I was born and largely raised in the state of Minnesota. As a Minnesotan, it's ingrained in you that our state has a bajillion lakes... give or take. And, it's also ingrained in all Minnesotans that we hence have year-round fishing holes.

Spring, summer, and fall you're out on the lakes in your boat, winter it's ice-fishing. No matter how or which late or river, Minnesotans are constantly chasing what Minnesota Public Radio once famously called, "Minnesota's Holy Grail of Fish".

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I am talking about the walleye. A fish commonly found in Minnesota restaurants, as common as a pork tenderloin on a menu here in Iowa. But what may come as a surprise to many Minnesotans, we also have a lot of 'em floating around our waters in the Hawkeye State.

Photo by Zab Consulting on Unsplash

A freshly caught walleye from International Falls, MN. Photo by Zab Consulting on Unsplash
A freshly caught walleye from International Falls, MN. Photo by Zab Consulting on Unsplash
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Look, no one thinks the Walleye is native to, or only in Minnesota. Obviously, that's not the case. But for most of us who either don't fish or don't fish often, it's hard to imagine any other state really having walleye. Truth is, they are in bodies of water all over the U.S.A. There's even a website that keeps track of the record sizes caught in each state.

As for us in Iowa, there's a comprehensive list from a fishing website called Hennings Tackle that features Iowa's best walleye fishing spots.

  • Des Moines River
  • West Okoboji Lake
  • Lake Rathbun
  • Black Hawk Lake
  • Brushy Creek Lake
  • Big Spirit Lake
  • Storm Lake
  • Big Creek Lake

So there you have it, you can catch a Minnesota staple in Iowa. Just don't ask me how to best prepare one, I'll leave that to the Minnesota restaurants I grew up dinging at.

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