Posts Tagged ‘leech lake’

Ice fishing tips

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

Here in Leech Lake we love to ice fish. What better way to relax from your crazy life, then to be on the ice on a sunny winter day reeling in the fish. Here are some fishing tips that can help you get everything you want out of your Leech Lake fishing trip:

#1

Be sure to ask the locals and resort owners where the fish are biting. They are the ones who know the lake best and are always willing to give you the best experience possible.

#2

You will be sure to find the best walleye action a little closer to Walker, MN. While your there you can stop in town and grab a bite to eat and get warm before heading back out to the ice.

#3

Catching pike is not the challenging part. Finding them is! But, once you have found them a tip up, a heavy line with a wire leader, and a plain old hook with a live minnow will work wonders.

#4

Look into a fishing guides. There are plenty here in Leech Lake that would love to get you on the fish!

#5

Book a stay at one our lodges! There are plenty of places to stay here in the winter. Check out which places offer ice house rentals and guide services so you can get out on the ice today!

We hope to see you on the ice this winter! Remember to look into our lodging packages to see where you can stay on your next fishing trip to Leech Lake, Minnesota’s Original “Up North”.


Leech Lake Family Vacation Planning

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

As the weather becomes warmer outside, our minds drift off to those long vacation summer days. Where the smell of campfire in the air mingles with the sound of children’s laughter, as you are making memories that will last forever! If you haven’t already planned your family’s getaway this summer, now is the time. Leech Lake in Walker, Minnesota offers a wide variety of family fun that is sure to appeal to everyone in your family.

Walker, Minnesota, and the surrounding areas offer fishing, boating, and sailing on the beautiful waters of Leech Lake. The area also has two golf courses, a handful of dining and shopping options, and countless family attractions including hiking and biking trails.

Leech Lake offers world-class fishing. But what if not everyone in your family enjoys fishing? The lake is also a beautiful destination for boating, kayaking, and swimming. Many Leech Lake resorts even offer boat and kayak rentals, so the whole family can easily find a way to enjoy a day on the lake.

Once you’ve made a short list of all the activities your family wants to make part of your unique Summer vacation at Leech Lake, it is time to decide where you will stay. How many people in your family? What is your budget? Is where you stay as important as what you do while you stay there? Leech Lake offers numerous lodging options, whether you are looking to “rough” it at a campground, bring your RV, stay in a cabin, or at a resort. Check out our lodging page to find the best options for your family or use our Plan Your Trip tool to narrow down and customize your search.

 Plan, pack, and go. Most importantly have a great time, we look forward to seeing you here!

Make Spending More Time Outdoors Your New Year’s Resolution

Monday, 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!

Winter Wonderland

Thursday, 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 Eelpout Fishing

Monday, August 21st, 2017

Leech Lake is one of Minnesota’s top fishing destinations, especially when it comes to the Eelpout fishing. Eelpout fishing is a big deal around here, and we are proud to hold the International Eelpout Festival every February. You’re probably thinking, can I only fish for Eelpout in the winter? And the answer is no. You can fish Eelpout year round, but the best time to fish for Eelpout 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.International Eelpout Festival- Leech Lake

What is an Eelpout?

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 is known to be great predators and is excellent to eat. Bubot can most commonly be found in northern Minnesota lake and river, 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 in the summer and are a rare catch, but come winter the freshwater predator comes very much alive and active

 

Burbot-Eelpout

How to catch an Eelpout

Most Eelpouts are accidently caught by anglers who are targeting other fish such as walleye. When deciding what bait to use, they typically are drawn to minnows on a spoon or jig that is hanging out in the lower muddy areas of the lake.  It’s important that when fishing for an Eelpout that you keep a watchful eye on your line because they have a very sensitive bite and if you wait too long, you will end up losing your opportunity. Eelpout typically is active during the lower light hours of the day.  If you’re lucky enough to catch an Eelpout, you have a good fish feed in your future!

International Eelpout Festival-Leech Lake

 

Fishing in Leech Lake

Want to find out how well the fish are biting this week? Check out our fishing report!

 

Leech Lake Public Access: Boat Landings

Friday, July 28th, 2017

Leech Lake has a number of well maintained public access boat landings surrounding the lake, to ensure everyone has easy access to the water. In this post we have aggregated all the public landings into one easy to navigate layout so you can find and quickly get directions to the nearest Leech Lake public access point. Another, even easier way to get on the water and enjoy the lake is to stay at one of the Leech Lakes beautiful resorts, which all have on site boat landings. Most resorts will also allow non-guest boat landing use for a fee as well. If you are looking for a boat landing and somewhere to stay we recommend the stone and two birds solution - find Leech Lake lodging now. If you just want to test the waters before taking a long week at one of the resorts (no one comes to Leech Lake just once!), below you will find details on each Leech Lake public access point, including directions.

Leech Lake Public Access Points

 Erickson’s Landing

Offering easy public access right off the highway onto Walker bay and directly next to the inlet to Kabekona bay this boat landing offers a sizable parking area and a wide ramp. The landings name also has some interesting background. According to local recollection, it is called Erickson’s Landing in remembrance of the one armed truck driver who originally owned the property, that is now public access.

 

Walker City Park Boat Landing

This is one of Leech Lakes best maintained public access landings, and often the busiest. Located just off downtown Walker and within the park the location is central to Walker Bay and offers very quick access to Agency Bay as well.

 

Shingobee Bay Public Access

This Leech Lake landing puts you in the very far south-western edge of the lake in Shingobee but is often quiet and offers extremely easy access to Agency and Walker Bays.

 

Stony Point Landing

The Stony Point landing offers one of the most central landings on the lake, it offers easy access to the center of the lake and is located between Traders Bay and Pelican Island.

 

Whipholt Roadside Public Access Point

Located directly between Rogers and Diamond points on a long sandy beach this landing offers easy access to the central southern portion of the Lake.

 

Brevik Town Boat Landing

Located just outside of Headquarters bay and near the southern tip of Bear Island this landing offers quick access to nearby weed beds surrounding the eastern side of Bear Island. This quiet public landing is gravel and offers limited parking.

 

Battle Point Leech Lake Public Access

Located nearly in the intersection of Boy and Headquarter’s Bays this well maintained landing offers a large parking area and a wide ramp with easy access.

 

Federal Dam Boat Landing

This very well maintained landing offers a large paved parking area and a very wide paved ramp. Offering easy access to great fishing around the inlet and easy central lake access.

 

Sucker Bay Landing

Another recently updated landing, this Leech Lake Boat landing offers a long gradual ramp a sizable paved parking area and quick access to the central lake.

 

We hope this post helps make getting on the water easier than ever before. Leech Lake Public Access points provide quick and easy access to all parts of the lake, allowing you to easily enjoy the water, whether you want to spend the day fishing, cruising, tubing, or skiing. If you just want to spend a day on the water or want to test the waters on your first visit to the area public access landings are a great option. However, if you are looking to truly enjoy all the area has to offer check out area lodging, and plan your next trip to Leech Lake. See you on the water!

 

 

Minnesota Fishing Opener: How to Stay Safe on Leech Lake

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

This weekend marks the 2016 Minnesota Fishing Opener! What a better place to celebrate than fishing on Leech Lake? Leech Lake is the third largest lake in Minnesota and is home to some of the best walleye fishing in the Midwest. Lakes can get busy, especially during fishing opener. While you’re out catching fish – remember to be careful! Here are a few tips to keep you and your family safe while out fishing.

 

Fishing on a Sunny Lake

 

1.       Life Jacket: If you are going to be on a boat while fishing, be sure that everyone on board has a life jacket. Chances are you won’t need it, but it’s always best to be safe. Even if you are a great swimmer, emergencies cause anxiety levels escalate which could cause you to not swim as well as you normally would. Spring weather in Minnesota can be fickle, but life jackets can serve as an extra layer to help keep you warm. Life jackets can also be quite comfortable – giving you extra cushion for your back!

 

Life Jackets on Boat

 

2.       Safety Kit: From a first aid kit to map – make sure you have everything you need on your boat. According to the Red Cross, a good first aid kit should have the following:

  • Bandages
  • Absorbent Compress Dressings
  • Adhesive Cloth Tape
  • Aspirin
  • Antiseptic Wipes
  • Antibiotic Ointment

Leech Lake is huge, and it’s easy to get lost or turned around while out on the water – especially if it’s your first time here or are exploring a new section of the lake. We recommend bringing a map of the lake out with you, or a GPS, in case you do get turned around while out on the lake. With 160 Square miles of lake getting lost can be easier than you may think on Leech Lake. A map of Leech Lake can not only help you figure out your direction, but can give you insight on the topography surrounding the lake. This will give you warning of the depth and if you may run in to any unexpected shallow areas.

Map of Leech Lake

3.       Appropriate Footwear: This the arrival of spring and warm weather, it’s tempting to throw your tennis shoes and boots aside and opt for flip flops and sandals. However, many hooks and other sharp objects are used while fishing and may find their way to the floor of the boat. Avoid accidental injury and stepping on these objects by wearing shoes that cover and protect your feet.

4.       Dress Appropriately: We’ve already mentioned that spring weather in Minnesota can be fickle and unpredictable. Making sure you’re prepared with the proper clothing can be the difference between a great and miserable day out on the lake. We recommend dressing in layers, that way you can be prepared for a hot – or frigid – day. Be sure to pack a rain jacket and pants in case the weather starts to get wet above the boat as well.

5.       Keep Knives and Hooks Covered: To avoid injury, keep knives and hooks covered and stored away when not in use. Picking out a great tackle box can help keep your fishing life organized and safe. Many tackle boxes are available with multiple trays and different sizes. These are great to keep your larger tools (like knives and scissors) on the larger shelves, while keeping your smaller hooks and jigs organized on the top shelves.

Fishing Tackle Box on Dock

 

Have a great fishing opener and season! We look forward to seeing you on Leech Lake soon.

4 Minnesota Mothers Day Gifts

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Mother’s Day is right around the corner – and this year it does not fall on the Minnesota fishing opener. That makes 2016 a great year to do something extra special for Mom this Mother’s Day. While chocolates, flowers and brunch are wonderful here are five nontraditional ideas to show your mom/wife/partner just how much you appreciate her.

1. Give Mom a Spa Day

Mothers are notorious for putting themselves last while they put their families first. This Mother’s Day, put mom first and give her the chance to get away from the house and relax! Having a spa day is a great way to unwind from the chaos of everyday life. Getting a massage has been linked relieving stress, anxiety, injuries, headaches, along with multiple other ailments. Jenny’s Beehive in Walker has 30, 60, and 90 minute massages that Mom can enjoy. They offer other spa services as well, such as facials, manicures and pedicures. Whether you’re looking for a quick massage or an all day spa service, Jenny’s Beehive can help Mom to relax this Mother’s Day.

 

woman getting a massage

 

2. Clean the House

Nothing helps you relax quite like a clean house! Organizing, dusting, vacuuming, and sweeping will not only help mom help mom unwind but has health benefits for the whole house! Having a clean house makes you safer from harmful germs and bacteria. Don’t stop there though, we have all vacuumed around things, be sure to pick them up this time get those toys off the floor! Having a clean home is great for you and Mom, but did you know it’s also linked to a higher productivity and can improve your mental health.

 

3. Plan a Family Hike

Spring can be a wonderful time to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Trees are budding, flowers are starting to bloom, and it feels good to be out of the house after such a long winter indoors. If Mom enjoys sending time outdoors, plan a family hike or bike ride. The Heartland Trail is one of the oldest trails in Northern Minnesota and is home to lakes, forests and wildlife.  Between the Shingobee Recreation Are and the City of Walker, the Heartland Trail has a chain of lakes and plenty of beautiful places you can sit down for a break or a picnic.

 

woman walking across bridge

 

Speaking of picnics: The key to a memorable picnic lays in what type of food you bring. Easy to eat foods and foods that aren’t very messy are great for picnics as you might not have access to running water to help clean off your hands (unless you pick a spot next to a beautiful and clear Minnesota stream). Foods like sandwiches, chips, and vegetables are great for picnics for just this reason. Be sure to pack you food in containers that seal completely – it would be a disappointing picnic if you hike all that way, open your bag and see that food has spilled everywhere.

 

4. Cook Dinner at Home

Going out to Mom’s favorite restaurant is a great way to celebrate; but there is something extra special about a home cooked meal. In today’s fast-paced and busy world it seems more and more difficult to gather the family around the table at home to enjoy a special meal.

Have mom take time off from cooking while you and the kids get her favorite meal together. While you are cooking, make sure she is all comfortable in the living room with a glass of wine, beer, or tea – whatever her favorite thing to sip may be – and a book or a magazine so she can continue relaxing! After you enjoy a home cooked meal, make sure you clean up and do the dishes so she doesn’t have to worry about it the next day, and you keep the house clean after just having picked up for Mom, Right?

 

Asian food family dinner

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you wonderful mothers! We look forward to seeing you in Leech Lake soon.

 

6 Family Fun Summer Activities in Leech Lake

Monday, April 11th, 2016

Summer is just around the corner and with that comes all of our favorite activities – fishing, boating, and going to the beach. In addition to great fishing and outdoor activities, the Leech Lake area is home to theater, history, farmers markets and things for the whole family. Here are some of our favorite places for you and your family to enjoy this summer – in rain or shine!

Sailing on Leech Lake

Being in Minnesota, almost all of us have spent time on a boat at one point or another. But how many of you have spent time on a sail boat? Fleet Sails offers classes to teach you how to use a sail boat and gives you hands on experience -all while being in the safety of a licensed captain. Fleet Sails offers various classes based on the group size and your experience. Enjoy the day on Leech Lake and leave with a new skill!

Sail Boat on the Lake

Deep Portage Learning Center

Deep Portage Conservation Reserve is home to 6,300 acres of forest, lakes, hills and wild life for you to explore. Operating as a non-profit corporation, Deep Portage is open to people of all ages and is a place where community, education and the great outdoors come together.  The Conservation Reserve was founded in 1973 and the Resource Heritage Center opened for the public in 1987. Bring the family to Deep Portage for hiking, bird watching, archery and so much more! Deep Portage Conservation Reverse also offers summer camps and programs for kids, adults and families interested in outdoor experiences.

Paul Bunyan’s Animal Land

Paul Bunyan’s Animal Land is home to nearly 100 animals that represent all contents. You can walk with the deer, feed the bears, and see a variety of animals you might not otherwise have the chance to see. While you’re there, check out their indoor learning center to learn even more about the animals! Paul Bunyan’s Animal Land is open daily from 10:00AM – 6:00PM from Memorial Day thru Labor Day.

photo of deer

Sugar Point Battle Monument

On October 5th of 1898, the Battle of Sugar Point was fought between the 3rd US Infantry and the Chippewa Indians. The Sugar Point Battle – the last true Indian battle – had its roots in the destruction of Indian lands and burials grounds in the name of “progress” of settlers moving westward. The Sugar Point Battle Monument is located eight miles southwest of the Federal Dam Boy Bay on the east side of Leech Lake. Bring the family and learn about the history of Leech Lake!

Minnesota Folklore Theater

Looking to break the routine of bring the family to the movie theater? The Minnesota Folklore Theater – in Walker – has musical and dramatic productions for the entire family to enjoy! The mission of the Minnesota Folklore Theater is to present professional, community based, products to further the appreciation and knowledge of arts and culture.  This summer, catch their productions of Steel Magnolias, Christmas Bingo, and hear songs by Gershwin Porter. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.

Green Scene Farmer’s Market

Every Thursday this summer you can enjoy the Walker Community’s Green Scene Farmer’s Market! Thursdays from 9:00AM-1:00PM starting June 16th through September 22nd you can find the Farmer’s Marketing at Green Scene in Walker. Every Thursday there will be live entertainment, locally grown produce, jewelry, flowers, breads – and so much more! Bring the family to the farmers market and teach your children the importance of shopping local!

produce at farmers market

With such a wide variety or great summer activities in the Leech Lake area to keep you and your family having fun, Leech Lake makes the perfect Minnesota family vacation destination. Come explore “Minnesota’s Original Up North” with the Leech Lake Tourism Bureau.

Explore resort options for the summer now!

The Complete Guide to the Chippewa National Forest

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

In 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt made the Chippewa National Forest the first National Forest east of the Mississippi River. Originally, the Forest was named the Minnesota National Forest but was renamed in 1928 to honor the Ojibwe (or Chippewa) who inhabited the land in the early 1700’s.

The Chippewa National Forest is home to over 1,300 lakes (including two of Minnesota’s largest lakes – Leech Lake and Lake Winnie), 925 miles of river, over 400,000 acres of wetlands, campgrounds and hundreds of miles of hiking and snowmobiling trails.

Camping

Chippewa National Forest has 21 campgrounds that are open from mid-May through mid-September. Depending on the level of camping you would like to do, Chippewa National Forest has campgrounds for every camper. Campsites range from showers and flush toilets to sites with vault toilets and hand pumps. Each campsite is equipped with a picnic table, tent pad and parking spot.

Stony Point Campground is on the shores of Leech Lake and has over 40 campsites for you to choose from. To camp at Stony Point, campsites cost $26 per night. All campsites at Stony Point may be reserved, so book early to get the campsite you want! Stony Point Campground has boat access, a swimming beach and a picnic area.

THE TRAILS

Migizi Trail

Named for the Bald Eagle in Ojibwe, the Migizi Trail is a 19 mile paved loop that surrounds Pike Bay. The trail has four access points – Forest Supervisor’s Office in Cass Lake, the Norway Beach Recreation Area, the South Pike Bay picnic area, and across from the Cass Lake Wayside Rest. Take a portion of the trail for a day hike, or bike the entire trail.

Heartland Trail

The 27 mile long trail goes from Walker to Park Rapids and is one of the oldest paved trails in Northern Minnesota. The portion of the Heartland Trail southwest of Walker is home to beautiful lakes, forest, and wildlife. The Heartland Trail also works to connect other trails and recreation areas, including Chippewa National Forest’s Shingobee Recreation Area.

 

Shingobee Recreation Area

Located just 5 miles southwest over Walker, the Shingobee Recreation Area is a place for various activities including hiking, cross-country skiing, bird watching and camping. After a long day out on the Shingobee, fill up with hearty, authentic, Kansas style BBQ at The Piggy – located in Walker. The Piggy, raved reviewed by the New York Times, is a must stop – but make sure you get there early!

 

ACTIVITIES

In addition to camping and hiking, the Chippewa National Forest has a wide variety of other activities for you and your family to enjoy.

 

Fishing

Home to over 1,000 lakes and miles of river, the Chippewa National Forest is a great place to go fishing. Leech Lake is home to a large Walleye population and can provide you with fresh fish no matter the season. Check out some of our favorite tips on how to master the art of catching walleye. Don’t forget to check our weekly fishing report so you can stay up to date on the best spots to reel in a fish and know exactly what’s biting.

 

Bird Watching

Coniferous forests to the north, hardwood forests to the south, and prairies to the west. The Chippewa National Forest diverse ecosystem makes it a great place to go bird watching and see all types of different birds. Additionally, the Chippewa National Forest has the highest breeding population of Bald Eagles in the continental US. Grab your binoculars, paper and a pen to record what you see and get hiking!

 

Berry Picking

Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and cranberries can all be found in the Chippewa National Forest. Depending on the time of year and location – you could fill up your bucket with fresh sweet berries. Don’t want to get your hands all sticky? Pick up a berry picker from amazon or any kitchen store to make the process even easier.

 

Plan your trip to the Chippewa National Forest and Leech Lake now! We’ll see you on the trails.