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Talk about June swoon!

6/23/2004

We're now midway into Minnesota's June fishing season. And we anglers oughta be collectively dancin' atop our gunwales.

Normally the bite in June makes every angler swoon — but, aaah, err, you couldn't prove it by looking into my livewell. (But that's another tale of woe I'll save for a different beer in which to cry.)

Nevertheless, if I had one month to fish, I'd choose June.

The reasons are many:

Bluegills

Minnesota's lake shallows are thick with bluegills in June as the tasty fish gather for their spawning ritual.

A pair of Polaroid glasses is all you need to find the fun.

Bring the kids. A bobber, hook, line and split-shot adorned with a piece of worm or a waxworm or a baby leech or a piece of less-messy Gulp worm will catch any bluegill in June.

Bass

June is the month a lake's weedbeds become established, which gradually impacts the whereabouts of largemouth bass.

Bass establish their summer haunts at this time of year, which often makes them more predictable.

(Scratch that. On second thought this June I can't remember a largemouth being very predictable. Just the other day I was casting for bass on a lake flat thick with curly leaf pondweed. As the weather fronts passed, I switched from short-sleeve shirts to long johns and eventually concluded the bass had returned to their February lifestyle of not opening their mouths.)

Usually, June bass fishing means it's time to use an angler's full arsenal of weapons. From spinnerbaits to buzzbaits, cranks to flippin' jig/pig combos, bass eat everything in June.

Walleyes

Again, June is a great month to seek ol' marble eyes as the impact of spawning fades, as summer patterns unfold and as a walleye's appetite increases before the perch hatch competes with our minnows, leeches and night crawlers.

Northern pike

In some ways, June marks the end of the best pike fishing of the early going as the cool water fish seeks greater depths as summer comes on.

All of which means the hunt for lunker pike is not a June moment, unlike September, which is a big-pike month.

Stream trout

If it hatches in June, if it can be matched in June, you've got the makings of ideal flyfishing. And the nights are so mild, too.

Look out lunker browns.

Muskies

Once upon a time, muskie zealots spent their June days sharpening hooks and otherwise waiting to make that first cast in July. No more.

While June muskie action does not rank with July, August or September, muskie seekers have discovered that Twin Cities muskie lakes can be hotspots.

So what's an angler to do?

I'd say, take the rest of the month off and go fishing.


Ron Schara may be reached at ron@mnbound.com.

Schara's 250-page book, "Ron Schara's Minnesota Fishing Guide" (Tristan Outdoors; $19.95) is available by clicking here or by calling (888) 755-3155.

April through June 2004, Ron Schara's short feature, "Backroads with Ron & Raven," airs Saturdays on ESPN2 at 7:55 a.m. ET. Click here to view this week's show descriptions.