Water temperatures continue to drop in Otter Tail Lakes Country
By Ross Hagemeister, meisterguideservice.com
It seems as though summer is finally loosening it’s grip around Otter Tail Lakes Country. The most notable change is the falling water temperatures. Yesterday, I even saw 66 degrees. That’s considerably cooler than a week ago. What does this mean? Winter is coming—just kidding (it’s coming, but it’ll be a few months). The rapidly falling water temps do send me on “high alert” for changes in fish location and activity levels. When water temperatures start to settle in the 60’s on our lakes, it is usually positive, but like remodeling a house, things usually get messy before they get better. Staying on strong patterns can be a bit of a struggle, and every other day can bring about new changes and challenges—especially when it comes to location and presentation patterns.
If you’re seeking walleye and northern pike and bass species, keep an eye on bait fish and food sources like panfish and perch. If you find small sized panfish, you’ll find walleye, northern, and bass. Walleye seem to be adhering to “bait balls” which are usually comprised of young-or-the-year perch and sunfish. You can find bait balls on drops and over deep water by using your graph. They are big dense suspended speckled blobs—like nimbus clouds in the summer sky and make all sorts of interesting shapes. If you see bait balls, slow your boat down and check it out. Fish with crawlers or minnows and try jigging, live-bait riggings (Lindy Rig), or bottom bouncers. Cast and retrieve spinner baits and large crank baits or jig with large sucker minnows over weed beds near drops, for northern pike. Check out deep weed edges for blue gill and crappie—on shoreline first-breaks. Don’t be afraid to use larger baits and lure sizes for crappie—2 inch lures/baits or 1/16 or even 1/8 once jig/weights aren’t out of the question.
Good luck fishing Otter Tail Lakes Country this week!
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