Ice Fishing for Northern Pike in the Grand Rapids Area

Northern Pike -Grand Rapids, MN

As winter continues to move forward, Ice fishing has sort of taken a back seat to other winter activities in the Grand Rapids area. With snow levels at ever-increasing levels, snowmobiling and cross country skiing have been extremely popular. It continues to be an “Old-time Minnesota Winter” that we haven’t seen in several years. A gentleman once told me the higher the Muskrats build their winter houses the more snow we are going to have. Well, he was correct. Even the weather folks predicted this winter wrong, but the Muskrats knew.

End of Season for a Few Species- Northern Pike & Walleye

Winter fishing is still a popular time to be out enjoying the outdoors. Right now locations are very important in contacting fish of several species. As we are into the later period of ice fishing, the cold water has definitely slowed the metabolism of fish but that will increase their feeding activity as we continue to move forward. Species such as walleyes and northern pike have only a few more weeks to show in your bucket. February 28th will end the season for both species, but there are still others to fish for.

Ice Fishing Tips!

Northern pike is moist often a fish that is less affected by cold water and they can continue to be active. By using Lakemaster mapping you can target areas where weeds and hard bottom near drop-offs exist. Tip-ups are still a good way to target these late-season pikes and allowing two tip-ups per angler can up your odds if you bring a friend or family member along. Smaller sucker minnows will most often produce the most flags. If I’m going to jig them or fish live to bait with a rod and reel I most often will use a slower moving bait then in early winter, drill several holes in an area from 8 to 20 feet and change holes often until you get bit. Many times attach a small sucker or medium shiner to your jig if that’s your presentation and it will definitely help. If there are weeds anywhere in the holes you drilled, concentrate your efforts in and around those locations.

Great Lakes to Fish for Northern Pike

Several of the good northern pike lakes in the Grand Rapids area that you may want to try are Swan, Trout Lake in Coleraine, Wabana, Big Winnie, and Pokegama. The last 2 weeks of the ice fishing season are coming up for northern pike and walleyes. Get out and give it a try on the mentioned lakes and it may be a good choice for the last of the season ice fishing trip.

To locate lakes, click HERE

There are great lodging properties in Itasca County on or close to the lakes mentioned above. To book/check out the lodging properties, click HERE. If you can’t make it up this winter to ice fish for northern pike or walleyes, don’t worry Summer and Fall are great times to book a fishing vacation too.


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Top 5 Trip Ideas for a Romantic Getaway

Romantic Getaway- Visit Grand Rapids, MN

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner plan your romantic getaway in Grand Rapids, MN. There is no better gift than a special weekend out of town. If you haven’t planned what to do for your special person, here are 5 ideas to make this valentine’s day extra special.

1. Hotel, Wine Bar, & Snowshoeing!

In Grand Rapids, there are 5 outstanding hotels. Some of the great amenities that are offered at some of the properties include a pool, hot tub, dog-friendly, attached dining/bar and all are conveniently located close to town. During your stay, visit UnWined Up North. They were voted the #1 wine bar in Minnesota by Star Tribune. Locally owned and known for a wide array of wine and beer all made in Minnesota. During your stay, spend some time outdoors exploring the snowshoeing trails. Rentals are available at Ardent Bicycles. Guided snowshoeing is available every Thursday from 12:30-1:30 at Tioga Recreation with Stephanie from the City of Cohasset Park and Rec. Department. Snowshoes are available during this guided service for FREE! Check out other trails in the greater Grand Rapids area by clicking HERE.

Snowshoes Janna Salmela 2015

2. Experience the Arts During a Weekend Up North!

Part of a great romantic getaway is to take in a performance together. See the Itasca Strings Orchestra on February 12th at 7 pm at The Reif. The Itasca Symphony Orchestra Plays Bizet Featuring violist Evgeny Zvonnikov they will be playing Carmen Fantasy. Before the show, there are great dining options in the Grand Rapids area to treat your special someone. Don’t forget to stop at MacRostie Art Center to see their Face Value exhibit by Russ White. There is also a cool store on the corner called Stained Glass with Class that offered stained glass classes. Call today to book a time!

MAC Art Shop Jordan Weis

3. Relax & Re-connect at a Resort or Bed & Breakfast

Enjoy the coziness of a cabin in the winter or the ease of a Bed & Breakfast. Re-connect with your loved one for a romantic getaway while exploring Minnesota’s nature. Set up an ice shanty on one of 1,000+ lakes in the area for some amazing ice fishing. Check out the latest Ice Fishing Report. Another idea is to head over to Blackwater Cross County Ski trail for a night ski on their lit trails. Lights are on until 10 pm and they have a heated shack! For more cross-country ski trails, click HERE.

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4. Weekend Ideas for the Adventurous Couples

If you and your significant other love snowmobiling or fat tire biking, the Grand Rapids area is the perfect place to make a valentines day weekend trip. There are over 1,000+ miles of groomed trails to explore. Check out the trails in advance by clicking HERE. If you are visiting to fat tire bike, Tioga is the place to go. There are over 25 miles of groomed trails from beginner to advanced. Click HERE to see the trail report.

Resort Group

5. Beer Flights & Museums

Come experience a fun weekend at the local breweries! Sip a flight of craft beer while listening to live music and enjoy some great food. Rapids Brewing Company has a special menu for Valentine’s Day and Klockow Brewing Company allows you to bring in your own food!  Near the breweries are 2 unique museums. Check out The Itasca County Historical Society which has a ton of unique exhibits and has an escape room. Call to book an hour! If you and your significant other are looking for a guided tour, the Judy Garland Museum has a guide every Friday and Saturday. Take a walk around and learn about the life of Judy Garland. The museum included the home she grew up in.

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Information on Booking a Trip

To see the different lodging properties in the greater Grand Rapids area visit our Stay Page. If you have any questions about booking a romantic getaway, feel free to call the Visit Grand Rapids office at (218) 326-9607 or e-mail us at


What To Do When You Are In A Winter Slump

Even in the cold of winter Grand Rapids, MN has indoor and outdoor fun!

What’s Going on This Week in Grand Rapids

Tuesday-Sunday: The Fat Forest 14 is virtual. Sign up on the GRIMBA website to race 7 miles or 14 miles on Tioga Recreation.

Tuesday: Harry Potter Trivia with UnWinded Up North. Trivia begins at 7pm on Facebook Live or in person!

Wednesday: Zocial Diztant Trivia at Zorbas. Trivia begins at 6:30!

Wednesday: Artist Talk Series with Monika Lawerence. Join at 6pm on Zoom. Click HERE to get to more information and the Zoom link.

Thursday: Live music at Rapids Brewing Company. Stop in and see Mckeon Hugh Roberts at 6pm.

Saturday: Pond Hockey is one. Head out to McKinley lake and have some hockey fun. For more information on how to sign up click HERE to be directed to their Facebook page.

Saturday: Bundle up and bring the kids out to McKinney Lake on February 20th for some family fun. From 11pm-2pm compete in a snow sculpture competition! For more information and to register contact Myrna Peterson at 218-301-6028.

Saturday: Join the traveling art pub and Timberlake Lodge from 5:30-7:00pm and paint the “Bright Winter Sunset”. The cost is $35 a person and food and beverage is additional. Click HERE to learn more and sign up.

Winter Recreation

Grand Rapids has over 1,000 lakes perfect for ice fishing and in Itasca County alone there are over 600 miles in snowmobile trails. In addition, to that there is a wide variety of snowshoe and cross country skiing trails for all levels. Of hit the slopes at Mt. Itasca for tubing, snowboarding or skiing.

Drive Up For Some Winter Fun!

No matter if you are an  indoor out outdoor person in the winter, Grand Rapids has something for everyone. To book your stay click HERE to find the perfect place to stay to get out of the winter slump.

Winter Road Trip to Grand Rapids

Take a break and get out of the city. Enjoy Grand Rapids as the winter wonderland it is. Experience snowmobiling, ice fishing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding and tubing! and now…… we have two different virtual tours you can experience from the safety of your car.

Virtual Tours

Grand Rapids Art and History Virtual Tour

Take a drive around town and see the Grand Rapids historic buildings. If you follow along with the map you will see a current photo and what the building used to look like. Many of the buildings on this Grand Rapids history  virtual tour still stand and have been refurbished. In addition, this map also has numerous art locations to see. Some of the art pieces are located in some of the historic sites.  Most locations are open with social distancing and masks required. Click HERE to see the different spots in town  to explore on a winter roundtrip to Grand Rapids.

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Statue in the Library
Pokegama Hotel
22. Original Pokegama Hotel
Old Pokegama Hotel
Metal Canoe by Mississippi








Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway Virtual Tour

Travel the historic and picturesque Highway 38 from Grand Rapids to Effie. The Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway is 47 miles long with 14 different discovery sites and a few hidden gems totaling to 22 sites to explore. Along this byway is the Chippewa National Park and sights of shoreline. As a reminder when traveling be cautious of the road especially during the winter. Locals refer to this road as “Highway Loop-de-Loop”.  Click HERE to see the map and sites to explore.

Joyce Estates

Outdoor Recreation

Hop out of the car and stretch your legs with some outdoor fun! Spend the day tubbing, skiing or snowboarding up a Mt. Itasca. If you are looking for something to get you more into nature, stop at Ardent Bicycles where you can rent cross country skis, snowshoes or rent a fat tire bike and spend the day on the 25 miles of trails at Tioga Recreation. If you want more of an adrenaline rush call over to R&R Rentals to rent a snowmobile! In Itasca County we have over 600 miles of trails. We also have a variety of lodging that has access right to the trails. If you are taking a road trip to go fishing we have over 1,000 lakes in Itasca County. If you are looking for new gear or forgot something check out Thousand Lakes Sporting Goods. They have just about everything and more you would need for ice fishing.

For trails and conditions click HERE. Trail conditions are updated weekly.


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PC: Cheryl Bunes
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PC: Sammy Johnson
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PC: Kaija Hull
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Fat Tire Biking

Safe and Cozy Lodging

Check out our STAY PAGE to find lodging  for your winter road trip. On this page you will find Hotels that offer a wide array of amenities and economical and convenient Motels located in town.  A quaint Bed & Breakfast located on Pokegama Lake. Vacation rentals that are located both in town and also on Grand Rapids, area lakes. In addition, you will find year-round Resorts that offer cozy cabins with fireplaces and a short walk to the lake.

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Bed & Breakfast
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Vacation Rental

Head North for a Getaway

Plan your winter road trip today. Take the time to reconnect up north and experience all of the fun outdoor recreation Grand Rapids has and now, take virtual tours and travel the routes. See the beauty, art and history of Grand Rapids this winter with a road trip!