The second week of MN walleye Fishing Opener has come and gone and for the most part the reports were good. With the cooler than normal water temperatures many of the lakes with darker water were a bit warmer and had relatively good fishing. Jig and minnow was the bait of choice and fishing shallow water in depths of 4-8 feet seemed to be the ticket. The walleyes were still spawning on several lakes in the region and on some the water temperatures were still in the low to mid 40’s. It seemed that the better action for walleyes was when you found water temperatures in the low 50’s. Northland Tackle one eighth ounce RZ jigs in Parrot color or blue and glow were magical and definitely hade a difference. Spot tail shiners and fathead cubs were also the bait of choice. Because of the cold water temps fishing them slow and dragging was far better that the usual hoping motion traditionally fished with a jig. On some areas the best way to fish was to spot lock with you bow mount electric and pitch and jig back to the boat.
We also celebrated the Governor’s Fishing Opener on Lake Winnie and Cutfoot lakes in Itasca County which was enjoyed by hundreds of people coming to catch walleyes on the opener. Governor Tim Walz was accompanied by Chairman Faron Jackson of the Leech Lake Reservation and his wife Lorel. Everyone in the boat caught walleyes on Saturday morning. They were guided by professional guide Tom Neustrom. A shore lunch at noon provided by the Leech Lake Band of Ojibway was enjoyed by over 80 people on the shores of Big Cutfoot Lake.
As the water temperatures begin to rise slowly, start to move a little deeper especially on lakes where the spawning ritual is over. It will most often take 1-2 weeks before this migration happens, but mostly the male walleyes with stay shallower for a longer period of time. Many anglers that like to troll crank baits will do well in the coming weeks as walleyes will increase feeding activity throughout. Working depths of 8-14 feet will be the most productive with early and late in the day along shorelines.
The best lakes to try in the coming couple weeks will be Bowstring, Big Cutfoot, Lake Winnie, Jessie, and Round. They all have good populations of walleyes and will provide good action. The Mississippi River will also be a good destination when the current slows down a bit. Get out and enjoy the Spring walleye fishing. Water levels are up and all the accesses are providing easy access to lakes.
Remember to check out the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources before you head out to understand the fishing regulations in the area you will be fishing. Also, remember to purchase a MN Fishing License as well. Learn more HERE. Needing a place to stay? Check out Visit Grand Rapids STAY page for many options for overnight lodging in the greater Grand Rapids, Minnesota area that are close to over 1,400 lakes.