The lakes were extremely busy this Memorial Holiday weekend. It appears everybody was anxious to get out and active for the kick off of summer in the lakes area. Accesses were full at the majority of the lakes. The walleye bite was cooperative and anglers enjoyed good success. The crappie bite was also hitting peak during the holiday weekend. The weather held out nicely and the cloud cover and wind were a factor in helping keep fish activity high.
Walleyes have been biting jigs and minnows in shallow water since opener. As the water has warmed to the low to mid 60-degree range now, look for them to be moving off the shallow flats and relating more to deeper water off the edges of the flats. The shiner bite will taper off now and other bait offerings like leeches or crawlers will take their fair share of fish. Cabbage weed is developing quickly and will be a draw for baitfish and gamefish activity.
Saturday the 23rd was the bass opener and the bass were cooperative, with anglers chasing that bite. Look for them to continue to be active shallow in weeds and on docks or other shoreline cover.
Casting jigs with minnows or plastics are producing. Casting spinners, crankbaits, jerk baits, or spoons over emerging weed tops will become more productive now as the weed development has been significant just in the last week.
The shallow crappie bite on beds should hold through the next week as well. Casting small jigs tipped with minnows or plastics, jigs or hooks with plastic baits/minnows/wax worms/leeches/pieces of crawler under bobbers will produce crappies and sunfish in the shallow developing weeds.
You may have noticed the fishing piers are not out yet for shore fisherman. The DNR is still not back into full swing and has limited crews active due to the COVID-19 situation. It may be awhile before projects get caught up.
These are unusual times and we all have to adjust our patience and tolerance for the circumstances we are all dealing with now as we adjust to a very different year this year. Things are not normal, even for fishing, so along with cleaning, draining, and drying -- practice social distancing.
(Laabs owns Brad Laabs Guide Service in Detroit Lakes)