Swimming into August
By Ross Hagemeister, meisterguideservice.com
Fishing is hot in Otter Tail Lakes Country. We’ve had lots of sunny calm days, which are very nice but also make for toasty fishing outings. Although the sun has been high and the wind has been tame, the fish have been feeding. In particular, sunfish seem to be thriving in our super-warm lakes this summer. Walleye are still feeding well, but are a bit more timid or neutral than in the past. Crappie have been feeding, and largemouth bass never mind warm water conditions. Northern Pike seem to be hit the hardest by the warm water conditions, you can expect to see more of them when the water starts to cool in a few weeks.
For now, get in your boat and fish—the weather has been great. If you want to avoid the heat, just get your fishing in before noon time. If you’re trying to pick walleye out of lakes that have large sunfish populations, consider using Gulp on spinners, or jigs tipped with Gulp or minnows. For walleye, it’s a fine time of the year to troll crank baits on shallow flats—at any time of the day. Use #5 shad raps or Berkley Flicker Shads. Run them about 80 feet behind your boat to effectively fish in 7-9 feet of water. If you’re fishing over weed tops, use shallow diving crank baits or spinners and crawlers. To catch Ottertail County bass; try throwing spinner baits, top water lures, diving crank baits, Carolina and Texas rigged worms, or live bait. Fish them on deep weedy points, near docks and swim rafts, lily pads, deep weed lines, or in and near bull rushes and pencil weeds. Find crappies on weed topped islands and points.
The optimal jig size for summer time crappie is 1/16. Crappie are aggressive feeders in the summer, so cast and retrieve baits and even troll for crappie. Enjoy the warm weather and sunny days on the lakes this week. Be sure and bring good sun glasses and sunscreen!