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