When it comes to lures, variety is the spice of pike

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 29, 2003

We’re in Minnesota all right. Go to bed and it’s in the high 80’s and wake up and it’s 50. We did get some much-needed rain but in some places maybe just a little too much

There are times when a person looks too closely at the weather forecast when planning a trip to the lake. However, when warnings or watches are issued you should definitely keep a close eye on the weather.

I have found myself looking at the long-range forecast many times and almost dreading the thought of leaving the house because it is so glum, but there were many times I have been pleasantly surprised at the outcome. It couldn’t have been because the fearless forecaster (that never misses) has somehow made an error on the forecast for the area I was visiting.

Email newsletter signup

This is what I discovered a couple of weeks ago when heading north. The forecast wasn’t good but I didn’t let that stop me from going. To my surprise the weather was great and actually a lot nicer than it was at home.

It turned out to be an enjoyable trip. Fishing was pretty good and of course the food always tastes a little better when you are enjoying the outdoors.

I am getting anxious to have another meal of fresh fish right out of the lake and into the pan. There is no better way to enjoy fish.

This is the time of year when fish can be caught in the weeds. I have caught walleyes in the weeds at all times of the year and it doesn’t make any difference where you are in the state. Weeds always seem to hold a certain number of walleye.

If you find a fairly large area of weeds with open pockets it could be worth the effort to fish the openings in these weed beds.

Trolling or drifting spinners tipped with a fathead or chub and weighed down with a split shot is a good way to go over underwater weed beds without getting down too deep and dredging out the lake.

This is something that has worked for me in the past but I don’t pretend to think it is the answer to the age-old quest for the perfect bait.

We have all had good luck at one time or another with certain bait, only to end up dragging the same &uot;magic bait&uot; behind the boat for hours the next time with only an occasional weed to show for it.

One year, while fishing on Spider Lake with my family and my sister, Judy, and brother-in-law Mike and their family, we found &uot;The Bait.&uot;

Mike decided he was going to do some northern fishing and he stopped at a bait shop, asked the owner what’s good and he was told any color spinner as long as it’s black. Mike bought a couple of the same color, and when he got to the lake he proceeded to test out the theory.

He had the market cornered on northern. They loved that spinner that he ultimately named &uot;The Killer Bait.&uot; It lasted for about a day and a half, and he had everyone at the resort scrambling to town to get one.

By the end of the second day, you couldn’t catch a weed with the thing. I have to admit I still have one of the &uot;Killers,&uot; but I haven’t hooked a lip with it since that week up north.

I have a theory on why my Grandson Trevor catches fish: He never gets attached to one lure and isn’t afraid to try something new. Most of that is because he’s young but it may be a lesson; if one thing isn’t working don’t be afraid to try something new. That’s about the only reason I can think of for him usually out-fishing Grandpa.

Speaking of out fishing, here are a few fishing reports from around the area.

Fairmont: Iowa Lake is producing walleye and northern from shore in the evening hours, Cedar and Charlotte are coming up with some northern and Hall lake has been giving up some walleyes in the shallows while Amber and Sisseton have been reporting some good crappie action.

Faribault: Bluegills are being caught in shallow water on Cedar and Roberds lakes. Muskie action has started to heat up on French Lake while Shields and Mazaska have been producing walleye in 10 to 12 feet of water. Hunt Lake continues to be the hot lake for bass.

Mankato: The Minnesota River is still going strong for Flathead Cats using large chubs, while the Blue Earth River is still producing some walleye on live bait. Ballentine Lake is showing some larger walleye being caught while fishing minnows along the eight-foot weed edges. Madison and Washington have been reporting good crappie action in about eight feet while Jefferson continues to show numbers of bass and northern.

Until next time, &uot;Good Luck and Good Fishin.’&uot;

&045; &045; &045;

With the Fourth of July coming up we are reminded of what our freedom is all about and should remember those that are serving our country today.