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Nice, busy fishing opener

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Brad Laabs Detroit Lakes, 56501

Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Opening weekend was one of the most beautiful weather openers I can remember. All the lakes seemed to have boats and the area was busy with fisherman. Reports have been mixed, but overall the word is that the fish are biting.

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My morning started out slow for walleyes. I jumped to an old faithful lake and was shut down for the fist couple of hours. We jumped into shallow water and caught some dandy crappies. I was pulling out to jump lakes, and got a call with an encouraging report from a friend on the lake we were heading to.

We just got started on Otter Tail Lake and I bumped into a couple of friends that were just leaving. They had good success and shared some helpful information. I got another call with some info that put me right on a school of nice walleyes. Thanks Brian! We caught a limit of 14 to 17" eaters and threw back a number of fish as well.

The fish were deeper, as the couple days of sunshine and warm weather were not enough to warm the water enough to bring the shiners back onto the shallow flats. We caught our walleyes in 22 to 26 feet.

Some lakes produced better than others during the opening weekend. This is not uncommon as lakes get "hot" at different times. I have been finding fish of the outside edge of weeds on the drop to deep water adjacent to large flats. By Wednesday, the water temps had warmed ten degrees and are now in the low 60's. This will bring walleyes shallow as they follow the shiner minnows.

Both live bait rigs and jigs tipped with shiners have been working. The crappies are close to spawning time and are back in shallow again. Small jigs/hooks tipped with crappie minnows or fatheads under bobbers will work. Look for emerging weeds and pitch close to the edges. Keep moving until you make contact and when they stop, slide the edge until you make contact again.

Overall, I would say the Detroit Lakes area had a successful opener and the bite will just continue to improve over the next several weeks.

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