It would be hard to complain about the length of summer this year in the Bemidji area. Many areas just got their first killing frost of the fall in the second week of October. Surface water temperatures in the lakes continue to drop slowly, with most lakes in the mid 50s. This means most lakes still have about 15 more degrees to drop before they hit 40 degrees and are ready to begin freezing. Location is one of the key factors to catching fish under any circumstances, but this is especially true in the fall.
Another warm week in the Bemidji area has kept the surface water temperatures in the lakes hovering around the 70 degree mark, which is not typical for the third week in September. There is still no frost in the extended forecast for the Bemidji area, so the lakes will continue to cool slowly for at least another week and maybe longer. Virtually all species of fish are driven mostly by water temperature, but the declining amount of sunlight during the day lets the fish know the seasons are about to change, even if the water temperatures are telling them it is still summer. The thermocline i
A cool week in the Bemidji area kept surface water temperatures in the mid to high 60s, which will extend the shallow walleye bite in many lakes. Walleyes have been spreading out into the lakes ever since the spottail shiners finished spawning and backed out of the shallows.
The spawn for crappies, sunfish, bass and muskies this year has been drawn out by a couple of drops in water temperatures that happened just as the lake water was getting warm enough for the fish to move into the shallows. Most crappies, bass, sunfish and muskies that waited to spawn were spawning this past week. Once the fish are done spawning, they will move to deeper water, which may only mean moving from the inside edge of the weeds to the outside edge of the weedline.
The last fishing opener in the spring is the muskie opener, which happens this Saturday. Anglers will now be able to target any species of fish in the lakes. Even though muskies have a low rate of spawning success, they still try to spawn each spring.
The “fish fly” hatches have begun in the Bemidji area. One of the earliest major hatches of fish flies are midges, which is the adult phase of blood worms. Blood worms live in the mud basin of the lakes along with dozens of species of dragonflies, several varieties of mayflies and many other varieties of aquatic insects.
When the weather changes in the Bemidji area, it really changes. Bemidji was locked into a dry pattern since last fall that continued through the winter and lasted up until opening day of the walleye season. The surface water temperatures in the lakes were in the high 50s and everything was beginning to happen in the lakes.
It was a good fishing opener in the Bemidji area, with most accesses on the larger lakes full to the point of overflowing. Anglers were greeted at many accesses on opening weekend by Conservation Officers and/or Department of Natural Resources employees inspecting boats and taking surveys to help slow down the spread of invasive species into and out of Minnesota lakes.
The long wait for the 2015 Minnesota walleye opener is over, with the season opening at 12:01 am this Saturday morning. Approximately half a million anglers are expected to fish the lakes in Minnesota when the season opens for walleyes, northern pike and trout living in lakes.
May is already here and the 2015 walleye opener is a little more than one week away. Estimates expect close to half a million anglers will be hitting the water as the season opens on May 9. One of the major concerns heading into this year’s opener is the low water levels on the lakes. There was enough rain this past week to help green-up the dry brown grass and help reduce the immediate fire danger, but the rain showers did little to raise the water levels in the lakes.