By Ross Hagemeister, meisterguideservice.com
Summer is finally arriving in Otter Tail Lakes Country this week, and it’s about time. Cool weather (from the recent weeks) has set back fishing around the county so you can expect to see a lot of changes in fishing patterns over the next 7 days. Panfish and bass species will finally begin to spawn (and keep spawning), shiner minnows will get through the end of their spawn, and the lakes that are crystal clear right now will begin a slow path to staining and darkening (which helps fishing). While there will be good opportunity to catch panfish and bass from shorelines, walleye fishing from banks, bridges and river mouths will wane.
It’s the time of the fishing season where you can’t be over-prepared. For walleye, bring jigs and Lindy Rigs, bottom bouncers and bobbers, and don’t forget about crank baits. For bait, be sure and have leeches, crawlers, and minnows along because there’s is a chance that everything will work right now! If anything, it’s a good reason to buy a couple extra rods and more tackle. This is a period that changes from week to week—usually for the positive—but be aware of major changes in fish location. Where they were yesterday and the day before, might not work again until next season. Once the shiner minnows and panfish have completed their spawns, things level off much better and bring larger predator fish away from shoreline areas, where they are easier to locate and fish for. Good luck on the lakes this week and bring some sunscreen.
Also, be sure and keep an eye on your boat and fishing gear when you’re traveling and trying new lakes. Be sure to clean, drain and dry. If need be, please check out the permanent decontamination station at the east access (off of county 78) on Ottertail Lake—and get sprayed down (free of charge). Please help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species.
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