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Bite, like weather, is inconsistant

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Brad Laabs Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Online
(218) 847-9409 customer support
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

I was out this week, and the weather has continued to be inconsistent, and for me the bite was as well. I had a couple of good outings, and a couple of poor outings. Late last week I was still getting "eyes" shallow rip jigging. One trip included some too big to keep, some eaters and some bonus big Northern in the 32-36" range.

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By the time you are reading this, the turnover period we talked about last week should be all over. My poor success can be blamed some on trying to find success in the middle of turnover and some on my bad decision making in trying to adjust. Oh well. It just means I have to get out and practice at this game more! That is all part of the fun and challenge of improving as an angler. It seems I also learn as much from my lack of success as I do from my successes. It forces me to figure out what is going on with the bite, as there are always some willing biters with the right timing, bait, location, and technique.

My biggest adjustment now will be to leave my shallow bite behind and look for the deep bite. Look for the walleyes to be off the sharp breaks off of flats that drop into the deep basin areas of the lakes you are fishing. The word from the Muskie guys is to get after them now, as that bite has been holding up well, and many large picture worthy fish are being caught on Big Detroit, Pelican and Sallie. I have continued to chase walleyes, so I have not been chasing any crappies. The local crappie fishermen are pretty tight lipped about the post turnover bite. If I were to chase after them now, I would focus on some of the historically good crappie producing lakes in the area and look for the dying cabbage weed. I would use light jigs and minnows and/or twister tails, beetle spins and minnows, and fish aggressively.

I know I also mentioned last week about jigging and rigging with big minnows this time of year. Everybody develops their own style and comfort with these presentations. I have a few suggestions I have as we move to deeper water jigging/rigging with bigger minnows. With jigs, I transition over to long shank jigs, I either go deep in the mouth back past the eyes/brain and pop the hook out behind the minnows head, or I go in the mouth, out the gill and hook back up through the body of the minnow. Both of these keep the minnows alive and help with hook up so you don't get so many "tear off" minnows. I stick with 1/8 oz in the 10-15 foot range, pi oz in the 16-25 foot range and 3/8 oz if deeper than 26ft. I jig mostly with monofilament line and lighten my line to 4lb test. I will also use the super lines like Power Pro or Fireline if fishing deeper than 35 feet. For rigging with bigger minnows, I shorten my snell length to about 2 feet. For minnows in the 3-5" range, I use a #4 octopus style hook and for the minnows over 5 inches, I go to a #2 octopus hook. I fish or 5/16 oz sinker to about 30 feet and go to 3/8 in 35 feet or more. You may need to adjust by going a bit heavier in a strong wind. You want to know were you are in relation to the bottom so fish with weight that keeps you in good contact and feel. I hope this helps, and remember to keep practicing at becoming a better angler!

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