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Fishing is happening in Ottertail County! The lakes have seen a perfect warm-up this spring. We’ve had enough warm and sunny weather to fully heat the lakes and bays through out lakes country. As I mentioned in my last report, the water has taken on enough warmth this spring to get us through cold snaps. Cold or not, the panfish that are situated in bays and along shallow shorelines on small lakes keep on feeding. However, the recent cold snaps have slowed main-lake warm ups, so finding good fishing along the shorelines of larger lakes around the county will be difficult for another week or two. I’ve been having good action for both crappie and sunfish using Berkley Gulp “fry.” Be sure and have several different colors with because individual colors change depending on light levels and water clarity. I typically use bright colors like white, pink, silvers, oranges and a few mixed color combos. A key to early panfishing is to manage your lure and weight sizes. Small baits and lures (1/64) work well, but can invite small panfish, and large presentations like 1/16 oz lures or lures with lots of mass (lots of extra hair, twister tails, blades) can dissuade the fish all together. Stick with mid-run jigs and keep hair and rubber add-ons respectable. We are in for a super nice late week and weekend so get your boats out, or find a classic bank to fish from and catch a meal of panfish—they’re a true spring time treat. Also, it’s a great time to get kids out fishing, because the fish are using shallow water, all you need is a decent casting outfit and a bobber set a foot or two deep—that’s it. For best and easiest casting for kids, rig up a slip bobber. Check out the accompanying photo: here’s a couple spring fishing kids with a nice crappie. Way to go guys! Be sure to drain your live wells and pull the drain plug—and give your rig a look over. Lets continue to keep invasive species out of non-infested lakes. Good luck on the lakes this week!

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