Pre-planning your early season with a game plan
Before heading out for early season walleyes, you must find a lake with walleyes. That sounds obvious, but you can’t catch a fish that doesn’t exist! Do your homework via lake map research, through DNR reports, or word-of-mouth research, and target a lake with walleyes. Obtain a lake map and circle five or six places you intend to fish. This will keep you focused on the water.
Because of the early ice-out, everyone expects snapping walleyes after their post-spawn funk this year, right? Don’t be so sure. Water temperatures right now are not that warm. In fact, I’m seeing them pretty close to normal.
DNR fisheries managers say the 2012 spawn is about on track with an average year; therefore, begin your walleye search this opener in spots where you’ve previously caught walleyes seasonally.
In most areas around opener, I expect will be seeing post-spawn walleyes. Remember, however, that perch spawn after walleyes, so even lethargic female fish could be hanging around outside edges capitalizing on perch movement.
Though water levels remain low, particularly in the western half of the state, spotty rain has recharged some waterways, and the near forecast suggests more moisture could arrive pre-opener.
Bottom line: Be open-minded this year!
One scenario to avoid on the lake: Don’t just unload your boat and fish with everyone else. Too many boats shuts down a location. You’re always better off to fish your own spots and not worry about other anglers. Fishing pressure is a major factor negating success.
Final game plan tip: Pre-rig at home in the days and evening before. Tie some jigs, live-bait rigs, and . Why? Because you probably won’t re-tie too many times in the boat, and if fishing doesn’t produce on those first few opportunities, youre attitude changes.
You don’t want to spend too much time rummaging through your tackle box. You’d much rather grab a rod with a fresh presentation.