Muskie stocking started in Roosevelt Lake, so we’ll see if a catchable population of muskie will result from it over the next few years. If you’re looking for muskie your best bet might be to head over to Leech Lake for a day or two on your trip here. Take a look below to learn more about the area lakes that have muskie in them.
Roosevelt Lake covers more than 1,500 acres and has a maximum depth of 129 feet. This lake is a solid fishing lake for a variety of fish. Northern pike, largemouth bass and walleye have been the primary game fish in this lake. Muskie were stocked in this lake in 2011 and they plan on consistently stocking the lake on even-numbered years, which is great for muskie anglers. Smallmouth bass are also available in the lake. Panfish include bluegill, crappie, rock bass and perch.
Some of the Bigger Bodies of Water That Aren’t Too Far Away
Leech Lake is located mainly within the Leech Lake Indian Reservation and completely within the Chippewa National Forest in north central Minnesota. The Lake is one of the most popular tourism destinations in all of Minnesota. There are numerous recreational opportunities here such as fishing, boating, hunting, golfing, hiking, biking and much more. You will find a variety of accommodations here to fit your needs.
The primary species of fish that most anglers come to Leech Lake are walleye, northern pike and muskie. All 3 species are here in good enough numbers for anglers to target them and catch them. There are some trophy-sized fish here too for all 3 species of fish.
This lake has such a diverse fishery. If you’re just looking for action, you can fish with live bait and catch a little bit of everything. For those of you looking to target largemouth bass, there is a solid fishery here and most anglers don’t even think about fishing for bass here. Find the weeds, fish shallow and don’t be shocked when a pike hits your bass lures.
Mille Lacs Lake is Minnesota’s second-largest lake and it covers 132,000 surface acres. Mille Lacs is a great lake for outdoor recreation, but it has been known for its outstanding walleye fishery over the years. There was a walleye collapse and they are hoping to be coming out of that now, however, there are plenty of restrictions on the lake as far as keeping walleye throughout the seasons. This has been a huge debate on the lake. Fortunately, the smallmouth bass fishing is off the charts good right now which is helping make up for the walleye issues. Mille Lacs also offers good fishing for a variety of other fish such as muskie, northern pike, perch and even largemouth bass. Crappie, bluegill and other sunfish round out the fishery.
Using Leaders for Muskie
Muskie have some serious teeth. Use quality steel leaders to avoid bite-offs. If you are fishing clear water, you may need to go with a fluorocarbon leader to get bit. Most anglers will not go any lighter than 100 lb. fluorocarbon for muskie and don’t be shocked if you lose a big fish due to a bite-off. Some anglers go as heavy as 140 to 150 pound fluorocarbon. Ideally, you want to be as stealthy as you can so you can get more bites, but if you go too light with the fluorocarbon, you risk losing fish and possibly killing some big fish due to the lures getting stuck in their mouths.
Best Baits for Muskie
There are many types of baits to target muskie. Anglers don’t have as many options when using live baits since many of the fish that muskie eat can not be used as bait. Suckers and big chubs are usually the best options for most anglers that want to use live bait. For artificial lures, there are a variety of big baits to throw. Most anglers fish with bucktail spinners, some type of swimbait, topwater lure or jerkbait when chasing muskie.
There aren’t too many different rigs for muskie fishing because you only have so many options for throwing some of the gigantic baits needed. Also, most anglers use lures for muskie or big sucker minnows, so you really don’t need too many rigs to target muskie. However, there are still several rigs you should know about, especially if you are going to be using live bait.
Our muskie fishing section has tons of tips on the best lures, live baits, where to catch them and how to catch them.