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Muskie season now underway, here's where to find them

June brings the start to the muskie season. All seasons are in full swing now this weekend. Big Detroit, Pelican (and Fish), Sallie, Many Point, and Beers are the lakes most fished for muskie in our area.

Melissa also has a small population, but does not get the pressure the other lakes do at this point. Pelican will be a challenge Saturday for the muskie opener, as the F-M Walleye club has a walleye tournament on the lake this Friday and Saturday.

Muskie will be shallow, and have already been biting on anglers offerings that are fishing for bass, walleyes, northern, and even pan fish. Stay just off the edges of the flats with your boat and pitch baits to the flats and shallow weed pockets.

The muskie waters here are very clear water conditions, and the fish can even be sight fished right now. If you see them, they can see you, so back off before pitching to entice them to bite.

If the wind blows and we have good cloud cover, the anglers that like to troll will have success also. With wind and cloud cover you can position closer to the cover you are casting without spooking the fish.

Water temps have raised dramatically from last weekend due (finally) to some summer-like weather and warmer nights. The bright sunshine of the last few days brings surface temps up significantly from morning until late afternoon. We have consistent temps now in the mid to high 60 degree range.

The shiner run is done and they will be hard to get (and keep fresh) now. They will still do the trick if you have them! Look for the leech and crawler bite to start to take over for walleyes this next week or so.

Walleyes will also slide deeper of shoreline edges and start transitioning to the closest off shore structure like humps and extended points into main lake areas with deep water access.

Many crappies continue to be shallow on beds, but that will change quickly over the next week or so. They will move to the outside edges of weed lines, especially the cabbage patches. Lakes that are larger, deeper, and slower to warm will continue to have crappies and sunfish very shallow and relating to submergent, or newly emergent weeds.

Bass are shallow and very active. The northern pike this last week have been on a feeding binge and have been almost annoyingly active.

The lakes will be busy this weekend with the nice weather, muskie opener, and many schools out for the summer and family vacations getting underway. Show patience and courtesy at the public accesses, and remember to clean, drain, and dry after every outing.

(Laabs owns Brad Laabs Guide Service in Detroit Lakes)

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