Thursday, January 11, 2018

Mid Winter Ice Fishing Update - Leech Lake


Leech Lake ice conditions have set-up nicely for vehicle travel in most areas. 12"-26" of ice is typical throughout the bays and main lake. As usual, caution should be used near the narrows (Walker, Agency, Kabekona etc.) and channels between the bays. Please, make no assumptions or educated guesses about ice. Check with a resort, bait shop, or set out on foot and check ice often when ice thickness is unknown. 

Perch activity has been low, likely due to the early cold fronts we have had. The best bet for active perch right now would be some of the deeper (12'-25') walleye spots. Covering water is key to contacting the larger specimens.

The Walleye bite has been a productive one, especially from 7:00 am to 9:00 am, and again from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. Typical structures on the main-lake and bays in 12-25 f.o.w. have been the best. Burbot (aka Eelpout) have been starting to show up in these same areas, usually just after dark. Live Rainbow minnows or shiners on a weighted green-glow hook or 1/8-1/4 oz jigging spoons will work for both species.

Whitefish and Tullibees are another fun option during daytime hours. Soft-bottom depressions where bug hatches occur have been best for these scrappy fish. Small gold or silver flutter spoons tipped with waxworms, and worked up-and-down the water column are great for catching these fish. 

We have been utilizing snow machines to get away from the crowds and have been getting on some quality fish.

Crappie and bluegills continue to put smiles on our faces. I have been on several different area lakes, some for better action, and some for quality fish. 

Quality bluegills and crappies are to be had in the area. We have been putting most of the larger fish back to help sustain these fisheries.

These gentleman caught their limit and released many more, and that was all before 9:00 am!

On my "days off" I'm still out there looking for the best bites that Leech Lake can offer.

Cheers and hook-sets!
Captain Phil Bauerly- Leech Lake

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

12/20 Ice Report

Everywhere I have checked in Walker bay I have found 5"-9" of ice, but it's a little too variable to be confident, so we are checking as we go. There are a few active cracks, one from First Point over to the city park, and one from Sand Point heading south to about 2nd Point. The bite has been good on the humps in 20-28 f.o.w.

The main lake really varies too. The southeast corner of the lake near Whipholt and Trapper's Landing Lodge probably has the best ice on the lake with a fairly consistent 10"-12". I have noted some thinner ice between Pine Point and Goose Island (3"-5") and off of Stony Point access. I have also heard reports of thinner ice to watch out for between Battle Point and Bear Island. Fishing has been slow for me on the main lake, but we haven't come close to exploring all of our options out there.

Smaller lakes appear to be about where they have been for the past few weeks. Most lakes have 6"-10" but much thinner ice is scattered throughout the region, so extreme caution should be used when venturing out.

Cheers and hook-sets!
Captain Phil Bauerly- Leech Lake

Saturday, November 18, 2017

2017 Open Water Fishing- Outright Angling

I had hoped to put together a short 2 minute video highlighting the great open water season we had this year, unfortunately, there are just too many great moments to edit down. Here is a 5 minute slide-show featuring just some of the highlights from 2017 open water. 

I would also like to offer a big thank you to all of the guest anglers who fished with me this year, I would love to have you all aboard again sometime in the near future!

Cheers and hook-sets! 
Captain Phil Bauerly- Leech Lake

Monday, October 2, 2017

Flyrod Fiddy

I have had some huge fish in my boat, there are so many "fish-of-a-lifetime" in this lake it gives me chills.
This was one of the most rewarding for sure. Congrats to Kramer Jackson of Wyoming on landing a beauty on his fly rod.

Cheers and hook-sets,
Captain Phil Bauerly- Leech Lake

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Late Summer Leech Lake Muskies on the Prowl

I've been a bit too busy chasing the walleyes, bass and muskies of Leech Lake to post lately. Now that peak season is winding down, I'll hopefully have a chance to catch-up on my blog. 
Here is a sample of some recent muskie catches from my boat.

Paying attention to seasonal patterns has been crucial to my muskie success. Action typically peaks on the "community" rock reefs around pelican island and the south shore in early-to-mid August. This bite doesn't last long these days as an army of bait-throwing muskie fisherman take turns giving these fish an education starting in July. 

Joe's personal best muskie crushed his topwater lure mid-morning. 

Getting follows and getting bites are two very different things by mid-August. I like to get away from traditional spots that hold tentative fish, and look for less-pressured fish. Most of the 250 miles of shoreline on Leech Lake has potential for holding a "hot fish". 

Flashy bucktails, and topwaters like the Lake X Fat Bastard have been great tools for finding the most aggressive fish in the lake, and getting them to bite. 

Mark scored his first muskie shallow, and at mid-morning while the sun was still behind the trees.

We can't always pick our weather, but clouds and a little wind sure help to keep fish shallow and active throughout the day. Only on sunny, calm days will I focus on finding fish in deeper than 6 feet of water. 

 The muskellunge bite should just continue to improve as the leaves change, and the water cools. 
Be sure to check back and look for updated walleye and muskie reports in the near future.

Cheers and hook-sets!
Captain Phil Bauerly- Leech Lake MN

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Leech Lake Fools Gold - May 2017

We are just 3 weeks into the MN walleye season, and I must say, the bite has exceeded my expectations. Good catches of keeper sized fish, and picture-worthy specimens are coming in each day. Shallow, hungry fish have been taking mostly jig-and-minnow combos.  June should follow suit, with fish likely being a bit more spread-out, and likely falling to more varied presentations. 

 Cheers and hook-sets!