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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

For speedy access click on the subject of interest.

WALLEYE
MUSKIE
PERCH
Other Species

Walleye

Below are excerpts from The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) mini-summary from the 2017 sampling completed. The full 2017 report will be completed throughout the winter. This was released October 10, 2017. To see the full PDF report click, 2017 Leech Lake Mini Summary Final.pdf

Young-of-Year Walleye Growth and Abundance

July Seining: The average length (2.7 in) was below the long-term average of 3.3 inches and the number sampled per acre (74) was above the long-term average of 70.

August Trawling: The average length (4.4 in) was below the long-term average of 5.3 inches and the number sampled per hour (773), a historical high, was above the long-term average of 182.

September Electrofishing: The average length (5.8 in) was below the long-term average of 6.0 inches. Walleye recruitment is generally higher when mean September length exceeds 6.0 inches. The number sampled per hour (132) was similar to the long-term average of 103.

Walleye Recruitment

Year class strength index values are determined from gill net catch of ages 1-3 and predicted for age-0 from gill net and trawl catch data (Figure 1). Incomplete values for 2015 (1.23) and 2016 (1.63) cohorts exceed the management plan objective threshold (0.66) as does the 2017 predicted year class (2.06).

Adult Gamefish Abundance Walleye gill net catch rate of 10.1 fish/net is up from the previous year and just above the management objectives (Figure 2). Lengths of Walleye sampled ranged from 6 to 27 inches, and demonstrated a balanced size distribution with a strong 2016 year class in the lake. Seventy-eight percent of the sampled Walleye were outside of the 20-26” Protected Slot Limit and available for harvest (Figure 3).

Creel Survey

The winter 2016-17 and summer 2017 creel surveys were postponed due to budget issues.

Winter: 2015-16 fishing pressure was slightly lower than the 2014-15 winter season (647,802 angler hours) at 568,340 angler-hours due to ice conditions. Harvest of primary species was similarly reduced.

Summer: 2016 fishing pressure was approximately 700,000 angler-hours and is similar to the two previous creel surveys (2011, 2014).

The next anticipated creel survey is scheduled for the summer of 2020 and winter of 2020-2021.

Please refer questions or comments to: Carl Pedersen, Large Lake Specialist, Walker Area Fisheries, Carl.Pedersen@state.mn.us (218) 547-1683 Doug Schultz, Area Supervisor, Walker Area Fisheries, Doug.W.Schultz@state.mn.us (218) 547-1683

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.

Below are excerpts from The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) mini-summary from the 2017 sampling completed. The full 2017 report will be completed throughout the winter. This was released October 10, 2017. To see the full PDF report click, 2017 Leech Lake Mini Summary Final.pdf

Yellow Perch abundance (15.1 fish/net) remains below the management plan objective of at least 16 perch per net but showed an increase from 2016. Perch up to 13” long were sampled.

Yellow Perch and Northern Pike length frequency distribution with the percent of fish captured in each one inch length group. Total number of Yellow Perch captured was 543 and total number of Northern Pike captured was 138.

Creel Survey

The winter 2016-17 and summer 2017 creel surveys were postponed due to budget issues.

Winter: 2015-16 fishing pressure was slightly lower than the 2014-15 winter season (647,802 angler hours) at 568,340 angler-hours due to ice conditions. Harvest of primary species was similarly reduced.

Summer: 2016 fishing pressure was approximately 700,000 angler-hours and is similar to the two previous creel surveys (2011, 2014).

The next anticipated creel survey is scheduled for the summer of 2020 and winter of 2020-2021.

Please refer questions or comments to: Carl Pedersen, Large Lake Specialist, Walker Area Fisheries, Carl.Pedersen@state.mn.us (218) 547-1683 Doug Schultz, Area Supervisor, Walker Area Fisheries, Doug.W.Schultz@state.mn.us (218) 547-1683

"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.

2017-2018 SEASONS AND LIMITS FOR LEECH LAKE

 Species

 Open Season

 Possession Limit

Walleye

May 13, 2017 to
February 25, 2018

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 13, 2017 to
February 25, 2018

3 (not more than 1 over 30 inches may be taken each day)
Muskellunge
June 3, 2017 to
December 1, 2017
1 - (minimum 54 inches) - New 2015
Largemouth Bass

 

 Catch and release
May 13, 2017 to
May 26, 2017
 

May 27, 2017 to
February 25, 2018

 

Catch and release only

_______________________
 

6

Perch  
Continuous
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

2019

May 11

May 11June 1