Leech Lake is an outstanding fishery located in North Central Minnesota. This lake has been on my bucket list for quite sometime. With thriving Walleye populations, booming Northern Pike fishing, outstanding world class Muskie fishing and emerging Smallmouth Bass trophy fish, what is not to like about Leech Lake? I tracked down Brian ‘BRO’ Brosdahl who guides on Leech. Brian was kind of enough to give us an overview of the fishing on Leech Lake. You’ll see why this fishing trip destination belongs on your bucket list as well.
How do you describe the walleye fishing on Leech for those who have never been to the lake?
Excellent fishery with quality size fish varying anywhere from eater size to 32 1/2 inch specimen. The Walleye slot on the lake is 20-26 in protected fish. Keep 4 walleye under 20 or 1 Walleye over 26 inch.
If you were traveling to Leech for a walleye fishing trip, what time of year would you pick to come?
I love jig fishing, therefore would target Leech Lake May, June, September and October. The fish do bite all summer on bottom bouncer, rigs and crankbaits.
Over the summer months when many of us get vacation time, what are some of the key patterns that you like to explore on Leech for summertime walleye?
In the summertime, this is a time for bottom bouncing with crawler harness such as a Northland Fishing Tackles Bait Fish Image Spinner with a nightcrawler pulled behind a 1/2 to 2 ounce Rock Runner Bottom Bouncer. Best motor speeds 1 to 1.4 mph.
What is boating like on Leech?
Leech Lake is a large body of water capable to producing waves quickly. As far hazards, Leech Lake is clearly marked and boater friendly.
For those that like to target multiple species, how is Leech Lake for its Perch, Muskie, Pike and Smallmouth Bass fishing?
Leech Lake has a nice population of Jumbo Perch from 9-13 inches. When I target Perch on Leech Lake, I will keep them from 10 to 11 inches. These are the good eaters.
Northern Pike populations is at an all time high. Huge numbers of Pike from 2 to 4 pounds and 10 to 20 pounds are not uncommon.
Leech Lake is known for Muskie fishing and is referred to as the Muskie Capital of the World. Many fish over 50 inches are caught every year with some 55 inch Muskie caught. Muskie become more active end of July and August, and then become active again the end of September into October.
Smallmouth Bass are relativity new target species for Leech Lake. They live primarily on-main lake rock reefs, islands and shoreline connected points. The smallmouth on Leech average 3 pounds. i have seen in the last 2 years several smallmouth in the 19 to 21 inch class.
What are 5 pieces of advice that you have for anyone fishing Leech Lake for the first time?
#1: Don’t tackle Leech Lake alone, hire a guide. This will help you learn certain spots, lures, tackle, bait trolling speeds and jigging cadence.
#2: Stock up on Northland Fishing Tackle RZ ,Fireball jigs and Roach Rigs for Spring, early Summer and Fall fishing. Also stock Bait Fish Image Crawler Harness with Rock Runner Bottom Bouncers at Reeds Family Outdoor Outfitters or other sporting goods retailers.
#3: Study a map of Leech Lake before you plan your trip. This is help you make the best of the weather you are given in relation to wind, waves.
#4: Bring your camera to record fish catching as well as the beautiful scenery on Leech Lake.
#5: Target walleyes and perch in the morning and evening, as this is when they are most active. All other species in the afternoon as they will bite all day.
Do you have any recommendations on lodging around the lake?
I like Trappers Landing Lodge on the south end of Leech Lake near Whipholt. Trappers Landing Lodge is a very nice family friendly resort. Also Steamboat Bay Resort near Steamboat Bay, Hiawatha Beach Resort near Steamboat Bay, and Baileys Resort in Kabekona Bay.
Leech Lake is very large so pick a resort near the area you want to fish.
What is a day like on Leech when fishing with you?
I guide for Walleyes primarily. I keep my clients on the best bite going. Many days we catch limit of eater Walleyes and get pictures of trophy fish, catch & release. If weather and mother nature cooperate some days we catch great numbers of fish. Most of all expect a fun educational experience on the water with a full time guide and tournament pro.
Thank you Bro. My fishing calendar is already full for 2017 but 2018 may require a trip to Leech Lake. If you are considering, a trip to Leech Lake or other North Central Minnesota lakes, do yourself a favor and get in touch with Bro. We didn’t even get to the giant panfish that he catches. Take a look at his Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to see all of his impressive catches.