off with a pecan pie that I’d swear was from the south. The restaurant serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner and offers a full bar.

I’ll be heading back to Grand Rapids when the snow melts to try out their biking trails and continue my pursuit of a bluegills and slabs. If you are interested in planning a trip to the area contact Visit Grand Rapids.

Images by Noel Vick

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