About Leech Lake
The third largest lake in Minnesota at approximately 112,000 acres with a maximum depth of over 150 feet in Walker Bay. The main basin that includes Sucker Bay and Portage Bay has a maximum depth of about 40 feet and an average depth of 20 feet. Nearly 80 percent of the lake is less than 35 feet deep.
Leech Lake is known as a multi-species fishery, including excellent fishing opportunities for Walleye, Muskie, Jumbo Perch (8”-14”), Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Sunfish, and Crappie.
Leech Lake is known as a world class Muskie fishery. Catch-and-release is strongly encouraged to protect this exceptional fishery. Consider getting a fiberglass reproduction of any size Muskie including those over 54”. Take a colored picture, get an accurate length measurement and an accurate girth measurement. Girth is best measured with a fabric ruler around the fish at its widest point.
Primary Predator Species:
Walleye, Muskie and Northern Pike.
Perch and Cisco.
Current Walleye Slot:
All walleye between 20-26 inches long must be immediately returned to the water, a possession limit of 4 walleye with one longer than 26″ allowed in possession.
Current Muskie Slot:
All Muskie under 54” must be released with a possession limit of 1.
Walleye Fishing Tips
Spring Walleyes (opener to mid June) are found close to the sand, rock and gravel shorelines. The bait of choice are shinners, locally known as “walleye candy” Concentrate on windswept points and shorelines. Use as small of a jig as possible (1/16 to 1/8 ounce) and fathead minnows may be used in the absence of shinners. Jig color can be a factor. When fishing with several people try various colors to see if there is a preference that day. Green is a great color to start with but also have blue, pink, orange, and yellow as well as blends of 2-3 of these colors. In windy conditions walleyes are caught as shallow as 4ft, a depth over looked by many.
By early summer, walleyes leave the shoreline zones and move to sand/gravel points, weedbeds, flats and rock reefs, feeding on small perch and crayfish. Slowly troll a Lindy rig tipped with a leech or crawler along the weed edges and drop-offs.
The lack of wind can make Leech Lake walleye fishing difficult, especially if those conditions continue for several days. If you are hungry for a walleye dinner try evening fishing on those days. Trolling crankbaits in 8-12ft after dark will often take fish that are virtually impossible to catch during the daylight hours.
In August the key is covering water and the method of choice is trolling crankbaits in 10-14ft. As the water temps drop below 65 they return to the spring locations and a jig and minnow bite. Fatheads and Rainbows are good minnow options.
Muskie Fishing Tips
Early season Muskie action is best in the shallow bays that develop submergent and emergent weed growth. Portage, Boy, Sucker and Steamboat bays are all good early season choices. Bucktails or Jerkbaits retrieved over the developing cabbage and coontail beds are effective at this time of year. Black is a great starting point for color. As the water temps increase so should your retrieval speed. You can not go to fast for a Muskie in warm (mid to upper 70’s) water
Shallow rocks on the windward side of a reef can be particularly good. Top water baits are suggested to effectively work the shallow rocks. Submarine Island and the entire reef complex around Pelican Island always hold good numbers of fish. The end of September start looking at rocky shorelines. Fishing pressure for Muskie during fall is extremely light and is the best time to land a trophy. Mid October to ice up Walker Bay is the top Muskie location as they fatten up on Tullibee. Troll deep-diving crankbaits along the deep weed edges or find mid lake schools of Tullibee.
Try your hand at fishing for walleye or muskie on a renowned Minnesota lake.
Let's Go Fishing.