Fishing Opener is right around the corner!! Here is a fishing report for Otter Tail Lakes Country!
Get ready everybody. Sharpen your hooks, change the line on your rod, make sure the motor works and that there aren’t any holes in your waders—it’s going to be a good opener. This is one of those springs preceding the MN walleye opener that walleye/pike anglers should be excited about. The water temps, even on the larger-class lakes in Otter Tail County are in the middle 50’s. This is good. The water temps are the equivalent to Memorial Day weekend temps on most years. The walleye are done spawning (for the most part), and will resume their focus on feeding. While walleye may still be a bit temperamental when fronts pass and barometers shift, there will still be fish to catch most of the time. Lake shiners, the predominant early food source for most predator species on lakes in Otter Tail County, are making their spawning efforts now. They should be your number one bait, especially if the lake/s you choose to fish have shiner minnow populations. Also, be on guard for calm and sunny days. The shiners will stage on and around shallow flats and sand bars on lakes waiting to spawn. That means, on most lakes, they will stage in 3-8 feet of water and this time of the year the water is clear. The walleye are right with the shiner minnows most of the time–if not all of the time. When it’s sunny and calm, walleye are very reluctant to feed in shallow water—especially in the presence of a boat and extra noise and shadows. Approach calm and sunny days in May delicately. Bobber fishing is a good way to approach walleye under those conditions, or just wait for the sun to start to set and the walleye will begin active and aggressive feeding. Otherwise, under most other conditions, walleye should be pretty accessible and catchable. Don’t forget other baits like leeches and crawlers this season, especially on shallower, darker lakes. Panfish are still hanging in shallow water and while they may shift when the sun goes behind the clouds, they won’t go too far. Fish between 6 feet of water and the shorelines and you should be able to stumble into panfish action. Also, the water temps are warm enough that working small jigs and lures tipped with artificial baits like Gulp and Power Bait will work just fine. Summer is knocking. Enjoy the great fishing this week in Otter Tail County.
Ross Hagemeister, Meister Guide Service, meisterguideservice.com
Otter Tail Lakes Country Tourism Association (http://ottertaillakescountry.com/)