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The sunfish are now spawning

May 31, 2010

by Chris Schultz

Many anglers expected the sunfish spawn to start a bit early this year. Those anglers were correct in their expectations.

The sunfish spawn is in full swing, with beds dotting the bottom of shallow water areas, and fish biting like crazy. With-out question, it’s the best and most fun panfish action of the year.

On average the sunfish spawn, and best fishing, occurs about the second week of June. We are easily a week early this year.

Now is the time to get in your boat, and cruise the shallow water areas next to the shoreline looking for small saucer-shaped beds dug out in the gravel bottom. When you find them, back off a bit and cast a simple hook and bobber setup over the beds and you’ll catch fish, almost guaranteed.

Best baits include angle-worms, wax worms, small leeches and a few of the new artificials that are out. Sometimes when the fish are really biting, a bare jig will even catch fish.

Good lakes in our area for the sunfish spawn include Granite, Ramsey, Waconia Mary, the western bays of Lake Minnetonka, Sarah, Black, Mud, and the north end of Howard.

Get out there now; the action doesn’t last long.

The Ugly Fish Contest

The Howard Lake Watershed Alliance is sponsoring The Ugly Fish Contest (carp) Saturday, June 5 from 12:01 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There is no entry fee. It starts at Lion’s Park, and all fishing must be done on Howard Lake.

Prizes will be paid per pound, up to 300 pounds. Example, if first place is 150 pounds, then the top prize is $150.

Example, if first place is 500 pounds, top prize is $300. Same for the rest of the prizes.

All contestants must register as a one-person or two-person team by phone at (612) 867-1985 or (763) 291-0546, or at Lion’s Park the day of the contest.

All contestants must fish Howard Lake and abide by fishing laws concerning rough fish, as printed on pages 59 and 60 of the Minnesota Fishing Regulations 2010.

All carp (if contestants do not want them) will be disposed of at the Lion’s Park landing by the tournament sponsor.

Outdoor notes

• Get your dog checked for heartworm and on a heartworm preventative medication.

• The bass fishing season in our area opened May 29.

• The walleye bite on Mille Lacs has been super so far this season.

• Remember to throw the big male sunfish you catch during the spawn back.

They are actually more important to the reproduction of big sunfish than large females are.

• Back in mid-May, when we had extended periods of wet and cold weather, I received several reports of purple martins and their chicks dying.

• The peak of the pheasant hatch in the Midwest should be sometime next week.

• Take a kid fishing; he or she will have fun, and so will you.