Schools and colleges throughout most of the country are now in session for the fall semester, with most of the fall sports seasons already underway. Several hunting seasons opened on Sept. 1 including bear hunting. Small game, grouse and archery deer hunting open next weekend (Sept. 17). The shorter days, combined with all the outside activities and chores to do in the fall, create a good amount of competition for time for many people.
There’s only one more weekend in August, with Labor Day always set for the first Monday in September. Summer managed to kick out two more hot and windy days with highs in the 80s this past week, which kept surface water temperatures in the lakes in the low to mid 70s. The surface water temperatures should finally be trending down this week, with predicted highs in the 60s and 70s and lows in the 50s, which is actually just about perfect for anyone spending time outdoors.
Anglers are finding walleyes in many lakes have moved back into less than 15 feet of water as surface water temperatures in the lakes reach the upper 70s. Walleyes like to feed on a mixture of prey whenever possible. Most walleyes in the Bemidji area have perch as a staple in their diets, but they like to supplement their diets with as much variation as possible.
The Bemidji area is in the middle of the hottest part of the summer, with highs in the 80s still prominent in the extended forecast. The historical average temperatures in...
The midway point of June has passed, with surface water temperatures in the local lakes still going back and forth in the 60 degree range.
Much warmer temperatures late this week have triggered the first major "fish fly" hatches of the spring with millions of midges hatching out of most large lakes between Mille Lacs Lake and Lake of the Woods. Midges are the adult phase of the blood worm and are similar to mosquitoes in size, but without the stinger. Bloodworms are a critical food source for many species of fish including sauger, perch, sunfish and crappies, especially during the winter months.
Surface water temperatures in most of the Bemidji area are now in the low-to-mid 60s, with most species of fish done spawning, including spottail shiners. Spottail shiners can only be trapped in the spring when they are in shallow water to spawn. Once they are done spawning, spottail shiners leave the shoreline and head for deep water where they become virtually impossible to trap.
Memorial Day Weekend is a busy time on the lakes in the Bemidji area. It is rivaled only by the Walleye Opener, Fourth of July weekend and Labor Day weekend for the number of anglers on the lakes.
The 2016 Minnesota Fishing Opener was about as cold and windy as most anglers could stand. Sunday was considerably better heat wise, but the wind was still plenty strong from a slightly different direction. Surface water temperatures were as high as 62 degrees in some lakes less than a week before the opener, but by Sunday morning on opening weekend, surface water temperatures were as low as 47 degrees in many of the same lakes. A drop in water temperatures of more than ten degrees in less than a week is about as fast as water temperatures ever drop in the lakes.
The 2016 Minnesota Walleye Opener is just two weeks from this Saturday, with the date set for May 14. Bemidji is surrounded by excellent walleye lakes. Upper Red Lake, Winnibigoshish and Leech Lake are usually three of the hottest lakes for walleyes early in the season because they all have shallow water, which means they will warm-up faster in the spring than most other walleye lakes.