Posts Tagged ‘ice fishing leech lake’


February Events at Leech Lake

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

February is upon us, and with it comes more winter weather and another month on beautiful Leech Lake. The later winter months are the perfect time to visit the area; the woods are covered with fresh snow, the ice is at its best, and our local lodges and resorts are the perfect cozy escape you’ve been looking for. Make sure you include these events in your February Leech Lake getaway!


Ice Fishing


If quirky festivals and buyers shows aren’t your speed, or even if you’re looking to catch a festival and sneak in a little ice fishing over a long weekend, there are still plenty of quiet corners of the lake. February makes for some solid ice fishing and is a great time to check out the Leech Lake/Walker area’s host of ice house rental options. Forgo the busy schedule and your hectic pace of life and spend some time on serene Leech Lake.





Saturday, February 9th marks the second annual Leech Lake Frostfest. Get out on the lake as the entire town gathers for an afternoon of food, live music, craft brews, and games galore for the younger members of the family. Stop by for the home brew competition and support the Deep Portage Learning Center, this year’s non-profit beneficiary. See you there! 


Valentine Candlelight Ski at Shingobee


Ski by candlelight with your Valentine and join us at Shingobee Hills Recreation Area February 14th. From 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM, skiers will be invited to start at the chalet and ski a half-mile candlelight loop at the base of the sled hill. Warm up afterwards with a fire and hot cocoa at the chalet and share this special evening with your loved ones of all ages. 

North Country Buyer’s Show


Leech Lake is proud to welcome the North Country Resort, Retail and Restaurant Buyer’s Show February 20th and 21st. In its 44th year, the Buyer’s Show features vendors both old and new from nearly every industry imaginable. Featured are clothing, advertising, software, insurance, boats, decor and more; if you have a business, chances are you’ll find something that interests you! Join us at the Northern Lights Event Center for this memorable event.


International Eelpout Festival


For 40 years, the International Eelpout Festival has celebrated one of the world’s ugliest bottom-dwelling fish with a party right on the surface of Leech Lake. Join in February 21st – 24th as we celebrate what’s been proudly named one of the “15 Weird Midwestern Festivals You Never Knew Existed.” Experience live music, eelpout curling (see it to believe it), eelpout rugby, dog sled races, a jalapeño eating contest, a Beer Pong tournament, an ice bar, and more

From snowy afternoon festivals complete with live music and fun on the icy lake, to cozy nights by the fire in one of the many area lodges, from bustling wholesale buyer’s shows to peaceful fishing on a quiet inlet; no matter what your vacation preference, Leech Lake and Walker have it all this February. We say, “come for the festivals, stay for the friendships!”

Start your vacation planning now and take a look at one of our local resorts – there’s something for everyone!

Ice Fishing on Leech Lake – Tips and Tricks

Friday, November 18th, 2016

The first snow of the year offers a stark reminder that summer is gone and winter is arriving in whiteout style, but it also indicates ice fishing on Leech Lake is not far off. It is looking like we will be getting a thick layer of ice this year and if the amazing summer and fall fishing is any indicator, this ice fishing season should be extremely fruitful. It’s time to dig that winter fishing gear out from under whatever pile it has been buried under since the end of last winter and get everything prepped for long days on the ice. In that spirit we would like to share some Leech Lake ice fishing tips for our favorite winter fish, with all those new anglers and those that just need a little refresher, before the season starts.

leech lake ice fishing

Ice fishing for Bass on Leech Lake

Bass may be less active during the winter months but that doesn’t mean you can’t find success fishing for them on the ice. In the winter months bass tend to become extremely lethargic as their metabolism slows with the drop in water temperatures. They aren’t lethargic the entire winter though. Warm and calm periods above the ice will see bass activity below the ice increase drastically. During these active periods bass will often leave the rocky humps they stick to in winter and move into weedy flats or towards the basin edges in the 10 to 25 foot depth range. Headquarters bay and the edges of Moonlight bay often offer the best bass fishing in winter months, and  the immediate vicinity of Leech River can either offer amazing results or not a single bite in a day during the winter, so if you are feeling lucky you may want to try it.

More than the right spot it’s important to have the right equipment for bass fishing in the winter. Tip ups are extremely unlikely to get you a single bite, when it comes to bass. You will want to be using a short rod and a very light line, combined with a very small jig, the larger jigs used in fall will not work during the winter. Combine an extremely small jig with a bit of wax worm and regular lifts and drops to keep bass interested. Bass fishing in winter is perfect for those who want a challenge and like to be more proactive while they are ice fishing, no tip ups when you are bass fishing.

frozen lake mn

Leech Lake Walleye fishing in the winter

Walleye behave much the same as the do in the fall and spring during the winter months. look for them In the basins of Walker Bay and around drops in Agency bay. Walleye, being nice and consistent for anglers year round, giving the best chances to catch Walleye in the low light early mornings and evenings. If you are lucky and the Walleye are extremely active you may be able to get away with a tip up but your best bet will be to use a shortened rod and remain active at the hole. Medium-Small jigs are your best bet for Walleye in the winter, but in less active periods a jigging spoon tipped with bits of minnow can provide great results.

Ice fishing for Walleye on Leech Lake, is certainly less challenging than Bass, but still allows you to be more proactive at the hole, and because the best Walleye fishing is near Walker it’s an easy task to go back into town get lunch and then head back out on the ice.


Ice fishing for pike on Leech Lake

So it’s freezing out or you just want to sit back and enjoy yourself on the ice while the tip up does the work for you, well that’s what northern pike are for. Pike remain extremely active and aggressive compared to most Leech Lake species in the winter.  As the water cools pike will move to the edges of surrounding weed beds or near the deeper edges of bars. Sucker bay and Boy bay often offer the best northern pike populations during the winter months, it is important to find their depth though. Even if you are in the right area if you miss their active depth you will lose out on a lot of hits, so unless you have a camera you will want to drill several holes close together and vary your depths to find that sweet spot.

Catching pike is not the challenging part finding them is, but one you have found them a tip up, a heavy line with a wire leader, and a plain old hook with a with a live minnow will work wonders. So if your in the mood to sit back, relax and watch for the flag to pop, target the areas where northern congregate find their depth and enjoy!

leech lake northern pike


We hope you will find our tips our lead to stellar results and a winter filled with fish fries. You might be asking but what about eelpout!? Well let me ask you something, would you share your eelpout fishing spots and tips? Besides we need to leave some challenge to Ice Fishing on Leech Lake. If our first snow has made thoughts of long days on the ice and freezers full of fish dance through your head, think about reserving your cabin or hotel room before they are all gone. We hope to see you on the ice very soon! Until then, enjoy the snow!



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!

Ice Fishing Leech Lake

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

If you are planning to spend the weekend ice fishing Leech Lake and going up against the Minnesota winter weather you may be looking at ways to keep warm.  You can wear those extra layers but what is going to really do the job is an ice fishing shelter. Most of you may go with a portable shelter or a simple shed but there are those that truly go all out when it comes to ice fishing. So whatever your preference may be there are endless ice house accommodations that meet your fishing needs.


Many of our Leech Lake Resorts offer the service of an ice house rental to make that Minnesota ice fishing getaway even more comfortable. After a long day fishing you can relax and enjoy the comforts of home at one of Leech Lakes finest resorts sipping on hot chocolate, gazing at a lit fireplace, and re-capping in conversation about all the great fish you caught that day . Later, if you have enough energy after reeling in all the big fish you caught visit the quaint town of Walker, MN where you can enjoy local shops, pubs, casinos and more.


So take a tour and check out all the Leech Lake Resorts that are part of the Leech Lake Tourism Bureau and plan your Minnesota winter getaway today!