Opening weekend never seems to be one of great weather. Does that stop any of us hardy fisherman??? Absolutely NOT! How did everybody fare? Well, the jury is still out on that one, but I have been hearing mixed results.
I will consider my opener a great success. Taking it from the top. To continue the tradition, of midnight start times, we did it in style this year. As I reported in the last update, we had fish within minutes. I boated a nice 21 incher about 7 minutes into the season, followed by a surprise in a 28 incher. Sweet, and I figured that would be top dawg of the night. Boy was I wrong! Dusty followed that up with a very long and unfortunately rather slim 31 incher. A great fish for sure, but just a little too slim for him to consider for the wall. A great opening run, that we continued hours later.
After about an hour nap, we were up again by 4:00am and heading for Tonka. This was in the plans, and we were pretty jazzed from our large catches already. Once on the lake, my gut took over, and I went to a most unlikely spot. The results??? We made the right choice, and thank you to my gut for that call. We all threw a nice 18 incher in the boat almost instantly. These fish came from less than a foot of water. Wow were they shallow, but par for the course with this cold water temperature. After fishing for a few hours longer and trying some new spots, we picked up a couple more before we headed in for our fish fry. We brought back a perfect meal of 6 eyes for breakfast. A perfect start to the season, but would it continue?
After our opening day walleye feast, we napped and headed back out for the afternoon and evening bite. To sum it up, it stunk. Our hot hand was cooled by the blowing wind and pounding rain. The lakes water temp dropped from a chilly 56 degrees, down to 49 by the evening. That never makes for good conditions. I boated a healthy 22 incher, and we caught a few bass, but all in all, it was pretty darn tough.
Sunday morning was a morning that could have made someone question their sanity. I met a couple of hardy fisherman by the names of Chuck and Mike. This brother fishing combo resides in Chicago and Plymouth, MN, and they were destined for success right out of the gate. We laughed when the 39 degree wind almost knocked us over at the access at 5:00am, but they said that they still wanted to give it a go. Surprisingly, we made a great decision. Judging the conditions, I figured that it would have been tough to coax even a perch into biting, but that was not the case. We used the wind to our advantage, and even though we couldn't feel our fingertips, we trudged forward. The sun came up and the walleye mouths opened up. For some reason, only the big fish felt the need to bite, and these boys landed some trophy caliber Walleyes and Bass. Before our morning was through, we landed a couple of 24+ inchers, a 26 incher, and Chuck's largest ever at 27.5. Throw some 19 and 20 inch bass on that, and you have good fishing!
Looking back at the opening day and following morning, I am not sure if I would consider it normal by any means. We didn't land a ton of fish, in fact I think we only had 15 total, but the size was great. We had many over 20 inches, including a couple of 21's, a 22, 2 over 24, a 26, 27.5, 28, and a 31. We had enough under 20 to have a big walleye feast on saturday morning, and I found out that my new rain suit works pretty well. My fingers still aren't back to normal, but the camera is full of new pictures. I am going to consider this another very successful opener. Thanks to all who made it so great including Mike, Sean, Dusty, Chard, Dougy, Anna, Mike and Chuck. Stay tuned, the dream continues the next few evenings as we try to continue with success...