By Andrew Slette
Stable weather and water temps have the muskies very active and transitioning into their late spring patterns. The bite out on local lakes following the cold front a week ago has been phenomenal. This provided us with multiple fish most days and six muskies this past Friday. Casting and trolling have both been productive, but casting has been yielding the larger fish.
Look Deep on Detroit Lakes
Big Detroit Lake has had a great casting bite on the large flat on the west end of the lake. Most casting fish have come on big rubber baits during the day and topwater at night. With the full moon being this past weekend, a fair amount of larger fish were caught on topwater baits by those who were willing to stay out after dark and put up with the mayflies. There has also been a decent open water casting bite going on the southern end of the lake. The best way to target these fish is to cast big rubber baits out in 30 to 70 feet of water and let them sink down a few seconds before starting the retrieve. It may seem like a long shot out in the basin of Detroit, but it yields the biggest fish on the lake to those who are willing to put in the time and casts.
Seeking Predictability on Pelican
Pelican Lake has been a little more hit or miss these past few weeks but is still putting out some nice fish. The open water on Pelican is holding fish but they are chasing schools of cisco around and without the right electronics can be almost impossible to locate. Soon these ciscoes should drop a little deeper and the open water muskies should become a little more predictable. The structure on the other hand has had plenty of quality fish and is probably your better bet at a fish for the time being. These fish have been reluctant to follow but not reluctant to bite. They have been eating Beaver Baits Lake Editions especially in the late afternoon and early evenings, but any pull-pause style bait should do the trick.
Slow on Sallie
Lake Sallie has been our slowest lake in the region. That is not unusual for this time of year. With the ciscoes high in the water, the fish seem to have all the food they need, especially the open water fish. They turn and slowly follow our baits but rarely show any aggression or interest in eating. The fish in the weeds have been a little more willing but still nothing to get excited about. With the lack of runoff from rain this year the water clarity on Sallie is significantly clearer. This has the weeds growing a lot deeper than normal and has the fish sitting deeper as well. If you head out to Sallie take note of the weed edge being about six feet deeper than normal and position your boat further away from structure than you normally would.
Andrew Slette is a Dakota Edge Outdoors contributing writer and fishing guide specializing in trophy muskies in west-central Minnesota’s lakes country.
Featured Photo: Quality muskies are beginning to fire up and come to net on many of the waters in the Detroit Lakes, MN area.