The time has finally come. Opener is now less than two days away and many anglers have already told 'the boss' to take a hike. Ah, what a perfect time of the year. Other than deer opener, I don't believe there is a holiday in this state that gets as much attention. So I have to ask. What is your plan for the big day?
Are you going to be one of the lucky bunch hoisting walleyes on Leech Lake this year? The chatter on the street says it may be the best opener the lake has ever seen. From what I witnessed last year, the chatter is probably right. Mille Lacs should have several options this year too, so anglers won't have to fish on top of one another in the north end sand. Did you know that you don't even need bait to catch them on Red Lake? I know that has been the hottest bite since it re-opened in '06. Or, will you be like me? Fishing a smaller, less known body of water in an attempt to catch an opening day walleye dinner.
While I do believe that all of the previously mentioned lakes should be on fire, my optimism also hopes for the same on the small ones too. The reason? This is the first year in a long time that the spawn has been completely done statewide. In fact, a normal calendar year would put us right around Memorial weekend in a walleye's world. It just so happens that I love fishing walleye's on Memorial weekend, and so do all of my walleye fishing friends - and that's a good thing!
Like all years in recent memory, I'm going to be fishing with some of my favorite pals. Our tradition is to fish at Midnight. Where we launch is usually decided the evening of. Where we spend the rest of the weekend always depends on our success, but one thing is for certain - we never give up until we have our fresh meal for dinner.
Currently our plan is to fish the metro waters. Unlike popular belief, this is usually far less crowded than many of the northern waters. My plan is the same as all years. I will start as shallow as shore and start heading out deeper until I get bit. Sometimes this happens in a foot of water, sometimes 10, but rarely is it further than that. I'm going to have three options at my disposal, and it may be a wise decision for you to do the same. First, a jig and minnow, because it rarely ever fails. Second is the crankbait, and if for some reason they have lock-jaw, then I'll have the T-Rig ready for them. What's the T-Rig you ask? Well, that I cannot share. But it catches fish when nothing else will.
Many of you may be thinking that the cold front will have them shut down. I strongly disagree. I think it will be a blessing in disguise, and when the warm temps start to rise on Saturday I believe you will be pleased with your results. At least I hope so, cuz after all, nobody goes into the fishng opener thinking that they will get skunked. Not me, not this year, not ever! Here's to a good weekend of opening fishing! May you catch all that your net can hold! Until Saturday, keep on livin' the dream!