Sunday, January 29th, 2023
Sunday, January 29th, 2023

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Donuts from the governor, crappies from the shallows

By Steve Carney

Contributing Writer

The Governor’s Fishing Opener has come and gone and I had a great time working on “radio row” at the headquarters of the event. I was doing my morning drive time stint when a guy in dirty jeans and a sweatshirt came by, carrying a gigantic box of bear claws and donuts. 

He was passing them around to the people in radio booths, and when he came by our tent, he threw open the box and offered us some pastry. As he passed by, I mentioned to my radio co-hosts that that was Gov. Tim Walz. 

I assume you can’t be upset with a governor who is giving you donuts no matter what his politics are. I think he softened us up!

Sight-fishing for crappies

My choice on the fishing opener was to chase crappies because the weather was mild, the sun was high, and there was no wind. 

I began cruising the shallows in 2 to 4 feet of water and could see crappies, bluegills, and largemouth bass lounging  in the shallows. You could actually get pretty close to them before they spooked.

I concentrated my efforts around emerging pencil weeds, which were just beginning to break the surface. 

It’s funny how a change in depth can be the difference between success and failure. Cruising and looking into the water, I saw no fish in the 3- to 5-foot depths, but they were specifically in 2 feet of water. 

Once I located fish, I backed off and made long casts of 30 feet or more to keep the boat away from the cruising panfish. A slip bobber allowed me to dangle my crappie jig just inches off the bottom in 2 feet of water. 

It was a successful weekend. The weather conditions were perfect for spotting shallow fish but not so good for the walleye bite.

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