Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Shore fishing may not be the first option to come to mind when discussing fishing techniques but it is a great way to enjoy a day at the lake. Shore fishing is much easier, cheaper and there is a lot more room and opportunities for great fishing spots.
Where to find fish is usually a tricky part of fishing. Fish tend to stay in one spot, so you have to do the moving and casting along the shoreline. Be careful not to trample the shoreline vegetation; it helps keep the bank from eroding which causes poor water quality.
Fish like shade and cover, so find some dark hiding spots like under logs, near big rocks or trees to cast into. Deep spots near shore are also great places to cast including stream flows into the lake, under bridges and near steep shorelines.
Spring is the best season to catch fish due to the fish being hungry after the long winter, being more active due to warmer waters and laying their eggs near shore. As soon as the ice has melted off the lakes, sunfish and crappies are a great species to fish for. The walleye and northern season is not legally open until mid-May while bass and muskie season begins in late May or early June. Cloudy and rainy days are good fishing days. However, never be near a lake during a thunderstorm with lightning.
Summer shore fishing is a little more difficult due to thick near shore vegetation and fish moving to deeper, cooler waters away from shore. Try fishing in the early morning or evening as well as river fishing since rivers tend to have cooler waters and less vegetation.
Fall is another great time to fish due to cooling water temperatures, vegetation die offs and fish aggressively feeding to prepare for winter.
Winter ice fishing is a great way to catch crappies and sunfish. Try a bucket of minnows or some waxworms to catch fish during the winter months.