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Fishing has improved over the past few days on Leech Lake. The yearly bug hatches are finally starting to wind Down, and the walleyes are beginning to target other food sources. Many of the walleyes in the cleaning shacks this week have had either small perch or crayfish in their stomach.
Trolling crank baits over mud to sand transition areas has been producing a good number of walleyes this week. Try trolling at 2.0-2.5 MPH in 12’-16’ of water near Red Rocks reef and Stony Point.
A Lindy rig and a leech has been producing well during low light hours on the break lines in Walker Bay. Start out in 7’-9’ of water and try to locate a school of fish. Once they are found, follow the fish deeper as the sun gets higher in the sky.
The panfish are setting up nicely along some of the weed beds on Leech Lake and the surrounding lakes. Moving along the weed lines with a 1/16th ounce jig and a panfish Leech or part of a night crawler is sure to locate a few fish. When you find them anchor near by and casting jigs or bobber rigs through the school of fish will put more in the boat.
Muskie fishing is slowly showing more and more signs of life. Anglers who are willing to work for it have been putting some nice fish in the boat. Being persistent and casting bucktails and glide baits around the cabbage beds is producing a few fish.
The walleye fishing on Leech Lake has been both up and down this past week. The good days have been really good with a nice mix of keepers and big fish being caught in the same areas. The areas and techniques are very similar to last week. The bug hatch is still underway, so a spinner rig and a crawler at 1.0-1.5 MPH or a Lindy rig and a crawler or leech at 0.4-0.7 MPH are great options. As usual this time of year the fish are beginning to slide out over softer bottom areas close to rocky transitions. They are constantly moving around these areas, so don’t be afraid to move around until you find them. The east side of Pelican Island, Stoney Point, and Annex reef are good places to start your search.
The multi species fishing on Leech Lake and surrounding lakes is really good right now. The shallow weedy areas are holding a lot of life right now. Lots of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and northern pike are being caught. Casting spinner baits or jerk baits around these areas areas in 3’-6’ of water is a safe bet. Panfish can be found in and around the weedy bays as well. A slip bobber and a leech or worm in 3’-12’ of water are sure to produce plenty of action for all.
Muskie fishing is just starting to take off for those chasing them. Small bucktails retrieved quickly over the cabbage weeds are turning a few of the active fish from lookers into biters. Jerk baits or glide baits are also producing a few fish as well.
We are about a month into the 2019 open water season, and all I can say is wow! Fishing has been fantastic on Leech Lake and the surrounding waters. I'm a little behind on reports, so I'll do my best to summarize the season so far.
The walleye fishing has been incredible so far this year. In fact some of the best walleye fishing of the year is taking place right now. Lots of very nice fish are being caught. This week a lot of walleyes have hit the net including fish up to 29.5"! They seem to be moving around quite a bit, so being willing to move has been essential. It has been primarily a jig and shiner bite up to this point. Staying mobile to find actively feeding walleyes has been key. Earlier wind blown sand/weedy areas were very productive, but recently wind blown rocky points and shorelines have taken over. We have started to see some bug hatches starting to take place, so I fully expect the bait of choice to switch to leeches and crawlers shortly.
The smallmouth bite has been good as well. The fish are starting to spawn and set up on beds. They can be found on main lake reefs and shoreline flats adjacent to deeper water. A simple tube jig or ned rig is all that is needed to catch these fish.
With the water still being cool (64 as of this morning) the majority of the muskies are still out over open water. Trolling 12"-16" crankbaits through the deepest basin of the local lakes near Cisco and Tulibee is a great way to catch muskies this time of year. If trolling is not your game try casting bucktails, topwaters, and jerkbaits near shallow new growth cabbage weeds.
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