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Leech Lake Muskies

       While Leech Lake is known for many different species of fish, it is most famous as a muskie fishery. Due to the Leech Lake Muskiefact that most of the muskies caught on Leech today are released to fight again another day, the muskie fishing is better than ever. The size average is impressive with fish averaging over 40 inches in length and many fish are caught every year breaking the 50-inch barrier. Leech Lake offers the muskie fisherman many challenges. From the many cabbage weedbeds and rock reefs to the deep points and humps in Walker Bay, there are a great variety of spots to fish and ways to fish them. No longer are muskies to be fished with just a bucktail or a jerkbait, but crankbaits, spinnerbaits, topwater lures and even plastic tailed baits all have their place. And one does not have to be an "expert fisherman" to enjoy success on Leech Lake Muskies. First time anglers can be successful with the right information and equipment.

     Muskies on Leech relate to the many cabbage weedbeds available in areas such as the Grandview Flats, Portage Bay, Sucker Bay and Pelican Reef. Muskies will use these weeds until they turn brown and die off in the fall. Standard techniques of throwing bucktails or working jerkbaits over the tops of the weeds are the most common methods and work very well. However, sometimes topwater baits work wonders at times, especially on days when it is relatively calm. Baits such as the Poes Jackpot and Awaker are very effective under such conditions. The key to fishing with topwater baits is to be careful not to set the hook too fast. It is easy to get excited when you see a muskie hit on the surface, but wait until you feel the fish before you set the hook. This tip will prevent you from missing fish, a common occurrence when fishing topwaters. It is important to watch for fish that follow the bait and carefully mark their location. By coming back to these fish later in the day, one can find these fish in a more active mood. Many beginners will make the mistake of repeatedly casting at the fish that followed. This is a mistake that will usually turn the muskie off. By coming back later, many times these fish will strike if they haven't been disturbed.

       Rock reefs are also used by Leech Lake muskies under many conditions.
They are most productive under windy conditions or during the fall when ciscoes move in to spawn. Pelican Reef is the most famous and perhaps productive rock spot on the lake, but many other rocks will produce as well. Spots such as Mokey Reef, Red Rocks, Submarine Island and the rock points in Walker Bay are productive. When muskies are active, they move to the shallowest spots on the reefs to feed. The best presentation would be to work a jerkbait such as a Wades Wobbler or "The Pig" over the top of the shallowest portion of the reef. Banging a crank-bait on the tops of the rocks works well also. When the crankbait bounces off of the rocks, the change in action helps to trigger muskies into striking. Favorite crankbaits for this technique are Buchertail Depthraiders in perch and sucker patterns and Cisco Kids in the same colors. By following these basic patterns and putting some time in on the water, many anglers can increase their odds of catching this King of Freshwater Fish.