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Cool June temps mean more fishing in shallow water

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With the unseasonably cool weather we have had this June, the lakes have been slow to warm up.

One of the good things about this lack of transition to summer has been the continuation of active fish in shallow water.

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Shallow water fish are fun to catch as they generally bite aggressively and fight like crazy.

One of the reasons for the aggressive bite is that those fish are up in the shallow water for one reason -- to feed.

Fish are in the shallows because that is where their food is located. Minnows and young perch are still up shallow and they are a primary forage for game fish.

You will find all predator fish relating to this food source at this time.

Look for fish on the flats in water from 6 to 15 feet deep.

Changes on the flats can actually be key areas that will hold fish. A one or two foot difference in depth can be enough of a change to concentrate fish.

Areas that have clam beds, rocks, or changes in weed types can be fish magnets.

Areas that have sandgrass will hold fish, because the baitfish use it to hide out. The inside edges of cabbage weeds have long been know by experienced anglers to be fish holding spots in the early season.

Other types of changes in a "flat" that can be worth checking are deeper holes or small rising humps. These features are considered to be the structure you will want to save for future fishing.

If you locate fish, make sure you save a waypoint, icon, or mark the spot the old fashioned way, with shoreline triangulation, so you can return to your spot.

Fish are creatures of habit and locations that you find will continue to produce in future years.

Pay attention to the details when you have success, so you can repeat in the future for continued success:

What stage of the season? What was the water temperature? What kind of bait were you using? What was your technique? How fast were you moving? What was the weather like?

All these factors will help in repeating success and patterning fish.

Days that have some overcast and wind may keep the shallow fish active for longer periods.

Trying different things can make a difference for success as well. Change jig colors, shorten or lengthen a snell, fish further from the boat, try different weight jigs, colored hooks, change speeds, or even anchor and pitch to the fish.

Pay attention to what worked and remember or document the information as a reference for future fishing outings.

Different minnows or other baits such as leeches, crawlers, and artificials, can sometimes also make the difference.

A significant part of the fishing adventure is figuring out the puzzle. Fishing is fun, catching is better, and being able to eat what you catch is a great benefit.

In closing this week I would like to recognize the FM Walleye Club for its efforts with the "take a kid fishing" outing held on White Earth Lake last weekend.

A special thank you also goes out to Dave at Camp Cormorant for hosting the Veterans "Thank You" Tournament held last week.

Thanks to all the other volunteers that make this event a success. A fundraising walk for the local chapter of " Lets Go Fishing" has been scheduled for Oct. 1.

For more information on the walk or other LGF activities you can visit the website at www.lgfws.com or call 218-847-5670.

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

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