From Ice to Warm Water – Opener 2021

Posted on May 25, 2021 ยท Posted in Leech Lake Fishing Report

It’s been awhile, a little while, but it was rather quick this time. We are super excited to be back open for the 2021 summer season, winter was quick this past year and I’ll touch on that to get things started.

Winter 2020/21 was a fast and busy one, we finally had favorable snow conditions on Leech Lake, while it took a couple of weeks longer to get good ice to start driving vehicles out there, once ice thickness passed 12-14 inches the flood gates opened. Leech Lake has never been busier, it really made up for the last couple of seasons and the large amounts of snow we had to deal with. Big Rock was jammed full of guests starting in October all the way though the winter season till spring. The only people that didn’t enjoy winter as much as the anglers were the snowmobilers, 14-16 inches of total snowfall doesn’t make for very good trail conditions.

Opening week 21′

Leech Lake was ice free very early this year, I don’t know the exact “official” date but it had to be around the 6th or 7th of April, the main body of the lake was open for almost a week prior to Walker Bay, which is always last to melt off.

Pictured below from L to R: Mike Burnside from Cedar Rapids, IA – Mike McHugo from St. Michael, MN – Mike Kreutzfeldt and Ryan Heroff from Stillwater, MN and Loren Becker from Cedar Rapids, IA

With early ice-off and rising temps there was quite a bit of uncertainty about how opener was going to go, it always seems to be either hot or cold and this year were had to contend with hot. Blazing sun and blue skies coupled with next to no wind, clearer than average water in the mid to upper 50’s made for a tough couple of days of fishing, the silver lining was bait availability, warmer calm waters meant spot-tail shiners were available by the truck load and our bait provider stuffed our tanks so full you couldn’t see through the black mass of minnows to the bottom of the tanks.

While conditions may not have been optimal anglers did what they do best, adapt. Anglers took their minnow buckets and packages of leeches and headed out at dusk and into the night, setting up on rock piles with slip bobber rigs tipped with leeches and shiners and commenced pulling in Walleye after Walleye.

Pictured Below from L to R: Mike Burnside from Cedar Rapids, IA – Mike McHugo, his son Joe and nephew – Bill Schmidt and Jan Beniak and another shot of Jan.

Many anglers decided to ditch Walleye fishing during the day and head toward popular crappie fishing holes in the northern end of Sucker Bay and into Steamboat Bay, crappie fishing can be very productive during this time of year if you can find them staging to spawn or actively on the spawning beds, unfortunately with rising water temps and lack of panfish coming in, I think the window of crappie opportunity may have slammed shut not long after it opened, they next 10 or so days will really let us know what the crappie situation is.

Featured image up top is of the Hitchcock crew from Minneapolis, MN

The 2021 season is shaping up to be another wonderful year, from everyone here at Big Rock Resort we cannot wait to see and share our resort and Leech Lake with you again.

Thanks for reading

Come see us at Big Rock Resort