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About fishing: Shallow walleye action great on area lakes

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By Gary Korsgaden / For the Enterprise

Anglers probing the depths between two and eight feet on Park Rapids area lakes are finding foraging schools of walleyes feeding on minnows brought shallow by the recent extended rainfall and the slow warming of water temperatures.

Shorelines drawing numbers of walleyes are rock and sand with scattered vegetation, windswept and include river or creek inlet mouths and “neck down” between lakes and bays and are the best areas to start.

Prime time to fish is the first and last hours of daylight and all day on cloudy and overcast days. The shallow water walleye action is excellent and the fish are actively pouncing on anglers’ offerings.

Two methods are producing extremely well, jig and minnow and a modified live bait rig. Most important approaching the area, it is critical for success to be quiet, stay back and cast.

Wind and wave action will work to your advantage, the walleyes are actively feeding but can be easily spooked out of an area if anglers move in too shallow. Sunny days, be aware of your shadow and keep it behind you by facing the sun if possible.

To start, cast a small minnow- (shiner or fathead) tipped chrome or bright gold color 1/16 oz. to 1/8 oz. jig. Run the hook lightly through both lips of the jig, extending the life of the minnow. Cast it

as shallow as possible, letting it sink on slack line to the bottom. Pause for a minute or so before slowly retrieving it back to the boat. Walleyes will be very willing, however won’t stay if two or three fish are caught in succession, so keep moving, exploring new areas. Come back later as the fish will return.

A second method worked very well on Potato Lake last year and again this year is a modified live bait rig. Thread your line through a 1/8 oz. cone- styled worm weight. On the terminal end, tie on a number ten swivel, add a two- to three-foot piece of monofilament line and number six short shanked hook. On the hook attach a three- to four-inch shiner or fathead minnow by running the hook lightly through both lips to extend the life of the minnow.

With my electric trolling motor, I troll this setup slowly in six to eight feet of water a distance from the boat of 100 feet or more, weaving it through the shallows in a “S” curve-like fashion. Currently the walleyes are targeting the abundance of small minnows found in the shallows for food.

Don’t overlook a small leech, it is always worth a try.

Shallow shoreline areas are key right now. Anglers approaching them correctly are enjoying great catches on walleyes.

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