Monday, January 30th, 2023
Monday, January 30th, 2023

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Minnesota Pro Tip of the Week: In Ottertail County, time to follow baitfish deep

By Todd Cameron

Favorite lakes: Otter Tail, Big Pine, Rush and Star

Years of guiding experience: 15

Our water temperatures have finally dropped below 65 degrees, which has pushed baitfish into deeper water and kicked off that deep-water bite that we expect every fall. The bait fish are just following the warmer water, and the shallows cool pretty quickly.

Using your electronics to locate baitfish is important. A jig and a minnow or a Jiggin’ Rap are two good ways to get at the walleyes chasing the baitfish. Working the deep shoreline breaks are important, and you’ll find walleyes here in anywhere between 23 and 45 feet of water. However, I avoid fishing those walleyes deeper than 40 feet, since their air bladders don’t adjust well to being brought to the surface. Unless you plan to keep a fish, the conservation move is to avoid those deep walleyes.

A lift and drop motion, even casting Jiggin’ Raps and hopping them back, can be productive. Mix it up, be versatile and move if you are not catching fish. You will find active fish. It’s that time of the year when putting on the fall feed bag seems to never satiate their hunger.

Cameron is one of two fishing guides that make up PT’s Guide Service in Otter Tail County. Reach him at or (218) 639-2052.

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