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Crushed 'Em

  • Weekender
    Participant
    Southcentral MN
    Posts: 410
    #1944941

    I don’t get to say this too often, but it was a day of catching today. Biggest factors…. water temperature and cloud cover. Water temp has jumped to 68 (was 57 my last time out) and the heavy cloud cover brought them in shallow… right in that 4ft to 6ft depth range along the weed edge.

    Any and all presentations are working, except for trolling on the weed edge. You DO NOT want to troll over these fish as it’ll scare them out of the area. You could probably board them if you want, but I don’t do that. Pitching jigs with meat, jigs & plastics, or cranks to the weed edges is the best way to approach these shallow fish. I found that a gentle lift/fall when using meat, or a slow steady retrieve when using plastics and cranks worked best. Super aggressive ripping & popping didn’t produce a fish. Nor did any sort of start/stop with the plastics and cranks. Just a steady retrieve. Paddletail plastics far out-produced split tail plastics as well.

    So the time is now for the southern part of the state. If you can, pick the overcast days, or fish the power hours and work the weed edges. Chances are, there will be some fish there. I don’t name lakes publicly or even privately, but pick a lake with decent to good walleye populations and you should be able to put something together.

    Tight lines!

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    mxskeeter
    Participant
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts: 3530
    #1944975

    Nice report. Nice pics too. waytogo
    Nice to see for a change.

    Weekender
    Participant
    Southcentral MN
    Posts: 410
    #1944980

    Thanks mx! It was the most fun I’ve had fishing/catching since I took a fly-in trip in 2018. At one point, it was 4 casts, 4 fish. I grilled up the fish for the fam this evening and they were awfully good!

    I should mention, for people that like to cork, that would be an effective way at going after shallow fish. The key is to not try and get on top of them with the boat, in their zone. 4ft deep is pretty shallow. Some lakes i fish the weeds grow down 8 to 10 feet, and on those lakes it’s sometimes crucial to be parked on that weed edge. Just not the lakes I’m hitting right now.

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 7967
    #1944989

    I was going to comment that a slip bobber would also probably work too, maybe at night.

    eyeguy507
    Participant
    SE MN
    Posts: 3224
    #1944994

    Great report bud! I’ll get to one of those lakes down there someday! I need a change of scenery time to time too and love trying new water.

    Weekender
    Participant
    Southcentral MN
    Posts: 410
    #1944996

    I think it would work daytime as well, but I might opt for a minnow over a leech. Lakes around here have lots of carp and other rough fish that might enjoy a leech. They’re fun to catch, but I certainly prefer the ones with white tips on their tails. waytogo

    Craig Sery
    Participant
    Bloomington, MN
    Posts: 1042
    #1945019

    Good work! What lake? I grew up down there so would like to see if you’re being serious…😂😂

    eyeguy507
    Participant
    SE MN
    Posts: 3224
    #1945028

    nobody reveals the identity of those southern lakes. it is like fort knox in that region. southern lakes are the holy grail for eyes. even if someone named the lake, I would take it with a grain of salt. maybe its just me but unless it is close friends, my lips are sealed too. I just wish I lived closer.

    Weekender
    Participant
    Southcentral MN
    Posts: 410
    #1945030

    My wife always says I’m fishing some hole in the ground with water in it. rotflol

    But honestly, I’ve always felt the information on patterns, locations, etc are more important than a lake name. There are lots of good ones from Hwy. 12 on south. Washington, Washington, Belle, Madison, Tetonka, Benton, Sarah, Shetek, Cannon…. these are all very good lakes from now until mid July, then it can get difficult.

    Smaller lakes from I’Falls to the Iowa border, can and do get pummeled and fished out quickly once word gets out. One small 450ac lake has had 20 to 40 boats on it nearly every day thus far this year. And once that’s fished out, the masses will move on to the next if they hear about it.

    So, I just try and help by putting out info i hope will be useful to others. The weed bite is a solid, annual occurrence from opener to mid July every year all over Southern MN. And, if you can find good weeds thru the dog days, you might have success then too.

    Best fishing of the year in these parts is right now, and it’ll be pretty good for the next month. I hope folks can get out and get in on it! waytogo

    Joe Jarl
    Participant
    SW Wright County
    Posts: 884
    #1945034

    Great report! Thanks for posting what’s working. Most of the lakes I fish fit this category and when the bite is on, they are a blast.

    Matt Moen
    Participant
    South Minneapolis
    Posts: 3622
    #1945044

    I have family in SW Minnesota and fish some of the lakes you mentioned. You are right….when the bite is on its lights out. When the water warms it’s almost like the fish stop eating. Fun lakes to fish though!

    When the walleye stop biting go chase bullheads!

    Weekender
    Participant
    Southcentral MN
    Posts: 410
    #1945047

    “When the walleye stop biting go chase bullheads!”

    Whoa whoa whoa! Wait a minute now. This is Minnesota, not Iowa! jester rotflol lol

    Weekender
    Participant
    Southcentral MN
    Posts: 410
    #1945292

    Took my daughter out for a few hours today to try and get some tugs on the line for her. Conditions changed from yesterday. We were dealt with clear blue skies and hardly a breath of wind. The weedline is 4ft to 6ft deep, but with the sun shining and water clarity, it was easy to see down 7 to 8 feet.

    But, to start, we tried just as I did yesterday and although we got a few 12″ers, the fish were not relating to the weed edge. So, time to move and try other approaches. We first went to a rock point that drops into 10ft, but nothing there. We tried out into 12ft and nothing there either. At that point, I decided to give trolling cranks over the deepest part of the lake a try and nothing doing there either.

    At this point I’m a little at my wits end. So I told my daughter those fish might be dug in tighter than a tick in the heavy, thick weed cover. So, we went back to the weeds. I wasn’t too hopeful as it was easy to see down to the bottom. But, creeping along in the heavy weeds, we began seeing walleyes swimming in the small pockets inside the heavy weed cover. With light 1/16oz jigs & crawler chunks, we pitched to the pockets and to some of the walleyes we could see swimming. And although it wasn’t fantastic like yesterday, we did manage 4 more fish from 12″ to 19″.

    That was the first time in my life I’ve sight fished walleyes like I would bluegills. It was so fun to watch! Many of the fish scattered, but we enticed the 4 into playing along. We had a great meal of grilled walleye yesterday, so we let the handful of fish go today, and 12″ers are too small in my book anyway.

    It’s a day I’ll not forget though. Another lesson learned and another approach to keep in my back pocket on days like this.

    Got other things to do these next 4 days, and next week I may try another lake that is squarely on my radar. I’m not big on leaving fish to find fish, but this other lake is supposed to have more walleyes in it, and I’ve never fished it in my life.

    Tight lines all!

    Weekender
    Participant
    Southcentral MN
    Posts: 410
    #1946139

    Never leave fish to find fish, but I did. 😃

    Watched this 25.75″ hit boatside. Thought for a split second it was a carp until I saw the white tip.

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    shady5
    Participant
    Posts: 491
    #1946175

    Nice fish! I think those fish bury in the weeds in summer making them almost unreachable until dark.

    Weekender
    Participant
    Southcentral MN
    Posts: 410
    #1946186

    Yeah, that one came from some heavier weed cover. Got a couple eaters and a slimer that ventured out from the weed edge too. It was a relatively slow day though.

    Gonna “guide” my kids & nephew tomorrow to one of my favorite lakes about 60mi from the lakes I’ve been hitting thus far. Another small, shallow lake where my brother had good shallow success yesterday with his kids. waytogo

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