Things are beginning to move forward in Otter Tail Lakes Country. We had an amazing week of intense warm weather which really heated up the lakes FAST! Too fast? It’s a hard question to answer. Fishing surged on some lakes in the county while others seemed to drift backwards. On the walleye side of things, the shiners are in a big hurry to get rid of their spawn. With so much shiner activity on the shorelines and shallows on the lakes, the walleye have followed suite. They are, for the most part, shallow. Bright, sunny, calm days make for challenging fishing when the walleye are right on the shoreline. Waiting till dusk and or windy and dark times makes catching the shallow walleye easier. Try slip bobbers with 1/32 oz jigs tipped with a minnow or leech in the shallow areas—from the bank or boat, it doesn’t matter. If you’re looking for walleye out on the weed edges away from shore, then you might have to look longer and harder for fewer fish, but they are there; and for the most part, they will feed. Things are happening fast, however. Keep a sharp eye out for sudden changes in depth, lure and hook color, and bait choice. Yesterday’s walleye patterns might just be “yesterday’s” patterns—you might need to find a new one today! Wow. It’s the time of rapid change. My guide’s tip-of-the-week is: To determine if a minnow is good/alive/worth using, don’t pull it out of the lake and hold it in your hand and stare at it. It won’t help you know if it’s actually alive and well and desirable. Let the minnow stay in the lake and watch the minnow. If it’s swimming—that’s all you need to know. Put it back down and keep fishing. If it lays stiff and lazy—toss it—it’s time for a new minnow. Good luck fishing Otter Tail Lakes Country this week!
Ross Hagemeister, meisterguideservice.com