Here is your Leisure Outdoor Adventures fishing guide report for Leech Lake, Brainerd Lakes, and Mille Lacs. Fishing was strong again on Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, and some of the lakes in the Brainerd area. With changing conditions daily, anglers have been met with the challenge of keeping up with the movements of fish on a day to day basis as well as figuring out what those Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, and Brainerd Lakes area walleyes are wanting to feed on from day to day. Here is this week’s in depth report.
Leech Lake Walleyes once again found themselves spread out and in different areas and related to different pieces of Leech Lake structure. Shiners and Leeches seemed to be the bait of choice for those Leech Lake Walleyes, but plastics are still catching some fish. Be sure to stop in at Full Stringer Bait and Tackle, Swansons Bait and Tackle, Tutts Bait and Tackle, or Sportland Bait and Tackle for all your bait and tackle needs.
The LOA Fishing Guides found much of their success on the West End of Leech Lake. Focusing in on the flats around West Goose in depths of 7-10ft of water, as well as the wind blown points such as Duck, Big
Hardwoods, Ottertail, Pine, and Bowmans. Sucker Bay also proved to have a good wind driven bite throughout the weekend. A Jig and Minnow was the best presentation by far, but in most instances instead of jigging it, dragging or swimming it along the bottom seemed to work best, but when the front came in on Sunday the Leech Lake Walleyes were snapping and aggressively jigging was provoking the bite. When things slowed down, slowing down with a lindy rig and leech put fish in the boat as well. Green cabbage once again was a key to finding active walleyes and jumbo perch in 5-8ft of water. Pitching an 1/8th oz KenKatch jig with a shiner caught Leech Lake Jumbos, Walleyes, and pike. Slip bobbers and leeches/shiners also have put fish in the boat being either fished in the weeds or windblown points.
East End/Main Lake
On the Main Lake, the rocks still were producing a great bite as well as some of the East End points such as Battle, Sugar, and Five Mile when the strong Westerly winds were blowing. Annex, Submarine, Pelican, and North Bar were all producing fish in 10-14ft of water. Lindy Rigs with leeches or shiners seemed to work best, but the biggest fish still seem to want a 1/8th or 1/4oz jig and shiner.
Leech Lake Crappie and Bluegill fishing still remains strong. When the weather warms up for a couple days both species are moving onto their beds and are actively feeding. Looking to Boy Bay, Millers Bay, Shingobee, and Steamboat for the best action in 3-6 feet of water. Just remember to use selective harvest as these fish are more vulnerable.
Walleyes can be found in the sand, rocks, and weeds at various depths throughout the day. The most consistent depth seems to be 7-16 feet, and jig/minnow or a live bait rig/shiner will get the job done. When the bite seems to slow down, move the boat either shallower or deeper on the same structure. The fish seem to be moving around, so if you stop getting bites, they are still probably in the area. As the water warms, start looking to the mud flats as we will start to see some bug hatches taking place and the mud flats will be some of the top producing areas.
Anyways, the smallmouth bass are hanging out around the rocky shorelines and near shore rock piles. They can be caught using all sorts of techniques, but a tube or flippin jig has been a great way to catch them. Casting Rapala X-Raps and Berkley Flicker Shads has also been a great multi-species option, as there are many walleyes that are swimming in the same areas.
Our fishing guides haven’t had a chance to fish too much in the Brainerd area, but have heard good reports coming from North Long, Round, Whitefish, and some of the other local lakes. Gull has been hit or miss depending on the day, but it should pick up as the water temps rise. Looking to weed flats in 8-14ft of water pitching a jig and shiner or lindy rigging with a leech or minnow. Green cabbage is the a great thing to key on right now, especially on bright sunny days. Pitching that jig and minnow or a jig and plastic into the weeds is a great way to pull some Brainerd Lakes Area walleyes. A slip bobber and a leech is another great weed walleye tactic.
Panfish bite has slowed down, but there should still be some crappies shallow with some of the warming temps ahead of us this week. Try casting a puddle jumper on a 1/32oz jig or a tube to catch these fish as well as some nice bluegills.