Ivan Paulsen, a former Fishery Biologist for the state of California, has been vacationing in the Leech Lake area since 1997. Paulsen and his family enjoyed the fishing (and the area, in general) so much that he retired here in 2007. Ever since, Paulsen (along with nearly every other fisherman whos dipped their lines into „Leech), have been reeling-in “lunkers.” As one of the largest lakes in the state of Minnesota (112,000 surface acres), Leech Lake offers an extensive variety of fishing adventures and is home to species like record largemouth bass, trophy-sized muskie, perch, crappie, northern pike and, of course, walleye. “Ive fished here for years and its as good as, if not better, than any other place Ive fished before,” said Paulsen. “Ive been everywhere from Ontario to California and I can tell you that, in the past year, the fishing on Leech Lake has been absolutely phenomenal.” 


Doug Schultz, of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Walker fisheries office echoes Paulsen. “Without a doubt, Leech Lake was the hottest walleye destination in 2008.” “Last year, we had reports of fisherman catching more than 200 fish a day,” said Paulsen. “Thats typically unheard of, but the fishing on Leech Lake is that

good.” Renowned Leech Lake fishing guide Al Maas has been guiding on Leech for more than 40 years and he predicts that it will be the destination of choice for walleye fishing again in 2009. “Last year (2008) there were a couple of days where people were catching 50-75 walleye a day,” said Maas. “The bite here is as good as anywhere in the country, if not better.” Maas added, “Walleye of all sizes were biting….small, mid-length and all the way up to 31 inches….it wasnt uncommon to see several upwards of 20 inches.” 

While walleye fishing has been Leech Lakes most recent bright spot, its no secret that Leech Lake has been known to produce record setting largemouth bass and muskie, amongst a variety of other species. According to Schultz, the diversity of shoreline and variations in depth on Leech Lake allow for ideal spawning and natural reproduction habits among all species. “Theres no doubt Leech Lake has been and will continue to be a hot spot for pounding walleye in 2009,” Maas notes, “Leech really opened the world to largemouth bass fishing years ago…but, really, all the other species all thriving, too.”  Schultz added, “Here, they grow fast and they get big.” Leech Lake also prides itself on its convenient, yet remote location. In fact, fishermen from across the Midwest (and country) make Leech Lake a fishing destination each year. 


“Its a big lake thats not overly developed,” said Paulsen. “It almost feels like theres nothing around…its not a crowded lake by any means.” Maas adds, “Its definitely a low pressure lake. Theres plenty of room on Leech Lake for every boat imaginable.” The town of Walker adds another dimension to the fishing experience at Leech Lake. Conveniently situated on the shores of Leech Lake, Walker offers a plethora of shopping, dining and lodging venues, making Leech Lake the ideal fishing destination for 2009.  

-Leech Lake Tourism Bureau