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Fishing Rainy Lake

AKA: Lake Rainy

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By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for smallmouth bass, black crappie, walleye, bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, rock bass, yellow perch, bowfin, northern pike, sauger and lake sturgeon at Rainy Lake in Minnesota.

Rainy Lake, MN

Large numbers of walleye, bass, pike, crappie, pike and muskie make Rainy Lake a great destination for fishing enthusiasts. The lake also has healthy populations of sunfish, perch, bowfin and sturgeon.

Lake Video

Rainy Lake, located on the Minnesota-Ontario border, is a world-class fishing destination renowned for its abundant fish populations and scenic beauty. Spanning over 227,500 acres, this expansive lake offers anglers a diverse range of fishing opportunities and a chance to catch some of Minnesota's most sought-after fish species.

Smallmouth bass are a major draw for anglers on Rainy Lake. With its rocky shorelines, submerged structures, and ample vegetation, the lake provides ideal habitat for smallmouth bass. Anglers can target these feisty fish using a variety of techniques such as casting with topwater lures, jigging with soft plastics, or trolling with crankbaits. Rainy Lake's smallmouth bass fishery offers thrilling angling experiences and the opportunity to catch trophy-sized bass.

Walleye fishing is another highlight of Rainy Lake. Known for its healthy walleye population, the lake provides anglers with excellent opportunities to reel in these prized fish. Anglers can target walleye using various techniques such as trolling with crankbaits, jigging, or rigging with live bait. Rainy Lake's vastness and diverse structure make it an ideal location for walleye fishing throughout the year.

Sauger, a close relative of walleye, can also be found in Rainy Lake. These fish share similar habitats and feeding patterns, making them an exciting target for anglers. Anglers can target sauger using the same techniques as walleye, focusing on areas with current or deeper water. Rainy Lake's sauger population adds to the variety of angling experiences available to visiting anglers.

Northern pike are abundant in Rainy Lake and provide thrilling angling opportunities. These aggressive predators can be found near weed beds, rocky structures, and points. Anglers can use a variety of presentations such as spoons, spinners, or large swimbaits to entice pike. Rainy Lake's pike fishery is renowned for its trophy-sized fish and the adrenaline rush of landing these ferocious predators.

Yellow perch, bluegill, and black crappie are popular panfish species in Rainy Lake. These fish can be found near weed edges, submerged structures, or around sunken timber. Anglers can target panfish using small jigs, live bait, or fly fishing techniques. Whether you're after a mess of tasty perch, the fight of a slab-sized bluegill, or the challenge of finding crappie schools, Rainy Lake offers a rewarding panfish angling experience.

With its abundant fish species, breathtaking scenery, and exceptional fishing opportunities, Rainy Lake stands as one of Minnesota's premier fishing destinations. Whether you're targeting smallmouth bass, walleye, sauger, pike, perch, panfish, or simply enjoying a day on the water, Rainy Lake offers a memorable fishing experience in a pristine and picturesque setting along the international border.

This elaborate expanse of water surrounding hundreds of islands covers 220,000 acres, creating thousands of places to wet a line. Rainy Lake is on the northern border of the state, at International Falls, MN, and the lake resides in both Minnesota and Canada. Collectively there are over 1,800 miles of shoreline, with a half dozen boat launch ramps serving the public on the Minnesota side of the lake. A Minnesota fishing license is required for anglers 16 years old or older. This may be the most fished walleye water in the country each spring, and the fertile lake continues to produce great walleye fishing. The towns of International Falls and Ranier offer a wide variety of conveniences to enhance your stay with lodging, camping, shopping and dining.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Minnesota

Primary fish species residing in Rainy Lake

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Smallmouth bass Black crappie Walleye Bluegill Pumpkinseed Sunfish Rock Bass Yellow Perch Bowfin Northern pike Sauger Sturgeon

Rainy Lake Amenities

Marina: NO
Boat Rental: NO
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: YES
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: YES
Restaurant: YES

Today's Weather & Forecast

Boating is a popular activity on Rainy Lake, with numerous public access points and marinas available for anglers to launch their boats. The lake's vastness and scenic beauty allow for leisurely cruises, exploration of its numerous islands, and fishing in secluded bays. Camping facilities near the lake provide opportunities for anglers to extend their stay and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area.

Fishing Boat Rentals

Camp Idlewood Resort
Rentals: Fishing boats and bass boats
218 286-5551

Voyageurs Outfitters
Rentals: Pontoon boats
218 244-6506

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Bonham Landing Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southwest section of the lake, off State Route 11, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Rainy Lake Visitor Center Public Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the south side of the lake, off Ut-342, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with docks and paved parking.

Ranier Public Access Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southwest section of the lake, off Spruce Street, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and no dedicated parking.

Tilson Bay Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southwest section of the lake, off State Route 11, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.


Thunderbird Lodge Marina
2170 County Road 139
International Falls, MN 56649
218 286-3151

Click here for a Minnesota Fishing License.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Riverside Court Campground - 218 283-2839

Forestry Department Campground - 218 286-3334

Arnold's Campground & RV Park - 218 285-9100

Point Park Tenting Area Campground - 807 274-5323

Rainy Lake MN Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Rainy Lake
Arnold's Campground & RV Park
2031 2nd Ave
International Falls, MN 56649
218 285-9100


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