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mjhowe

IF you could live anywhere in MN...? Where would it be?

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mjhowe

I am contemplating a move to the great state of Minnesota...I would love some opinions on places to begin my search...based on my below criteria, which is by no means all inclusive. But...some of the important items are...

My main criteria are as follows:

City/area population of 5,000-20000 people.

Premium ice fishing opportunity within 1-2 hour drives or closer. (My main outdoor passion is hardwater, but open water fishing, archery and motorsports are right there also.)

NOT "touristy", in a National Park, National Landmark, type way. Rural, local destination type tourism is a-ok.

Access to multiple use state/federal lands.

Decent real estate options...median home price below $200k

I dont care to be any closer than 2-3 hours from major city (over 250,000 people)

Help me decide, I promise to be a good neighbor!

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NAMAKANWALLEYE

Personal Preference would be Ely, MN.

But for the options you listed, I would choose, Bemidji, Grand Rapids, or Brainerd / Baxter, MN.

I am orig. from IL, lived in MN for 5 years, now live in Yellowstone Park.

It is my dream to move back to MN. Good luck to you!

Mark

National Park Service

Water Quality Technician

Yellowstone National Park, WY USA

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Reynolds

I lived in Brainerd for one year while I was going to college and absolutely loved it. There are so many outdoor opportunities around with all the lakes, beautiful golf courses, biking trails, snowmobiling, etc.. The town is also large enough that it has a Best Buy, Gander Mountain, Target, Wal Mart,and best of all, Fleet Farm. I hope to move back to the Brainerd very soon. I will switch professions is that is what it is going to take. I can't handle living in this Florida tropical climate anymore.

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jonny_redhorse

mj........Sounds like anywhere on the "Iron Range" would be a fitting place for you to "set up camp"....dozens of small communities that certainly would welcome you........the criteria you've requested certainly falls in the area of the 75 mile long iron range(grand rapids on the west end,virginia /eveleth on the east end(and others of course).....1-2 hours puts you on the canadian border and as far south as Duluth(lake superior is close if you like the lake trout /salmon thing)..you wouldn't be in any national park although the Voyageurs national park is only an 1 1/2 hours northeast of me (I live in Hibbing),and the BWCA is also in that general area.....literally thousands of lakes in the whole area here......plenty of state owned land(and federal open to hunting and fishing also)...hundreds of homes to pick from in that $200,000.00(and less of course) price category....just look at the fall pics I just posted ("colors of fall")...gives you an idea of the beauty of the area we live in up here...I've been here on the range for a good percentage of my 58 years (a stint in new hampshire for 4 years) but came back...the area is very unique....hope this helps grin.gifjonny

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fishinphilth

There is a list of all the cities in minnesota on the the state web site. Print that off and pin it up on the wall throw a dart at it and I think you will be happy with where it hits.

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Homeland

You really have described the Bemidji area to a "T"! Give us a look up here and if there's anything I can do to help you find a place let me know.

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ghotierman

Seeing this posted on the Alexandria Area page....we need to give a shout out for our beautiful lakes area as well. We can go right down your checklist and accomodate everything you've listed. Especially for hardwater opportunities. (World Ice Fishing Championships have been held here at least 3 of the last 5 years). Some great icefishing throughout the county. Population of the area just edged over 11,000. Still a rural atmosphere. Lots of public land. Douglas county has both rifle and shotgun zones for deer hunting. Great bike trail. (motorsports...racing fan? Saturday night races all summer) Great school system, fantastic Technical College....

As the Chamber tag line says...

"Easy to Get to...Hard to Leave"

Check out the chamber of commerce website.

www.alexandriamn.org

Good luck..

as the other posts have noted....you'll not make a bad choice anywhere in Minnesota. (I've been in Alexandria for almost 12 years....love the Range, and Bemidji and Brainerd too....grew up down south...Mankato/New Ulm area are nice too...)

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CHM

Alexandria? Naw...it's not all that great. Not many fish here. Try somewhere else. wink.gif

Chuck

P.S. Ghotierman - you should change your signature. I miss the archery range!!!

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merc

Grand Rapids. Thousands of lakes, the majority of the area is public land (national forest), housing is not overly expensive and all the major stores you could ask for. Why leave Kalispell? Nice country, been there a few times as I have relatives there.

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MN Shutterbug

I don't agree with anywhere in MN being a good place to live. I live in SW MN and the scenery is cornfields and bean fields and the lakes are 8 foot sloughs. I've lived here most of my life and if it wasn't for the wife having a good job with benefits, I would leave in a heartbeat. Sure the lakes down here have walleye in them but you have to fish through the green slime to get to them. The only plus in this area for an outdoorsman is the pheasant population. Other than that, this part of MN stinks. I love the Alex area but the farther north you go, the more awesome the geography and the clearer the lakes.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • srj
      Fished a couple hours late Tues afternoon, Weds and Thurs morning. Caught supper on Tues pulling leadcore in about 31' out from Zipple. Not the huge schools like a few weeks ago but enough to fish. Weds went rock hopping and found fish on about half the humps, no biggies. Seemed to be an unusual number of very nice boats for a Weds and all pulling leadcore. Good deal for me as I was fishing spinners. Found out that night about the AIM tourney explaining the boat show with the guys prefishing. Thurs morning was out 11 miles from the washout pulling baits in the mud and the bite was pretty good. Again, not the massive numbers seen previously but a good number of biters. The charters were scattered all over the basin with some up north as well. Still a fair number of boats bait fishing out deep. Sure hate to see summer slipping away.   Good luck.
    • cookie129
      I have not been tromping though the woods but did flush a couple picking blueberrys  
    • TAJ
      I agree with Rayguy. A lot of ecological changes happening everywhere and I think we’re seeing that on the Whitefish chain. Keep looking for new spots and new structure. Fish are still there. It’ll be interesting to see how Fall fishing goes. I am planning on fishing the next couple of days. I’ll let you know how I do. 
    • Cliff Wagenbach
      Ace is right, no need to run to far to find walleyes! They are all over the East end where you will be staying. The number one rule is "trust your depth finder"! I never fish a spot unless I see a few fish there! Lindy rigs, spinner rigs, slip bobber rigs, and jigs will all catch walleyes that time of the year. Cliff
    • bluewater2
      Thank you, my husband and I usually go to Kabetogama . but we are going to go later, had a chance to go here for the first time(Labor day weekend)and are excited to try it. Found a private cabin to rent very reasonable in that bay.
    • Borch
      I fished most of the lake in scout mode today.  Found walleyes early on midlake humps and bars in 18-24 fow.  Got a couple to go on jigging raps but then they shut off.  Spent the rest of the day trying to pin down a panfish pattern.  Found good numbers of sunfish in shallow cabbage beds(6-9 fow).  None were huge but good numbers of 8-8 1/2" gills.  A few crappies are mixed in with them and some are suspending off the break.  There are also good numbers of sunfish in or just outside the reeds.   Most of the sunfish ran smaller though although there were some keepers there too.  Pike and bass I did not target but saw others do so successfully.   Plenty of bass in the reeds and spinnerbaits seemed to be what most were using.   Troll over the weeds and you will be rewarded with pike.
    • Borch
      I fished most of the lake in scout mode today.  Found walleyes early on midlake humps and bars in 18-24 fow.  Got a couple to go on jigging raps but then they shut off.  Spent the rest of the day trying to pin down a panfish pattern.  Found good numbers of sunfish in shallow cabbage beds(6-9 fow).  None were huge but good numbers of 8-8 1/2" gills.  A few crappies are mixed in with them and some are suspending off the break.  There are also good numbers of sunfish in or just outside the reeds.   Most of the sunfish ran smaller though although there were some keepers there too.  Pike and bass I did not target but saw others do so successfully.   Plenty of bass in the reeds and spinnerbaits seemed to be what most were using.   Troll over the weeds and you will be rewarded with pike.
    • Borch
      I fished most of the lake in scout mode today.  Found walleyes early on midlake humps and bars in 18-24 fow.  Got a couple to go on jigging raps but then they shut off.  Spent the rest of the day trying to pin down a panfish pattern.  Found good numbers of sunfish in shallow cabbage beds(6-9 fow).  None were huge but good numbers of 8-8 1/2" gills.  A few crappies are mixed in with them and some are suspending off the break.  There are also good numbers of sunfish in or just outside the reeds.   Most of the sunfish ran smaller though although there were some keepers there too.  Pike and bass I did not target but saw others do so successfully.   Plenty of bass in the reeds and spinnerbaits seemed to be what most were using.   Troll over the weeds and you will be rewarded with pike.
    • Rick
      No brush or yard waste burning today through Sunday The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued an air quality alert for today through Sunday for northern Minnesota.    As a result, the Department of Natural Resources will not issue burning permits for brush or yard waste for all areas north of Alexandria, including Mille Lacs and Pine counties. Burn restrictions may expand as smoke from the Canadian fires drifts south. For updates and the air quality forecast, check the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency website. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • guideman
      If you are looking for Walleyes stay on the east end. There is no need to go running all over the lake to catch them. Daisy bay has Walleyes available as does Big bay which in my opinion has some of the best Walleye fishing on the lake.  Trolling cranks works this time of year, as well as Lindy rigging, or pulling spinners on a bottom bouncer. You can also find some decent evening slip bobber fishing close to where you are staying.  Good luck and have fun, you won't be disappointed.     "Ace" "It's just fishing man".