Happy summer! It’s August and the water temps in Otter Tail Lakes Country are on the rise—finally. For many weeks the water temps have been hovering around 71–73 degrees. But in the past few days they have jumped to around 78 and 79 degrees. As soon as the water temps rose, the fish seemed to settle into more familiar summer-time patterns. In the past few days, I’ve been using colors and lures and speeds that are more average and historic—I find myself being able to make guesses based on what happened in the past. As a word of caution, be careful to over-rely on last year’s successes, but at the moment, it’s a good place to start. In contrast, last week and the weeks prior, I found myself making brand new discoveries all the time in order to keep up with the fish—especially with location and lure/hook color selection. Now, it seems more like I’m fishing in a summer pattern, rather than a mid-June transition-type pattern. Walleye continue to feed throughout Otter Tail Lakes Country all day long—weeds and weed lines are always good areas to search over and don’t forget about sunken islands. Worms and leeches will do. Hold off on buying a lot of minnows for walleye fishing until September and October. As for panfish, find crappies scattered all around the lakes, but be sure and concentrate on cabbage weed areas on top of islands or near deep water. Look for sunfish on weedy flats, but it’s also common to find nice sunfish and crappies hanging out with walleye on deep weed lines in many lakes. Night crawlers and spinner blades seem to work for finding all species of fish. Once you located groups of fish, do some fine-tuning to make sure there’s not a better way. Good luck fishing Otter Tail Lakes Country. Ross Hagemeister, meisterguideservice.com.