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Rick

OutdoorMN News - Spring is a great time to go bass fishing

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Rick

Commentary by C.B. Bylander,
DNR information officer

The bass fishing catch-and-keep season opens Saturday, May 26, and spring is the time to enjoy it. 

-16-300x204.Largemouth and smallmouth bass can be easier to catch in spring and early summer when they spend more time in shallow water. Later, as water temperatures rise, bass move to deeper structure in search of sunken points, rocky humps and weed lines that offer both prey and protection. So, why wait? Now is the time to spring into action.

The catch-and-release only season opened in most of the state May 12. Statewide, you can start keeping fish on May 26, the start of Memorial Day weekend. The bass season doesn’t close until Feb. 24, 2019.

Minnesota’s reputation as an outstanding bass fishing state is clearly on the rise. This is due, in part, to the world-class smallmouth bass fishing at Mille Lacs Lake. Though local and regional anglers have long known about the lake’s great fishing this became national knowledge in 2016 and 2017 when the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year championships happened at Mille Lacs. Simply put, the abundance of big smallmouth bass blew the pros away. In fact, the 2016 fishing was so phenomenal – the winning three-day limit totaled 76 pounds – that the following year Bassmaster ranked Mille Lacs number one on its list of 100 best bass lakes.

Though the spotlight has been on Mille Lacs the broader story is that Minnesota is home to some 2,000 largemouth bass lakes, 500 smallmouth bass lakes and tens of thousands of miles of natural streams and rivers that hold bass. That’s a lot of water, and it’s a lot of water that isn’t fished for bass as hard as southern state waters because so many Minnesota anglers prefer to fish for walleye.

Never fished bass in Minnesota before? Here are two thoughts.

Think small: A lot of great bass fishing exists in lakes less than 1,000 acres in size. So, don’t overlook these smaller opportunities, especially if they are in remote areas and have a lot of shallow water. Go to the DNR’s LakeFinder has helpful information at mndnr.gov/lakefind.

But if you like big: Popular destinations include the Twin Cities’ Lake Minnetonka and these regional destinations: the southeast’s Mississippi River, the south-central’s Green Lake, the  west-central’s Alexandria Chain of Lakes, the north-central’s Gull Lake Chain of Lakes and the far north’s Rainy and Vermillion lakes.

Limit and special fishing regulation information is available at mndnr.gov/fishmn.

Discuss below - to view set the hook here.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • wahoo
      I use the Clam Ice Armor--the ones for about $69.  Not great for dexterity but the warmest I have found.  Get a good muff like Cabelas sells with thinsulite and puta few hand warmers inside.  Work well and keep hands moderately dry. Or, get goretex/thinsulite mists and put a hand warmer in each one.  They slide off easily.   Haven't tried electric.  
    • mikemac
      Nope. Not even close.
    • Kettle
      Fished the SW corner today about 2 miles out. Lowest amount of ice I found was 10" and a few spots well over 20". Before anyone gets too excited I'm pretty sure these spots were where the ice push up on itself or below itself. Rough ice in general. Marked a lot of fish, tried everything and eventually got a few at dusk on a dead stick and a spoon. No big cracks but a few about half a foot and completely open. Nice to get out but was a long walk out and back.
    • leech~~
      PBJ samy with chips and a Coke?  😌
    • Lamont Gray
      Hi i was wondering how the ice and bite been on phalen just tips to where to head 2nd year ice fishing and I always wanted to try there don't want any ones secret  spots just the depths people been lucky on I want to learn to ice fish big lakes  Fishing_Prizes_2017.pdf
    • Team Bobberdown
      Well I wish you guys would do it after walleye closes. The last few years you guys have done it on the final weekend of walleye  so some people won't do it . Cats don't close so you can do it whenever you want. 
    • slammer
      Dakota lithium has a cool little box like that.  Comes with a lithium battery thats half the weight but a bit pricey at around $200
    • Mike89
      take it slow friend!!! if it's bad say help....
    • mikemac
      I found a little cooler on Sunday morning on the lake with some ones lunch inside. I will return the cooler if you can identify it. 
    • timjones
      Didn't get to swing the sledge on Saturday. Had a bum ankle that has kept me sidelined and was feeling pretty good on Friday so I got out and about shopping. May have over did it and suffered a little bit of a set back but it's pretty good today. Should be able to swing the hammer tomorrow.