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Bug hatch starting; change lakes if need be

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June is here, school is out and summer has officially started in the lakes area. Water temperatures continue to hover around the mid to high 60 degree range, and the shallow water bite continues.

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All the gamefish have been taking advantage of the shiner minnows spawning on the flats. They are over now and we will see fish transition to the drop offs and filtering to mid-lake structure.

We have had some lakes start their bug hatches, and the mayfly hatch will be rotating through all our area lakes. The fish take advantage of these hatches, and it makes catching fish difficult when a lake is in the middle of a big mayfly hatch. We have the advantage of changing lakes in our area, as they don't all fall prey to Mother Nature at the same time.

When the bug hatch gets active, so does success with leeches as a bait. When the water temp warms a few more degrees, the nightcrawler bite gets into full swing. For minnows, you will want to transition from shiners (that will be hard to get now) and start using fatheads, rainbows, suckers, and if available (one of my favorites), redtail chubs.

As of this weekend, all gamefish seasons are open. Many anglers will be competing for different species in the same general areas. While on the water, please be respectful of other anglers' space. We all want to catch fish, but don't intrude on other anglers if they are working a school of fish. Enjoy the fishing, not just the catching.

As you try different lakes, you will notice that DNR activity has stepped up to educate us about reducing the risk of spreading of invasive species. You will hear and read about this issue a lot over the next month or two. There are articles in local papers, outdoor magazines, and on the Internet. The problem has spread faster and further than initially anticipated. Do your part by removing weeds from your trailer and empty and rinse livewells.

(Laabs runs Brad Laabs Guide Service in Detroit Lakes.)

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