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So I am looking for advice on successful approaches on opening weekend at Osakis. I am new to fishing Osakis and I am not asking for you spots, more what you use and types of water.

I have fished many times early in the year at Otter Tail. Early on it is almost exclusively a shiner bite typically on dropoffs near shallow water.

Are shiner the tickets at Osakis as well? Or are there other baits that work early in the year?

Also any common depths to try etc. would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

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StrosLit31

Wish i knew too. Only managed 1 walleye last year after dark. Pretty cold last year and got rained out on Sat. I have heard Red tails but i have never used them there and i dont think the local bait shops carry them. One thing i do know is osakis is very clear early in the year until it warms up and the alge hits and the lake turns green. Will be trying my luck up there again though since we have a cabin there and will have limited time that weekend.

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Shallow fellas think shallow. 5 to 7 feet of water is where I would start or look for holes in the weeds in the 13 to 16 foot ranger. Email me if you have any other questions of you want.

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pushbutton

as the beerman said tough bite till the water gets the algae bloom, but i would slowly troll or jig 20 to 30 ft breaklines during the day, depth depending on the sun. as far as bait i prefer artificial, i truthfully think bait selection will be a lot less important than finding the fish. i usually spend my day hours entertaining the nordskis and wait to fish the eyes at night.

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So I am looking for advice on successful approaches on opening weekend at Osakis. I am new to fishing Osakis and I am not asking for you spots, more what you use and types of water.

Thanks

Try fishing Mille Lacs. laugh

Not trying to be a smart-alleck--as other people have said, Osakis is tough on the opener, and for a few weeks thereafter. The water in May is gin clear, the weather unstable, and the walleye in a post-spawn funk more often than not.

I don't know your schedule, but if it works for you wait until the second week of June to fish Osakis. As noted, the water temps hit the sixties by then, and the algae bloom colors the water, making fishing much easier.

Good call asking about Osakis on the opener--one guy came on here a year or so ago complaining about how his opener was ruined on Osakis, which he deemed a dead sea and horrible lake. Had he asked beforehand, he would have gotten the advice you're getting, and probably had a better opener elsewhere.

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I would never let conditions dictate when and where I was going to fish. Just remember on any given lake there are some fish biting, you just need to find them. That's why 10% of the fishermen catch 90% of the fish.

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I personally know people who have done well on Osakis early in the season. It can take some work at times though.

Also, I have talked to many people who have been skunked on opener at Mille Lacs as well. I find it funny that someone asked for info. about a lake and gets told to go to a lake that is a 2 hour drive away from said lake. hmmmmmmmm

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I find it funny that someone asked for info. about a lake and gets told to go to a lake that is a 2 hour drive away from said lake. hmmmmmmmm

Where does my recommendation that people wait until mid-June to fish Osakis fit into your theory? If you think the bite on Osakis is actually better in mid-May than in mid-June, and I am trying to scare people away from a hot opening day bite, then you don't know Osakis very well. I'll be fishing four hundred miles south of Osakis on the opener.

The original poster wanted advice on fishing Osakis for the opener; I told him the truth as I see it, which is that it is a tough lake to consistently catch fish on in mid-May. Can it be done? Yes. I've caught walleye there in May, but I usually had to grind them out. I gave up on May trips to Osakis years ago as more time and trouble than they were worth.

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The topic of the thread is "Osakis Opener." Maybe it is generally a little slow in this region of the state around opener, maybe not depending on how hard one works at it. Also, most people go out on opener as a tradition and catching fish is just a bonus. The person was looking for info. on Osakis on opener and your advice was to drive two hours to Mille lacs, which is not a guarantee either.

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I agree with Dhanson on this one this guy or lady wasnt asking about Mille Lacs but was asking about Osakis Personally I know guys that go out and get there limits within hours of being on the lake. There are plenty of fish out there, there is no question about that you just have to find them but they are usually thick head to Osakis get away from the crowds of Mille Lacs.

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I agree with Dhanson on this one this guy or lady wasnt asking about Mille Lacs but was asking about Osakis Personally I know guys that go out and get there limits within hours of being on the lake. There are plenty of fish out there, there is no question about that you just have to find them but they are usually thick head to Osakis get away from the crowds of Mille Lacs.

The Mille Lacs comment was a bit of a joke--hence the smiley face behind it.

I stand by my advice that someone who is not familiar with Osakis is better off fishing somewhere else on the opener. As noted in my original post, I don't want a repeat of the "Osuckis" thread of a year or two ago. That guy was NOT happy with his opener on Osakis, and in fact vowed never to fish the lake again.

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So I get the point that it might be difficult. That is actually be comforting if the fishing is tough that weekend.

However I purchased a cabin on Osakis last year and want to give it a try. So any advice about what a person would try on Osakis on opener (Bait and depth) is appreciated.

I have (and actually will the following weekend) fished Otter Tail on opener and the weekend after opener and know that depending on the spring etc it can be hit or miss. Though it is always a shiner bite that time of year.

Like I said I understand the hit and miss nature of early season. On OT they have a walleye tournament the weekend after opener and last year 27 out of 88 boats did not weigh one fish. We did not fish the tournament but caught enough to eat. (made us feel pretty good)

The good thing about Osakis is that if the walleye bite is difficult we could chase some of those big pannies that live in the lake.

Thanks to all for your comments.

The good news is that it sounds like June on Osakis might be a barrel of fun. I took possesion of my cabin the end of June last year and even then did not get to fish as much as I had hoped. So I am pumped for this year even if it starts out slow.

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If you have a cabin on Osakis that makes fishing the opener there a different proposition than if you were driving hours to stay in a lodge for the weekend. I heartily recommend people not do that--save the Osakis trip for June.

If you are going out on Osakis in May, and you are, get away from the boats that will be stacked up on the structure. The clear water makes the walleye spooky, and they won't stick around long after the boats start showing up. The deep weedlines won't be grown up yet, but there will be enough old growth and new sprouts to key on. Look shallow for walleye after dark. Live bait (shiners or leeches) is the key in May.

You'll catch fish in May, but don't expect the numbers you're going to get a month later.

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On the old thread you linked us to, on the 4th page jstrommen13 reported some success with a 30" fish as well. Now a 30" is rare any where, but very rare for Mille Lacs.

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Sportfish1850

If you like going after Northerns, the action can be nothing short of terrific on opener on Osakis. Casting spinner baits over emerging or broken off pencil reeds can really get you some vicious slams while fishing over cover that is still well below the surface (snag free) but holds fish and will be too thick and dense to cast into a month or so from opener when the pencil reeds bust the surface. I've caught several 30" northerns doing this and man do they hit hard when they are hungry and on the prowl at this time of year.

So after giving the walleyes a run early on opener and usually finding the pace too slow for my enjoyment (since much of what 'eyehunter is saying about the difficulty of early walleye's is spot on) I'll usually take off for the pencil reed flats let my boat wind drift through them and enjoy opener weekend forgetting about walleyes while hammering aggressive Northerns in water most guys don't even think about fishing for walleyes. It will get you some really savage open water strikes (hold on to your rod, this ain't no tap tap bite) and at the same time you can put a couple in the live well for making delicious pickled pike.

Its a great alternative and a very fun way to spend the opening couple of weekends on Osakis if the walleye bite is tough early.

Unfortunately because of some weekend commitments I have with a youth group the first 3 Saturdays in May I won't even get to enjoy that this year. So have fun and keep your expectations real about early fishing on Osakis for walleyes. Its a good time to scope out the lake with an Aquaview and your GPS looking for walleye spots you can work more effectively in mid to late June and also get the rush of hammering some pike which are often of decent size that can be harder to find or get to once the lake "weeds" up and provides the Northerns with denser cover.

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Thanks for the tip. Chasing Northerns if the walldogs are not cooperating sounds like a blast. I wonder if one could throw a buzz bait and get them to expode on the surface.

I am still learning the lake but I love the fact that it has multiple spieces. I did have some excellent times chasing bass there. One thing I love about walleye and good panfish lakes is most people leave the bass alone, for those of us who love bass.

I hope to spend more time chasing the walleyes this year, did not really do that much last year. But one thing I did notice is almost everytime we were fishing panfish if someone had a leech on, we caught a walleye or two. This did not matter if we were fishing deep, fishing shallow in the middle of the reeds. It pretty much happened through the year. Of course most were 14 1/2 inches so they are still swimming free.

Thanks again for the tip.

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ukcm

Till last fall i lived in Osakis. My opener plan was always about fun and family. So here was our game plan for years, me and my bro's go out B4 sunrise end of the bar strait out from park Osagie in town work the end of the bar sloooow till hour after sunup hopefully we come back with some pesky walleyes. Then go back get the kids and work the outside of weeds 10am to 1pm kids for panfish. Me i fish for perch and my bro's fish for northerns. Go back in for a late lunch check out what the ladies got at rummage sales, nap, visit, clean fish hopfuly. After fish supper go to casting for Pike. If it is a very windy day the kid part happens on Smith Lake half way to Alex. One year we got skunked totaly it even snowed a little, oh well i miss Osakis.

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Thanks for suggestions Mr. Perch. I actually get a guys weekend on opener as my girls prefer warmer weather at the cabin. One of the nice things about is Osakis is there are multiple spieces so there are options.

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Woman_Angler

Hey Drake, send me an email about guiding on Osakis, pls ~ thanks!

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shake and bake

Any final tips for fishing Osakis for opener? Depth, area, anything... Thank you for any information.

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Sportfish1850

Assuming you are after walleyes ?

Leach on a slip bobber at dusk 14-16 ft of water near drop offs into much deeper water (20-30ft) that are close to a source of weeds. At day break slower than slow lindy rigged leach near outside edge of weeds or slowly jig a red tail in 6-8ft of water. Usually gets a guy some hits. Their usually scattered and a bit skittish because of the gin clear water but if you are quiet and slow and and are willing to search for them then keep the bait in the zone you'll get a few here and there....maybe not legal keepers (15"+), but you never know.

If its cloudy or a good chop on the water you can keep fishing like this all day but during high sun periods on calm sunny days I'd fish pike with light colored spinner baits near weeds in 5-8 ft of water. Option 2 if you have small kids is to sight fish (polarized glasses a must) schools of sunnies near the weed beds or sandy shores near weeds in very shallow water. Grubs or power bait, or small pieces of crawler on a light hook, 2lb test line in that very very clear water.

Focus on walleyes within a couple of hours of the sun going up or down at this time of year for best results. Keep your expectations real as Osakis is often a very challenging lake in May.

HAVE FUN.....wish I could be there. Memorial day weekend can't come soon enough.

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I was up at the Big O last weekend as it was dock in weekend. The water temp is at 49 degrees and the water is quite a bit higher than last fall. Basically my boat lift is where the shoreline was last fall.

Also the water is not gin clear. It is definitely stained. Not sure if this is from all the run off or what. But I talked to serveral people who knows what it normally looks like and their first comment was always 'The water is dirty'.

Guess we will see what that does to fishing.

I was also suprised that the lake was extremely empty. Where were the panfisherman....Not on Osakis that is for sure.

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shake and bake

Thanks Sportfish! I normally dont fish Osakis til late June, early July...but me and the old man decided to try opener on it this year. Thanks for all the info!

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Sportfish1850

Well I haven't been up to the lake yet this year but if UKCM is right and the lake is already dirtied up it could throw everyone for a loop.

UKCM you described the water as stained..... When I think of stained water I think of clean/clear water with a color to it like some of the shield lakes up north that are relatively clear but have a brown weak tea like color to them. Or is the lake definitely cloudy, full of algae already OR some other light filtering material/organisms floating in the water.

Clear but colored water (stained) and dirty water (full of algae, stirred up surface dirt from run off or some microbial infestation) will have very different impacts on the fishing.

This is an interesting development. First time in my six years there the water has not started off crystal clear then blooms to green as the algae explodes in late June early July.

My prop is glad to hear the water is up from last fall.

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timjones

The water itself is still clear as usual for this time of year. There seems to be a lot of sediment in the water. May be because of the extra runoff this year and/or all the wave action we have had. The lake was up this year, like it used to be fairly often until about 6 years ago. It's been dropping though, probably lost about 5 or 6 inches so far from where it was shortly after the ice went off. I think this is the highest it has been since they closed off the ditch from the Long Prairie river.

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crappiekid

Retired, long time no ice... I am property owner on the lake but not a local. Can you share any comments on the water level in regards to the Long Prarie River???? I have heard a few versions. One being totally closed entering the lake, the other being a layer of block removed from where it leaves the lake? What is the truth? I agree over the past 6 years we have not maintained a "NORMAL" water level compared to years ago. Several people are complaining about the water level and buying extra doc sections. I have a buddy on Smith lake and he has not noticed a decline in water level. That rules out snow and rain fall.

As always i always appreciate you comments;

Good luck to you on the opener if you go out. I have to stay down home this year.

KID

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