May 24, 2018
The recent warm weather has the lake surface temps caught up to last year at this time. Memorial Day weekend is always a good weekend to chase panfish on the lake and they are not disappointing anglers right now. They have moved into the marinas and are on beds up in the shallow bays around the lake. Please try to release the really big crappies and sunfish that you catch, they are important for genetics and for the health of the fishery. It takes almost 12 years for a Sunfish in Leech Lake to get over 10 inches. If you are looking for picture-worthy panfish the time is now on the lake.
Walleye fishing has been fair to good on the lake and it has been very wind dependent right now. They are starting to slowly slide out towards the deeper water and mid-lake structure on the main basin. With the calmer days look out in the 10-15 ft range along the rocks or sand breaklines. Troll a jig/minnow combination at almost a 1 mph ripping or jigging that jig aggressively to entice strikes. With the heavy windy days look to less than 10 ft of water, and pitch jig/minnows or drift jig/minnows over those rock/sand areas. We are almost at the time of transition for the walleye in the lake and don’t look past pulling bottom bouncers with slow death rigs or a lindy rig tipped with a leech as the water warms this weekend.
Looking ahead into the weekend we are in store for warmer temperatures in the area, with thunderstorms in the evenings. This is the best time to fish on the lake and it should continue through mid-June. The Merit is open this weekend starting at 4 PM tonight and Friday, and then open 7 days a week starting on Saturday at 11 AM plus for brunch on Sunday. We still have some great openings for lodging the weekend of the Leech Lake Walleye Tournament, call the front desk for availability and pricing. We are looking forward to the official start of summer and hope to see you on the water.