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Otter Tail Country Tourism

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Minnesota Fishing Report

Whether it's winter, spring, summer, or fall, there are always fish
biting somewhere. This winter is no exception-look and you may find.
Late January brings along with it other problems. It's usually easier
to find fish then it is to find lakes and areas where travel isn't
inhibited by deep snow, drifting, flooded slushy lake surfaces, and
poor access. Many fishermen are already taking their permanent fish
houses in as they struggle to get out on the lake. It's the time of
year that many ice fishermen wonder if getting stuck is worth a fish.
If you can get out on a lake, panfish species and the predators that
eat them are best concentrated making them easier to catch. Also, the
fun thing about seeking panfish is that you can catch larger fish like
bass and northern pike while catching sunfish and crappie. Northerns
can be found mostly near the weeds using sucker minnows, and fishing
is best during the evening or early morning hours. Walleye are far
less predictable and accessible. Walleye seem to be located under the
deepest snowdrifts in the county, but can be found anyway from 17-36
feet using shiners and fat heads on different lakes in the area.
Walleye fishing right now is best between 4:30 and 6:30 in the late
afternoon. Crappie are following a similar trend. They are biting
best in late afternoon and/or after the sun sets--be sure and fish
them about half way down the water column to about 3 feet off the
bottom (at about 10-15 feet on average), and the largest ones are
often just under the ice sheet. Think small, when it comes to bait and
lure selections and don't forget about the ""simple"" rigs--plain
hooks and a split shot. Also, keep track of where you hook your
minnows. Try hooking them closer to the tail so they can't get away
from your fish. Good luck fishing in Ottertail County, be sure to
bring a shovel and a tow rope when you're out on the lake. It only
gets better from here! Once we start thawing, the fishing and lake
access will be a lot easier then right now.

posted by Otter Tail Country Tourism Association at


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