Is This Truly Climate Change
By: Guest Blogger, Tom Neustrom owner of MN Fishing Connections professional guide service. Tom is an inductee into the MN Fishing Hall of Fame and the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.
Minnesotans are tough and resourceful. This winter was hard to convince us that global warming is here and changing the weather conditions. Maybe someone forgot to tell the residents of Minnesota.
In the Grand Rapids area our lakes are still full of ice and the options of not having a traditional fishing opener are lurking and options may be limited. With the warm weather of late there is a glimmer of hope the smaller lakes may have open water, but the DNR will be struggling to get landings prepared on time especially with the lakes ice covered. Things are softening up, but people its time to put your ice fishing gear away and get ready for open water. “There’s plenty to do.”
Not a bad idea to get the boat ready and there are a couple things to think about. Give Derek a call at Ray’s Sport and Marine in Grand Rapids and make an appointment to get your boat in for any work that needs to get done. With the new and beautiful dealership and state of the art service center, they can take care of all your needs as long as you don’t wait for the last minute.
This Week’s Grand Rapids Fishing Report
Check out the below video to hear Andy Walls, Thousand Lakes Sporting Goods, shares this week’s Grand Rapids Fishing Report which highlights river fishing for suckers, and to use caution when venturing out on ice right now.
Tips for Early Season – Open Water
If we face lakes that are froze for MN Fishing Opener, we have the Mississippi River which is really and under fished body of water with walleyes and other species available. There are several good accesses available from Winnie Dam all the way down river past Grand Rapids. Other river options are the Bigfork River and Prairie River, which offer limited access but decent fishing. Its always a great idea to call ahead for information and the Grand Rapids area is loaded with bait shops in the know. Good choices are Thousand Lakes Sports, Ben’s Bait, River Rat Bait, Fred’s Bait and the Winnie One Stop. They can make many of your decisions of not only ice out conditions but additional information before you head north to your favorite lake.
Early in the season, one of the standby and most efficient presentations for walleyes is the deadly jig and minnow combination. Most walleye anglers prefer going as light as possible and especially with colder water conditions that we will be facing this start of the season. The walleyes will be somewhat sluggish with the cold water, there fore working a bait slow can really help. Many times when jig fishing hold the fish on the tip of the rod after the bite for a few seconds before setting the hook. It can make a big difference in hookups. Sometimes the bite will just be weight at the end of your line and also watch to see if the line moves sideways left or right, then set the hook. When selecting bait for the late ice out proposition buy smaller shiners or medium chubs. I’ve seen when selecting bait when the water is very cold smaller minnows can make a big difference. One eighth or even as light as one sixteenth ounce jigs worked slowly can put more walleyes on the end of your line.
Crappies can be another option if the walleyes aren’t available on your lake. After ice out wait a couple days and fish shallow areas near and around old reed beds from last season. A small jig underneath a small float can be the ticket for a nice bunch of fish. Move it, twitch it slowly and wait for bite. Set the hook by lifting the rod upwards. Crappies have a soft mouth and setting the hook too hard can tear the hook out.
The ice will be gone soon so make sure all your equipment is ready for the 2018 open water fishing season.