Bass are legal fare in the southern two-thirds of the state beginning Saturday, an event gaining increasing attention in Minnesota, where walleyes traditionally rule.

Largemouth and smallmouth bass are plentiful, thus their rising popularity. What's more, casting (as opposed to trolling or jigging, common angling methods used by walleye anglers) is fun and the action can be fast. My bet: The late spring will reward bass anglers on the water Saturday.

Try crankbaits and/or jigs with 'crawlers and leeches in 6 to 10 feet of water. Plastic worms and tube jigs will make for still more fun. Most of the real excitement will be shallower, however, casting surface plugs and baits to areas of emergent vegetation.

Depending how far north you fish Saturday, you might find crappies in the same areas. Tip: The thicker the slop, the heavier the line you'll need for bass. Ditto the rod, with a stick at least 8 feet long working best.