Published By OutdoorsFIRST Media Published May 19, 2017
Social media was buzzing Saturday with the official start of the MN Fishing Opener. For most of the state of MN, the season for walleyes, pike and bass have been closed since February. On Lake of the Woods, the walleye season is extended each year through April 14th and the pike and bass seasons never close, however, because walleyes steal most of the attention in these parts, it was still a major event if you fish walleyes.
Many found hungry walleyes and saugers awaiting their offerings. The magic depth seemed to be around 20′ of water. Most anglers jigged with a minnow. Frozen shiners, live shiners, fatheads and chubs were the most common bait.
Jig colors ranged but gold, pink and glow certainly were effective in the stained waters. Orange, chartreuse and even just the plain lead color was also effective.
Jigs on rods, Lake of the Woods charter boat
Many anglers will double hook their minnow on a jig. This means they slide the jig hook through the mouth and out the gill of the minnow. Push the minnow all the way up to the jig head and then push the hook through the mid section of the minnow. Lake of the Woods walleyes will still hit the offering and the hook is half way back on the minnow leading to more hook ups and less misses.
Walleyes were found in the Rainy River, Four Mile Bay, throughout the south shore of the lake, around structure near Long Point and Rocky Point and throughout the NW Angle.
This was not surprising as the MN DNR reports a strong walleye and sauger population with various size classes present.
Many anglers made life easy by jumping on a resort charter boat or in with a guide. For some who don't have a boat, don't feel navigating Lake of the Woods or if they simply want to focus on fishing and enjoying the day with a licensed charter captain who is dialed into the fish, this is a nice option.
The fishing should remain strong as waters warm. In addition to walleyes and saugers, pike, jumbo perch, and bass were boated.