When most people hear about Leech Lake in Minnesota, they think Walleye and Muskie fishing. The truth is that some of the most exciting bass fishing in the Midwest can be achieved on this body of water as well, which is why the Champions Tour is heading there for the second stop of the 2019 season.
We spent some time talking with Champions Tour and FLW Pro Austin Felix to get his take on how the event will play out when the top anglers in the state battle it out on the water.
Bass fishing is phenomenal up shallow due to the various types of cover. “Leech Lake is probably the closest thing to Florida fishing in the Midwest”, said Felix. “Even the same colors work well here because of the tannic water color from the minerals and swamps throughout the lake.”
Between the wild rice patches, reeds, cattails, pondweed, and muskgrass, there are plenty of choices when it comes to finding cover the bass hang out in. Baits that can be worked through and around heavy vegetation are most likely going to be the choices of anglers hitting the water during the summer on Leech.
Texas rigged worms, swimbaits, swimjigs, flipping jigs, and hollow body frogs are all great options for a waterbody like Leech Lake.
“I prefer using a jig when I can,” Felix notes. “These tournaments are about being as efficient as possible and a jig is my go to choice.”
There is also a plentiful amount of docks that provide shade from the summer heat that will most certainly come into play for some of the anglers.
With this lake acting more like a Florida lake, weather and wind will have a big impact on the fishing if it decides to turn for the worst. “With the majority of the fishing being done shallow and it being a big lake, high winds and big waves will make it difficult to fish those areas,” Felix added. Anglers will have to adapt to locations and search for protected areas if that were to occur.
With the shallow water bite referring to Largemouth bass, it’s not right to talk about Leech without talking about the Smallmouth in the lake… because there are giants. Some believe the smallmouth population has been smaller in the past but is starting to get more recognition recently because of the increase in numbers.
The truth is that the shallow largemouth bite is talked about most often which overshadows many people’s opinion on going deep for smallmouth. Don’t be surprised though if we see some anglers who spend more time in deeper water start adding weight. One school of smallmouth could be a haven for climbing the leaderboard in a hurry!
Lists featured in this article
WEIGHT: 1/2 oz
COLOR: Black Blue
COLOR: Green Pumpkin
LENGTH: 2 1/2"
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COLOR: June bug
WEIGHT: 3/8 oz
COLOR: Black Blue