The big Minnesota Walleye, Pike and Lake Trout Opener is next weekend!!
Who is ready for it?
Us as Minnesoatan’s know an early spring has been a long time coming, we are happy to see the walleye have been able to spawn before the big day, that is, the Minnesota Walleye Opener! An early spawn means those post spawn fish will be on the chow, and with increasing temps in the forecast Spottail Shiners should be more than readily available this opener.
The local “bait shops” like the Remer Trading Post, have been finding them in their traps, and doing fairly well for it over the past week. Dave is one of the best in the business, give him a call to check (and possibly reserve) availability!
Where to go? What to use?
When it comes to Opening Day our key areas of focus on bodies of water such as Leech, Winnie, Mille Lacs, and Red Lake will be in 4’ to 9’ feet of water, or possibly even 7’ to 12’, all depending on boat traffic or fishable structure. A simple 1/16th or 1/8th oz Long-Shank jig from Northland fishing tackle tipped with a minnow, being drifted from .3 to .6 mph is our “go-to”. However sometimes you will notice in shallow water these fish tend to spook easy, in which case “pitching jigs” (anchoring out, casting shallow, and jigging back on retrieval) or utilizing a slip bobber rig may be more beneficial for success.
Color will always depend on clarity or conditions, but our top favorites on these popular lakes have always been the Moonlight (blue/white), the parrot (blue/chartreuse), gold, bubblegum (pink), Parakeet (green/ chartruese) or watermelon. Put focus in to structure such as shallow sand flats, or weed flats surrounded by deeper water, or rocky shallow shorelines or points. Use the wind to your advantage, whichever the way the wind is blowing, it will push the bait fish into these key areas. Having assistance from a graph equipped with MSI (Mega-Side Imaging) or even a shallow water anchor will help with fishing shallow and avoid “spooking” the schools.
What else to go for this time of year?
With the ever-popular search for “Minnesota Gold” (Walleye) fast approaching, let’s not forget about what else may be biting in the meantime! The Crappies are starting to come shallow and the bite is on, and only getting hotter! Look for areas of water in the shallow bays where the temps are touching 60° or more. Puddle Jumpers or Bobby Garlands under a float has led to our best success so far this season.
We encourage all anglers to practice good ethics when it comes to the larger Crappies as they are in spawn right now (the Bluegills won’t be too far behind). If you plan to keep a few for a meal, your 9”-11” Crappies or 7’-9’ Sunfish are the perfect eaters! Let the big males go on to protect their spawn beds!
We wishing all our fellow anglers good luck and safety this upcoming season! And please be kind to one another. These waters are there for all of us to enjoy so… smile, wave, abide each other’s space, and wish “luck” upon others as well.
Click here, for professional assistance in your fishing eneavors!
Wishing you all “tight-lines and screamin’ reels!”
-Captain Justin and Alice Wiese