Spring is here, dance a little Jig
By Ross Hagemeister, meisterguideservice.com
I was visiting with some of my guests yesterday afternoon and they commented on how green everything is around Otter Tail County. It’s been an obvious sign of our spring’s rapid progression, and it’s been wonderful. The lakes aren’t far behind. We’ve seen amazing strides “down below,” however, there was a bit of a cool down last weekend and a few windy and cloudy days, which stalled some of the progression, but overall things are going well.
Walleye fishermen are beginning to experience consistent catches all around the county as the shiner minnows continue to blast away at their spawn. A week ago, if you tossed a minnow in the lake with a jig or live bait rig, it might not have gotten bit. This week, if you put a minnow in a “reasonable” location, it will most likely be quickly consumed by either a perch, northern, or walleye. On that note, shiner minnows are still the top bait. If you’re headed out on the lake in the next 4 or 5 days, be sure and bring a bunch of shiners—way too many. Perch and northern will take and damage their share, walleye that are too small and too large will take their’s, and that’ll leave the rest for some keeper walleyes and you always have to count on missing a bunch.
Also, replacing minnows this time of year should be habit. Don’t drag dead minnows. It seems to be a rare occasion these days to catch a bunch of walleye on dead minnows. If you’re minnow is not alive, replace it. Jigs are the top walleye presentation this time of year, especially for those fish that are shallow and need a little casting and retrieving action. Live bait rigging is the other strong option. With Lindy/live bait rigs, be sure and keep an eye on your leader-length, hook colors and sizes, and your weight sizes. Success with live bait rigging is derived from a combination of component factors, and it’s both fun and rewarding when you’re able to dial in what the walleye need.
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