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Snow has fallen, fishing still on the upswing in OTC

Snow has fallen, fishing still on the upswing in OTC

Snow has fallen, fishing still on the upswing in OTC

 By Ross Hagemeister, meisterguideservice.com

Snow has fallen in Otter Tail Lakes Country, finally. After a dry winter and minimal snow, I woke up this morning to find 5 or 6 inches of snow on my yard. My kids will love it because they finally get to play in snow piles but I’m always reluctant to think the fish will love it. Snow is not only a great insulator but it also serves as a light blocker. Before yesterday’s snowfall, I had seen an obvious (positive) increase in fish activity this week. Panfish and northern were easier to find and easier to catch, and I started seeing walleye again—consistently.

Photo provided by Ross Hagemeister, Meister Guide Serivce
Minnesota anglers are running out of time to catch walleye on inland waters. The last day of the 2017 walleye season
is Sunday, February 25, which is only a few days away. Catch them while you can!

As I’ve mentioned every week, for the past couple of weeks, our longer and brighter days contribute to the upswing in fish activity and that has certainly been the case this week. Now that we have more snow on the ice, I’m hoping that fishing doesn’t go backwards. There’s only one way to find out—go fishing. I’m still going to be optimistic about fishing in Lakes Country this week—the days are getting longer and that’s good enough for me. The only thing to be guarded about is location. Some species like perch and panfish may change locations. We were in for fish location changes no matter what, because our seasons are beginning to change, but the snow might prematurely cause fish to shift—so keep on your toes.

For now, I like to use small lures for panfish and green and orange tones are good colors to start with. Crappie fishing has picked up around the county.  I like to use waxworks and Northland Forage Minnows (the really small ones), to locate crappie and then switch to set-lines and minnows. I saw an up-swing in northern pike and walleye activity last weekend and hope that they will continue to provide good action around Otter Tail County as well.

Shiner minnows seem to work well on both species right now, but northern can’t resist a nice sucker either. Give it a try! Good luck fishing Otter Tail Lakes Country this week!

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