Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Winter Solst-Ice Fishing Leech Lake

Leech lake fishing remains solid with a nice balance of eater sized Walleyes and chunky slot fish. Mobility has been key during early ice as fish move on and off of key structural locations. Being able to fish 2-3 locations during prime times has been crucial when fish are in a neutral feeding mode. Mid-depth humps and shallower flats have been most productive. It is often important to know where and how fish move on and off of these structures to be able to intercept them. I believe that the next few months will be just as productive.  Sure, the Walleye bite often slows a bit by mid-late January but fishing during prime times can still be quite productive. Adding in other species like Perch, Pike, Crappies and Bluegills can keep the action going during mid-day. Gold spoons have been my presentation of choice with the bobber rod/dead stick going ignored most of the time, but I expect that to change as the winter progresses. 

With the lack of heavy snow cover, sight fishing for shallow water Walleyes has been a real treat. Big fish often prowl 8'-12' troughs running up into the shallow flats during mid day. Playing keep-away with small Perch passes the time until  larger figures swim into view. Walleyes come a long ways to investigate aggressively jigged, flashy spoons and gobble them like Cookie Monster. 

    Walleyes from 24"-28" are pretty common catches these days thanks to
   protective slot limits and selective harvest.

 Here is Brian with a true daily double.
 Big Panfish are not protected so it's up to us to sustain these beauties. 

                                                            Cheers and hook-sets!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Early December Scouting and Fishing Leech Lake Area

Scouting ice and fishing the past week has been going really well with Walleyes coming from most of my usual locals and presentations. I'm catching Walleyes in all depths from 8'-28'. The main part of Leech as well as Walker Bay have fishable ice but we must be safe and check as we go. A decent number of guide trips are scheduled now and I will continue to scout on my days off.

                            Oh yeah, I have been able to locate some really nice Crappies too.

My 2-up snowmobiles are tuned up and ready to go for custom portable-house excursions and I should be able to get my day house out by next week for rental as well. Please contact me if you are interested in experiencing what the Leech lake area has to offer. See info at the bottom of the page.

                                                         Cheers and hook-sets!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Gales of November Came Early it's time to get out the short rods and ice some fish! We have fish-able ice available in the 2-1-8 and it's not even Thanksgiving. Use caution when checking out those honey holes so you don't end up in an ice water mansion.

                                                        Cheers and hook-sets!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Has the Door Closed for Open Water?

The 2014 open water season has been a great one, I'm sad to say that it is quickly coming to an end. I am truly grateful to have been able to share a boat with so many great people; guide clients, family and friends. Nothing against ice fishing but I'll be dreaming about the ice coming off of Leech and our other great fisheries up-north, all winter.

November fish are special!

Get it while you can!

Cheers and hook-sets!

Monday, October 20, 2014

October - No Surprise

Without waxing Dickensian, I'll just say that Leech lake fishing has been slow one day and lights out the next. Walleyes have been stubborn on one spot and suicidal...well you get the picture. For avid fall anglers this news would come as no surprise. Often touted as the best fishing month in the northland, October fishing can be fickle but the payouts can be huge.

  I would again like to thank Leisure Outdoor Adventures for letting me pinch hit for them!

It's an awesome time of the year to be on the water.

Walleyes seem to be concentrated around schools of Shiner minnows and the larger Pike are bunched up and holding on green cabbage weed edges and inside turns.

                                                       Cheers and hook-sets!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Muskie Shootout = Good Times

I had a blast fishing the 3rd Annual Leech Lake Muskie Shootout with my bro this past weekend. It felt good to get into the money though it's hard to be satisfied after all of the big Muskies we had follow and miss our lures on Sunday. That's Muskie fishing...there is always next year.

Cheers and hook-sets!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Firetiger Shorelines and Feeding Fish- September Wrap Up Leech Lake

Fish have been on the chew for the most part. I have seen a definite increase in Muskie and Walleye activity during moon majors and minors so make sure you are on your best spots during these periods.

The big part of Leech has been consistent for eater sized fish.

I have had the pleasure of pinch hitting for Leisure Outdoor Adventures, a top notch bunch.   
Thanks guys!

Cheers and hook-sets!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Preditor Fish Love Turmoil

When the northwest winds blow in September, I head to shallow wind-blown rock shorelines. Shallow, straight and innocent looking rocky shorelines often go ignored for Muskies and Walleyes but when winds crash in for more than a day or two, it's a great pattern to test out. The "Zone of Turmoil" or "Washing Machine Effect" occurs within the first ten feet or so of shore, this is where baitfish become disoriented and are often preyed upon . Fish often face rock shorelines near the steepest drop and target anything that moves, cornering their prey against these rocky walls.  Casts that are 10 or 20 feet from the shoreline rocks often get ignored while placing your cast within inches of them can provoke sudden attack. Docks and boat lifts can also become prime ambush areas.

These windy rock shorelines can look intimidating to anglers but boat control can be easier than it looks. A seam occurs where the white-capped rollers meet the Zone of Turmoil. Utilizing my Autopilot or Heading Lock functions on my bow mount trolling motor, I can quickly find the correct balance between thrust and heading, propelling me calmly along and usually within a short to medium cast of the rocks.

Cheers and hook-sets!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Fear Not Fall Fronts Jedi Angler

Well I'm no Yoda...more wookie-like actually but I do know that April through August cold fronts can mean lethargic fish but after the new moon in August, something magical happens. Autumn cold fronts seem to give fish a little wake up call...a shot in the arm so to speak. Cooling water combined with shorter photo period (hours of daylight) triggers activity in Geese, Deer and yes predator fish.

Cheers and hook-sets!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Great fishing yet to come-Leech Lake

With great angling going into mid November the past few seasons, we are just past the half way point now with a lot of great open water fishing yet to come on Leech Lake. This season has already been one for the books as far as Walleyes go, for limits and big fish. The consistent bite has made experimenting with various lures and techniques a real blast. Walleye beat-downs have come on everything from leeches to Chubby Darters to large 6" minnowbaits and swimbaits. Slab panfish are here for the taking if you can find them and the Muskies are moving now too.

Here are some pics from the past two weeks...

Consider booking a fall Muskellunge hunt now.

Cheers and hook-sets!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Leech Lake Doesn't Dissapoint


I had a really fun day fishing the AIM WWS Leech Lake with my brother Sunday and got another tournament under my belt. I really like the catch-record-release format...despite a tournament oversight with our score card which has been corrected to 15.90# for 5 fish. Lots of hog Walleyes were scored Sunday proving once again that Leech Lake really is a great fishery.

                                                          Cheers and hook-sets!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Probe locations weedy...for walleyes large and greedy

The tallest clumps of green cabbage weeds and coontail are worth a thorough check right now. Larger, noisy suspending jerk baits and paddle tail plastics have been the right tools for pulling big shouldered walleyes out of these watery forests.

If you detest catching pike than this might not be the program for you.

                   A slip bobber and leech combo can work too if the panfish aren't too pesky.

Cheers and hook-sets!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Break Out the Arti's For Leech Lake Walleyes

During the past three outings we have been boating fish on a variety of artificial lures including trolling Shad Raps and Tail Dancers along with casting Jigs-and-ringworm combos, paddletail plastics, suspending minnow baits and Rippin' Raps. If you like mixing in artificals with your live bait, now is the time to take your arti's for a swim.

Lures work great for covering water and locating active fish. With water back up in the 70 degree range Walleyes can be triggered into striking plastics and hard lures alike. Change up the profile, action and color of your artificials until you dial in on what works best.

I'm not suggesting you leave your live bait behind but artificial lures can be an effective and fun way to catch Walleyes on Leech.

They work for eater sized and bigger slot fish.

                                                        Cheers and hook-sets!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

There are Few Big Pike In Leech Lake

Leech Lake has a large population of Northern Pike but seldom reach the 40" mark. Here is one that touched this elusive barrier.

                                                         Cheers and hook-sets!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

June Walleyes-Leech Lake


Fish are starting to scatter a bit. It takes a bit of scrounging to get bites one day and then it's lights out the next. Spinner/crawler rigs and crankbaits have not produced for me yet so it has been a jigs and rigs with Minnows and Leeches deal. I had the pleasure of fishing with some great folks this week and have a busy week coming up. I got out Muskie casting for a few hours yesterday and moved a few really nice fish. With stable weather, the Muskie bite should really get cranking.

Cheers and hook-sets!

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Great Tournament Weekend on Leech Lake

The Leech Lake Walleye Tournament was held this past weekend and the lake did not disappoint. 1200+ Walleyes were weighed in with some really nice ones between 26" and 30" as well.

My partner Jim and I were cursed with slot fish on day one and released 9 fish between 20 and 26 inches that we could not weigh in. Our day one highlight was Jim's fat 26-1/4 incher that weighed just under 6#. Day 2 we caught plenty of fish under the legal slot of 20" and weighed in our 6 but didn't get that big fish we were looking for.

Some days it's more eaters and others the big slot fish but that's fishing.
 I can't wait for next year, what a great fishery.

Cheers and hook-sets!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Will Fish for Work

 I'm continuing to boat a nice mix of eaters and bigger fish. With water temps increasing precipitously, I expect Walleyes to start transitioning off of the classic spring spots and more into summer patterns.  Expanding your presentation mind-set beyond the jig and minnow should help to consistently boat fish. Live bait rigs, spinner rigs and crankbaits are starting to become important search lures.

I still have many weekday openings for June trips.

Cheers and hook-sets!