Our second week in Minnesota was every bit as good as the first week. Walleye fishing was still quite slow, with only a few fish being caught each day. The bass fishing was as good as we’ve seen it in the last few years with the largemouth bass being the most fun.

We fished for them in the thick weed and lily pad cover with floating frog baits, and the explosions when they hit the bait were heart-stopping. We were averaging a 3-to 4-lb. bass out of the weeds. The smallmouth were holding at the edge of the deep water drop-offs in 15-18 feet of water, and we caught most of them using a drop shot rig with a small plastic worm or tube for bait. I don’t believe there is a better, harder fighting fish in fresh water than the smallmouth.

Panfish helped keep our table full of fish for fish fries on most evenings. Every afternoon, my wife, my son, and I would head out to put the bluegills and crappies in the live well for dinner later that day. We kept only the bigger (1/2 lb. to 3/4 lb.) bluegills and the larger crappies.

We did take one morning off from fishing to take my son to see the wolf pack at the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minn. The wolves were out and about their compound – all five Arctic Gray wolves – and it was enjoyable to watch their interactions among the pack. Now that we’re home, we watch them on You Tube. It has a live-feed channel running round the clock, which will have to suffice until we get back next year and see them live again.

Back here at home, the local area lakes are reporting slow fishing action on most lakes and rivers: Busse Woods, Lake Glenview, Lake Opeka, and the Fox Chain. The exceptions: The  Mississippi River at La Crosse is reporting strong walleye action off the wing dams. At Lake Delevan panfish bite is strong – especially the crappie bite – and Lake Geneva reports good fishing on all species as long as the fishing is deep (16-32 ft.).

I’ll talk a little more about wing dam fishing next time.

Until then … keep a tight line.

Visit Dick at hookedonfishing@comcast.net.