Spring Fishing Tips from a Local Guide
With more than 400 lakes within a 25-mile radius of Detroit Lakes, MN, anglers have an abundance of options for catching walleye, northern pike or panfish. Local fishing expert and guide, Brad Laabs, has been fishing area lakes for 35 years and just completed his 30th season of guiding. He offers these tips below for reeling ‘em in this spring!
Panfish Activity Starts About Now
“May fishing usually starts out with panfish activity in the area, especially before the opener,” says Laabs. The “opener” is the official start to the walleye and northern open water season.
Height of Land and Tamarac Lakes that offer great panfish during ice fishing season tend to also be great early season lakes for sunfish and crappies. Other popular and quality panfish activity occurs within most of the Detroit Lakes area.
Explore and try some of the smaller and lesser-known lakes for quality crappie and sunfish. Some of the larger and well-known panfish lakes include but are not limited to: Big and Little Toad, Long, Floyd, Cotton, Rock, Melissa, Little Pelican and Island Lakes.
Try to Catch & Release Bass
Even though the bass season does not open until later in May, you can target them to catch and release. Bass fishing in the area is very good on most lakes and are under-fished in the area. Great numbers and quality size consistently come off Floyd, Big Detroit, Sallie, Melissa, Long, Cotton and Toad lakes. Smallmouth bass are also present in many area lakes with good populations of above average size in Cormorant, White Earth, Lida, Pelican and Island lakes.
Targeting Walleyes & Northern Pike
Popular lakes for walleyes in the area have been Big Detroit, Sallie, Melissa, White Earth, Cotton, Island, Big Toad, Pelican, Lida, Star, Height of Land, Shell, Round and Many Point.
Northern pike are abundant on almost all the area lakes, and with a very liberal limit now, getting fish for a meal is no problem. Sallie and Melissa lakes have special regulations for northern and catching one over 30 inches is common.
Muskie season opens in early June. Muskie Lakes include Big Detroit, Sallie, Pelican, Beers, Many Point and a small population is also showing up on Melissa.
Plan Your Fishing Trip to Detroit Lakes
There’s an abundance of resources available in the Detroit Lakes area to make your fishing trip one to remember. Try fishing on your own, or improve your catch by calling on guided fishing services. Have a memorable day fishing for walleye, northern, muskie, bass, crappie, sunfish, trout, bluegill, perch or rough fish.
Hire a Professional Fishing Guide
Brad Laabs Guide Service
Brad is a full-service fishing guide and supplies all bait, tackle and equipment. He specializes in walleye fishing in the lakes area. Brad’s a veteran guide and tournament angler!
You can also connect with Brad on Facebook.