DEALING WITH LAKE ALGAE

In my travels all over the midwest I come across various forms of algae that really varies from county to county. We have been blessed this Spring with cool temperatures that have slowed the algae bloom process and it looks like most lakes within western and central Minnesota will still have decent water conditions for fishing into late June and early July. Recently I was fishing a lake in southern Pope County, Minnesota and was having a very difficult time presenting my livebait offerings because I was picking up green, silky weedgrowth on my baits. This silky goo is very prevalent in western Minnesota and into the west- central part of Minnesota. I was very frustrated because every few yards I had to bring up my bait and pull the silky goo from my bait. When you are faced with these conditions there are some remedies I use to alter my presentations and try and avoid the livebait making contact with the gooey bottom....

Floating Jighead

Floating Jigheads

This is the most obvious tactic because most floating jigheads will get your bait a solid foot or two above the bottom keeping the bait weed and goo free. I personally use floating jigheads sparingly and a lot of this depends on the fishing pressure on the lake I am fishing. If it gets a ton of pressure I stay away from the floating jigheads but if the lake is somewhat underfished you can get away with the gimickry.

Change Tactics on Sinkers

If you prefer livebaits rigs versus jigs you will have to make some changes. Standard walking sinkers are notorious for dredging up algae and the silky goo thus impeding your presentations. I change to tiny, bullet sinkers that one would use for Texas rigging bass. These are usually 1/8th .oz and cut thru the slimy goo fairly well. A splitshot would work in an emergency but even the tiniest splitshot lacks the streamlined style to cut thru the weeds.

Blow those Baits Up

Instead of floating jigheads I much prefer to bring out my dental syringe and give my crawler or leech a shot of air to get that bait to ride over the gooey bottom algae. A small bullet sunker coupled with a 4 foot leader and blown livebait is about the best way to handle the weed dilemma.

Crankbaits as Last Resort

My absolute last resort is crankbaits and I start covering water and trolling fairly fast. I choose cranks that will run in the 6 to 11 foot depth and stay above the rocks and bottom and try and find fish by staying away from touching the moss covered rocks and bottom goo. This is really the best technique especially later in July and August when these farm-type lakes get almost unfishable because of algae blooms and runoff issues.

Slip Bobbers

I have never been a bobber fan but there are times in these algae conditions where the slip bobber rig is the only presentation that stays goo free. Sometimes you just have to tough it out on these central and western Minnesota lakes with a bobber whether you like it or not !

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