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Guest

Hey guys, im looking for some info on Ottertail lake. Im from Pittsburgh and it will be my first time on the lake. Ive fished Leech Lake for about 15 years and know the lake well, but have no clue where to begin on Ottertail. My preference for fishing is Northern Pike but i understand the lake is on a bit of a downcycle for them. Well anyway heres my questions and info would be greatly appriciated. My uncle just bought a house on the North side of Ottertail between what i believe is Long Lake and Ottetail, i will be going Aug 14 to 21.

1. Spots for Walleye and perch? From reading the forum it seems that people like to troll cranks for eyes, i dont have much experiance doing this, just wondering what a good speed is to do this in august. Also does a basic jig-minnow setup work well?

2 Crappies, really enjoy fishing for them, any spots where im likely to find them?

3 Lastly my fav the northern, it doesnt seem too popular on Ottetail but was wondering if there was any big areas of weedbeds i could try out.

I have a map of the lake that unfortunately doesnt give structure but if you could tell me the general area i should be able to find it. Sorry for the length and # of questions but again any info would be greatly appriciated.

Tom

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Gissert

Oh boy, where to start, LOL. I mainly fish OTL in the winter, but here are my ideas. I'm sure others will chime in.

First things first. Go get yourself the lake map by Fishing Hot Spots. It is an excellent map, and has lots of stuff marked with comments on that area. Structure detail is very good on this map.

Walleye - Trolling cranks at night along the shore breaks is a great way to fish this lake, especially this time of year. Keep in mind that some of the shore breaks are out quite a ways. Pull raps in the 7 to 10 foot range. For speed, make sure you can feel the plugs action. There are literally hundreds of deep humps and reefs to fish with lindy rigs or jig minnow combos in the daylight hours. Dont overlook some of the cabbage beds on cloudy days. Fall fishing can produce eyes in some pretty deep water.

Perch - They are everywhere, LOL. The trick is finding the big ones.

Crappies - Never caught one, but I know they are in there. Honestly, I ve never chased them. There are much better crappie lakes in the area.

Pike - Low numbers, but big fish. There are special pike regulations on this lake, so check that out. Grampas Island is where a lot of guys get them in the winter. It is a big midlake shallow flat with lots of arms jutting off it. It had some nice weed structure on and around it that you could probably spend the better part of a day covering.

Good Luck!

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ChuckN

August is my favorite time to chase eyes on OT. They bite all day long regardless of the weather most of the time.

These fish could be roaming the tops of structure in 8 feet in the weeds or down to 45 feet sometimes. I always start shallow and work deeper trying to find these fish.

I love trolling for eyes on OT, and planer boards are my favorite here. Trolling this lake is maddening sometimes trying to hold onto structure with a planer, but worth it.

I'm more into live bait rigs this time of year. Leeches, crawlers and sometimes minnows do quite well.

All I can say is I hope you have a depth finder in the boat to find the endless structure. Work the steep breaks. Don't be afraid of the weeds and weedlines either with live bait rigs.

There are quite a few pike in the lake, especially big pike. Find weeds and troll a crankbait and you should get some.

I can't spill all of my beans as I have tourneys out there myself coming up. smile.gif

Gissert is right, get a good map that ID's these areas to help eliminate a lot of driving time.

For crappies, if you can boat up to Walker Lake up the creek or up the OT river towards Rush. I would go there. I have never seen or heard of a crappie caught in Otter Tail itself.

Before you leave for your trip I may be able to give further advise. So far the bite isn't the greatest, but it should be improving.

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floating minnow

Hello Pike King

The fellows before me covered most things you need to know if you're new to the lake.Like Gissert said,the cabbage weeds are a great spot.These beds always have bait fish and that most often means game fish also.Northerns love the cabbage and the walleyes and perch will feed in them also.As far as crappies go it would probably would be best to try what Chuck suggested,however there are spots on OT that will produce big crappies.This last weekend I might have caught 25 crappies between 10 and 14 inches(I only kept 4).What the crappie fishing will be 1 month from now,who knows? Post before you go and if I am up during that weekend maybe I could help you find some with the understanding that it would be mostly C+R keeping just enough for a good meal for your family.The reason I mention this is that the population is small and I have seen it hurt by people keeping limits.We are about 6 miles down the lake so it might just be easier to try Walker or Rush.

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Guest

Thanks to all of you who replied, it seems alot more cordial to outsiders here than the Leech forum. Great info from all. Thanks for the tip on the hotspots map, i just ordered it so im looking forward to that. Floating, as for the catch and release i have no problem doing so, im allergic to fish unfortunatley so i rarely keep anything. Though i have to keeps some walleye and perch or my family would kill me back here.And hooking into a 14 inch Crappie would make me very happy, havent caught one in a few years cause Leech really seemed to dry up and the crappie fishing isnt to hot here in southwestern PA. Thanks again for the info to all of you and if you guys think of anything else ill take all i can get. Good luck on the lakes.

Tom

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fish-too-little

Haven't fished Otter Tail too much so can't tell you anything the others haven't already said. I would reiterated(sp?) what the others are saying about Rush on Crappies. In years past, we've caught some nice ones on that lake.

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Guest

Hey guys just a couple more questions.
1. Is Walker lake accessible from Ottertail using the dead river or is it too shallow to navigate?
2. Hows the fishing on Walker? Havent really seen anything posted about the lake. Is there good Pike and Bass fishing?
3. I just recieved my hot spots map (thank you to those who recommended it) and i saw pelican bay on it, it really doesnt list anything about it, anybody have success there or is it too shallow?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Tom

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Dano2

where do I purchase this hot spots map?
Do they have a version you can use with a GPS? Or is that what this is?
Wouldn't mind getting it myself, that OT is just LOAded with soooo much structure its hard to know where to start.
I was out there yesterday for a couple hours, and caught one nice wally, and missed a couple others. Leeches seemed to be the choice but I didn't have any minners, so not sure if they would have preferred them better. Crawlers, the perch would just keep wasteing them on me. Wanted to try a few other places but, takes too long on that lake with a little 15 HP with a 230 pound guy sitting in the front, HEH!

what seems to be the ticket on colors for spinners out there?
I was useing one that had some blue on it, and tryed one with some red as well.

thanks

[This message has been edited by Dano2 (edited 07-27-2004).]

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Ryan Berger

You can get into walker from ottertail,, I did it just yesterday. Caught some nice Eyes in 7' of water,,I am going up this next friday to try more walleye, and crappie fishing,, so any tips would be greatly apprecaited,on any area lakes, I am currently on leave from Iraq for 2 weeks and trying to spend as much time as possible fishing at my cabin on ottertail

Berger

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Dano2

Thanks for tips, (even though I wasn't the one who asked, HEH!) but I've always been interested in trying that lake when I've been out on OT.
I realize its around the northeast side, but is there anything I can look for in order to find the inlet into Walker?

Also, were you morning, day or night fishing , and could you give a tip on bait and rigs and colors, and what particular side of the lake to try, I have never fished it.
sorry for the questions, I guess the only thing I didn't ask was, can you go catch em for me, HEH, HEH!
Anyway, good luck in Iraq and hope you dont have to spend too long a time there, we appreciate you folks over there, and stay safe.
thanks

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Guest

Berger....good luck to you and all your brothers, you are in my prayers. And thank you for the info on Walker. Take care and be careful.

Tom

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jcbh

Berger, if interested, get me an e-mail address or a way to get ahold of you. I would be happy to turn you on to the best Largemouth bass fishing I have ever seen on a private lake, about 10 minutes from Ottertail. Probably the only thing I could do to help the troops.

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Ryan Berger

JCBH, my email is ryan.berger@us.army.mil, that would be awesome, its always fun to catch some bass, my uncle told me about a private lake up there a coulple years ago, some little old lady who lets a certain few camp out on bass opener and catch huge fish,, any tips on how to catch them would be greatly apprecaited as well, as I mainly fish walleys and panfish,,, thanks a ton

Berger

Dano2 we fished the right side after you com in to the lake through the dead river,, past the first set of cattail islands,, using lindys and floating lindys worms and leaches,, hopes this helps

[This message has been edited by LundDuckBoat (edited 07-28-2004).]

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