Family Vacation–Leech Lake

  • dank
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts: 1123


    This year we are taking my (extended) family vacation the 6-13th of August on Leech. We are staying at Anderson’s on the north west side of the lake. We will be in the northern portion of Steamboat Bay. There will be 22 people there from my parents (70+) to 2 year olds.

    My Brother–Catchin’ Whopper– and I are bass fisherman by trade and will have our boat up there–20′ bass boat–and will be renting a pontoon. Basically we are being ask to lead the way in fish catching.

    We are interested in putting the 9 kids under 10 years old on fish (sunnies, crappies, perch—basically anything) and I would like to get my parents on some walleye.

    We are looking at getting a guide for the early portion of the week to help put us on fish and what we should be doing.

    My question/asks for you is:
    • Are there any techniques that we should be looking at for walleyes this time of the year around where we are staying?
    • Is live bait needed or can we get by with crank baits or Gulp!?
    • Is there anything we should have for walleye fishing up there? (jig heads, bottom bouncers, harnesses, slip bobbers)
    o We went up to Vermillion a few years back and got a mess of walleye with help using the tips from this site along with getting some gear to catch the walleyes
    • Any areas we should look at for panfish?
    • Any good restaurants/attractions that we should hit up?

    Thank you for the help!

    Resides on the North Shores of Mille Lacs--guiding on Farm Island these days
    Posts: 1294

    Feel free give me call if need be…

    Central Mn.
    Posts: 15317

    You can fish the rice for Bass just stay off the reservation. Reeds is a fun place to spend money although the women of the group might not like it. Walker is a nice little vacation town with a diverse amount of shops on main street. Chase on the Lake might be a stop worth making. The park as you enter town has a beach and stuff for the kids. Trees for shade. Picnic tables ect.

    Have fun.

    New Richmond, WI
    Posts: 667

    Hey Dan

    We took the family up there for a week the end of July a few years ago. Not sure what part of the lake you are staying on, but we had our best luck for pan fish early and late on the south end of Shingobee Bay. We caught a few walleye on the humps in Walker Bay during the day, but the best walleye fishing was pulling cranks at night on the very NE side of Walker Bay on the sand flats in approximately 15 FOW. We also caught a few huge pike while night trolling.

    Itasca State Park is a short day trip and worth your time IMO. Pretty cool to walk across the head of the Mississippi River and there are some monster pine trees there as well. Good luck and have a great week!


    Posts: 255

    Leech is full of big largemouth from what I understand. Totally underutilized resource; you’ll have ’em to yourself. Go with what you know.

    David Blais
    Posts: 762

    We were just up to reeds, the women in the group loved reeds. Lots of clothes!

    Phil Bauerly
    Walker, MN - Leech Lake
    Posts: 866

    Staying in Steamboat, you will have every species within a couple of miles of you.

    As Lundo said, the largemouth fishing is really great, fish the wild rice edges with topwater frogs and swim jigs and you should find great action.

    Fish for walleyes early and late in 5′-10′ near sand point, grand vu flats, walker narrows, and similar areas with light jigs or slip bobber and a leech. Or better yet, troll crankbaits at night.

    There are a lot of sunfish and better sized perch in 4′-7′ of water in this area too. Actually all of the shallower bays that rim the lake hold panfish. The main thing is to keep moving until you find what you are looking for and then slow way down for a while to maximize your catch. Perch are very plentiful but finding the better sized ones can take a little time. Cast a #5 rippin’ rap over weeds and sand patches and watch them follow it right in.

    Actually, fan-casting a light 1/16 oz jig and half-crawler or medium leech in 4-10 feet of water and you can catch some really nice fish of all species right now.

    Cheers and hook-sets!

    Sartell, MN.
    Posts: 9404

    We stay at Andersons Cove Every fall. Its a nice place. Not real sure this time of the year, but in the fall the Reeds leading out from the resort to get to the main River channel are usually really good for BULL sunfish. You will not believe the size of the sunfish in that lake if you find them. The edges of the river channel leading to sandpoint can be really good either trolling or casting for northern and bass. You will have a fair run from the resort to get to decent walleye fishing so plan on going thru a fair amount of Gas in a week up there. Tons of rice to bass fish in. The problem is that there is a lot of it, and not all of it is real good. You will spend a decent amount of time figuring out the good from the bad. The backside of Minnesota Island right near the resort is normally a good place to start. You most likely will be a little early for the good fall fishing for the Perch in the shallower water but you may be able to locate them in slightly deer water 12-14 FOW in walker bay or just outside of the Narrows on the Goose island side. Pine point is a good spot to start the search for decent walleyes. Have fun and report back how the week foes. Good luck.

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