By Brad Hawthorne
There will probably be some piles of ice on shore still on the fishing opener, which gives us some indication of how much colder the water will be compared to last year’s opener.
This year’s late ice out translates to into colder water temperatures, and that means the walleyes will be closer to the spawn. THe fish will be 80 to 90 percent more congregated than they would be compared to last year, when the bulk of walleyes had spawned a month before the opener.
The walleyes will be much shallower, from 2 to 12 feet deep, compared to last year’s opener when they were 12 to 25 geet deep.
Where some will want to go to the tried and true rigs, these conditions really call for a jig. This shallower water bite dictates a jig and shiner or jig and leech is going to be the ticket. The fish will be easy to target. A 1/8- or 1/4-ounce jig should do it.
Hawthorn is a fishing guide focused on walleyes on Lake Mille Lacs. He can be reached at www.millelacslakeguide.com or (651) 271-8600.