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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 Fall 2018 sampling so far completed. The full 2018 report will be completed throughout the winter. 

Data Summary - Data collection and analysis from this year (2018) is not complete; as such all 2018 data on the following pages is preliminary and indicated with an asterisk (*). A few key points are provided below:

Biomass (pounds/acre) of mature female Walleye has exceeded the management objective plan range 6 of the last 7 years (Figure 1).Figure 1. Estimated biomass (pounds/acre) of mature female Walleye in Leech Lake, 1989-2018. Horizontal lines represent the Management Plan Objective Range (50th and 80th percentiles). The darker line represents the 3-year moving average.


Walleye size structure shows a number of younger year classes (2017, 2016+) in the lake that can replace harvested fish (Figure 2). These year classes are from natural reproduction with no stocking occurring since 2014.Figure 2. Length frequency distribution of Walleye showing length groups that are available for harvest as well as the length groups of fish that are protected with the current 20-26” PSL from the 2018 fall gill net sample.


Fall gill net catch rates for Walleye have been within or above management objective goals for 12 consecutive years (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Gill net catch rates (fish/net) of Walleye in Leech Lake 1983-2018. Horizontal lines represent management plan objectives and the darker line represents the 3-year moving average.


Walleye condition (relative “plumpness”) has been at or below the lower management plan objective since 2008 (Figure 4) while the Walleye biomass (pounds/net) has steadily increased since 2006 (Figure 5).

Figure 5. Walleye biomass (pounds per net) has been near or above the 75th percentile since 2006 despite more liberal harvest regulations beginning in 2014.



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 2018 sampling completed. The full 2018 report will be completed throughout the winter. 

Yellow Perch abundance has been below the management minimum objective five of the past six years (Figure 6).Figure 6. Yellow Perch abundance has been near or below the management plan objective since 2011 despite relaxing Walleye harvest restrictions in 2014 and continued annual cormorant control.

 

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.

2018-2019 SEASONS AND LIMITS FOR LEECH LAKE

 Species

 Open Season

 Possession Limit

Walleye

May 12, 2018 to
February 24, 2019

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 12, 2017 to
February 24, 2019

All from 22" through 26" must be immediately returned to the water. Two fish over 26" allowed in possession.
Daily and possession limit is 10 fish.
Muskellunge
June 2, 2018 to
December 2, 2018
1 - (minimum 54 inches) - New 2015
Largemouth Bass

 

 Catch and release
May 12, 2018 to
May 25, 2018
 

May 26, 2018 to
February 24, 2019

 

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

2018

May 12

May 12

June 2

2019

May 11

May 11

June 1

2020

May 9

May 9June 6