Summer fishing success can be improved for multiple species if you learn to fish in and around weed areas. Some fish are always relating to the weeds. Not all weeds are created equal when it comes to holding fish, and in my experience, cabbage weeds are the best fish producers. Weeds provide shade, higher oxygen levels, and most importantly, food. Because of these factors, predator fish like musky, bass, northern pike, and walleye will take advantage of what the weeds have to offer.
This week I will try to answer some questions that I get asked by customers frequently. It is amazing how many times the same questions come up from people with different background and walks of life, and different parts of the country.
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.
The concept of selective harvest and catch and release have been around for many years now. The idea is to help develop a sporting habit to fishing, and have anglers actively participate in a voluntary way to management of the resource. There is no problem in keeping a few for the table, just be selective with the species you are keeping to eat.
Like most hobbies, fishing can be a drain on the finances.
Water temperatures jumped significantly this last week with the hot weather and bright sunshine. Warmer nights didn't cool the water off, and each consecutive day of the warm front raised surface temps a degree or more a day. We are now in the high 60s to low 70s all around the region. The warming lake and bright sun also triggered multiple bug hatches, but most significant to fishing was the mayfly hatch. The abundant food the mayfly hatch provides to fish makes fishing against mother nature more challenging.
This weekend is always one of the busiest of the season on area lakes. It was extremely busy on "opener" due to the low gas prices and beautiful weather. I expect the same (and more) this holiday weekend with the beautiful forecast again. The nicer weather will be welcome for fishing as the days from opener until now have been rainy, windy, cold, or a combination of all those factors. The fish have continued to cooperate. The warmer conditions for us will also be good for the fish and should make the bite even better.
The walleye opener in the Detroit Lakes area was a big success. Not everyone caught walleyes, but the wonderful weather and other active fish made for a great opener. My son Jake was able to join me for opening day and we were fortunate enough to find active walleyes on Ottertail lake in 7 to 11 feet of water. We kept fish to eat, put many smaller fish back, and released a 23- and a 23.5-incher as well.
Now that opening weekend for walleye and northern is here, I have a couple suggestions that may be helpful (and might save you a couple bucks!). The first tip has to do with keeping live bait fresh and alive. We will talk about minnows first as in the early season, shiners, redtails, rainbows, and fatheads are "go to" baits. When you come off the lake, you must either dispose of minnows, or transfer them into well water. Remember, you can't transport lake water! I keep a cooler full of well water in the back of my Tahoe.
Now that opening weekend for walleye and northern is here, I have a couple suggestions that may be helpful (and might save you a couple bucks!) The first tip has to do with keeping bait fresh and alive. We will talk about minnows first, since in the early season, shiners, red tails, rainbows, and fatheads are the "go to" baits.