Opening day is a tradition most Minnesota anglers anticipate for months. I've fished many different lakes on opener and though some have been better than others, the anticipation is the same.
I've fished at midnight on the opener, but those days might be over. It's nice to get the first crack at fish that haven't seen an artificial minnow in months, but I like to be able to see without the aid of artificial light. So as soon as the sun creeps over the trees I'll be ready for my first bite of the spring.
I'll be guiding a couple from Pennsylvania on opening morning. Where we'll fish is a decision I'll make a little closer to opening day. It might be Gull, Pelican or Round. Last year I opened on Pelican. We worked hard for our fish but had fun and kept seven, enough for a nice meal. It was the first time I had opened on Pelican and it was a nice change. I'd do it again!
The opener always brings a lot of questions. Where did you open? Were there a lot of boats? Catch any? How deep? What were you using? What was the water temperature? Did you see a lot of fish? Catch any big fish? Hear of anyone else who did? How was Mille Lacs?
All of those questions will be heard by Saturday afternoon. Some will be answered with a yes, others with a no. Everyone's game plan is under scrutiny. It's always fun to hear the opening day stories!
My favorite technique for the opener is a to use a 1/4-ounce jig with shiner. I'll start shallow and work to deeper water. Weather plays a big part in where walleyes will be, and finding them is the fun part.
If you need a starting point, watch the wind direction in the days leading up to the opener. If it's been blowing hard from the south, try the north shore or the south side of the structure you're fishing. Watching the wind is critical for determining where walleyes will be. Why? Because wind blows plankton, minnows follow plankton and walleyes follow minnows. Line yourself up to be the next predator in that chain!
Question: Walleyedan, do you buy tackle in bulk or on an as-needed basis?
Answer: A little of both. I stock up pretty well before I hit the water. But I'm a sucker! If there's something new on the market that catches my eye you can bet it'll find a way into my tackle box. I have yet to find that secret bait for this year, but I do like the look of the new Glass Rap.
Hope your opener is filled with good weather, walleyes, wisdom, luck and safety!
Walleyedan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 963-0422, 839-5598, 9287 Anderson Road, Lake Shore, MN 56468.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.