outdoors column

As water levels are beginning to drop and return to normal, so are the crappies and bluegills.

I have noticed on the water lately that the schools of crappies and sunfish are now moving to their midsummer haunts and that includes staying suspended over deep water.

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I’ve already been on some great fishing trips this season that have included Red Lake, the Northwest Angle and Leech Lake, with a lot more to come. Undoubtedly, the most memorable though will have been nothing exotic and as bare bones as you can get and involved a trip to a local lake to chase some little bluegills.

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If I had to describe the perfect day to go walleye fishing it would go something like this: There would be a nice cloud cover with no precipitation, the wind would be from the southwest creating a manageable walleye chop and the water temperatures would still be cool enough to support my all-time favorite bait, the spot tail shiner.

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There are a lot of great angling opportunities going on right now but you might not want to overlook panfish. It’s sunfish we’re talking about, and it’s prime time for finding and catching the largest of this species.

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Even with the late spring, it looks like we’ll have open water on most if not all of our major walleye lakes. Last year was a different story and my opener was delayed by a week because the lake we wanted to fish on (Leech) was still locked up.

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You could wait for the big Minnesota opener to go walleye fishing, but if you’re the impatient type there are some great options with red hot action going on right now.

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