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from the Pros
|Sand Lake – A Summertime Fisherman’s Paradise
by Tom Neustrom
Professional Guide with Minnesota Fishing ProsSand Lake is another of those destinations in Northern Minnesota that offers fishermen countless angling opportunities. Fishing on Sand Lake really kicks into gear from June to September offering endless spring and summer angling opportunities.Situated in the heart of Minnesota’s premier walleye fishery, it’s no wonder Sand Lake continues to be true fisherman’s paradise. In fact, the outstanding walleye fishing puts Sand at the top of the list of great walleye fisheries. June brings about the start of very consistent fishing throughout the summer. Around that time the dispersal of fish from their spring spawning areas means that the Sand Lake walleye start to show up on the shoreline breaks and newly emerging weed beds. With a multitude of structure – finding the best locations to fish is not very difficult.
With nearly 4,500 acres of water the big island situated in the center of Sand Lake is a great focus point. There are countless sunken islands, gravel points and numerous cabbage beds associated with the island. Once I’ve decided on a location to start, I will usually choose a jig and minnow combination as search bait. A 1/8 ounce Fireball jig from Northland Tackle with a shiner or chub is tough to beat. You’ll also find the walleye if you slowly troll the numerous weedlines, points and sunken islands or if you cast a #7 Shad Rap along a breakline. Another effective tactic is back trolling the edge of a sunken island using a slip rig with a juicy nightcrawler or leech. No matter which of these approaches you use there is almost always a hungry walleye ready to do battle.
One thing to keep in mind as the summer progresses and the water temperature rises is that anglers need to fish a little deeper. Most of the previous mentioned presentations will continue to work all summer long. Sand Lake’s diversified fishery will become evident as the many species found in the lake seek deeper water. If the walleye become inactive anglers can change focus to the plentiful crappie, northern pike and jumbo perch in the lake. Many years ago there were several crappie cribs put in Sand Lake by the DNR. Throughout the summer these cribs hold crappie, walleye and big perch. They are located in 15 to 22 feet and provide great sanctuary for game fish.
One additional species that can be found in great numbers are largemouth bass. Cast white or chartreuse spinnerbaits along one of the countless reed beds and hold on! Bass up to five pounds are taken yearly so make sure you sample the untapped largemouth bass fishing.
As you can see Sand Lake is a great summer fishing destination that will reward you with great fishing. See you on the water!