Tomorrow I leave for the Minnesota Walleye/Pike Fishing Opener and truth is I have no idea what lake (or river) I’ll be fishing at sunrise on Saturday morning. It’s not that I’m not willing to do the necessary homework; I can’t. No one has been able to fish yet, so there is no intelligence on hot bites, depths, baits, etc., available.
However, that doesn’t mean I’m not without tools.
Two key items to look at early in the season are water clarity and average lake depth as both offer clues to fish location and their activity levels. In almost all cases, the best fishing is found in the warmest water early in the year, at least for cool-water species like bass and walleye (trout species are another story).
So while deep, clear lakes are spectacular fishing spots, shallower lake with darker waters are usually better now.
Once on the lake, my plan is to target shallow water areas near spawning habitat. In the case of targeted walleye this weekend, I’ll be looking for shallow gravel, current like stream inlets (if available), and rocky points.
I’ll be bringing live bait rigs, jigs, cranks and slip floats, and between the four something will produce enough fish for our planned fish fry Saturday night.
Game planning can be a great way to increase success anytime during the year. And the more you know about the fish you pursue, the better you’ll be at finding them.