Minnesota Fishing Report

The days continue to lengthen which helps anglers by giving them more day-light hours to catch fish. However, the persistent cold weather has put a damper on the ice fishing. Most of the large northern seem to have taken a back seat this last week, and the action is sluggish. Small northern still seem to be pretty aggressive, however, and can be found at 15-26 feet along the weedlines. The panfish action is still fine in many lakes in Otter Tail Lakes Country. We’re finding them near dense weed clumps on mid-depth flats, about 10-17 feet deep. The sunfish and crappies don’t use the shallow weedless flats but the shallow areas can act as barriers and help limit their range. Wax worms seem to do the trick on nearly all species using weeds for cover. The walleye action continues to improve in Otter Tail Lakes Country, but travel on the larger lakes is inhibited by hard-packed snow drifts. If you’re going to venture out on the larger lakes in the area, ATVs and snowmobiles are a good choice. If you need to use a vehicle, bring a good shovel, chains, a tow strap, and an extra vehicle to help jerk you out of the snow when you get stuck. For walleye, 1/8 and 1/4 oz spoons are good choices tipped with minnow heads and they can be found anywhere between 18-35 feet. Also, try Genz Worms tipped with mid-sized fat heads, and never forget about the old stand-bye – a single hook and split shot under a bobber with a chunky minnow hooked through the back. Consider colored hooks on your “set” lines. Chartreuse, shinny blue and shinny green are hard to beat late in the season. Good luck in Otter Tail Lakes Country.

Ross Hagemeister