Enjoy a Fishing Getaway (Even if you don’t like to fish)

The Willmar Lakes Area is the ideal location for a weekend getaway for those that love to fish and for those that don’t. Being located in central Minnesota bodes well for the area and for those that don’t like to travel too far for a getaway. With more than 360 lakes, anglers are sure to experience a less busy fishing opener than in other areas of the state. And along with those lakes, Kandiyohi County is also home to all kinds of recreational activities including swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking, biking, golfing just to name a few! And for those that want to stay out of the sun, the Willmar Lakes Area is proud to offer a variety of delicious restaurants, unique boutiques and shops, historical attractions, art galleries, wineries, and breweries as well as a variety of events and festivals.

Let’s start off your adventure in the Spicer area which is widely known for Green Lake, the largest lake in the county. Spreading across 5,560 acres, this lake offers the most room for fishermen and women to spread out to find their big catch. You’ll find many walleyes in the 15-19 inch range as well as good numbers of smallmouth and largemouth bass, northern pike, crappie, sunfish and more. Spicer also has a large public dock for shore fishing located off of Pirrotta Park. For those that aren’t into baiting hooks and reeling in fish, Spicer offers many delicious restaurants and coffee shops, a winery, and Big Kahuna Fun Park, where you can take in a game of mini golf, race around on the go-kart track or cool off on the bumper boats. You’ll also be close to Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center where you can enjoy a hike along their many trails or rent a fat tire bike or kayak to see the prairie land from a different view. And whether you’d prefer to stay in a hotel, tent or your own RV, Spicer has many great lodging options including the beautiful Green Lake County Park. So whether it’s just you and your significant other or if you’ve brought along some kids, Spicer is a great option for a weekend getaway.

Another popular fishing location is Long Lake North, which is located five miles north of Willmar. This picturesque lake is spring fed and crystal clear with a maximum depth of 46′ and covers approximately 285 acres. Long Lake is a combination of many sheltered bays and is one of the areas best largemouth bass, crappie and sunfish lakes. If you love camping, make a reservation at Hide-Away Campground located on the southwest shore of Long Lake. With amenities such as a well groomed beach and swimming area, game room, paddle boat, kayaks, tennis court, volleyball, horseshoes, and pontoon and boat rentals, there’s definitely something for everyone to do to at Hide-Away Campground. If you’d rather have the convenience of a hotel some great options close to Long Lake include GrandStay Hotel & Suites, Northern Inn Hotel & Suites, and Hampton Inn Green Lake Resort.

Diamond Lake is also a great place to catch the next big one! The fishing is first class with walleye, northern pike, largemouth bass, bluegills, and crappie. This picturesque 1,600 acre lake is located near the communities of Spicer, Willmar, Atwater and New London so you’re only a few minutes from a variety of other activities as well. Book a cabin at Diamond Lake Resort and enjoy kayaks, canoes, paddle boats, stand up paddle boards, aqua-mat, water slide and a beautiful sand beach. If you prefer camping in your own RV, then book a reservation at Diamond Lake County Park and enjoy the outdoors by playing a game of softball, horse shoes, volleyball or just sit back and enjoy the breathtaking view as you grill up a delicious lunch.

Foot and Willmar lakes are located right in the middle of the county and the city of Willmar. Both lakes are great for those that like to catch crappie, northern pike, sunfish and walleye. With a variety of shore fishing options, including the newly built fishing pier, anglers don’t even need a boat to reel in a bunch of keepers! And the best part about these two lakes is that they surround Robbins Island Regional Park, where many local events and festivals are located as well as the Willmar Destination Playground, an 18-hole disc golf course, soccer fields, hiking and biking trails, and a sandy beach. There are plenty of beautiful hotels nearby including the Best Western Plus, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, and AmericInn. So whether the kids want to swim at the beach or enjoy the pools at the hotels, you’ll definitely need to pack their swimsuits! While in Willmar, make sure you take time to enjoy the many delicious restaurants and variety of attractions as well! (Check out our blog on the Top Attractions in the Willmar Lakes Area to learn more)

Another very popular lake for fishing is Nest Lake, located two miles north of Spicer. Over 960 acres, Nest Lake has an interesting variety of fishing water with many bays and points protected from the winds by a high shore line. It has depths up to 42 feet and many shallow weed beds, heavy with vegetation, making good spawning areas that maintain the high quality of fishing enjoyed here. Walleye, northern pike, bass, sunfish, crappies, perch and bullheads make up the fish population. Shore fishing is popular under the Highway 23 bridge with the many eager sunfish and crappie hiding under there. No need to travel to town for a place to stay as Nest Lake is home to Island View Resort, a well-known popular destination resort. Enjoy your stay in a variety of spacious cabins that have full kitchens or enjoy camping under the stars at one of their 23 seasonal RV sites. With amenities such as canoes, hydrobikes, kayaks, paddles boats, a playground and pontoon rental, there’s definitely something for everyone at this relaxing resort!

Located six miles west of Spicer, you’ll find Lake Florida, a 705 acre spring fed lake. The lake is full of walleye, northern pike, largemouth bass, sunfish and crappie. Walleyes are stocked every other year in Lake Florida. Along the southeast shoreline area you’ll find Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center, where outdoor activities abound. And along the east shore of the lake you’ll find a resort that specializes in hominess and hospitality, Dickerson’s Lake Florida Resort. With 13 fully furnished cottages that are steps from shore, you’re sure to love the ease and convenience of lake life at this resort. Vacationers head straight for the beach to enjoy the free paddleboats, kayaks, hydro-bikes, sailboat, canoe and rowboats. There are also bikes, trikes and wagons of all sizes. Feel free to explore the many beautiful sights and sounds along the Glacial Lakes State Trail during your stay. Motors for the fishing boats and a pontoon are available for rent as well. When planning your next fishing adventure, make your reservation at Dickerson’s Lake Florida Resort, where Bob and Connie continue the tradition of gracious hospitality started over 80 years ago by Bob’s great grandparents.

Big Kandiyohi Lake is also a great source for walleye, northern, crappie and catfish whether you’re fishing from shore or by boat. This beautiful lake has two great camping options for those that love the outdoors. Big Kandiyohi Lake County Park East and West both offer boat rentals and have other recreational activities to keep the family busy. Games Lake is also home to one of the beautiful county parks and is a great location for crappie, largemouth bass, northern pike, sunfish and walleye fishing. Games Lake County Park is also a popular location for locals as it boasts one of the best beaches in the area as well as a convenience store and eatery. Other popular lakes for fishing in the area include Eagle Lake, Norway Lake, Lake Calhoun and Ringo Lake.

Don’t forget to purchase fresh bait before you head out on your fishing adventure. The Willmar Lakes Area offers plenty of unique choices when it comes to purchasing bait, tackle and supplies. These knowledgeable and experienced dealers can help navigate local waters and give tips on the latest hot spots! Each store has unique offerings that really makes the entire experience more fun!

-Pete’s Surplus- www.petessurplusmn.com
-Mel’s Sport Shop- www.facebook.com/melssportshop
-Highway 71 Bait and Tackle- www.facebook.com/JandJ71Bait
-West Central Bait and Fisheries- www.gotwalleyes.com
-Skindelien’s New London
-Runnings Supply- www.runnings.com

Now that you know that the Willmar Lakes Area is the perfect location for fishing (and a bunch of other great recreational activities) make sure you spread the word to your family and friends. So while the fishermen head out in the early morning for a day of fishing, the rest of the family can plan a full day of adventure – hiking, biking, playing at a variety of playgrounds, kayaking, canoeing, taking in a Willmar Stingers baseball game, splashing around at the Dorothy Olson Aquatic Center, or finding gems while sluicing at West Central RockHounds. Find lots more fun activities on the Things To Do page of our website.

Fish our lakes

The possibilities are endless on our 30 recreational lakes…boating, swimming, fishing, water skiing, tubing, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boating, hydro biking, paddle boarding and so much more!

Fishing Report

Explore our Trails

Surrounded by beautiful lakes and scenery…who wouldn’t take a hike or a leisurely bike ride to enjoy the view? With miles of trials to choose from, you can always find new places to explore.

Trail Report