Leech Lake — How the Fishing Utopia was Born

by | Jun 7, 2017 | Destination-Travel | 0 comments

Minnesota’s Leech Lake has an intriguing history…
Some 10,000 years ago, a glacier stopped at the western edge of an ancient valley. As a result, Minnesota would become home to over 10,000 lakes, including waters the Ojibwe people referred to as the “lake abundant with bloodsuckers.” 

Today, it’s simply called “Leech,” over 100,000 acres of fishing paradise.
In the early 1700s, the Leech Lake area was a battle site between the Ojibwe and Sioux, clashes that eventually pushed the Sioux west. 

The remaining Ojibwe soon began trading with white fur traders at posts on the lake’s Ottertail and Oak Points, but consistent with early U.S. policies, the native people were eventually driven east, not to regain their Leech Lake lands for many years.
In 1882, the Army Corps of Engineers started building Leech Lake Dam, and ultimately raised the water level enough to connect six separate lakes. 

By 1895, the first tourists began to arrive in earnest.
The lake’s history continues today, countless anglers visiting year after year to make fishing memories.
With 195 miles of shoreline and a dozen islands, there’s plenty to explore: crappies, jumbo perch, pike, bass, and high numbers of walleyes and muskies patrol this sportsman’s paradise.
Right now, anglers are reporting big black crappies in the lake’s many wild rice-lined bays.
But Leech’s sleeper bite is definitely its incredible largemouth bass action, with practically untapped fat green-fish living in weedbeds and classic bass cover around the lake.
For fans of scrappy bronzebacks, Leech also has the right stuff, making the lake a real win-win.
But it’s the lake’s walleye and muskie fishing that’s made the lake legendary. 

Since Opener, anglers have been reporting a great walleye bite on relatively-shallow flats, rocks, and points throughout the lake – with plenty of “eaters” and good numbers of larger fish, too. In fact, Leech Lake was featured on our popular article that highlights the top lakes for Minnesota Walleye Opener.
Following the Minnesota muskie Opener just a couple days ago, predator hunters have started working the lake for early-season trophies. We have no doubt that the lake will kick out some giants again this year.
Yes, no matter your favorite species, Leech Lake is a bucket-list location.

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