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2020 Ottertail-Battle Lake-Perham-Fergus Falls area Fishing Reports


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I don't like company either but when grandpa owns 400 acres right next to the river it was hard to not go, it was nice to leave the boat at home, sit in the lawnchair and fish away, yes a river and a creek that flows into it, sorry I quit taking pictures years ago unless we get one 27" or bigger the camera stays put. A lot of anchors hit that river Saturday, all I could see really were suckers, but walleyes were packed in there apparently also. Saw about 25 eyes hit the well in the first hour I was there, I was kinda dumbfounded, then there was a short lull, then they started going again, my ? is why 0 spawn coming out of any of em ? I asked some of the boat guys and they were like nothing here either, I said check your livewells in an hour but nothing ? Now I wonder if grandpa's farm is where I should've been opening for years really, we never really shore fish so this was a bit weird, darn snags cost me 2 rapala's, that's what I did rapala's casting let them flow rattle it, let it sit, bang or you had weeds or rubbish otherwise, it was hard to minnow it as your jig was fouled too often with cross current.
that could be slow. i mean 25 eyes in an hiour. could have been 15 boats. thats less then 2 fish per boat. each boat coulda had 5 guys. ? ya never get the whole story
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Ottertail was slow this weekend, caught alot of 14-15 inchers but overall not too eventful and it was windy as a politician.

was just on dead lake, crappies have started there.

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Actually tired of walleyes on the river now, we caught an unknown number of walleyes this weekend to 28". Each kept what we were willing to clean and released all the rest and all over 19" went back why not when it's a this good. Thankful Musky opens Saturday, turned into an insane month of May for Walleyes, the wind kinda stunk but it didn't matter to the walleyes at dark, Friday's rain stunk but they still bit and bit and bit. That many walleyes in a 100 foot by 100 foot spot is insane. Rapala's for me minnows and a jig for my buddies. They caught more than me but I got the hogs lol. Glad now we had the crummy spring because we learned where to fish a chilly spring and now look forward to cooler than average springs from here on out. I may have to sneak in 1 more walleye run though, the best part was we had the lake to ourselves, incredible, 500 lake places or more and we're the only lonely's, wind ? Who knows but not a boat ? Fished 8PM to 10PM basically. Strange but nice. Good luck guys, I think good very good walleye fishing is still to come, weed growth was not happening yet and that usually wrecks my rapala plan by June most years as they leave the shallows more.

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Musky,

I have experienced one of those type of bites back in 09. They are fun when they happen. The fish were biting so well, that if you didn't have a fish in a couple of minutes, something was wrong with your lure.

This was in the afternoon on a very windy day and the fish were holding on one spot (Well probably others, but didn't check) Fish were 11 to 26 inches. ALL were returned to the water. The bite that entire year was excellent, and the best I've encountered on the lake. Maybe this year will be another one in the cycle. I'll find out in about a week. grin

Thanks for the report, I'll do the same upon return.

Mike

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just got back from 2 weeks in OTC. We fished 5 or 6 lakes in the area.

Largemouth fishing was a little slower than usual, but still good. Water temps were kinda low which meant I didn't get to do any topwater fishing, my usual staple. Jigs were the top producer.

Smallmouth fishing was great on one lake and slow on another. Suspending jerkbaits produced the best but I got some on swimbaits and tubes as well.

Pike everywhere.

Walleye fishing was really good on our home lake. Most fish were 16-20" with a few up to 23". Caught them on lindy rigs in 10-14 feet of water. Most on leeches, but also a few on nightcrawlers and shiners. The minnow trap didn't produce much bait until the last few days.

I didn't spend much time fishing for panfish, but when I did, they cooperated. Caught lots of crappies but none over 13" or so. Also caught some fat sunnies and rock bass. All on 1/16th jig/plastic combos.

We kept some walleyes for a family fish fry, but everything else was released.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Went to my buddys cabin this weekend on ottertail. I fish lotw and mille lacs a lot but this was the best walleye fishing I have ever had in my life. We pitched jigs with leaches in very shallow water and caught one after another with long stretches of time where every cast caught a fish. Six of us in two boats limited out easy with 200 plus caught total on saturday. Biggest was a 27" most were 12" to 14". Sunday was pretty windy my brother and I went out and just ended up loading up the boat. But the rest of the guys stayed until today and fishing was just as good today with actually more 15" to 16" mixed in. This report sounds like b.s. but it was that good.

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We probably fished right by you guys last weekend and everything you said was spot on. You guys were having a blast. Sometime you would hook your friends in the other boat and then ask if they needed a fresh leech. I just got side scan for my boat it had the biggest school of walleyes I've seen on it. But also was surprised how shallow and small of an area they were in.

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Come on you guys quit jecking us... Can it really be that good?

At least let us know depth and type of bottom structure.

Thanks

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Its not possible! We need slots on the lake because its a pathetic fishery.

wink

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Yes that was us catching each other. I was the tall guy in the older alumacraft trophy it was a blast which boat were you in?

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I believe it...that lake it full of small walleyes....I have experienced similar situation on that lake only late, late fall in deep water. Like pulling sunfish up one after the other...but many small fish like they say. You get a "spot on a spot" it can happen and they may have been re-catching same small fish more than once/twice. I have caught bigger eyes other times of the year in OTL but not in big numbers.

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Did some say small eyes in OT. My god yes - 11 to 13 inch out number rest by 5 to 1. These fish should be protected so future years could be fantastic!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Did some say small eyes in OT. My god yes - 11 to 13 inch out number rest by 5 to 1. These fish should be protected so future years could be fantastic!
ottertail is one of the worst lakes nin that area i think. theres so many better lakes within a 25 mile radius in any direction
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  • 2 weeks later...

Deacon, it has been like that for several year. I quite fishing put there becuase the small eyes are as bad at wasting bait as sunfish. There are a lot better lakes in the area for catching good eyes

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So does that mean people should actually be keeping the 11-13inch fish. Hope not.

Personally think OT is better than average walleye fishery. Size is simply on small side. Always catch fish, cannot say that about most lakes.

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You must not have fished ottertail this year. Lots of anglers i have talked to have caught several fish over 20" and i have myself as well. A LOT of 20-22" fish out there right now and A LOT of 12-14" fish also. I think it has been one of the better bites in recent years.

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Yep- Otter Tail is terrible-nothing but small fish - the only reason I have been out there is to catch 10" eyes- wink

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I have hated that lake for years..... We need the DNR to help.

I cant tell a lie. All I can figure is the negative nellies on here either cant catch fish on the lake, or they are laughing as they type their "poor me stories".

smile

LOVE OT!!!! As it is!!!

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Just my opinion, which counts for absolutely nothing, but when I am consistently seeing the biggest name guide on Ottertail on other lakes all summer, it tells me the fishing is not that great on OT.

And I must say my experiences on OT were OK this summer, not great by any means. Picking through 15 dinks for a family meal isnt my thing. Not taking anything away from people who enjoy that, its just not my favorite.

Still did catch quite a few fish between 20-26 out there, but the overall size ratio was definitely down for me this year. To be fair I haven't been on OT since the week of July 4th either.

My view of OT is this.....you are basically guaranteed to catch walleyes on OT, but you will often pay the price on average size. Each angler needs to decide what is important to them. I will say the larger fish I caught on OT this year were really fat.

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I'm having the best walleye fishing ever this year on OT. The weird thing is I'm catching them in places I've never caught them before. Both small and very nice ones too.The key is moving and try different areas and depths. Right now they seem to be just outside the weeds and deep humps. Good luck to all.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ottertailguy hit it on the head, move move and move some more. There is some much structure in Ottertail you can spend for ever looking for them, but keep looking and you will find them. Don't mind that fact you need to have the right presentation too.

As far as the biggest name guide on ottertail if its the same one I'm thinking off, there is more to moving lakes than just fishing. It depends on clients, weather, what type of fish he is going after along with other factors that come into play when running a guiding business. Trust me if he could stay on OT all the time and still have the business that he has he would, but he doesn't and thats why he is a great guide and runs a great guiding service. Its not just because OT is a poor fishery because its not.

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  • 2 months later...

no reports in 2 months?

got 15 at riveria ranch.... they still biting but its cold as heck.

kept 7 mostly 15-16" 1 was 19"

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I target bass but have been catching walleye and big gators all in less than 12 fow. Great time to be out especially after all the pontoon people are finally done using the accesses smile

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  • 1 month later...

anyone catching walleyes on ottertail? i was out sunday, caught 20-30 small perch like 6 inch ones, zero walleyes.

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Looking for some input on the ice conditions for West Battle and Big Pine... How much GOOD ice, slush?, and is there starting to be an increase in houses going out?

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where are the ottertail reports!

I went out with a cousin, went big bait for big fish + tips up off west side. Only got 3 northerns (all 3-4 pounders) and 2 smaller walleyes. At least the big bait kept the 6 inch perch away.

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