We have continued with another week of unseasonably warm weather and water temps have stayed in the mid 60 degree range.
The transition period for fall fishing has been extended by the weather and water temps. The weather is supposed to cool starting this week, and when water temps drop to 60, and continue to slowly drop, we will experience fish grouping up and settling into fall patterns.
The views from the lakes this past week have been beautiful as we have fall colors. The high winds will strip the trees of their leaves and the weird weather will leave us with a shorter than normal peak fall color experience.
If you have not been out to get some fishing in the last couple weeks, get it on your schedule for the next week or so while the views from the lake are still so amazing.
Water conditions remain low so take precautions launching and loading boats. Many of the accesses can be difficult. Docks are still in, and that helps make it easier.
Snapping jigs tipped with minnows on the shore line breaks has been a consistent producer for multiple species this last week. Moving .8 to 1 mph with eighth-ounce jigs in the 11-15 foot water or quarter-ounce jigs in the 16-22 foot water are catching walleyes, northern pike, smallmouth bass (on lakes with smallie populations), largemouth bass, and even larger crappies at times.
Cast the jigs away from the boat in these clear water lakes. To reduce line twist, tie a small barrel swivel on the line and add an 18 inch, 6-8 pound mono leader and tie the jig to that.
If you do get line twist, cut everything off and let half the spool out and drag behind the boat for a couple of minutes. Reel in the line and cut the last foot or two off and tie back up and you are good to go.
Another good trick to get the line twist out is to pour hot water over the spool to soften the mono line.
Learning how to fight a fish without reeling against the drag will go a long way in preventing developing the frustrating line twist. If vertical jigging and line twist is a problem, add the barrel swivel and leader and you will eliminate your problem.
Many anglers have gone to the hard lines (super lines, braided lines) and love the fact that line twist is never an issue. The no-stretch lines are extremely sensitive and can help if struggling to know where your jig is at, or if bite detection is an issue.
There are some drawbacks -- you feel the fish right away, but they also feel you! You will need to use a softer tip rod and back the drag off, as the no-stretch factor can also cause hooks/jigs to tear free during a fish fight.
There is no perfect scenario, it is all personal preference -- whatever is right for you. Fish what you are comfortable and confident with when it comes to rod, reel, and line selections.
(Laabs owns Brad Laabs Guide Service in Detroit Lakes)