Fish are active in June

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 14, 2003

Column: Woods & Water, by Dick Herfindahl

There is a lot to be said for early June fishing. The fish are usually still fairly shallow and very active. If you are going for sunfish and bluegill, now is the perfect time to land some nice ones.

I spent last weekend in northern Minnesota at the camper. We have it on a lake that reportedly had frozen out in the ’70s and has been left to fend for itself by the DNR since that time. It’s a small beautiful lake that is rated an E-1 or environmental lake by the Minnesota DNR.

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I didn’t take the boat along and decided to just try a little fishing off our dock. Nothing brings out the kid in me faster than the sight of a bobber disappearing under the water. I soon discovered there were numerous small perch and sunfish to be caught.

Fun for the grandkids? Heck, fun for Grandpa!

The icing on the cake was the occasional hand-sized or larger sunny, and the one bluegill the size of which I haven’t seen since I was a young kid fishing with my Uncle Ben. The topper came around sunset when I caught four very large perch in a row. Now they could make a mighty tasty meal.

I released all of the fish on this particular weekend, but you can bet that the next time there could be a fish fry in the works.

My Uncle Ben used to take me to a lake by Bena called Big Toad. It was a very good fishing lake and we always seemed to have good luck there.

There is one particular time that will always stick in my mind. We were at the north end of the lake fishing along some pencil reeds and catching these &uot;monster&uot; bluegills. A storm suddenly came out of nowhere and my uncle told me to get down on the bottom of the boat as he fired up the old green 5-horse Johnson. The lake could really get rough, and by the time we turned around and were headed to the resort, it was really rough. I didn’t think we’d ever get back but we did.

To this day I almost get goose bumps thinking about the smell of those old motors when they were running. It smelled of fishing and the outdoors, as we once knew it. They maybe were sometimes smoky and noisy but they were dependable in a time when things seemed much simpler and less hectic.

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Here are some other fishing stories as reported by some of the guides and bait shops from around the state:

Cass Lake Area &045; The walleye bite has been a bit spotty with the mayflies hatching but there are still fish to be had. Generally while the flies are hatching the evening bite has been the best.

Lake Vermilion Area &045; The walleye bite this week was up and down all week for me because of the fronts moving through again. We had our best bites just after the rain moved in.

Leech Lake Area &045; This weekend brought us the Minnesota Muskie Opener and muskie fishing on Leech was typical for opener. There were reports of smaller fish caught and a couple fish in the high 40&uot; range. The best spots are shallow areas with good weed growth.

Mille Lacs Lake &045; The Walleye bite has been good if you can find and stay on top of the fish. Long 8-10 foot snells with Leeches have been best. Moving very slow is the key. If you find fish, you must stay on top of them. The deeper 26-29 feet gravel and mud have been best. Having good quality electronics and using good boat control is a must. The spinner bite has not yet begun. Small mouth are hitting tube jigs on the south end rocks.

Grand Rapids Area &045; The Grand Rapids area is really heating up with the Walleye bite in full swing. You can’t hardly go to a lake that you can’t catch a few. Winnie, Splithand Poke, Bowstring, Jessie, Sand, Wabana are all producing.

Mankato &045; They are still getting some very nice northern on Jefferson, with most of the action coming on outside weedlines on seven foot breaks. German has produced some walleyes for crankbait fishermen. And Lura is also giving up some walleyes on leeches and jigs in the weeds.

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There’s no time like the present to get out and try one of our great Minnesota lakes.

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Good Luck and Good Fishin.’

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