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Some tips for successful warm-weather fishing

We have made it through the busy Fourth of July holiday with just what you expect of a Minnesota holiday weather experience.

We started the weekend with a severe cold front, followed by a heat wave with scorching sun and no wind, making for flat water fishing conditions. Always following a heat wave here, we are greeted with severe thunderstorms and high winds. We got it all last week.

With the inconsistent weather, we had inconsistent fishing, and bite windows got short for everything except small (hammer handle) northern pike. As locals, we complain a little about the constantly changing weather. It is great to be reminded by our visitors how great we have it, and it helps remind me not to take what we have here for granted.

This last week my guide trips included some regulars that travel from Kansas, as well as families from Nebraska, Iowa, Arizona, California, southern Minnesota, and Texas. They come here not just because this is a great place to be on the Fourth, but this is a great place to be in the summer, especially if you like to fish.

Many travel here to get a break from the challenging weather from their locations, as well as looking forward to the attitude and pace of life our lakes area offer.

We, as locals, get to enjoy the rich lifestyle this area offers not only during our uniquely wonderful summers, but all year! Many of these visitors are curious about ice fishing, but have never experienced that lifestyle gem. We are lucky to be in an area with the change of seasons we have, and we can fish through them all!

With the hot weather, water temperatures have gotten back up to the 70 degree range. With the warm water, all the bugs and young of the year fish hatches have occurred and forage is plentiful.

The hot weather and warm water does not mean the fish will stop biting, but changing with the conditions might be necessary to continue to put fish in the boat. Fish are now at the peak period of their activity and food is plentiful, so in order to compete well with Mother Nature, we pay attention to what is happening and adapt.

We are approaching the time of the season when spinners and flashy baits worked more aggressively start to work. Vibration, noise, and flash can help create reaction bites.

Other bait options for fish during this summer period besides spinners, include crankbaits, jigging raps, ripping raps, and jigging spoons. All of these high action and attention drawing baits can be trolled or casted and retrieved. Fish are more willing during the summer period to chase baits, and attack aggressively. Don't stop fishing now, just be willing to change it up as a way of adapting to the changing conditions.

(Laabs owns Brad Laabs Guide Service in Detroit Lakes)

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