This season is flying by! It’s already July! The fishing has been great in Otter Tail Lakes Country these past few weeks and continues onward. The lakes in the area stand at record high levels and all that extra water has thrown some anglers for a loop. Be on your guard for change. Fishing spots that were 10 feet deep last season are 12 and 13 feet deep this season—so they might not function the same.Fishing for walleye, bass, panfish and pike continue to be strong but things are different this year. When you go out on the lakes around Otter Tail Lakes Country in the next few weeks, just keep in mind the fish probably won’t be where they normally are. However, when you find them they will bite (if you’re using the right stuff). One major change I’ve been seeing this season is the fish have been selecting different colors. The water color and clarity has changed because of the rain. In fact, the lake water doesn’t seem like “lake water”, it seems like I’m fishing in a giant bowl of rain water. It’s rain temperature too! It’s crazy. It’s as if it’s having trouble warming up. The water temps have been steady at 68 degrees the past five days. Isn’t the sun working? Anyway, these variables have sent the “normal” season spinning. The fish will still bite well but anticipate changes.
Here are some strong tips and hints from an everyday fishing guide: For walleye: pay close attention to your leader lengths and trolling speeds. For panfish: light 1/32 oz jig head tipped with a chunk of crawler or gulp will do the trick—try pink jigs or variations of white, and fish them over weed tops. For crappie: gulp and rubber skirts work a bit better than a worm. For bass: try chartreuse spinner baits with Colorado blades and cast into and near dense vegetation and trees and docks near deep drops. For Pike: spinner baits casted into and near cabbage beds near deep water—hold on to your rod. For a better “smacking” bite: spool up with Fire line—it’s what you need, it’s what they need. Love to fish. Love to catch fish. Love to fish in Otter Tail Lakes Country! Happy fishing.
Ross Hagemeister, Meister Guide Service, meisterguideservice.com