This past month has been a blast! I have had the pleasure to fish with some great folks and watch them ice some dandy perch, crappies and bluegills from Leech Lake waters. These fish can brighten the mood and bring a smile to the face of any angler, novice or avid. I feel very lucky to be able to make a living in the outdoors, each day is a true privilege.
As the hours of daylight increase and the snow begins to melt off, I expect that the newly oxygenated shallows will hold more and more hungry panfish to search out. Right now, we are primarily fishing mid-depth flats that sport 15'-25' of water for crappies and bluegills.
Often a hundred or more holes in a day are necessary to locate the quality specimens, but the pay-offs are well worth the effort. Once we find them, they are usually more than willing to oblige us.
There are perch in shallow and mid-depth flats most of the winter in Leech Lake. It's often necessary to fish a variety of locations in order to find bigger "yellows".
Since we catch-and-release all bigger fish, I like to stay out of the deep basins where bringing fish up from the depths can seriously injure them. Breeding sized walleyes are protected on Leech Lake but it's up to us to sustain the bigger panfish for generations to come.
Cheers and hook-sets!
Captain Phil Bauerly- Leech Lake