Walleye fans from around Lindy Land make pilgrimages to Minnesota’s walleye factories each season, and biologists from the state’s Department of Natural Resources report that many Gopher State fishing holes should produce great fishing in 2016.

For example, the DNR’s Northwest Region staffers say anglers can expect “excellent” walleye fishing in many of the area’s large lakes, particularly on Leech, Upper Red, Lake of the Woods and Cass lakes.

On Leech, walleye numbers remain strong and anglers should see banner numbers of hungry ’eyes from 12 to 26 inches. Not to be outdone, Upper Red’s walleye abundance is near record levels, with multiple strong year classes ready to produce fish from 12 to 20 inches.

Biologists note that thanks to a very strong 2011 year class, Lake of the Woods holds an abundance of 14- to 16-inch walleyes, but fish of other sizes are in good supply as well and walleyes stretching up to 32 inches long are possible on any given cast or trolling pass.

Other top picks in that neck of the woods include Winnibigoshish, Cut Foot Sioux, Island, Split Hand and Round lakes. And looking east, Lake Vermilion is flush with walleyes under the protected slot of 18 to 26 inches.

The DNR also reminds us that even with regulations to protect small walleyes in place, Mille Lacs remains a high-quality fishery, with ample opportunities to hook large walleyes plus northern pike, smallmouth bass and muskies.

Of course, the Gopher State is home to countless other lakes capable of kicking out fine fishing. For more information on some of this season’s likely standouts, visit the DNR’s Fish Minnesota Page and look for regional fishing reports by clicking on “Fishing Outlooks By Region.”