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Summer Fishing Vacations

Some folks believe that the so-called dog days of summer are not good fishing times. While the bite for some species on some lakes might be tougher in July and August than it was in May and June, there are still lots of good bites happening during the heat of summer across the Midwest. Here is a look at three of my favorites.

The Alexandria (MN) lakes area is known for its outstanding bass fishing action and for anglers in the know, the heat of summer is prime time. Many lakes in the area have clear water and lush, deep weedlines that hold bass in good numbers in waters say 12-22 feet deep. The good thing is these fish school on points, turns, and other irregularities in a weedline and often don’t wander too far from that spot during summer, meaning once a school is found it will probably be in that same vicinity for days to come. These fish can be targeted a variety of ways, but it’s hard to beat a Ned Rig cast to likely areas and worked slowly to the boat. In fact, a bait called a Ned Ocho in “dirt” color pattern fished on a light jighead has puts lots of Alexandria area bass in my boat on guide trips in recent years. The Alexandria Chain of Lakes is noted for its great bass fishing, but the Alex area has a bunch of other lakes in the immediate area that hold bass in good numbers as well. Visit the website explorealex.com to learn more about the Alexandria area and to plan your summer vacation there!

Kabetogama Lake in northern Minnesota is a great area to consider if your summer fishing vacation includes walleye. KAB is within the Voyageur’s National Park and so most of the lake’s many islands are undeveloped, personal watercraft are not allowed, and the scenery is simply breathtaking. Plus, the fishing is outstanding. Summer finds the walleyes relating to the lake’s many islands and deeper rock reefs. Skill at using sonar for finding this structure and the fish holding on it is helpful, but there are lots of fish to be found and caught. The lake has a protected slot meaning walleyes 18-26 inches must immediately be released. However, the lake has a bunch of fish below the 18-inch length that are perfect for the frying pan and the bigger “overs” are great for catch and release action. Slip-sinker livebait rigs and spinners tipped with leeches and crawlers will catch these fish. Visit  kabetogama.com to learn more and plan you Kabetogama vacation.

Big Stone Lake on the Minnesota/South Dakota border has a unique panfish bite involving the lake’s numerous yellow perch that really heats up in August. These fish school in big numbers in the lake’s basin in 12-16 feet of water. Anglers target the fish by anchoring and using ice fishing rods/reels tipped with small ice fishing lures and jigs and vertically jigging right over the side of the boat. This is simple fishing, the action is often fast, and can be great family fun as this fishing can be done from pontoons or boats with several anglers aboard. To learn more about the Big Stone area and plan your perchin’ vacation there visit bigstonelake.com.

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