Open Water Fishing is Here!

It’s crappie weather.

Spring has finally sprung in lakes country, well kind off. The lakes are open and fish are moving shallow.  And with hopefully the last dusting of snow over with,  we can all move on and take the boats out of hibernation.  Dust off the tackle box and re spool those rods because the time to fish is here!

This time of year can be hit or miss depending on the weather and what lake you decide to fish.  Now you can’t control the weather,  but you can pick your target lake.  With 1,048 lakes to choose from there’s always a bite happening.  First,  do a little research and find a couple lakes that have good numbers of panfish.  The Lakefinder tool on the MNDNR website is full of information on any lake you might be interested in.  Once you’ve picked a couple of lakes to try, take a look at a map of the lake and try to identify small bays or fingers that the lake may offer.  This time of year water temp is king. One degree can be the difference from a full belly and messy kitchen to a dirty boat and a sportsman’s garage sale.
Crappies won’t think about spawning until the water temp reaches the mid sixties, but all panfish will invade these shallow fast warming bays in search of fresh bugs and minnows.

Now,  I’m not telling you to never buy minnows, but… you don’t NEED them…. at all. A small plastic tube such as Northland’s tuff tube or some kind of small hair jig can out produce minnows.  Place a small float 12-36 inches above the jig depending on the depth your fishing and fish it like a bass popper. Cast out in and around cover and let the bait sit for 5 to 10 seconds, give the rod a 1-3ft sweep and let the bait settle again. This is a very effective way to cover water and catch fish.

Spring is a great time to hit the lakes.  If you would like to learn this and many other great techniques, I have some openings this summer for guided trips.  Head over to Lock Jaw Guide Service on Facebook or give me a call 218-640-0158

Tight lines and heavy nets,
Randin Olson

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