Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz
Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal & Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Minn.

June 4, 2001

The bite is on for early June fishing

There are certain times of the year when the fishing is good, or at least better than other times.

There are also a few short stretches that can be considered the best times of the year to wet a line. These short stretches that last only last a week or two are the prime times for fishing, especially on our area lakes.

These prime-time periods, of which there are three, occur:

· in mid- to late October for about a three week stretch.

· just after ice-over to about Christmas.

· usually in the last week of May or the first two weeks in June.

The prime time period in June, which is occurring right now, is associated with warmer water temps, good weather for fishing, a good walleye bite, angry northern pike, super largemouth bass action, and above all, spawning sunfish.

In our area, and although the sunfish spawn is a bit late this year, it has started, and the sunfish are biting over spawning beds in water from four inches to two feet deep on most lakes.

On some larger lakes, where water temps are still a little cooler, the sunnies are just starting to spawn.

Regarding the sunfish bite, all an angler really has to do right now is cruise the shallows to find a few spawning beds and drop down anything from a grub or angleworm to a small leech, and the sunnies will bite. Although the fish usually aren't big, they're worth catching.

A few of the best lakes in our area for bigger sunfish include Minnetonka, Ann, Granite, Howard, and at times, Hook.

Moving on, the bass action had been great and the walleye bite has gotten better.

Joe's Sport Shop in Howard Lake reported: On Howard, the walleye bite has finally turned on and the panfish are biting at a good clip in the shallows. The largemouth bass action on Howard and Collinwood has also been good.

Joe's also noted the fishing has been best on warm days and the action will only get better has the water temps rise.

Dave Groff of Lil' Angie's Bait and Tackle at the Treasure Hunt reported: It was a good week of fishing. The sunnie and crappie action on Mary has been good. The walleyes are biting on Howard in 15 to 18 feet of water.

The sunnies are spawning on most lakes. A few walleyes are being caught on the Crow River. The bass action on Parley and a few other lakes has been good, and Lake Ann is producing a few small walleyes. In general, the fishing on our local lakes has been good.

On a final fishing note, the hot bait for walleyes has been nightcrawlers, and for largemouth bass, the Berkley Power Slug.

Outdoor notes

­ The annual take a kid fishing event weekend is set for June 8-10. On that weekend, adults accompanying children under age 16 may fish without a license.

­ The morel mushroom hunt is over for another season.

­ The 2001 Minnesota muskie fishing season opened June 2.

­ Practice catch and release and only take home the amount of fish you can use. At this time of year, when the sunfish are biting hard and fast, many anglers will double- or triple-trip or go back to the same lake day after day and have far more fish in the freezer than actual possession limits allow. Please obey the laws, remind others to do so, and help preserve our fishing resources.

­ If you witness someone breaking fish and game laws, call Turn in Poachers (TIP) at 1-800-652-9093.

­ Gosslings and ducklings have hatched in our area wetlands, while pheasants and many varieties of songbirds are still in the nesting process. So far, nesting conditions for pheasants have been very poor.

­ Enjoy the final days of spring, the long days, and good luck fishing.

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