Come Celebrate Eelpout Fishing on Leech Lake

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.

 

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