Early July fishing report for Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, Brainerd, and a special Lake Vermilion Fishing Report

Here is your early July fishing report for Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, Brainerd, and a special Lake Vermilion Fishing Report as well.  The LOA guide team has been busy chasing fish and staying on top of the bite for all of these lakes whether it is musky, walleye, bass, or whatever else may swim.  Lets here what they have to say

Beautiful Walleye

A beauty walleye!

Leech Lake

Leech Lake has slowed from its typical good June bite.  Feeding windows are a key part to success right now so taking advantage of those early morning and evening bites for those shallow Leech Lake walleyes.

Our Leech Lake fishing guides, are finding walleyes in 8-14 feet of what during the morning and evenings and then moving out deeper during the day to 18-28 feet of water.

Fishing sand and weed edges has been best when fishing shallow.  Throwing out a slip bobber with a leech has been good, jigs and leeches, as well as jigs and plastics.  Using your electronics to find these walleyes is the key as well as those transitions areas.  When not fishing shallow, shoreline breaks have been good as well as under water points and bars within Walker Bay and the Main Lake.


Four nice walleyes

Good day on the water as these two display show 4 of their keepers

There has also been a crankbait starting on the reeds and in the mud on the Main Lake.  Long lining #7 Shad Raps or pulling Leadcore is the best bet to target these fish.  This is a great way to cover ground and then once you find a school work through them.  Crayfish patterns, perch patterns, but sometimes crazy colors can work as well.  Look to Huddles, Variety, Pelican, and North Bar has places to start your search.

Remember with Leech, anytime you get a good wind for a couple of days, don’t be afraid to move up shallow to target these fish.

Mille Lacs

Walleye fishing and live bait is not allowed on Mille Lacs until July 28th.  Please check with the MN DNR, as the regulations may change.

The smallmouth bass fishing has been outstanding most days.  The bass are in constant movement holding in depths ranging from 4-20 feet of water.  Relying on your electronics and fishing different patterns will increase your catch rate.  Drop-shot, tubes, wacky worms, and some Rapala X-raps around the rock piles have been the best.  Be prepared to be flexible, but once you establish a pattern the fishing is world class.

Nice smallmouth bass

Nice Smallmouth bass!

Northern pike and muskies have been hanging in the weeds, rock piles, and suspended in open water.  Larger rubber baits, bucktails, and glide baits have been the best.  Look for the topwater bite to increase as the water keeps getting warmer.

Panfish have settled into the deep weed beds or their offshore locations.  For sunfish and crappies, located deep cabbage beds and use a Beetle Spin or  Roadrunner jig to locate and catch these fish.

Live bait restrictions scheduled

Retrieved 19 July 2017, from dnr.state.mn.us.
Only artificial bait and lures allowed in possession on Mille Lacs Lake from 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 7, to 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, July 27. Live bait restriction begins again at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 5, and continue through 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 30. Anglers targeting northern pike and muskellunge may possess sucker minnows greater than 8" in length during these restricted periods.
View complete story on Minnesota DNR website.


Gull Lake, Whitefish, and North long have been producing some walleyes this week.  The prefered method has been a slip bobber tipped with a leech .  Look for walleyes along weed edges in 15-25 feet of water.  Slip bobbering allows for precise fishing especially along schools that are situated tight to weed lines.  Other good options this time of year is to pitch a jig and a plastic worm to the edge of weeds and work it back or the tried and true lindy rig with a minnow to get some great multi-species action.

Lake Vermilion - Special Report

Big Walleye with Captain Freed

Guide Freed with a great Walleye.

LOA Fishing Guide, Jason Freed took his family over to Lake Vermilion this week to do a little fishing and relaxation.  Here is a quick Lake Vermilion Fishing Guide Report

Walleyes were on the slow side, but it was all about the reaction bite.  The lake had just finished some big mayfly hatches so the fish were fat and lazy.  I spent time focusing on mud/rock transitions in 18-25 feet of water or weed edges in 10-13 feet of water.  I tried pulling spinners with some luck, lindy rigging was slow as was slow death, by far the best presentation was getting a reaction bite by using #7 Jig Raps.  Color made a difference because of the dark stained Canadian Shield waters.  Besides color, cadence was a big deal because the fish weren’t super aggressive.

Smallmouth Bass were still relatively tight to shore in 4-8 feet of water.  Casting swim baits such as the new Storm 360 or X Raps was the best bet.

I didn’t get the chance to musky fish as much as I would have liked, but did have a couple lazy encounters with fish.  I will be back to chase them when I have more time to dedicate to it.  Family always comes first on vacation.

Smiling young lady!

Not all fish are will go on the wall or in the livewell, but they still puts a smile on your face.

The best part of the trip was spending the morning with fellow Lund Pro Staff member Billy Rosner fishing the scenic Vermilion River with my daughter Macin and Father in Law Greg.  We caught smallmouth and pike casting.  If you want an adventure going out on the River with Billy is the way to go.  I will be back next year.  I am already planning my trip.  Now if I could just put 48 hours in the day to make the trip longer.

Until next week. Tight lines!
Leisure Outdoor Adventures Guide Team

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