Wow, things have changed in Otter Tail County this week! Of course, for the opening of walleye fishing we were cold, but it didn’t stop the walleye bite. Many of the spawning lake shiners had retracted back out to drops and edges and weed lines on nearly all the lakes in the county, and the walleye followed them. Saturday and Sunday were great walleye fishing days around the area, but Monday the walleye were more difficult to find and by the end of the day Tuesday it was tough. Shiner minnows control the walleye’s every move this time of year. Many walleye linger in very shallow water which make them difficult to fish for from boats—especially on bright sunny days. It’s the one time of the open-water season that bank fishermen and dock anglers have an advantage over boat anglers—especially after sun set. For now, air and water temps continue to warm and the shiner minnows will be in full-spawn by the weekend. Because shiner minnows control most of the walleye movement on many of Otter Tail Lakes Country lakes, be sure and have them in your bait bucket. There are lakes around the county that do not have lake shiners in them, so if you try and fish one of those lakes, then you shouldn’t need to have shiners. Non-shiner lakes are typically shallower and smaller then our larger deeper lakes. Anyway, the walleye are biting around the county, especially during the early morning and late afternoons and evenings—mid-day walleye may be difficult until the shiners get done spawning. You should be able to find them from the shorelines all the way out to the deep base of the weed lines, but this week shallower will be better. Last weekend’s cool weather stalled the crappie-spawn migration. As the water continues to warm you should be able to locate crappie and sunfish along shallow shorelines around most of the lakes in Otter Tail Lakes Country. If you want northern, just drag shiners around the weed lines. They love bright jigs and live bait rigs (Lindy Rig). Good luck fishing in Lakes Country this week!
By Ross Hagemeister, Meister Guide Service
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