Eelpout Festival Review

March 5th, 2018

The last weekend in February was the annual Eelpout Festival. More than 270 eelpout were caught throughout the two-day tournament held on Leech Lake.

Here is a summary of the leaderboard. All of the 2018 International Eelpout Festival Tournament Results can also be found on the Eelpout Festival website.

Top Ten Biggest Pout:

1. Jesse Friedrich, 10.66 lbs

2.  Matthew Christopherson, 10.2 lbs

3. Jim Poncelet, 9.98 lbs

4. Greg Johnson, 9.77 lbs

5. MJ Dickman, 9.26 lbs

6.  Greg Johnson, 8.81 lbs

7. MJ Dickman, 8.29 lbs

8. Cole Joslyn, 8.25 lbs

9. MJ Dickman, 8.25 lbs

10. Grant DeVries, 7.97 lbs

Top Ten Individual Tonnage:

1. Greg Johnson, 33.58 lbs

2. MJ Dickman, 33.1 lbs

3. Cole Joslyn, 27.91 lbs

4. Grant DeVries, 24.71 lbs

5. Todd Felix, 24.11 lbs

6. Jim Poncelet, 23.85 lbs

7. Steve Troyna, 22.76 lbs

8. Brandon Yeats, 20.65 lbs

9. Rik Cole, 20.15 lbs

10. Austin Stein, 19.81 lbs

Teem Tonnage:

1. Team Gene, 221.37

2. Bayside Plumbing, 199.22 lbs

3. The Burbs, 43.93 lbs

4. Pout Laws, 36.39 lbs

5. Pouty Animals, 19.49 lbs

6. Rustad Rebels, 16.42 lbs

7. SamSquanch, 5.57 lbs

8. Shake and Bake, 1.65 lbs

9. Three Stooges, 1.18 lbs

10. Burbot Bandits, 1.16 lbs

Puny Pout Winner:

Dan Thompson. 0.33 lbs





Looking for a Snowy Outdoor Get-Away? Leech Lake is Minnesota’s Premier Cross Country Ski Location

February 21st, 2018

It’s easy to bundle up and stay indoors during a Minnesota winter. But why would you want to do that when the Leech Lake area offers so many fun winter activities?

cross country skiing in Minnesota

Cross country skiing is one of the many winter activities that can get you moving during the cold winter months and the Leech Lake area offers a variety of public trails for cross country skiing. Some of which include the Chippewa ski trails, Heartland, Itasca State Park trail, and many more.

If you are new to cross country skiing, have no fear because even though XC skiing can be an intense workout, any skill or exercise level can participate.

When you are visiting Leech Lake make sure to check out all of the local shops and restaurants of nearby Walker, MN, and end the day where you can rest and relax at one of Leech Lake’s many year-round resorts.

Come Celebrate Eelpout Fishing on Leech Lake

February 5th, 2018

While Leech Lake is known for its fabulous walleye fishing, it is also known for its Eelpout. We are proud to hold the International Eelpout Festival every February. This year Leech Lake is celebrating the 39th Annual International Eelpout Festival on February 22 – February 25.

Leech Lake Minnesota Eelpout Festival


You can fish Eelpout year round, but the best time is in late February. It is said that it is best to fish for Eelpout right before the first light of the day, or from sunset and on.


An Eel-what?

A Burbot, also known as an Eelpout, is a deepwater fish that is a cross between an eel and a catfish. Eelpout’s colors often times vary from yellow-brown to a dark olive with different color patches, which gives it camouflage-like appearance. They often times have small scales, slimy skin, and nostrils that resemble a catfish.

They usually weigh around six pounds and are less than 28 inches long. They typically have a very long body with smooth skin and a single whisker under its chin. Eelpout are known to be great predators and are excellent to eat. Bubot can most commonly be found in northern Minnesota lakes and rivers, including Lake Superior, but can also be found in part of the lower Mississippi River. The Burbot is a good indicator of a healthy watershed. They typically require water temperatures lower than 70 degrees, so in the summer they are a rare catch, but come winter the freshwater predator comes very much alive and active


2018 International Eelpout Festival

Every February, Walker, Minnesota grows about 10 times its size as thousands of eager fishermen and women gather on Leech Lake to take part in the International Eelpout Festival.

However, fishing is only half of the fun. Attendees can attend the Fish Fry or take part in the Eelpout Curing, Rugby or Beer Pong Tournament.

Whether you come for the fishing, the events, or a combination of the two, know that Leech Lake has lots of winter lodging options for you and your friends and family.


Ice Fishing Season Is Here

January 16th, 2018

Been yearning to catch some walleyes out on the ice? What are you waiting for? Leech Lake is known for its excellent ice fishing conditions, and this year is no different!

Leech Lake Minnesota Ice Fishing

The latest fishing report for Leech Lake says that fishing has been best off the north and south ends of Walker Bay in 25 to 35 feet.

Another place to try your hand on Leech Lake is Sand Point, which has produced a few walleyes and the occasional perch in 10 to 12 feet. Main-lake walleye reports have been limited to a few fish on the 12- to 20-foot structure.

If you decide to make the trip to Leech Lake for some ice fishing, why not make it a weekend event and book a stay at one of our many area resorts! The Leech Lake area offers a variety of resorts that are open in the winter and are the perfect place to relax after a long day on the lake and share you best ice fishing stories.

Many of the resorts even offer ice house rentals, so you can stay on the ice your entire weekend! Renting an ice house from one of the area resorts is convenient and will allow you to spend the most time possible doing what you love, fishing!

There is no better place to take an ice fishing getaway this winter than Leech Lake! Plan your trip today; we hope to see catch you soon out on the lake!

Make Spending More Time Outdoors Your New Year’s Resolution

January 1st, 2018

New Year's Resolution at Leech Lake Minnesota

It’s New Year’s Day and nearly everyone is looking to start their new year’s resolutions. Most people are going to set a goal of self-improvement like going to the gym more or reducing your stress. Others are going to set goals that focus on their finances or spending more time with family and friends.


What if we told you that you could set one goal to accomplish all the above?


Planning adventures to and around Leech Lake should be your New Year’s resolution. Here’s why:


“Getting in Shape”

Leech Lake is surrounded by healthy outdoor activities including biking, hiking, and cross-country skiing trails. In the summertime, you can spend your days swimming or kayaking. There are plenty of ways to stay active when you plan an outdoor adventure to Leech Lake.


“Spend More Time With Loved Ones”

We can’t think of a better way to spend time with your family and friends than renting a cabin and spending the days out fishing and your nights around the campfire. Many of our resorts even offer boat or ice house rentals.


“Save Money”

Gym memberships are expensive and if we are being honest, how often do you even use it? But guess what, hiking trails are free!


“Be Less Stressed”

We would bet anything that enjoying a campfire, listening to the crickets chirp outside your door, sunbathing on the beach, or relaxing in a boat on the lake would help to alleviate some of your stress!

spend more time outdoors at Leech Lake Minnesota

Whether you’ve already made your resolution or not, find a way to let Leech Lake help you make 2018 your best year yet!

Holiday Events Near Leech Lake

December 20th, 2017

If you are anything like us, you might find yourself rushing through the Holiday season without really getting to appreciate it. So this year we plan to slow down and try to enjoy some of the community events that occur this time of year.


Pumphouse Bay of Leech Lake Minnesota

Photo By Theresa Felix “Fresh Winter View”

Here are some of the events we can’t wait for:


  • Tuesday, December 19: Leech Lake Chamber Holiday Open House

This annual party thrown by the Leech Lake Chamber of Commerce goes from 2 to 4 p.m. located at 201 Minnesota Avenue East, in Walker, Minnesota.


  • Wednesday, December 20: Lucky Moose Holiday Open House

Everyone is invited to the Lucky Moose Bar & Grill rom 5 to 7 p.m. to celebrate the most magical time of the year.


  • Friday, December 22: Walleye Dinner

There’s no such thing as too much fish Northern Minnesota, especially when someone else is cooking it for you. Check out the Lake May Center for their Walleye Dinner.


  • Thursday, December 28: Holiday Ski/Snowshoe Hike

Meet at the Shingobee Recreation Area on Highway 34 at 11 a.m. to participate in this Leech Lake holiday adventure.


  • Sunday, December 31: New Year Nosh Party

Bring in the New Year and drink some great beer at Portage Brewery in Walker, Minnesota.


You can stay up to date on all Leech Lake events with this calendar.


Tell us below, what event are you looking forward to the most?

Get Ready, Get Set, Go!

December 4th, 2017

Leech Lake is a prime destination for your next sled ride. With miles and miles of snowmobiling trails, there is no doubt that you and your group will have the time of your lives.

Snowmobiling trails near Leech Lake Minnesota

Leech Lake offers multiple snowmobile trails where you can explore some of the most beautiful areas in Minnesota. From the Chippewa National Forest to the Paul Bunyan State Trail you’ll find that there are so many trail and so little time.


Here are a few of our favorite trails:


  • Heartland State Trail: This 49-mile trail was one of the first rail-to-trail projects in the country. This state trail also connects with the Paul Bunyan State Trail.

  • Paul Bunyan State Trail: This trail is 115 miles long, with the exception of a couple short on-road connections through the cities of Baxter and Bemidji. The Paul Bunyan trail extends from Crow Wing State Park to Lake Bemidji State Park. It is the longest state trail in Minnesota and the longest paved rail-trail in the country.

  • Eastern Region Chippewa Forest: With more than 315 miles of trails in the Chippewa National Forest you’ll see scenic lakes, woodland areas, and frozen wetlands.

Don’t forget to book your lodging on your snowmobiling adventure. Our resorts and inns are some of the best in the State and you can always find a great deal.

5 Fish You Can Catch On Leech Lake

November 30th, 2017


Leech Lake is the third largest body of water in the land of 10,000 lakes. Minnesota is known for its awesome fishing and Leech Lake is no exception. Here is a list of five fish you can expect to see on your next fishing trip.


  1. Muskie: These fish are often at the top of the food chain in their home lake. They have razor sharp teeth and an anatomy built for speed.

Muskie from Leech Lake Minnesota

  1. Walleye: After several years of extensive stocking and management practices, Leech Lake is presently at peak levels with strong populations of Walleye. The walleye is named for its pearlescent eye, which is caused by a reflective layer of pigment called the tapetum lucidum, that helps them see and feed at night or in murky water.


  1. Bluegill/Sunfish: These panfish are just waiting to be caught in Leech Lake. Bluegill fishing is very popular because the fish bite year-round and fishing for bluegill with young children can be an excellent way of getting kids hooked on the sport.


  1. Bass: Largemouth Bass fishing is a supreme sport in Minnesota. You can find bass in shallow water with heavy cover. Adult largemouth bass prefer to feed on small fish like perch, sunfish, and minnows. However, they are also known to eat crayfish, insects, frogs, and even small aquatic birds.

Largemouth Bass in Leech Lake Minnesota

  1. Northern Pike: The best part of fishing for Northern Pike is the big fight while reeling them in. Northerns have snouts filled with long, sharp teeth and bright yellow eyes.


What fish are you hoping to catch on your next fishing excursion to Leech Lake?

Winter Wonderland

November 30th, 2017

Winter break is on its way and family plans are being made. We may be a bit bias, but we think the best place to spend the holiday is on the shores of Leech Lake.

Whether you love the snow and are an avid ice fisherman or snowmobiler, or if you prefer to tuck away with a book in front of the wood burning fire, our many resorts and inns can fit your needs.

Family Vacation in Leech Lake, Minnesota

Many of our lodging partners offer special deals to help celebrate the holiday and ring in the New Year. The area has several open houses and celebrations to check out, including an abundance of Christmas lights and celebrations throughout the town.

Check out our lodging page to book your next winter getaway with us here on Leech Lake.

Leech Lake Ice House Rentals

October 30th, 2017

As much as you don’t want to believe it, ice fishing season is right around the corner, so it’s important that you start to plan your ice fishing getaways. Not only is Leech Lake the perfect place to catch your limit’s worth of fish, but it is also the best place to rent an ice house for your ice fishing excursions. There are a handful of locations that offer a wide variety of different kinds of ice houses available to rent. Here are some of the locations available to rent ice houses:

Come experience the thrill of fishing through an eight-inch hole in the ice! Our Ice House is approximately 7′ x 14′, with six holes, propane heater, a kitchen stove, and 12 volt lights.


email -
Ice House Rental in Leech Lake Minnesota

This year Tom has a selection of deluxe sleepers along with day house rentals. Each of the houses is equipped with vented/thermostat heaters, bathroom area, oven/cooktop stoves, stereo, 4 bunks, rattle reels and cedar interior. 12v powers the lights and stereo that Tom provides. Along with a well-equipped fish house,  Tom will help you as much as he can to catch fish.

2 man sleepers do not have bathrooms or ovens but do have cooktops.


Contact: Tom Wilson


email –

Formerly Walker Fish House Rentals. Same owners, New name.

Various fish house sizes available, from an 8×12 house to the spacious 8×16 houses. All houses feature sleeping bunks, kitchenettes, rattle reels, multiple fishing holes, and are accessible by plowed roads.

Contact: Chris and Ashley Whitney


Fish Leech Lake with Walker’s huge selection of comfortable and custom-built fleet of houses which span across the entire lake. Their “ice team” is dedicated to ensuring you and your guests have assistance to finding the houses in the best locations, already warm and ready to drop the line. Many of their houses are located within minutes of shopping, food, and beverages in downtown Walker.


Units Available

10×20 – Sleeps 6 (w/ Bathroom)

 9×22 – Custom Sleeper

 8×20 – Sleeps 6 (w/ Bathroom)

 8×18 – Sleeps 4 (w/ Bathroom)

 7×16 – Sleeps 4 (w/ Bathroom)

 7×16 – Sleeps 4 (no Bathroom)

 8×16 – Sleeps 4 (no Bathroom




Outright offers a package deal which includes a basic ice trip lasting around 4-5 hours and includes the following: heated portable shelters, augers, rods, reels, tackle, bait and lake transportation as needed. They stay with you, being mobile and drilling as many holes as necessary ($125 a person). Outright Ice Angling can fully customize trips to meet your needs, including dawn-to-dusk or multi-day trips. Accommodations and discounts are available for large groups and families. Snow machines are utilized when conditions warrant and can cover the entire lake, even during heavy snow years. Comfortable stationary fish houses are also available.



Those are just a handful of the many options you have for ice house rentals on Leech Lake. If you want to make an entire weekend out of it, many of the resorts on Leech Lake offer ice house rentals when you stay with them. Whichever way suits your needs, we hope you take advantage of the time of these upcoming winter months and make memories out on Leech Lake!


Make sure whatever option you end up picking, you reserve your ice house soon as they go quick!