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Spring Fishing Tips For Success on Sand Lake

by Charlie Worrath

Professional Guide with Minnesota Fishing ProsSpring is one of the best times of the year to fish successfully for all species of sport fish. The cause is two-fold. First of all, the long winter and the riggers of spawning have created huge appetites in the fish. Secondly, food sources are in short supply since baitfish populations have been eaten down throughout the winter and new food sources (such as fry of the year and insects) haven’t developed yet.Sand Lake is one of the top walleye lakes in northern Minnesota but due to the fact that it is part of a river system it also boasts a plentiful supply of all species native to northern Minnesota. Sand has a lot of shoreline with nice emerging weed lines, sharp breaks, rock and rubble points and a lot of mid-lake humps and bars. However, my favorite thing about Sand Lake is that the water clarity is only 4 or 5 feet. This makes fishing during spring as good as it gets no matter what time of day.Most people coming to this area and Sand Lake are in pursuit of the state fish, the walleye. Sand Lake has plenty of them! It has strong natural walleye reproduction but also benefits from an aggressive stocking program through both the DNR and the Sand Lake Association.The best presentation to attract walleye in the spring is a jig and minnow combination. The color of the jig should be dark such as reds, blues, blacks and oranges. Start with the lightest weight jig you can get away with taking into consideration the weather conditions. I use mostly 1/8 ounce jigs whenever possible. Make sure you tie the jig directly to the line – do not use swivels or other jewelry. The shiner minnow is very popular with anglers in this area. However, on Sand Lake I prefer to use a rainbow chub or just a regular chub. The reason for this is Sand Lake has an abundance of small to medium northern pike. By using a rainbow chub you eliminate the flash of a shiner and, therefore, you will eliminate many of the pike bites while minimally affecting your walleye bite. In theory, this helps your success rate since the more time you have your jig out of the water to take off northern pike – the less time your jig is in the water to catch walleye! Again, the jig/minnow combo is all you need for a fantastic springtime fishing adventure for all species of fish that inhabit Sand Lake.

While walleye is a great tasting and fun-to-catch fish, Sand Lake also has an abundance of larger than average crappie for this area. One pound plus crappie are very common. In the spring you will find crappie in the warmer shallows of the lake. This warmer water provides insect larvae for the hungry crappie before their spawn. On average, once water temps reach approximately 65 degrees the crappie begin to spawn. At this time you will find crappie in and around the pencil reeds and in the weed beds. For spring crappie your best bet is a slip bobber setup with a small jig tipped with a small crappie minnow. Remember to always keep a tight line.

A Word About Lakewood Lodge:

Whether you are seeking a fishing adventure or just relaxation I can assure you that a stay at Lakewood Lodge will be a very pleasurable outing for you and your family. Lakewood Lodge has all the modern conveniences of home and your hosts, Steve & Dani Casselman, are friendly and considerate people who will make your stay very memorable and enjoyable.


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