Walleyes in shallows on area lakes with the best bites occurring as the water warms up at late morning and early evening as the water warms up a few degrees. This week’s Grand Rapids, MN Area Fishing Report brought to you by Tom Neustrom, owner of MN Fishing Connections (professional guide service). The fishing has been very good this past week even with the marginal weather experienced by anglers on the water. The activity of bait fish seems to trigger the walleye’s movements and feeding trends. Jig and minnow still is the top priority when it comes to getting bit, but as the water warms up in the next week to ten days look for leeches and night crawlers to also be a dominant factor. On most of the bigger sand and rock lakes the spawn is over and except for small exceptions, male walleyes will continue to stay around the spawning areas for another 10 days to 2 weeks.
With colder than normal water temperatures it tends hold walleyes in their post spawn locations. The larger females will abandon these areas and drop off to deep water to recover. May take a few days and some recover quicker. The Northland RZ Jigs in Parrot color have been a go to jig with a shiner, chub, or plastic. A medium jigging technique has been best and still keep the retrieve slower. When you find a decent school of walleyes stop and spot loc your bow mount and cast and jig back to the boat. Its been very effective as not to spook the school.
Lakes To Fish
Some of the better producing lakes for walleyes have been Big Winnie, Bowstring, Big Cutfoot, Jessie, and Round. Start to move off the shorelines slightly into depths of 10-14 feet near then spawning areas. As the weather begins to warm, try a leech and slip bobber as a second choice. Pay attention also to new emerging weedbeds that will always hold bait fish. These can be key areas throughout the early season and beyond finding walleyes.
Crappie fishing has been a second choice of action and they are starting to move shallow in search of spawning areas. Look for old pencil reeds from last season on points and back ends of warmer bays. The pencil reeds will let you know there is prime spawning habitat and cover. Keep moving until you find active fish and then anchor up or spot loc on the spot. Early season crappie fishing can be fast and a whole lot of fun besides being great table fare. A small slip bobber and minnow or plastic will provide all you need. Many lakes in the Grand Rapids area provide great early season crappie fishing. Some of the better ones are Pokegama, Big and Little Splithand, Big Rice, Little Moose, and Bowstring.
Fishing will continue to heat up in the next weeks to come so get out and enjoy. Happy Memorial Day weekend to everyone and be safe.