I’m getting ready for my annual summer trip to northern Minnesota, and I thought I would share how I prepare for a vacation fishing trip to ensure the time I have to fish is spent catching rather than casting. The first thing I do is contact a couple of the resorts on the lake and request information on what’s biting and where. As for the “where,” I’m looking for types of structures (wood, gravel, rocks, sunken islands, etc.), not exact spots where people are catching fish. Then I call the local bait shop and ask the same questions. Armed with that information I take out a map of the lake, look and to see where the particular structures are located.

My reports were that the fishing has been very erratic because cold fronts were coming through once a week, forcing the fish off of the daily patterns. When the lake settled down, after the front passed, the walleyes were locating along the deep weed lines in 18’-20’ of water and the best baits were said to be night crawlers because the lake is still pretty cool for this time of year. The smallmouth bass have spawned a few weeks ago and have already begun setting up on the summer areas 15’-18’ down on ledges with shallow flats on one side and next to, a deep water drop off too. The largemouth bass have moved into the weed beds and under the docks for the summer. So now I have a way to eliminate 75% of the lake, and spend my precious vacation time as productive as possible, depending on what I decide to fish for.

Next article I’ll talk about bait selection for the trip, based on the information I already have gotten, and anything new I hear over the next two weeks. Until next time…keep a tight line.

Contact Dick at hookedonfishing@comcast.net.