Archive for the ‘Leech Lake Events’ Category

Leech Lake Regatta 2018 – 47th Annual

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

August is almost here and Leech Lake is abuzz with excitement for the upcoming 47th Annual Regatta! Leech Lake Regatta is an annual sailing festival that will bring sailors from all over to sail the Shores of Leech Lake. The Leech Lake Regatta is one of Minnesota’s largest Regattas, it offers two fleets of mono and multi sailboats that race in multiple divisions. This year’s three-day festival will be held from August 10th through August 13th.

Leech Lake Regatta 2018 Itinerary:

Friday, August 10th – Race packet pick-up begins at 4 pm. Teams will have boats in the water and set for the first day of racing! The Shores of Leech Lake Resort offers Regatta participants space to sleep in boats, tents, and other various areas for a fee. Settle in and the fun begins at 6:30 with Live Entertainment “Dessert Blues Duo.”

Saturday, August 11th – Starts early with free coffee and donuts7 am 7am and race meeting to follow with the blessing of the fleet. Let the racing begin! Racers and onlookers will be able to see all the different sailboats ready to launch from the shore. Races continue thru the day followed by a fish fry, campfire and music. Fellow racers and friends will share stories around the campfire, the perfect end to the day.

Sunday, August 12th – Again we start early with free coffee and donuts starting followed by the race meeting. Whether you’ve come to race or watch there will be no shortage of fun, race to be in the lead or view with friends from the comfort of your boat. Come in from the water to the delicious BBQ while you enjoy the sounds of live entertainment from “Kellogg Duo” under the big tent. If your not too exhausted from the days events sit around the campfire and relax before the final day of racing.

Monday, August 13th – Last day, last chance for teams to advance in rankings. The final day will end before 3 pm and be followed by the awards banquet at Northern Lights Casino in Walker, two ticket are included in race packet additional tickets are available to purchase online or at Friday packet pickup.

Races will take place about 10:30 am on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Saturday and Monday races will be in Walker Bay and the races on Sunday will be out on Leech Lake. Best places to watch the races are from the city dock or city park in Walker, MN.

The Leech Lake Regatta, a tradition since 1971 is an event not to be missed. If you haven’t registered yet there is still time, register online with The Shores of Leech Lake Resort. Whether you come to race or cheer on your favorite team, the Regatta offers wonderful entertainment on and off the water! If you need lodging please visit our lodging list. Hope to see you out on the water!

Leech Lake Summer Solstice – A New Season Begins

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

Summer is here again in Leech Lake. June 21st, 2018 is Summer Solstice. This is the official first day of Summer and the longest day of the year. Here are a few fun facts about Summer Solstice:

 

 

The further north you are, the more sunlight you’ll see during the solstice. Leech Lake is definitely “Up North” and a great place to soak in the extra rays of sunshine. Our beautiful resorts offer limitless opportunities to watch the sunset over the lake.

The name “solstice” comes from the fact that the sun appears to stand still. While the sun will appear to stand still, the sun’s relative position in the sky at noon does not appear to change much during the solstice and its surrounding days.

Many in the Leech Lake area will be dancing the night away. Summer Solstice 2018 falls on the first day of Moondance Jam in Leech Lake. Moondance Jam is an annual rock and classic rock festival held in mid-July in the Leech Lake Area near Walker, Minnesota. It is recognized as Minnesota’s largest rock festival and the premier classic rock festival in the United States. The Jam has gone from being a party for a few hundred family and friends back in 1992, to a rock ‘n’ roll and camping celebration that entertains tens of thousands today. This is mainly due to the fact that it has maintained a clean, safe, and friendly atmosphere, along with open festival seating for general admission ticket holders.

The world’s biggest bonfire was part of a solstice celebration. In 2010, a world record for the tallest bonfire was set in celebration of Summer Solstice! The people of Alesund, Norway created a 132.71 ft. celebratory bonfire!

Although we would discourage visitors to attempt a world record-breaking bonfire, we hope to see more than a few campfires.

Hot weather follows the sun by a few weeks.  If solstice is the longest day of the year and gets the most sunlight, doesn’t the weather heat up for a few more weeks? It’s because water, which makes up most of the Earth’s surface, has a high specific heat, meaning it takes a while to both heat up and cool down. Because of this, the Earth’s temperature takes about six weeks to catch up to the sun.

Lucky for Leech Lake our extended forecast for June/July predicts highs in the mid 70’s to low 80’s for the next few weeks!

The Earth is actually at its farthest from the sun during the solstice. Many people think that Solstice is when the earth is closest to the sun in actuality the earth is closest to the sun during Winter in the northern hemisphere. Winter is also a beautiful time for visitors to head to Leech Lake but let’s not talk about Winter quite yet.

Thousands of people gather at Stonehenge to celebrate. Last year, 37,000 people attended. Many have long believed that Stonehenge was the site of ancient druid solstice celebrations because of the way the sun lines up with the stones on the winter and summer solstices. Despite no proven connection between Celtic solstice celebrations and Stonehenge, these days, thousands of modern pagans gather at the landmark to watch the sunrise on the solstice.

While most of us won’t head to Stonehenge, there are plenty of ways to celebrate in Leech Lake. Choose from one of our amazing lodging options – view the sunset from the lake, the beach or the dock. Maybe head to Moondance Jam in Walker, MN. However, you decide to celebrate we hope you decide to stay with us at Leech Lake!

Eelpout Festival Review

Monday, 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

 

 

 

 

Come Celebrate Eelpout Fishing on Leech Lake

Monday, 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.

 

Holiday Events Near Leech Lake

Wednesday, 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?

The Leech Lake Regatta – Sailing Since 1971

Monday, July 25th, 2016

The Leech Lake Regatta running annually since 1971 will be here soon, as one of Minnesota’s largest Regatta’s it offers two fleets of mono and multi hull sailboats that race in multiple divisions over three days. With dozens of sailboats taking to the water daily it is truly a wonderful sight, as Leech Lake becomes a tapestry of multicolored sails and boats. The race is only one part of the daily Regatta happenings. Come prepared for great times, both on and off the water.

 

 

The first day (August 12th) of the Regatta starts at 4PM when racers arrive and check in or register receive their race information, packets, and tickets to the awards banquet, by this time most teams will have their boats in the water and set for the first day of racing. The Shores of Leech Lake Resort offers Regatta participants space to sleep in boats, tents, and other areas for $10 per night and allows boats parked on the grounds for $15 per night, and don’t forget to purchase tickets for the fish fry and BBQ. Once participants are settled in the real fun starts with live entertainment from the Desert Blues Duo on the grounds, starting at 6PM and going to 9PM, all are welcome.

 

Day Two (August 13th) starts early at 7AM with coffee and donuts on the front lawn of the Shores Resort and then team photos in front of the main lawn, followed by a quick race meeting and the blessing of the fleet. The Leech Lake Regatta then shifts into full swing at 9 AM when the first day of racing begins. This offers racers and viewers the perfect time to see all the different Sailboats gathered to launch from the shores of Leech Lake. The race then continues throughout the day. Finally after a long day of racing there will be a Fish Fry at the Walker Community Church, followed by music and a campfire at the Yardarm.  Enjoy the company of fellow racers and friends as you relax under the stars around a large campfire, the perfect way to end the day.

Day Three (August 14th) starts off early again with coffee and donuts and a race meeting. Then day two of the racing begins at 9AM. Enjoy another wonderful (hopefully windy) day on the water racing or watching the race from the shore or your boat as competitors jockey for position around Leech Lake. After you come in from the water (hopefully as the day’s leader), the large BBQ will be up and cooking while the Kellog Duo plays in front of the lodge. Don’t forget to bring your costume to celebrate the Leech Lake Regatta. Judging will start at 8PM. Finally if you’re not too tired, spend some time around the communal campfire again before the final day of racing.

Day Four (August 15th) marks the third and final day of racing. The last chance for teams to jump up in the rankings, while enjoying the wonderful waters of Leech Lake. The final day of Racing will end before 3PM and then participants will make their way to the Northern Lights Convention Center to enjoy their Awards Banquet.

 

 

The Leech Lake Regatta has been a tradition since 1971, and will continue to be for many years to come, if you haven’t registered yet there is still time, you can register with The Shores of Leech Lake Resort. For those not racing the Regatta still offers wonderful entertainment both on and off the water. If you need lodging for the Regatta please visit our lodging listings. Otherwise we will see you on the water!

Fourth of July In Leech Lake: Where to Watch the Fireworks

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

We all love a good fireworks display in Minnesota (or anywhere really) especially one reflected over the beautiful waters of Leech Lake just after dusk, where the colors blend perfectly with the calm waters and the darkened night sky. To ensure you have all the options to watch them available to you, we will be providing a detailed guide on where the Walker Fireworks will be launched from, the best places to view them and how to get there by land or by water!

 Walker lighthouse

The Walker / Leech Lake fireworks will be launched from Walker City Park (Google maps) over the waters of Walker Bay, it’s the place with the lighthouse. If you are going to be watching the show from land in the park. You may want to arrive up to an hour early as the best spots along the water are claimed early and quickly and the entire park will fill up. If you get there early enough you may be able to claim a spot on one of the docks that extend underneath the awesome display. If you show up later expect to have to park several blocks away and make the journey into the park from further in town.  Here are some tips we hope will make your fireworks viewing a little better.

  • If you show up early be sure to bring a cooler with snacks and beverages
  • Parking further away isn’t always a bad thing, traffic will be thick after the fireworks are done. Walking to your car parked far away often is a quicker exit than parking close.
  • Enjoy the Show!

 

 

If you are Lucky enough to live on Leech Lake or are visiting with a boat you have the opportunity to get the best seat in on the lake, but there is still a large amount of boaters who will come to see the display so the earlier you arrive the better position you can get. After so many years of boating out to the displays we have found there are a few must haves before you pull away from the dock and head over to Walker Bay

  • Anchors, Anchors, Anchors – You will not have a very good time if you show up in an area crowded with boats and don’t have any anchors. One will do, but we actually prefer three heavy ones so the boat stays steady and we don’t have to worry about changing seating positions as the fireworks progress.
  • Make sure your lights are functioning – there are going to be a lot of boats out on the water on the Night of the fourth make sure everyone can see you.
  • Avoid falling pieces – There is an area in front of the park over the water where much of the small debris from exploded fireworks will land. Anchor yourself about 600-800ft off shore to avoid these pieces landing in your boat.
  • More than one show – If you’re comfortable with your boating skills in the dark after the Walker fireworks show is over, stay on the water and take a cruise on Leech Lake, you will likely find many private but still great fireworks displays along the shore.
Leech Lake Fireworks
Photo By Maria Wagner

Every year is a little different but the fireworks in Walker are always great and they seem to get better every year. We hope you find our Walker / Leech Lake Fourth of July fireworks tips helpful, if you have any other tips of your own please share them with us on Facebook or Twitter and see you on the water!

Leech Lake Ice Fishing: Walleye Edition

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

While most anglers will be seeking a prize Eelpout in the coming days, Leech Lakes large Walleye population can provide you with the perfect opportunity to stock up on fresh fish this winter. While we hope everyone gets their fill of Eelpout; it’s best not to put all your minnows in one bucket. So with that we would like to make sure you come prepared to maximize your fishing potential with some tips, tricks, and equipment for targeting Walleye while you’re out on the ice.

 

Woman with walleye

 

Walleye Fishing Tips, Tricks and Equipment:

 

Use Light Lines: By using light fishing lines you’ll get less drag. This lets the walleyes suck in your bait and more importantly the hook it’s attached to, and prevents you from getting short strikes. We have found Walleyes tend to be picky but impatient eaters, thus when they come across a suitable meal, they inhale their prey and if this flow is prevented you will get short strikes.

 

Don’t Forget About Minnows: These are one among the best baits to use when catching walleyes, especially in cool and clear. 3inch 5inch minnows are sufficient when hooked appropriately behind the dorsal fins or through their lips by #1 to #4 hooks.

 

Jigging Poles: While not as convenient as a tip up if you’re looking to pull up Walleye, you’re going to want to bring some jigging poles, 32” inchers with recoil guides are the best option if you are serious about filling that fridge. While using jigging poles means a more involved ice fishing experience, you will be rewarded for your efforts, pull your fill up Friday and enjoy all the other activities the Eelpout Festival has to offer the rest of the weekend.

Guy with jig pole and walleye

The Right Spot: Get to know the layout of Leech Lake if you don’t already, Walleye have the heaviest presence in Walker Bay, Walker Narrows and Agency Bay. You will also get good results on point, breaks and other mid-lake humps. Keep close to the bottom, and most importantly get your spot early, the lake fills up quick.

 

Know What to Keep:

In terms of fish size and what you are allowed to keep, Leech Lake has special regulations that vary from much of the rest of the state. On Leech Lake, all walleye from 20-26” must be released and one over 26” is allowed in possession, total possession limit of four. For more info, check out the DNR’s “Lake Finder” for notes and data on the lake.

Leech Lake Map

 

Have a great Eelpout Festival, and remember just because you’re targeting walleye at some of your holes doesn’t mean you will miss out on a prize Eelpout, they tend to have somewhat similar biting and location habits to Walleye in the winter on Leech Lake.

See you on the Ice!

37th Annual Eelpout Festival

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

February 18th through the 21st, as many as 12,000 people will make their way to Walker and Leech Lake Minnesota for the 37th Annual Eelpout Festival. Festival goers will be ice fishing, racing, bull riding, competing in games while celebrating what is possibly Minnesota’s ugliest fish: the eelpout. Festival participants have been affectionately given the name “Pouters”. But, how do you know if you are a Pouter?

You Might Be a Pouter…

  1. If you don’t get luck from four leaf clovers but from kissing an eelpout, you might be a Pouter.

  2. If 0°F is your idea of swimsuit weather, you might be a Pouter.

  3. If a game of curling requires frozen eel pout, you might be a Pouter.

  4. If you lick your lips when you hear the phrase “eelpout nuggets”, you might be a Pouter.

  5. If you have spent time in an ice castle made of 40,000 pounds of ice, you might be a Pouter.

  6. If your version of auto racing requires a lake, you might be a Pouter.

  7. If you’ve seen men get a little too excited about the “Ice Fishing Show” on Friday, you might be a Pouter.

  8. If you love eelpout so much that you take a Plunge to swim with them in the middle of winter, you might be a Pouter.

  9. If you’ve been in an ice house traffic jam, you might be a Pouter.

  10. If you’ve ridden a bull in a snow suit, you might be a Pouter.

If you’re not a pouter, you might want to become one! This year the International Eelpout Festival will be held February 18th-21st on Leech Lake.The International Eelpout Festival has so many events and activities throughout the weekend, there are a lot of ways for you to become a Pouter.

Photo Via EelpoutFestival.com

Ice Fishing

Decorate your ice house head on Leech Lake Minnesota to try your luck at catching the biggest eelpout. Last year’s winners categories included Top Ten Biggest Pout, Top Ten Individual Tonnage, Team Tonnage, the Punt Pout Winner, and the Kids Perch Jerk.  With the biggest ‘pout last year weighing in at 10.55lbs competition is tough. Be sure to check out our latest fishing reports and the Leech Lake Fishing Map before you head out to be on top of your game. The weekend ends with the Fishing Contest Awards Ceremony on Sunday, February 21st from 11:00am-11:30am.

Kiss an Eelpout

The key to a great weekend is to start it off with a kiss with the star of the show: the eelpout! Pouters swear that this is lucky and is a must for any first time festival goers. Pucker up!

Photo Via Eelpoutfestival.com

Go Curling

Curling at the International Eelpout festival is not exactly like the Olympic curling you’ve seen on TV. There is still ice and a target to aim at, but when you see what you have to throw at the target you might begin to think something is a little fishy with this game. In honor of the eelpout, the fish has become part of the game by freezing them in blocks of ice as the game pieces. This unique take on the game of curling will give you something to tell friends about and certainly make you a life-long pouter.

Try Something New

Real eelpout nuggets fried with goose antler batter? YUM! If you haven’t had your chance to try this delicacy before, this is your chance to. The eelpout fish fry will be held in the Coors Keg Castle Tent Saturday, February 20th from 10:00am-8:00pm making it the perfect treat for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Party in a Castle

Coors Keg Castle is a 40,000 pound ice castle that plays host to food and drink specials, a dance party and karaoke contest, fish fry, and fishing show. There’s no better place to celebrate Minnesota’s winter than in a castle made of ice!

Take the Eelpout Plunge

Friday, February 20th from 1:00pm-3:00pm is the Polar Pout Plunge. Get a group of friends together, put on the craziest outfits you own and plunge into the frigid waters of Leech Lake to raise money for the Special Olympics. If jumping in to frozen waters isn’t your style, you can still help raise money and watch as fellow pouters take the plunge.

Photo Via EelpoutFestival.com

These are just a few of the ways that you can become a pouter at this year’s International Eelpout Festival. Take in the whole festival by spending the night on the ice or by planning your stay in one of our local resorts, cabins, or hotels.  Planning your pouter vacation a little last minute? No problem, watch our last minute openings page so you don’t miss out on the fun! Find the list of all the events and plan your trip to Walker to see the 37th International Eelpout Festival and all the other attractions Walker Minnesota has to offer.

6 Fun Leech Lake Activities this Fall

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

The leaves are changing color and the air is crisp! Here are a few of our favorite ways you can get outside and enjoy the Leech Lake area this autumn.

  1. Hiking

Surrounded by National Forests and State Parks, Leech Lake is the perfect place to watch the seasons change. Want to mix it up? Check out some of our local trail maps. Over 100 miles long, the Paul Bunyan State Trail keeps our hikes new and exciting. If you’re looking to get off the beaten path, Itasca State Park is home to our favorite unpaved hiking trails. Feel like squeezing in an end of season camping trip with the family? Here are some nearby parks and forests.

 

Fall colored trees on lake.

  1. Fishing

The lakes are getting less crowded and the fish are getting more active in colder water. Fall is a great time to get out and catch some fish! We’ll prove it to you in our Leech Lake fishing reports. Read our latest report now to see what’s biting.

  1. Harvest Moon Celebration

Saturday, October 3rd is coming up quick! Whether you’re spending the day with the family or going out with friends, the Harvest Moon Celebration has you covered. Children and family events start at 10:15 AM at the Walker Area Community Center. Activities include Bingo, a magic show, talent show and art contest! Adults (21+), the Moondance starts at 2:00 PM and beer and wine tasting starts at 5:00 PM. With great food and drinks, get out and enjoy the beauty of fall!

  1. Motorcycle

With almost 200 miles of shoreline, Leech Lake is a wonderful place to spend your day exploring the lake’s bays and neighboring towns. With cooler air, changing leaves, and bright blue sky – it’s time to jump back on the bike!

  1. Warm up with a hot treat!

After a fun filled day of shopping or hiking, warm up with a hot cider, coffee, or pastry from a local café! A few of our favorite places are Muskie Waters and Walker Bay Coffee Company.

   6.  Fall Has It All!

We’ve known it for awhile, but fall does have it all. Check out the Lumberjack and Classic Car Shows. Or put your lederhosens on for Oktoberfest. For a full list of the area’s events and locations visit Fall Has it All.

Pick your favorite fall activity and plan your Leech Lake stay this autumn now!

 

Quote about fall.