With the stubborn winter and late spring or whatever metaphor you want to use to describe the days since March 20th, all available anglers are eager to wet a line. It appears with the recent warm weather and strong winds the ice will be gone by May 11th.
One thing for sure, the walleyes will be shallow and the presentation will be very elementary; slow, slower, repeat! Find the sand, gravel and rocks and present the bait in a slow methodical manner. As is normally the case a good fathead minnow will most likely be the best choice and based on the cold and ice up north, leeches will be very limited if available at all.
With the spawning temperature of walleyes between 40 and 45 degrees, the chances of landing a lunker may be extremely good. Please practice catch and release if possible. Make some quick measurements and have a graphite mount made. Let the big’n back into the water for another day!
Everyone has a preferred method and “secret” weapon but the most prevalent mistake I see is for people to think too much. Keep you plan simple and I’m sure you will land enough to fill the frying pan and enjoy that fresh taste of Walleye. I recommend a jig and minnow or a slip-bobber with a minnow. When fishing a slip-bobber please pay attention and eliminate “gut” hooked fish. It’s very irritating to see anglers using slip- bobbers and waiting too long to set the hook and then release the fish and see it floating on the surface dead.
Take the time to inspect your line and change it if you can feel abrasions or anything that will cause it to break prematurely. If you don’t know when it was replaced, spend the extra $10 dollars; it will save some of your religion! Inspect you rods and reels since they break and have been known to falter at the most inopportune moment. Check your drag and make sure everything is in good working order prior to setting the hook.
Buy a new fishing license for sure since the one you have in your wallet is most likely expired unless you’ve been after some pan fish lately.
Start you motor and inspect your boat prior to backing up to the public landing in the dark? You know who you are……The most frustrating site is to see someone performing preventive maintenance at the landing with no flashlight or any tools while 20 people are waiting, losing their religion watching you lose yours.
For those that don’t know, my wife Lisa and I are Managers at Kandiyohi County Park 2 on Big Kandiyohi Lake in southern Kandiyohi County. This will be our 8th year and over that period we have experienced many events during the annual fishing opener. If possible stop in and say hi. As always, we are open for business and will have bait, gas, and food starting Friday afternoon, May 10th.
Good luck and remember to introduce someone new to the outdoors.