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Leech Lake - July 13-16

This trip was designed with muskie in mind, and we gave it the old college try for two and a half days, but we came up empty. The reports that we'd heard said that with the cold spring and lake being behind seasonally, the muskie hadn't really perked up yet. A few people had gotten some follows and a couple bites, but we weren't lucky enough. I imagine in August, though, the bite may be much better.

We decided to go back to our tried-and-true walleye to get some action, and we were handsomely rewarded. We didn't catch a lot of fish, but they were big. We marked most fish on deep ledges around 24-30 feet, and the spot that was most productive for us was a small rock reef in 18-24 feet surrounded by soft bottom. We got four fish of 19, 24, 25, and 26 inches on that one spot in a few hours of action pulling bottom bouncers and crawlers.

I think the walleye action is likely to slow down now towards the end of July, but if you're hellbent on finding them, I'd say stick to deep water with shelfs and rocks and bring along plenty of patience. We worked those fish quite hard so long as we kept marking them, and it paid off with usually a bite about every pass or two.

Another noteworthy item is that there doesn't seem to be as much green vegetation in the lake compared to last time. Not sure if that's due to a year-over-year decline or just the late spring, but it was hard to find any productive weed fish, walleye or pike even. Water temps were mid to high 70's in most places, and the walleye came out of the deeper Walker Bay.

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