Paul Nelson writes a weekly fishing column for the Bemidji Pioneer. He runs the Bemidji Area Lakes Guide Service.
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Lakes in the Bemidji area are already noticeably less busy since Labor Day as many of the tourists and seasonal visitors have headed home or to warmer climates for the winter. Surface water temperatures are holding in the upper 60s in most lakes, which should be good for fishing once the weather stabilizes. Summer fishing patterns in the lakes are starting to fall apart but there are still walleyes and other species using the shallows, especially later in the day when the sun has had a chance to warm the water. When the water temperatures begin to cool anglers will usually do better if they
Labor Day Weekend signals the end of the summer tourist season in the Bemidji area. Students are already in school in many parts of the country and the rest will be attending their first classes of fall semester very soon. Many seasonal residents will also be leaving soon. Cabin owners traditionally remove their docks, shut their refrigerators and winterize the cabins on or shortly after Labor Day Weekend. Fall was certainly in the air this past week in the Bemidji area.
The Bemidji area is losing 21 minutes of daylight per week (about three minutes per day) and Friday’s sunrise in Bemidji was at 6:24 a.m. and the sunset will be at 8:21 p.m.
Historically, July boasts the highest average temperature in the Bemidji area but this year August is turning out to be the warmest month of the summer. Surface water temperatures are...
It took until the last week in July to get a week of summer-like weather in the Bemidji area. Surface water temperatures are holding in the low to mid 70s. There is an algae bloom starting to tint the water green in many lakes and reduce the water clarity. Many of the weeds in the lakes are beginning to mature and the tops of some of the plants are breaking during strong winds and littering the surface of the lakes after storms. This is the natural re-seeding process for many types of aquatic vegetation.
Summer is finally here — at least as far as the fishing patterns in the lakes are concerned. Surface water temperatures in the Bemidji area are now warmer than 70 degrees for the third time this season. The first two times the lakes exceeded 70 degrees were short-lived but this time looks like it should last a little longer. The lakes are starting to “green-up” from the first significant algae bloom of the season. The lakes will continue to add color as long as the warmer water temperatures continue. Many lakes have developed a thermocline in the deeper portions of the lake.
Several nights with lows in the 40s were enough to drop the surface water temperatures in the lakes back into the mid to high 60s, which is pretty cool for the middle of July. There was a late mayfly hatch in a few lakes when the surface temperatures reached the low 70s. Then a strong cold front brought more rain and high winds, which mixed the water column in the shallow lakes and dropped the surface water temperatures several degrees. July is almost always the hottest month of the year in the Bemidji area.
Surface water temperatures in the Bemidji area lakes are finally getting close to 70 degrees because of the arrival of more “summer-like” weather. Summer fishing patterns will begin to develop in the lakes as long as the lakes continue to warm past 70 degrees. Most lakes have been very clear so far this summer. The warming water temperatures will eventually cause an algae bloom in the lakes, which will tint the water green and significantly reduce the visibility. Algae thrive in warming water temperatures once the lakes have reached 70 degrees.
The Fourth of July is probably the busiest weekend of the summer in the Bemidji area. The campgrounds and resorts are full, the roads are busy and the lakes are buzzing with both anglers and pleasure boaters. The persistent rains made it all the way through June and are continuing into early July. With near record amounts of rain in many areas, water levels in the lakes continue to rise. Docks at many of the public accesses are touching the water or partially underwater due to the heavy rains.
High water levels on the lakes and flooding in many parts of Minnesota are typically a spring phenomena but this year the flooding is happening in June because of near-record amounts of rain. There are many buzz words that get thrown around about the weather, with topics like global warming and climate change discussed ad nauseam. Still, it is difficult not to wonder what is going on with the weather, especially when looking at the extreme weather conditions the last few years in the Bemidji area. High water levels in lakes also can result in debris being dislodged from shore and becoming a