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Long days give anglers opportunity

Catching walleye in the middle of the day is a good possibility, even with numerous active boaters on the water during the Fourth of July week. Look for those fish in deep water and don't discount any minute of the afternoon as "walleye time!" (Jason Durham / For the Enterprise)

Expect a busy week ahead on our local lakes. There are numerous activities such as boat parades and the annual July 4 fireworks display in Heartland Park (which is amazing to watch while anchored in a boat on the Fish Hook River), but boaters will need to use caution, exhibit respect for others using the lakes and have patience at the public landings during this holiday stretch.

Anglers often question what the influx of activity on the lakes does to the fish. Honestly, it's impossible to know until you actually go out fishing. Positive or negative, the fish will let you know once you drop a line.

Choosing a quiet time of day to fish is advantageous for those wanting to avoid the constant bustle of boats. The end of the evening, just before dark can be a good time to fish, especially since the fish are commonly cooperative.

Yet another choice that many people overlook is early morning. Not 8 or 9 a.m., early (imagine watching the sunrise).

Yes, you'll miss out on sleeping in and coffee on the deck as you listen to the loons sing, but morning can be fantastic when it comes to fish activity.

Think about this; the majority of our lakes are very clean with great water clarity. The fish rely upon their sense of sight to ambush prey. Of course the other senses additionally function to aid in eating, but sight is most important.

In the evening, once the sun goes down and the amount of ambient light available beneath the surface diminishes, fish utilize their other senses to locate forage. The process becomes much more complicated without the ability to see.

Species like walleye don't have trouble seeing after dark, but other species temporarily halt their feeding activity. When morning arrives and the underwater world again has light, the fish begin to actively feed.

Those two periods, morning and evening, probably see the most anglers on the water no matter the month. But right now northern Minnesota has some of the longest days of the year. The atmosphere has good ambient lighting from about 5 a.m. until approximately 10 p.m.

With these long days, fish feed in bursts or sometimes even consistently throughout the entire day and this is not necessarily limited to specific species.

For instance, many people don't think about catching walleyes in the middle of the day, especially around the Fourth of July.

Yet that mid-day walleye bite can be very good on a number of local lakes. Larger bodies of water usually offer a much better opportunity since those lakes simply have a greater number of fish. Although you can't just cast a lure in anywhere and get a bite, once you do locate some walleye on the larger lakes, the number of fish in a school is sometimes larger compared to smaller bodies of water.

With the stretch of warm weather, expect those mid-day walleyes to be in fairly deep water or possibly suspended in very deep water.