Developing an angling plan for the fishing openers in the Midwest will help place lunkers in the livewell!
The influence of weather could dramatically alter your best options for walleye locations for the Minnesota fishing opener on May 9, so allow me to present a general plan for tackling spring walleye fishing on any body of water.
Wherever you go, we as anglers must relate to walleyes working multiple locations on a given body of water, and that means multiple patterns may emerge. Think ahead and pre-rig rods according to that specific body of water with different baits and different lures.
If you go to a lake or river and expect to catch fish only on live-bait rigs or jigs, you’ll probably go home empty-handed. Plan on live-bait rigging, but have some rods rigged with trolling crank baits, casting crank baits, as well as jigging setups and three-way swivel rigs.
Figuring on fairly cold water temperatures, I usually start with a live-bait rig, three-ways, or jigs. But I have crank baits, too!
Too many people think casting or trolling crank baits won’t work in cold water. That is not true! Under such conditions, consider using smaller cranks or those with no or minimal vibration on a slow retrieve in colder water. This can be extremely productive.
Don’t say, “we’re going to jig,” then die with jigs when the fish don’t respond. We have to recognize multiple patterns, especially if marking fish and not catching them. Switch your tactics up!
The tower of the ladder activity formula is as follows: With more active fish you’re going to want to use crank baits, then jigs, then live-bait rigs. When fish are aggressive, don’t monkey with live-bait rigs. You’re wasting quality time when artificials will perform!
Also remember that the fishing situation can vary from one part of a waterway to the other. Be willing to change, especially on a lake such as Vermilion that is hosting the Minnesota Governor’s fishing opener this year. That lake has two very different basins!
As for bait, bring some options. Contrary to some beliefs, leeches do work in cold-water temperatures. Also consider shiners and red-tailed chubs in addition to fatheads. Sometimes shiners really out-produce fatheads.
Be versatile and you’ll find success this opener!
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