Thanks to an extremely stubborn and extended winter, Minnesota anglers have some interesting choices to make when deciding where to fish on the 2013 inland walleye and northern pike opener on May 11.
The state is blessed with an abundance of world-class walleye fisheries, from its border waters to countless inland lakes, streams, and rivers. Normally, anglers have infinite options north to south, but the late spring has left many lakes locked in ice, forcing fishermen to rethink plans and, in many cases, forsake traditional opening day fishing grounds.
Given the upheaval and uncertainty surrounding one of Minnesota’s richest rites of spring, we checked in with top guides and other contacts around the state, to offer anglers list of top options for hooking up with walleyes and pike on the unusual opener of 2013. Keep in mind that even if you can’t make it to one of our choices, the patterns provided for each should transfer well to similar waters. Here’s a look at 8 great Minnesota fishing opener hotspots.
*Dan Johnson of Harris, Minnesota, is a frequent contributor to In-Fisherman publications and director of All Creation Outdoor Media.
- <h2>Crow Wing Chain</h2>Spanning 11 lakes along the Crow River, the chain offers excellent odds for catching walleyes anytime, but should shine in a late-spring scenario for numbers of fish, with a decent shot at a trophy. Guide Jason Durham recommends targeting shallow flats with a nightcrawler on a slipsinker rig, taking care to keep the sinker light, leader short, speed slow, and intermittent pauses abundant. He notes that shorebound anglers can score where the Highway 64 bridge splits Eleventh Crow Wing. Vertical jigging current areas is another classic game plan, as is trolling shallow-running crankbaits on the night shift. </br > Contact: Guide Jason Durham, 218/252-2278, go-fish-guides.com.