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FISHING AT BRINDLEY'S

The Angler's Favorite Fishing Resort on Minnesota's Leech Lake!

Muskie, Walleye and Jumbo Perch fishing on Leech Lake is legendary! Brindley's Harbor Resort's central location puts you near these fishing honey holes: Pine Point, Stony Point, Ottertail Point, Traders Bay, Agency Bay, Goose Island, The Narrows, and The Hardwoods. Plus, you get all these amenities in your fishing vacation:

  • Protected marina with a 17 foot wide concrete ramp
  • 37 rental slips with electricity, bumpers and lights for boats up to 26 feet
  • Ice, tackle, maps and premium or regular gasoline
  • Comfy lodge with snack bar for pizza, beverages, candy and ice cream. Free fish cleaning.
  • Acres and acres of UN-crowded clear water to explore, fish and just generally enjoy. 
  • FREE FISH CLEANING! After you catch the fish, sip a cool beverage while we clean! Each year our harbor staff cleans thousands of fish!
  • YES! We fillet, wrap and freeze the fish for our guests! We remove all the bones, even those tricky "Y" bones on Northern Pike.
  • 16 housekeeping cabins with 1-4 bedrooms. Newer 3, 4 and 5 bedroom log homes are available for visitors who seek luxury accommodations

Brindley's is a great place to call home while you enjoy the lake!

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Leech Lake Fish Species

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WALLEYE
MUSKIE
PERCH
Other Species

Walleye

The October 2014 Minnesota Department of Natural Resources "DNR" netting, trawling, and creel survey reports continue to show positive conditions for excellent walleye fishing. The report's summary is copied below. Click here to see the entire PDF report with diagrams.

MN DNR Fisheries Management Actions and Surveys on Leech Lake
Prepared by M. Ward, Walker Area Fisheries Office

2014 Leech Lake Large Lake Survey Preliminary Data as of 10/27/14:

Walleye gill net catch rate (8.9 fish/net) was similar to 2013. Walleye catch rate exceeded the management objective (8.5 fish/net) and was the eighth consecutive year catch rates were above the long-term average (7.7 fish/net; Figures 1 and 2).

Yellow perch gill net catch rate (13.9 fish/net) was slightly higher than 2013. Yellow Perch catch rate was the second lowest observed over the past 32 years, and remained below the management objective (16.2 fish/net), and has had a decreasing trend for the past seven years (Figures 1 and 2).

Yellow perch size structure objectives were not met for yellow perch, due to relatively few fish 8.0 inches and longer being sampled (Figures 6 and 7).

Walleye spawner biomass (2.5 lbs/acre) exceeded the management objective range (1.5- 2.0 lbs/acre) for the third consecutive year (Figure 3). Exceedance of the objective range in 2012 and 2013 resulted in relaxing the protected slot limit (PSL) from 18-26” to 20-26” PSL beginning in 2014. The 4 fish bag limit and one fish over 26.0” allowed in possession remained unchanged.

Walleye Condition (Relative weight, Wr) improved slightly but remained below average for eight consecutive years (Figure 4).

Percentage of walleye sampled less than 15 inches (42%) was slightly below the management objective range of 45-65%, indicating a higher percentage of larger walleye were sampled (Figure 5).

Walleye Year Class Strength Index (a.k.a. the recruitment objective) continues to be met, with 9 of the previous 10 year classes having a measured strength of the long-term average (50th percentile) or higher. The 2014 year class is predicted to be near the long term average (Figure 9).

Good numbers of walleye are present from the 2012 and 2013 year classes. These are currently 9 to13 inches (Figure 6).

Age-0 walleye growth was initially below average in 2014, but has returned to average as of mid-September (Figure 8).

The fourth programmed fry stocking (7.5 million, OTC-marked) was completed in 2014. The 2014 OTC marking frequency has yet to be determined. No decision has been made on fry stocking in 2015.

Management objectives were met for northern pike catch rates and size structure (Figures 2 and 7).

Muskie

Leech Lake continues to verify it's reputation as one of the nations premier Muskie fisheries.

The Leech Lake strain of muskie is recognized as one of the most aggressive and rapidly growing anywhere. It has distinctive black spots on silver skin. Trophy class fish above 50 inches tend to be recorded in late summer through October.

Until now no comprehensive muskie assessment has been completed on Leech Lake. That's right, one of the most recognizable muskie fisheries in North America has not been formally assessed because traditional survey tools have limited success on Leech Lake. Now that I have your attention . . .

In 2009 DNR initiated a two-year muskie study to garner population estimates by genetically fingerprinting individual fish in place of traditional tagging methods. The ONLY way this project will be successful is for anglers to collect scale samples from fish they catch on Leech Lake during the 2009 & 2010 fishing seasons.

If you fish muskies on Leech this year you can help! When you catch a muskie, please spend 30 seconds to do the following:

  • With the fish is still in the net, gently lift the back out of the water and use a pocket knife at a 90 degree angle to scrape 3-5 scales towards the tail (right). You will have to apply moderate pressure to the knife to dislodge scales; this will not hurt the fish.
  • Slide the knife blade under the scales so they rest on top, then set the knife (with scales) in the bottom of the boat out of the way and continue with your normal photo/release routine.
  • After you release the fish, place scales into envelope obtained from Walker Fisheries office, record date, length, and location, and store in a location where air can dry the sample (i.e. NOT a ziplock bag, glove box, or other air-tight container longer than one day). If samples are not allowed to dry, they will decompose and become unusable.
  • Either drop off at Walker office on your way out of town, mail directly, or contact our office to make delivery arrangements.
  • Every fish counts!

Perch

Perch are the pan fish of choice for Leech Lake.

They are very abundant and can be found almost anywhere on the lake. In summer nice perch are readily caught off the 4 lake piers at Brindley's Harbor and provide lots of fun angling for young and old alike. They are great eating and if the kids catch a basketful for "mom", our harbor staff will fillet them for "dad". Large catches of "Jumbo" perch are common in mid September and October with another nice Jumbo bite in March.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources "DNR" netting, trawling, and creel surveys do indicate a 6 year decline in the number of yellow perch sampled. It is unclear why this trend continues.

"Perch", excerpt from the 2013 DNR Creel Survey.

The yellow perch catch rate (12.1 fish/net) was below the management objective (16.2 fish/net) and decreased for the sixth consecutive year. This observation was the lowest to date since standardized sampling began in 1983.

Yellow perch abundance and biomass (lbs./net) has declined for six consecutive years and was the lowest rate observed since standardized sampling began in 1983.

The size quality of yellow perch continues to be good, with about one-third of fish sampled being 8” or longer. Abundance of yellow perch, however, has reached an historical low and anglers can expect to work harder to reach a limit this season.

2013 perch size structure2013 yellow perch catch rate

Ice Anglers, click to see details of our guided perch fishing package under the "Ice Fishing" page.

 

 

OTHER LEECH LAKE SPECIES

Quality fishing opportunities for species other than walleye, perch and musky are also present on Leech Lake. The northern pike population continues to be good, with about 25 percent of pike sampled with survey nets in 2013 being 24” or larger. Musky fishing was good in 2013, and similar opportunities should continue in 2014.

2013 Spring electrofishing surveys indicated good numbers of largemouth bass and bluegills in Boy, Headquarters, Steamboat and Shingobee bays. Thirty-six percent of bass sampled were 15” or longer, while 30 percent of bluegills sampled were 8” or larger. The average size of black crappie sampled in the spring electrofishing survey was 10.3” with fish up to 15” observed. Statewide regulations apply for all species on Leech Lake other than walleye.

The best success continues to be in the evening hours from about 8:00 PM to 12:00 PM The popular tactic is trolling a Rapala "SHADRAP" or equivalent. A #5 runs about nine feet deep and a #7 will run at about eleven feet deep. If you prefer to "jig", green is historically a preferred color and "Shiner" minnows the preferred live bait. During summer months large leeches (and as the water warms) crawlers are also popular live baits.

2016-2017 SEASONS AND LIMITS FOR LEECH LAKE

 Species

 Open Season

 Possession Limit

Walleye

May 14, 2016 to
February 26, 2017

All from 20" through 26" must be immediately returned to the water.  One fish over 26" allowed in possession.  Daily and possession limit is 4 fish.
Northern Pike
May 14, 2016 to
February 26, 2017
3 (not more than 1 over 30 inches may be taken each day)
Muskellunge
June 4, 2016 to
December 1, 2016
1 - (minimum 54 inches) - New 2015
Largemouth Bass

 

 Catch and release
May 14, 2016 to
February 26, 2017

May 28, 2016 to
February 26, 2017

 

Catch and release only

 

6

Perch  
Continuousg>
20 daily/40 in possession
Crappie
Continuous
10
Sunfish & Bluegill
Continuous
20

Future Opening Dates for Walleye, Bass and Muskie

 

Walleye

Bass

Muskie

2017

May 13

May 13

June 3

2018

May 12

May 12

June 2