Fishing Lake Minnetonka

June 15, 2009

by Chris Schultz

Without question the bays, channels, and lily pads of Lake Minnetonka provide some of, if not the best, sunfish action year in and year out of any lake in our area.

Last week, the story was no different than other years I have headed to the western bays of Minnetonka in search of good-sized sunfish.

Even after a cool rain and a big drop in water temperatures, which moved the sunfish off their spawning beds, the sunnies still bit in big numbers.

After about a half hour of motoring and searching for the right spot, two of us nabbed our limit of 40 nice sunfish in less than an hour.

As my fishing host, former teacher, and long-time Minnetonka angler John Rosell put it, “That sunfish is trying to avoid me, again.”

After a few more cranks of John’s reel that fish and many more had no choice and had to meet John close up and eye-to-eye.

According to John, especially for the fish that have big shoulders, a meeting with him is absolutely something no sunfish in Lake Minnetonka wants to have.

That’s probably why he took a guy like me – and on a normal week in June, many others fishing, to his Lake Minnetonka hot spots.

For the sunfish anyway, an eye-to-eye meeting with any one other than John is much more pleasant.

Back to Minnetonka, the bottom line is the lake produced nice sunfish again and for me, has done so just about every time I’ve fished it.

The lake is like the king of pan fish action, similar to how walleye anglers refer to Mille Lacs.

I won’t even go on to name some of the many bays because they all produce sunfish.

However, there are some tricks and tips to success on Minnetonka. Here a few of them:

• Have a former teacher as a friend, who knows the lake like the back of his hand, loves to catch, clean and eat sunfish, and is willing to take you fishing.

• Get a good map of the lake that details all the bays and channels. GPS can be great too, but a good map is better.

• Fish on weekdays in the mid-morning, starting in deeper water just off the weed beds and gradually move into shallow water as the day warms up. The boat traffic is immense on the weekends.

• Have a variety of live bait, small leeches, wax worms, and angleworms.

• Stay close to the weeds and lily pads and be prepared to fish directly in them.

The pads and milfoil can be tough going, but that’s where the fish are.

If you love to catch sunfish, go to Minnetonka, where they have a hard time avoiding just about any angler, even those that have more one liners than the lake has fish.

Injured deer found near downtown Winsted

Late Thursday afternoon Dick and Joan Genty of Winsted reported an injured, young whitetail buck in their back yard garden.

The Gentys live in the middle of Winsted and their fenced back yard abuts downtown Winsted.

To get there, the deer would have to travel though a large portion of the community, at least 8 to 10 blocks of residential and business property.

The animal, which wasn’t there in the morning, was injured to a point where it could no longer stand up and was eventually, and properly, put down and removed by the Winsted Police Department.

About every three or four years I get a significant report of a larger wild animal in a business or densely populated residential area.

The deer was most likely hit by a car, wandered through town, rested in the Genty’s secluded back yard and became crippled because of internal injuries.

Oddly enough, last week I also saw a whitetail deer on the highway about 30 yards south of the Dairy Queen in Delano.

HL GND fishing contest is coming up

Howard Lake’s Good Neighbor Days is fast approaching, and with it so is the annual Good Neighbor Day’s fishing contest.

This year the GND fishing contest will take place Saturday, June 27 on Howard Lake.

For additional information and registration forms, stop by Joe’s Sports Shop in Howard Lake, or call Denny Decker at (320) 543-2992.